Hello again!

I thought I’d write another update to the blog, and I’m thinking about possibly getting back into regular blogging. (Maybe. We’ll see.) I’ve had it with Facebook and I never really got into Twitter, but I feel a little isolated without some social media interaction, especially as I’m on sabbatical again, and working on my own. I’ve also been inspired by Notorious Ph.D., who restarted her blog about a year ago. So I know it can be done!

Anyway, a couple of quick and largely happy updates. First, I wrote another thing inspired by my blog, this time an op-ed piece in the Chronicle on getting over a post-tenure funk. You can read it here. Btw, I did NOT choose that headline. (Writers rarely do.) But anyway, that’s *two* publications that came as a result of this blog (the other of which I mention in the post below), which I never expected. They’re non-scholarly, but I see them both as a kind of service to the profession, which was always how I thought of this blog, too (well, when I wasn’t writing about running or dogs or such).

Second, and related to an update in the post below this, I broke two hours in that half-marathon I ran last year — 1:59:24! Woo hoo! I trained again in the fall, but repeated minor injuries and a busy schedule kept me from doing a race. And then a really busy semester in the spring kept me from running entirely — d’oh! But I’m getting back into it now, and I’m planning on training again for a fall half-marathon, and depending on how that goes, maybe training for a *full* marathon in the spring, a thing I haven’t done in 10 years. A sabbatical year is the only time I’ll be able to fit it in, so it’s now or never.

Thing the third: a very happy doggy update. In the post below this, I reported the sad news of Pippi’s passing. Right after that post, we began fostering another Brittany named Benny, who a year ago found his forever family. And then we took a summer off from pets and fosters. I realized that as I worked at home every day while Bullock went off to the office (he’s chair — he has to be on campus) that the house was an empty and sad place without furry energy to fill it. It took some time to convince Bullock that we really needed another dog, and we may have moved a little fast for him, but on October 1, 2016, Æþelþryð Matilda Wigglesworth — or more simply, Audie — joined our pack.

Audie today

Æþelþryð Matilda Wigglesworth — Audie, for short. (You see, Audrey is the Anglo-Norman version of Æþelþryð, also spelled Etheldreda, and Audie is the diminutive of Audrey. She came to us named Molly, so I was looking for a name that sounded similar to that and landed on Audie.) That box on her collar is the invisible fence receiver. She’s a fence-climber if there’s a squirrel on the other side. (Photo by Bullock. Not to be shared or reproduced elsewhere without permission.)

No, she is not a Brittany. She’s an English Setter. It’s kind of long story how we ended up with a Setter instead of a Brittany, but the short version is that I fell in love. Anyway, since she’s English, I named her for an English saint and an English queen, and gave her a fake English last name (she *is* very wiggly). But I should have named her Wynnie, after the Old English “wynn” or joy, because she is SO full of joy — don’t let her serious look in this picture fool you. Just about everything makes her happy: walkies, treats, her Kong, the toy tied onto the end of a horse whip that we spin around for her in the back yard for her to chase, supper (she dances for it!), sleepy time, car rides, cuddling with her people, being with her people, her people coming home, people putting on shoes (because that could mean walkies!), the nice people who take care of her at boarding (though she’s even happier when her regular people come back to get her), nice doggies she meets, new people she meets, and so on. When you give her the “place” command to get on one of her beds, she *spins* in the air in a full circle as she leaps into the dog bed (because what comes next usually involves a treat).

The only thing she doesn’t like is her crate, because that means the people are leaving her alone and she can’t go anywhere — she’s much better left on her own in the family room with a Kong filled with treats, then she doesn’t mind being alone because she can look out the windows and lie on soft things that smell like her people, so she doesn’t feel so lonely. This is just one of the many ways that she’s different from Pippi, who loved her crate as a chance to be “off duty” and sleep. Pippi was territorial and barked at everyone who merely walked by the house. Woe to you if you were the UPS delivery person! Being in her crate was a vacation from her self-appointed job. Audie doesn’t have a territorial bone in her body, except where squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and cats are concerned. They’re the only creatures she barks at (well, and at us when she thinks it’s time for us to get out of bed). People coming to the door are potential new laps to sit in. (Oh yes, she’s a 35-pound lap dog. That’s also very different from Pippi.)

These differences from Pippi — including the different breed — are good things, I think. Because she’s so different, we’ve gotten to know her on her own terms. I think if we’d adopted a Brittany, we’d constantly see her or him as Not Pippi. Audie is just Audie. She’s her own fur-person. And the joy she brings is also restorative. Plus, I have a great office buddy — she loves to lie at my feet or in the upholstered chair in my office while I work. But right now she wants to go out, so I’ll wrap this up now. If I do get back to blogging, I promise more pictures of Audie — and I’ll make her her own page, too, just as Pippi has.

So what’s up with you since I last blogged?

Hello, goodbye

It’s been over a year and a half since I last posted, so I think it’s safe to say that this blog is defunct, for now at least. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel a need to come back to it, so it’s not going to go anywhere.

But before I sign off, I thought I’d do some important catching up. Between the last post and this one, I contributed an essay called “Downtime” to the collection How to Build a Life in the Humanities, edited by Gregory Colón Semenza and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr. I was asked to contribute to that collection because of this blog, and in my bio, I name the blog. So it’s possible that you’re here because of that essay, in which case, I wanted to add an update to that piece. In it, I talk about the importance of having a “third thing,” an activity (or set of activities) for rest and relaxation that are neither family/home responsibilities nor work responsibilities, and I chronicle my experiences with my major “third thing” for many years, long-distance running. At the time I was writing, I had burned out on marathons and competition and had not yet found a single “third thing” to replace that pastime. But since then, I am happy to report, I have gotten back into running — this time half marathons instead of full ones. I trained for and ran my first in late 2014 and have run two more since. (I also trained for another this past fall, but ended up not being able to run because of other things going on in my life — updates I’ll give below.)  And now I’m training for another one in April. Right now, my current PR is a respectable 2:01, and though it would be nice to get it under 2 hrs, I’m happy just running. And really, that was my secret to getting back to running and racing: I’m focusing *only* on the running, on the process, *not* on any time goal. I’m trying to be very Zen-like in my attitude, and living in the moment of a run-day or a rest day of my training plans, or in the run itself. If I focus too much on the results, that’s when I’ll burn out again. I don’t want to end up crying during a race again because I’m not going to make a certain time!

That’s the good news. Sadly, the last year also brought with it terrible loss. In mid-December, “Bullock” (my pseudonymous spouse) and I had to say a final goodbye to our dear, sweet, soulful, smart, beautiful dog, Pippi. Many of my regular readers are also Facebook friends, and already know this, so I’ll spare the details, especially since narrating everything again will make me terribly sad. In short, Pippi died of an aggressive stomach cancer that didn’t show even the vaguest signs until October (and only in retrospect did we realize they *were* signs). By November, right before Thanksgiving, she was very sick, but with what *seemed* to be a stubborn pancreatitis (and in fact, it was — it was just *caused* by the cancer). By a week before Christmas, we had a firm diagnosis, and it was clearly time, so we let her go before her pain and discomfort escalated. She was only about 10 or so (the Brittany is a long-lived breed, generally) and we’d only known her for just under 8 years. We’re still mourning.

Pippi lived her life on this blog, in a way. I first wrote about her when we were still in the adoption process and even posted a poll to help us choose her name. (I actually went with readers’ second choice, because as soon as I finally met her, I knew she was a Pippi.) There are people in my life who only know her through the internet, and yet who have mourned her passing with me. She’s internet-famous. If you do a Google image search for “Pippi Brittany,” she’s the first image (and others in the first ten), and even a more generic search like “roan Brittany” turns up her pictures from this blog. And, of course, she has her own page here (which I will update).

Only time will tell if we adopt another dog. Pippi was one of the great ones, and they’re hard to get over. In the meantime, though, we’re helping with the rescue organization that brought us Pippi (and with a few others). We’re volunteering for transports to help dogs get to foster and forever homes, sometimes even giving them an overnight place to stay, and soon we may be fostering a young Brittany (as I write, we’ve volunteered, but he’s a stray in a county shelter and may still be claimed by an owner).

In the meantime, I run, I work, I spend time with Bullock, and I try to think of happy times with Pippi. And maybe I’ll come back to this blog when I have more interesting things to say again.


Woah, I got “Reddited”!

Wait, is “Reddited” a word yet? Well, it is now. What I mean is, I got linked at Reddit. OK, so it was only in linguistics subreddit, but sure enough, it seems the whole point of linking me was to tell me I was wrong. Well, at least it wasn’t one of those parts of Reddit where a person gets called worse things.

Anyway, the joke’s on them, because most of the commenters misread my post entirely. (It was my post about Anglo-Saxons ‘getting’ teaching by using a double accusative for both the subject taught and the person taught.) They thought it was actually a post about linguistics. Sigh. Only one person commenting realized it was really just a pretense — a hook — to talk about teaching. This smart Redditor, shadyturnip, even did me a solid by elevating my musings to a metaphor. Thanks, dude!

Anyway, even though only 6 people commented, thanks to them and the original person who shared it, I got my *highest* number of daily hits (478!) since moving the blog to WordPress. And that was over what was pretty much a throw-away, thinking-off-the-top-of-my-head post.

The internet is a weird place.

Help me “index” the blog

Hey all. Thanks for all of your comments on the post below, especially from newcomers who have never commented before. You were all very kind and helpful, and I appreciate it. And you’ll be glad to know I’m pretty much out of my funk now. Cutting down on the social media and *focusing* on the work actually really helped and got me excited about it again. Also, re-reading an invited talk I gave a year ago — to get back into the swing of a project —  reminded me of what was cool and interesting about that project. And one other thing that has really helped is using a timer app on my iPhone for the dull parts of one of my projects. Using that, I work on the dull bits for about 10 minutes, then switch to reading some scholarship and criticism for a longer chunk of time or writing or some other task, then go back to the dull work, etc.

Anyway, just thought you might like an update. Meanwhile, I’ve got another question for you all, especially my long-time readers. I want to make a “Best of Quod She” menu on the right, because I’m kind of “coming out” at Dr. Virago in an important context, and I want to direct readers to the substantive parts of the blog. (They are free to browse around at will and admire Pippi’s beauty, of course, but I also want them to see that there *is* substance to the blog.) Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of posts like the “Speaking for the Dead” one, the one on “Debt,” the one from some years ago about the professionalization of the discipline, and then more medieval-specific ones such as the one on why students calling Margery Kempe “crazy” just plays right into the text’s hands. (I’m too lazy to link them here.) Are there other posts that you recall that should get the “Best of” treatment? You don’t have to find the link — you can just say, “Wasn’t there one about blah blah blah? I liked that one.”

As always, your help and feedback is appreciated!

I’m “slow blogging”

The spouse of a friend of mine is blogging their family’s short-term ex-pat life in London (it’s a lovely new blog — check it out!), and in only her second post, she admits that she’s been doing a bit of “slow blogging.”  No, really, it’s a thing, she says, because it has a manifesto.  And we all know that if something has a manifesto, then it must be real!   Well, I guess then that slow blogging is what I’ve been doing lately, and I’ve been so slow about it that even when I get linked by IHE (bless their hearts for keeping me in their RSS feed), as I did with the last post, no one’s really paying attention. So, I think that’s a sign that I must either speed things up a bit or else close up shop. I hate to go out with a whimper, so I’ll at least try to do some solid posts before that happens (*if* that happens). So I hope you’ll hear from me a little bit more in the meantime.

If you have old Blogrolling script on your blog…

…you might want to get rid of it. Not only does Blogrolling no longer work or exist, but its script can wreak havoc with your whole blog.

In my case, I just realized that Quod She 1.0 was redirecting to a “buy this domain” page.  It didn’t matter if you went to the home page or an individual post’s permalink, all of them redirected.  Taking the old blogrolling code out of my sidebar seems to have fixed the problem.  I may have all of my archives here, but people have linked to or cited the old blog (in print!) and so I’d like those old URLs to remain in place.  It would have been even more annoying if no one could get to my active blog!

So if you used to use Blogrolling to build your blog roll, and if you have left the old blogrolling code lurking in your layout somewhere, I suggest you go in there and delete it.

We should be more familiar now

Creating new accounts for my blogging self here and there around the internet — for example, at The Chronicle of Higher Education, so I could comment on Tenured Radical‘s posts — has made me realize that Dr. Virago seemingly has no first name.  So I thought I should fix that.  I’ll still *post* as Dr. Virago — I like to be formal in “print” — but you all have now known me for years (or many of you have) and we should be on a first name basis. Plus, I needed one to sign up for the Chronicle commenting if I didn’t want a record out there to associate my real name with Dr. Virago.

So now Dr. Virago has a first name, and it is Eve.

Of course it is.  What else *could* it be?  It’s actually short for Evangeline, which scans better with Virago, but is such a mouthful.  And the full name? Evangeline Marie Virago. Because every baptized Catholic girl should be Something Marie or Something Anne or Mary Something. And because Evangeline Virginia Virago was a just a little too over the top. 🙂


PS —  I like making up names, and the fancier and more old-fashioned, the better.  Bullock and I have scads of imaginary children that I’ve named:  Matilda Louise, Miles Joseph, Oliver Charles, Annabel Jane, and so on.  He put his foot down over Felicity Rose, though.  Really, in real life, I said, “Bullock, what about ‘Felicity Rose’ for one of our imaginary children?” And he said, “No, I don’t like ‘Felicity.’ I have to nix that one.”  “So you’re putting your foot down over the name of an imaginary child?” I asked.  “Yes, yes I am,” he replied firmly. Alrighty then!

I need searches for “Dr. Virago” to end up here

OK, since Quod She 1.0 is/was a Blogger blog, and it’s thus owned by Google, it tends to come up in Google searches pretty easily.  Right now, if you search “Dr. Virago” on Google, it comes up very first — hooray! — and my Blogger profile comes up sixth.  But this blog is down at the bottom. (Meanwhile, my LiveJournal profile page comes up on the third page and my Technorati page shows up on page 4, along with mentions of me on other people’s blogs.) Apparently Virago is also the brand of a motorcycle starter system (weird), so a guy incorporating that into his name shows up with me on the first page.  More annoying is that there’s another Dr. Virago blogging (or at least commenting) out there (she shows up on page 2). Since she also considers herself a feminist, someone could, potentially confuse us.  But that Dr. Virago is not this Dr. Virago. Just so you know. Oh, also, there’s Blogger blog called Dr. Virago (instead of Quod She) that shows up on the fourth or fifth page, but it’s in Spanish and I don’t speak or write Spanish, so I’m pretty sure no one will confuse us.

There, do you think I’ve mentioned Dr. Virago enough to push this blog up a little? 🙂

Oops! Ignore those 51 updated posts in your RSS feed reader!

If you read Quod She on a feed reader, you don’t really have 52 posts to catch up on.  Only this one is new,a nd I’m posting it to tell you to ignore the following 51. Doing some blog maintenance, I changed and reorganized some categories for those posts, and Google Reader, for one, interpreted them as new posts, I guess. (Or WordPress’s RSS feed sent them out as new.)

Anyway, just ignore them.  That is all

Welcome to the new place — make yourselves at home!

So, what do you think so far?

The picture is one of the template ones, but I kind of like it, especially since my avatar is gazing out on water, but also because it reminds me of the “rokkes blake” (black rocks) that Dorigen frets over in Chaucer’s “Franklin’s Tale.”  Plus, I don’t have a picture of my own that really fits the dimensions well.  Eh, I’ll work on it.  This will do for now. (I can also do a background image instead or or in addition to the header image. I think I may be able to change the color of the background, too. I know I can change the text color. [ETA: Yup, I can change the background color. What do you think of the green?  I left the link color the default blue, as it seems to match the blue in the calmer part of the water in the photo.])

All the old posts and comments are here, too (though I cleaned house a little and got rid of some insubstantial, silly stuff from the early days).  For some reason WordPress inserted a > before the beginning of every imported post title and comment, but that way you know for sure what came from the old place.  I’ll keep the old place up, too, especially since people have linked to posts there and it’s not like I’m trying to wipe out the past in starting over here.

One thing that I don’t have now and need to put up is a blogroll.  I’m working on that next.  But since I’ve spent the whole weekend online (setting up this, plus starting a Google+ account, but re-arranging my e-mail, plus catching up on a month’s worth of your blog posts), I think that task will have to wait for now.

I also want to change my dopey category system, but that’s a bigger project, too.

Meanwhile, I like the streamlined look of this new blog, and I don’t want to junk it up too much, but is there anything you think should go in the sidebar that’s not there now?  (Oh, and btw, I think I’ll give Pippi her own *tab*! Just haven’t gotten around to it.) Suggestions welcome.

As I mentioned in my last post at the old place, I do have some substantive posts brewing, and I do intend to get back to regular posting.  I think sabbatical really was boring for blogging, since I don’t write about my research directly.  But I’m starting to think about teaching more often now, which will give me more things to write about, and there are plenty of other issues in my life and profession that I can write about. But also, I have to admit I wasn’t the most productive writer over sabbatical — though I did a lot of research and reading — and I think part of the reason why is that I didn’t have a regular writing habit. I think I may follow Dr. Crazy‘s lead and use blogging to jump-start my writing (though probably not on a daily basis).