The notes, the notes

I am trying hard to clear my workspace. It always looks neat but that is deceptive since the files and books are not fully organized; part of my block involves not knowing where things are, or not having them at hand. The current revolution has been enabled by my purchase of a new bookcase.

I have notes of all kinds. I have to put them in Evernote, in the right files, and into the right documents but here are some of them, since I do not know what they all mean.


There is a lawn/landscape service, Merlin Lormand, recommended. I don’t need a lawn service but I do need general landscape advice. There are a lot of other people available, too. I tend to think I don’t know who to call but Googling this name leads to many others.


The Baroque is its great heritage (this is why carnavalization is an important concept) whereas the French refer to realism, Enlightenment reason, and the Cartesian tradition. “See also Paz,” I wrote mysteriously.

Latin American writers have a strange relationship to the indigenous and to Europe, I said, and a strange relationship to the world and to themselves.


1. The year 2015 started with the debacle of an administrative snafu that got me extra teaching instead of partial sick leave; in the fall we had the course enrollment crisis and the threat that the major would be canceled. I have doubts about the evaluation of teaching being based entirely on whether or not people’s student satisfaction surveys are below or above the department average. Half must be below by definition, and how many of us are significantly below?

2. The threat to the major led to increased commitments to service in 2016 (cf. getting pressed into service on the website), and also 2017 when I briefly became head of the major committee. I notice that I keep getting pressured to do extraordinary service, against my better judgment, and then punished for it; on the other hand, national and other professional service that I choose is not even recognized as real.

3. What is research? What do we get to call research? (I suspect that what for some is called research, is not, and that my research is less recognized since I am not in one of the fields the university wants to promote. I don’t think this line of discussion would be useful, but I want to keep a private note on it.) But the bottom line, that I do want to discuss, is that I do not want my research time redefined into service time.


I wrote that whether or not its chair were working, the committee existed and its work needed to be done. Colleague 2’s message, despite at times calling for the work to be done, is: “I don’t want to do the work, and I don’t want you to do it.” He should not get to decide these things, said a friend elsewhere. I, however, observe that here, he is allowed to decide them.

Meetings, I wrote, needed to have objectives. The overarching objectives of the committee were to oppose obstruction of activities toward the major, and to promote the major. If the committee members could not do these things, I wanted to point out, they  would effectively be acting to return power to [the deadwood Fulls]. Did Colleague 2 really want that? I wanted to put this question to him — although now, at least, that eventuality seems not to be on the horizon.


No rants. No bullying. No personal remarks. The work is the important thing.

No personal remarks. No yelling, no accusations, no untruths. Have an agenda and keep to it.

For me, in the committee: Keep dignity. Do not argue or explain; do not engage with ridiculousness. Insist on getting on with business and focusing on tasks.

My friend said the main issue was my, or Colleague 2’s relationship with colleagues. I note, though, that the advice on keeping meeting focus on work and tasks was not new. I was insisting on those things. That was what was getting me so much grief.


One thought on “The notes, the notes

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’m also in the process of “organizing” things: notes, fragments, zettels (I think that’s what Wittgenstein called them). Thanks for your commitment to blogging too.

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