Monthly Archives: March 2013


If I did another degree and went into a different field it would probably not stanch my guilt over having done the first one. I should not have gone to college at a research university and I should not have gone to graduate school, but I did, and I have not removed from myself the thorns pressed into me in revenge.

It hurt them too much. They said so at the time and I did not think it made sense. I understood later that it was true, it really hurt them and that is why they pressed these thorns into me. They were suffering and they needed a different kind of person. I could have become that person and I did not. I was selfish.

I always thought that if I could get away from the scene of my crime I might be able to stop having it so present in my mind. This would definitely distract me, but I am no longer sure it would cure me.



Filed under Banes

Sheryl Sandberg

Of course, personal effort is hardly the whole story. I know women who have leaned in for a lifetime and been passed over. But it’s hard to see what’s wrong with encouraging big dreams, giving pointers on sexist bosses and salary negotiations, and telling women who join the mommy track before they even have a boyfriend not to lean back: “Don’t leave before you leave.”

I really like the sound of this much maligned book. It may have its failings but it is far superior to what I was taught:

♦ You should not do your best in college, because that might be too hard for you — you should use this as play time
♦ You should not have gone to graduate school, as it is so selfish — you should be taking care of someone
♦ You should not have a research program, but just try to have acceptable articles
♦ You cost too much money and you spend it on things like school
♦ You should not want a career, but only job security — it is the most you can aspire to, and you will barely make even that; any higher goal is laughable in your case
♦ You do not have the capability for more, anyway, so just rest, dear
♦ Life is suffering and sacrifice, but once in a while you can have a drink or go on vacation — you should get high sometimes, that is, but mostly you should suffer
♦ If you do not believe the above you are naïve, or of below average intelligence, or “vicious,” or mean, or mentally ill

Specifically, all the lecturing about “resting” and “taking care of yourself” that I got from official feminists of the 90s was even more demeaning than what I had heard from the most infirm members of the older generation — and that was already bad enough, as you can tell from the list above.

I insist that it is not I who misunderstood. What the official, mainstream, alleged feminists had to say was an utter reiteration of an older line. I think the people denigrating Sandberg now are from the same group.

I am afraid to read the book because I fear I will find I have fallen prey to every snare and committed every error, and will be even more depressed about time lost than I am now. But I am sure it is a good book.


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Filed under News, Resources

Yorio and Jalics

Here is Verbitsky in Página 12 March 17, with documents, although I am told we should not trust Verbitsky. It seems that according to Jalics in 1995, Bergoglio really did turn them in. I am not surprised and would more or less assume it to be true. They are calling the Pope Pancho which is amusing.


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Filed under Banes, News

Tell My Horse

It is about Haiti, Jamaica and New Orleans and I have to read it for research reasons. I am against Zora Neale Hurston because she and hers boiled a black cat in New Orleans, and I am against New Orleans vodun. Nonetheless I now have to read this book for research reasons.


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Filed under Bibliography

In which I am not a bad teacher, after all

I am severely traumatized about teaching and that is why I do not have time or energy for writing. But sometimes, someone says I am not a bad teacher. This morning on e-mail:

I keep finding things that are so relevant to what we discuss in class! Things I never stopped to think about before are suddenly everywhere. I just wanted to share this article with you because it reiterates the same ideas and asks the exact same questions as you did in class. It’s all very fascinating!

In elementary schools here they hit the children and also pick them up and pin them to the wall three feet above the ground, so their face is at the same height as the teacher’s, who can then scold them. This is what you are competing with at the university level; the students cannot and will not accept the possibility that there might be two answers to one question.



Filed under News, What Is A Scholar?

Bebo Valdés

Cubans are the best pianists. What I most like in Havana is how, as you walk through quiet residential neighborhoods, you hear people practicing the piano and they are good, in bungalows behind low fences and banana trees. Listening to this, though, I heard a cake walk and realized I had not thought of it before.

Mardi Gras mambo, la ciudad que se repite, that precise New Orleans and Havana piano.


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Filed under Songs

Aquí se trabaja mucho

Yesterday was my day off. I worked on service related issues, and attended a social meeting for Spanish majors where I got a lot of advising done. At night I went out and saw two new rock bands who were very good. At the meeting with the students and at this barzinho later I had the distinct feeling of being in the 1970s, when I was an undergraduate. I am getting this feeling from my classes this semester, as well. It is as though people had finally thrown off the yoke of Reaganism, and had become curious once more.

Saturday and Palm Sunday

→Scrub deck, work out, grade three classes
→Minutes for that meeting and attachment with legislative bills and AAUP webinar information, as well as note on actual date that motion was voted upon
→Study abroad proposals
→NO research or writing allowed until all grading and planning for courses is finished!
→Remind students about time / location of Monday office hour
→Arrange bibliographic instruction


7: Plumber
10: Office hour
1: Appointment off campus
2: Appointment off campus
Work on the deck, work out, prepare classes, work toward abstract in Spanish


Call roofer
Drop off car
Work out
Get signatures on study abroad proposals
Keep working on deck
Keep working on Spanish version of abstract


Clean house
11 Jerry
Office hours
Finish writing letters, including to Mihai
Keep working on Spanish version of abstract
Prepare classes
Kayak — aim to leave 5:30 PM

Maundy Thursday

Teach three classes
Work out
Keep working on Spanish version of abstract
Commemorate proposed death of César Vallejo

Good Friday

Maybe take kayak to the bayou — I am not sure
Get ready for sewing, gardening, and painting Easter week
Keep working on Spanish version of abstract
Work out
Commemorate actual death of César Vallejo


Finish and submit Spanish version of abstract
Work out
Work on deck


Easter. Do something entertaining

Easter Week

No research, no writing, only recreational reading and movies
Get everything ready for classes and the end of the semester
Sew, paint, garden, fix door and finish deck
Take dress to tailor
Chase roofers to get an answer
Finish writing letters
Deck helper comes Monday, dermatologist is Wednesday, dentist is Friday
Work out, go hiking, visit prison, visit Creole plantation Laura, do different things like this


I am going to run for something, and I am going to have a campaign speech. Things to remember for it:

♦ my academic background and affiliations make me an effective advocate for several disciplines
♦ I am not doing this for a course release or for money
I am not anti administration; I am even pro administration because administrators do a great deal of useful and necessary work.
♦ At the same time I put research and teaching, and therefore faculty first, and I am a union maid
♦ I stand for research, quality teaching, student power, and a strong faculty voice in policy and governance



Filed under Novel, What Is A Scholar?