Vendredi Noir

Today a major oil slick from the Macondo Prospect will probably make landfall below New Orleans. You do not know it, but I am not really a professor — I am a landman from Pointe Coupée. I have worked in various branches of the oil and gas industry and my clients have included Halliburton, Enron, … More Vendredi Noir

Dat Whiteman

The counselor told the student that he had made the choice to join the National Guard and now had to “take responsibility” for the loss of his leg. What do you want to bet that earlier on, a similarly trained counselor told the student it was his patriotic duty to join the National Guard so … More Dat Whiteman

An Academic Wednesday: Was Your Graduate Program Bad For Your Health?

In graduate school, we were once visited by a former co-T.A. who was now faculty elsewhere. She said, “Enjoy these days — they are the best of your lives!” I took this comment as the sort of formulaic thing Old Bambis have to say to Young Bambis, and left it at that. Many years later, … More An Academic Wednesday: Was Your Graduate Program Bad For Your Health?

White Paper

I am not any kind of Cajun or Creole, and I am not in Cajun and Creole Studies. I have no academic expertise to bear on the question of what is a Cajun or a Creole, what Cajun or Creole history is. My own work on Latin American identities is very different. I do not … More White Paper

An Academic Thursday: The Introduction to Literature

Do you teach a late sophomore or early junior level introduction to literary genres in a language other than English? This is the course in which you learn to scan poetry. You learn to do close readings of four genres. You learn to formulate an analytical thesis statement. You learn all sorts of rhetorical terms. … More An Academic Thursday: The Introduction to Literature

Distress Alert

…Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea… I can do outdoor painting with no trouble, but the oily sealant I finally found to put on the porch caused an allergic reaction costing $111 and a few bad days, as we know. Then, in a moment of madness, I started painting the kitchen, … More Distress Alert