Friday, November 17, 2006
Last night Rachael Baird, a former student of mine almost made me cry before I read--it was the most meaningful introduction I have ever had and the reading was lovely. 118 people were there---mostly students I think fulfilling a reading requirement, but hopefully we didn't bore them to tears, though cousins Neil and Leslie were near the back and said, nope, they were all rapt. Though, your family will never tell you that you suck to your face so who knows :) And dinner and drinks with colleagues, and having so many current and former students there further gelled my feelings of belonging here in DC at this time (though yes, I know, one can plant their roots anywhere and flourish) and somewhere in the evening it came up that in the future GW may do away with some general education requirements (like fine arts and literature) so there may not even be a job for me in the distant future if GW's new fiscal plans go through---going to a 4 by 4 where students only take 4 classes a semester that are worth 4 credits. Of course, I can't fathom why the university would want to cut writing and literature courses and claim they are not as necessary as the three sciences that are currently required (the English students were up in arms about this). I guess this is another portrait of academia---the deciding of what is important study, and of course, we will all claim that our field is universal and essential. But for now, it's sunny and the weather here is good and I have to prepare my notes for my Kafka lecture.