Friday, 4 January 2013

It's time to talk about University

Hello all! I write from an unusual location -- the computer lab at my department of UBC, where I have been installed since 7:30am Wednesday 2 January 2013. No really, I've only left my post to eat, sleep and teach.

Wednesday was the first lecture of the term, and this morning was the first tutorial (I only delivered the tutorial though, not the lecture). It went well, I think. Next week we are reading an excellent novel by a Canadian author, Famous Last Words by Timothy Findley. It complements Catch-22 which I'm still in the throes of in preparation for bookclub. It will be a very war-filled weekend, with the amount of pages I'm required to digest by Monday.

I haven't been very communicative about the whole university project in quite some months. Last term was challenging, and honestly I am still struggling to come to grips with the spectre of the thesis. I tell myself I've done this before, because I wrote an honours degree of similar length, but it's not quite true, because in reality the requirements and the stakes of this project are much higher.

This week I'm reading popular fiction from the 1890s which engages with contemporary scientific understanding of how and what humans inherit. Genetics hadn't been 're-'discovered (that's some heavy punctuation there) yet, so I'm trying to be attentive to what language authors use to describe inheritance, and also their ideas about what sort of things it is possible for humans to inherit from one generation to the next.

This and the teaching ought to keep me busy until the summertime. If you can't find me, I'll be here, sitting at station #3, scrolling through digitised Victorian fiction, for the foreseeable.

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