I’m going to Spain! The Basque Country! Valencia! Madrid! First class!

All organized by my husband who’ll be staying home with Klara.

I’m a really good wife, though, I promise.

A Regular Day

Today, I finished Psychopolitics, annotated it for my research, and used it to prepare a lecture for tomorrow that I’m really excited about. Worked on my new book. Graded almost 70 quizzes but they were great, so it was a breeze. Blind-reviewed an article where I’m the main critical source. Went to the juicery, the DMV, and the orthodontist. Spent 3 hours outside with Klara and my friend. Heard great news about my book (see below). Read some Wallace Stegner. I’m feeling super energized for my teaching day tomorrow.

I know I said this before, but it just stinks that every time professors are quoted in the media on the subject of our profession, it’s always the losers, the whiners, and the professional victims. Nobody ever thinks about interviewing regular people like me who dig the profession. I love students. Students love me. I’m at peace with the colleagues and the administration. There are some ripples, like in any job. But the good stuff is much more plentiful. The research is going great. I’m planning conference talks in Spain, Seattle, and Boston.

Why isn’t anybody interviewing me to hear about all this exciting stuff? There are plenty of failed lawyers and disaffected business owners. But in their professions, you only hear about the success stories.

Hey, CHE and IHE, I’m right here!

Pretend Everybody Is Sick

Nancy Pelosi says the best way to communicate with people is to pretend everybody is sick and stay at a great distance from each other. For real.

How this jives with the desire to move the entire population of Central America – which is not known for being into Pelosi’s “stay away like you are contagious” rule, to put it mildly – over here is a mystery.

Psychopolitics, Part 8

Neoliberal psychopolitics seduces the soul; it preempts in lieu of opposing.

Totalitarian regimes coerced people into ratting out their friends and colleagues by creating the environment of terror. There is a powerful scene in Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle where a graduate student is being terrorized by the secret police to become an informant against the professors and the other women in her dorm. She doesn’t want to narc on her friends, but she’s completely terrified of saying no because she knows she’ll end up in a concentration camp if she does.

Now contrast this with our current situation where nobody forces hordes of angry students to hound anybody who doesn’t toe the ideological line. They have not been terrorized but, rather, seduced into this role by the promise of a cool, shiny identity that will enhance the value of their personal brand.

Activism is a marketing strategy. And the product on offer is the neoliberal self.

Of course, the reading of the book goes slowly if I read one sentence and it leads me all the way to what you just read.


I don’t know why everybody bitches about the long lines at the DMV. The whole thing took me exactly 8 minutes. I brought a whole stack of papers to grade and worried if I’d be able to make my 2 pm dental appointment.

People are such drama queens. Just last week somebody here in town told me he’d lost a whole day of work at the DMV and warned me to prepare for an endless wait.

I’m not sure if this even counts as a new experience, so instead I’m doing something really unusual for me and starting a Latina club for Hispanic moms in town.

The Unusual Challenge, Day 3

Today’s unusual activity is very normal for most of you, but I’ve never done this before. I’ve come to the DMV to renew my license. This is the first time I’m renewing it, so it’s a new experience.

The unusual stuff started happening the moment I arrived. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a woman pull out in an SUV. She was holding am infant in her lap as she drove, and there was a toddler of Klara’s age in the passenger seat next to her. That was definitely weird. The DMV is pretty much the last place where you want to be caught doing something like this.