Ok, I'm flogging myself at the moment in guilt and shame for taking approximately 4 months to update my blog (an entire semester's worth of time). And yes, I know what kind of holes excuses are like and that everybody has one. ;)
And now that I am digital camera savvy, I have included a photo display below that can update the past four months. Winter came and yes, has stayed in Michigan. I officially reached my critical edge of sanity yesterday as I walked home in yet another snow storm and declared to no longer leave my apartment for the duration of the semester. I will just have to teach my students via satellite (yeah, like that would blow over, uggh).
Brief run down of events since November: Rocked the socks of prelims (yeehaw!) and have been in an intellectually comatosed state ever since (I'm beginning to think you don't ever bounce back energy-wise after prelims, or maybe it's a winter thing), had a couple great visits back to the Bay, taught two big lectures this semester and boosted my confidence on speaking in front of filled lecture halls (the two were: 19th century empire in the Pacific and Caribbean and the Vietnam War), have been teaching sections for the U.S. history survey this semester with two of the best classes I've ever had (my students are awesome! Super engaged, super fun to teach),
I also just participated in our GEO union strike this week (our GEO won a new contract) and gained a new appreciation for unions and strikes in a way that no history books (no matter how much labor history I've read) could teach me. I will never cross a picket line again (although I can't remember if I ever have). I have such a new respect for how important solidarity is and also how challenging picketing is. Our contract only flew because the construction workers on campus joined us in solidarity and stopped working and took a paycut, and basically cost the University way too much money in construction delays. I also attended this fabulous conference in the past couple weeks called the Campus Lockdown to address issues facing faculty women of color (the event was brought on by the tenure denial of Andy Smith, one of the most amazing scholars on campus--nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize). Anyone interested in seeing the panels from the conference can look up Campus Lockdown on Youtube, I would definitely check out the one with Piya Chaterjee and Clarissa Rojas. They also patched in Angela Davis via satellite (Histcon in the house!!!)
And lastly I've been trying to sort my dissertation proposal and finally secured my chair/co-chair this week and am hoping to write something up and defend it by May. Blah-dee-blah-blah, but that's basically the jist of it. Oh and I'm excited to get to do this teaching program through the university's learning center in May. I had a moment this week where I realized one thing I love about teaching (and am excited for in the future as I get to create my own classes) is bringing in music. Next week I'm going to play my students Phil Ochs "Love me I'm a Liberal" (Intemperate Speech, thanks for that awesome CD compilation again!)
As for what's coming up: hoping to get out of Michigan by the end of May (after hopefully defending diss. proposal). Then heading back to Cali for some RnR, then out to Hawaii for a short research/look at housing trip, then to August conference with Miss Dolce Vita!), then the big move to Hawaii hopefully by the end of August, early September. And hope hope hope to see my lovely Oregonian crew for a reunion either before I take off for Hawaii...or you can all come visit me there!
There's the update...here's the photos...and I'll promise to be better with postings now! Oh and since I couldn't figure out how to do captions, you can read the following photos as: Fall in Ann Arbor, Prelims madness, Winter's attack my my car, and union solidarity (me at a grade-in with GEO!)