Oh duh!

One of the joys of being an academic is the academic conference. It’s a great place to present papers and get feedback from a wide variety of people that you would probably not see otherwise. The problem is figuring out what you want to present by the time the submissions are due.

Since 2015, I have been attending the Comics and Popular Arts Conference (CPAC) that is held at DragonCon every year. Since 2016, I have also been a presenter at the conference. CPAC is a great conference to present at because it is open to all at DragonCon to attend. So not only am I presenting to academics and scholars, but to fans and individuals who may not have thought they could be scholars as well. It’s great for getting feedback, especially in regards to accessibility of your work to the general public.

Just last week I had submitted papers to three conferences that are happening in the Spring. But, I forgot that CPAC’s deadline is next Friday. I was going “What am I going to present? I don’t have any idea what I’m going to write for classes next semester. I’ve submitted my paper for this class to a Spring conference. I don’t want to represent a paper, even if it is a different conference.” I was panicking. Then I remembered, I have a whole list of paper ideas I’ve come up with while working on the paper for class. When you have 8-10 pages, you need to focus. I am so glad I did that.

It’s a good habit to have as an academic and as a student. You’re never going to be able to fit everything into one paper. Keep track of the things you want to talk about, makes notes on them, make note of authors you’d use for that paper. You never know when it will come in handy!

Look Around List

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

tobillo24601. This is the account Lin made to give playlists to the world. And he’s made three more: Add Yourself, Happy Galentine’s Day 2017, and 2016 We Still Got This Music (inspired by those we lost last year).

lunarbaboon

No matter what it is your fighting against, you are not alone!

TEA!

I’m up to the Sixth Doctor and I’ve enjoyed every one so far (finally!)! My “Room With a Moose” is pleasantly nutty. And of course I have more Mary Morstan. I’m sure I’ll have a post soon about the fun I’ve been having.

My students. Seriously, I’ve got the best group of students yet. They’re really understanding what I’m teaching and are planning to write some pretty amazing papers. I’m really looking forward to reading them!

Successful presentation. I presented a paper at the Kino Club 313 2017 Conference at Wayne State University based on my personal relationship with Hamilton and joining the fandom. It went really well, reinforcing the desire to write my dissertation about the whole thing.

Don’t stop looking around! There’s so much that we’re lucky to be alive to experience!

Knowledge is Power!

Image is from the cartoon Schoolhouse Rock with schoolhouse Rocky holding up the ! to keep it all from tumbling over.I have been struggling with something. Ever since the election started heating up, before election day, I was not talking about it with my students in class. Part of me knew I was avoiding it so we wouldn’t have an argument on our hands, since this is a topic that can easily spark one. But part of me knew that I should be bringing it up. I’m teaching about popular culture. The election and everything leading up to it falls into this. But I know I’m not great about keeping my emotions separate and my mouth sometimes runs without checking with my brain first. Especially when I’m nervous, which is usually when I’m teaching.

Today I may have come up with an answer for myself. I have always believed in the power of knowledge. That knowing the facts will allow you to be able to at least understand what is going on if not the people who disagree with you. That is what I am trying to do in my class. I am trying to teach my students about the role popular culture has in our lives, but also the facts so they can better understand the world in general. I’m thinking about how to say something about this in class on Monday. I want them to know that I’m not ignorant or ignoring what is happening. That my approach to dealing with everything going on is to be as well-informed as I can be, and making sure they are as well. I don’t get upset with someone who disagrees with me. I get upset with someone who is ignorant of all the facts and thinks they understand what is going on.

Knowledge is power, people. Knowledge is power!

Re-learning how to read

As a graduate student, and an academic, I have to do a lot of reading. Reading for the classes I take. Reading what I assign to my students. Reading for my thesis. Reading for papers. But it wasn’t until recently that I figured out I’ve been taking the wrong approach to reading.

Let me take a moment to say this: do whatever works for you. This is simply how it is working for me right now. Everyone learns in their own way. But if you don’t know how other people learn, you don’t know what options you have.

Recently, I can’t remember where, someone said that you need to read things twice. First, just read through it. Don’t pause to take notes or tag or underline. Just read through it. Then go back and read it again. This is when you pause to jot down thoughts, make note of a page, etc.

It is working for me. I feel like trying to read through and take notes at the same time wasn’t the most effective way, but I didn’t think there was another way of doing it. I feel like I’d be on a roll and that pause would completely throw me off. Sometimes I would even put the book down.

But last night I read about the last 1/3 of Uncanny X-Men: The Complete Collection by Matt Fraction Vol. 1 and all of Vol.2 in this way. I simply read. To give some perspective, these trade paperbacks are around 300 pages each. But now I feel like I can go back and read them again and be able to take better notes for my thesis. It also allowed my brain to process the story in a way that gave me a new perspective on something for my thesis.

Hopefully this weekend I’ll be doing that with my reading for class on Tuesday. I think this is going to help me with the mountain of reading I have every week. And it might free up time for me to get writing, too.