Thursday, November 17, 2011


So I just posted over at the STJ English Dept Blog about my publication experience. This was my very first publication, and boy was it intimidating. Very cool. But intimidating. Here's the story:

I have been having a slightly surreal week. When I woke up yesterday morning, I had an email in my inbox informing me that my article on The Bookend Project had gone live. This is the coolest thing I've woken up to ... maybe ever!

Last year sitting in Dr. Mentz's Introduction to the Profession class, I remember talking about publication. It seemed an impossible goal. Especially the goal of publishing twice while in school. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do this. I was sure my writing wasn't strong enough. My ideas weren't original enough. My thinking wasn't critical enough. Enter the St. John's English Dept Blog. Danielle posted a CFP for a French journal, which was looking for articles about Shakespeare and the rhetoric of violence. My seminar paper for Intro to the Profession was about Titus Andronicus (hello, violent!) and The Tempest, so I thought it wouldn't be too much trouble to skew my paper in that direction. So I wrote up an abstract and sent it in.

I absolutely could not believe it when I received an email in January that my abstract had been accepted, and the draft of my article would be due at the end of May. Working from my seminar paper and Dr. Mentz's very helpful comments, I submitted a new draft after the semester ended. My impression was that I wouldn't hear back for awhile about this draft, and in fact, I heard again in mid-September. The readers were pleased with the draft and had some recommendations for revision, which they gave me about a month to make.

To my article, I added some visual material - a photograph and two videos from performances of Titus Andronicus and The Tempest, which I directed last spring. I expanded on a few points and made some suggested corrections for tone, and back the draft went to France. As of yesterday, here is the final product.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Confessions of an Overworked Artistic Director

Some days (like a week before season auditions and six weeks before the end of the semester) I want to throw everything over.

Today, I would rather make homemade butternut squash soup than finish my article revisions.

I would rather bake loaves of pumpkin bread than send out sides to those folks sending in a video submission.

I would rather knit a ruff for my dog, Pippin, while watching a movie than brainstorm for any of my three final papers.

I would rather be working on my homemade Christmas gifts (sorry, can't tell you what they are! It's a surprise!) than reading a couple hundred pages of theory.

Some days it's hard to stay focused. Every once in awhile one needs a mini-vacation, a refresher, a way to charge the batteries. As soon as I do finish my article revisions, I think I will indulge in that butternut squash soup. Hopefully that will keep me going through the rest of the work until Thanksgiving!

from Wikipedia. Attributed to: Spedona

How do you stay focused on the hard work without losing your marbles?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

She Leads a Lonely Life

I just posted over at the St. John's Department of English blog, which I write for during the school year. It's November so I'm feeling the post-midterm lull and trying to enjoy it while I can. But November also means it's a time to think about what we are thankful for in our lives. I wrote about how thankful I am for the graduate community at St. John's:

Perhaps you caught the Ace of Base reference in this post's title. (And yes, I am perfectly aware that I am dating myself with that reference.) It captures quite succinctly a lot of what I've been feeling since I entered this doctoral program. Graduate school is a lonely experience. Most of my friends and family have not the slightest conception of the work I am doing. They appreciate that it's important to me, which is itself a blessing. Even so, they don't really get it. Maybe they get upset if I forget to call one week. Or they feel snubbed if I cancel or if I am forever putting off hanging out by saying "I'm sorry, I'm just so busy." It's not a line. Really. I am just that busy.

Every other student in my classes knows exactly what I'm going through, because you all right there with me. We have hundreds of pages of reading to do every.week. We respond to these readings. We respond to other students' responses to these readings. And that's all before the midterm and final term papers even enter the picture. So, thank you to every one of you whether you are in class with me or you have already begun your terrifying comps list (insert my undying respect for you here) or you are churning out chapters of your dissertation.

Thank you.

It might feel lonely at times, but we're in it together and for that I am thankful.

It's hard leading a double life as full-time doctoral student and trying-to-be-full-time Artistic Director of this company. I constantly feel as though my time is split (which it is) and that whatever time I'm giving to one I am taking from the other (which is true, too, I suppose). So I also want to say how thankful I am to our extended ADK Shakes community who are understanding and flexible and patient as I juggle these two massive lives. Your support means a lot, and it does not go unnoticed.

As we sit down in a few weeks to a beautiful celebration with friends and family, I will be thinking of these two special and amazing communities. I am so thankful to have you in my life, however far away you might be.
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