Tuesday, March 15, 2016


The break continues. So does the work I must do while it does. I have two more classes' papers to grade, one of which will get done today, and I will be giving a tutorial this evening. As I do, I will be doing a bit of printing work, and I will be pulling my annotated copy of an article I mean to use in my paper for the International Congress on Medieval Studies; I have started the paper and am perhaps a quarter done with it. I am still hoping a freelance order will come in for me, as I have noticed some series whose members I have already treated are generating new volumes, and I can use the money in addition to the relatively easy work. Until and unless such an order comes for me, though, I will be working on the things I have already noted. They offer a fair bit to do, in any event, and if I do get them done, then I have other projects that need my attention. The Tales after Tolkien blog piece still needs writing, after all...

I have been enjoying getting to work at an easy pace. I am not normally able to do so, with the demands of classroom work being as they are. This week of only working on, oh, one and a half jobs instead of the usual three is a welcome respite. I have been able to devote more time to my family as a result of the lightened workload, playing with Ms. 8 more than usual and talking with the Mrs., since she and I were both home for much of the day yesterday. Today, she works, but I do not have to plow through multiple stacks of papers; one will be enough. That means I can give more attention to Ms. 8 than I can on Tuesdays during instructional time. I do not know if she will appreciate the additional oversight, but I know I appreciate getting to spend more time with my little girl. Again, it is a thing I know is denied to most fathers, and if I am still struggling to make sense of my situation, it is at least one that has clear benefits. I am grateful for them.

I am grateful also that I am surrounded by people who remind me of the glories of the past. It is the Ides of March. The Bard writes of this day, writing to which I was first introduced in sixth grade, when my social studies teacher had his classes give a rendition of Julius Caear. I played Brutus, and while I remember my newly pubescent voice cracking on some of the characters' lines, I also remember it as being one of the first times I played a villain. (Brutus's villainy is debatable, of course. Dante has him chewed upon by one of the mouths of Satan, his head hanging out from the infernal jaws and looking out over the gelid waste of Judecca--clearly an indictment. But he acts "Not that [he] loved Caesar less, but that [he] loved / Rome more" [Caesar 3.2], working from a love of country and familial history in a manner that becomes tragic because it is a "good" end gone wrong.) It has become something of a pattern in my life, something that is like my work in that it continues...

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