JM and I spent Thanksgiving in the Great Smoky Mts with the Hawhee family, a big, sprawling, fun family in a big, sprawling chalet equipped with foosball, air hockey, and pool
tables. The scene in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge (known in our car as Pigeon Scourge) is less exciting, though. Lots and lots of traffic. Lots and lots of people driving around looking for parking places, or just looking. I'm not sure at what point since my teenage years the GSM (esp. the scenic loop at cades cove) became a giant driveable zoo, but there it is. Our two exercise excursions--hiking is one of the greatest things about those mountains--were cut short by distance and traffic and dwindling daylight, which pretty much sucked, only to be saved by three smart and hilarious giggling thirteen year olds crammed in our car with four adults and two whippets.
We arrived home in Illinois to find a police officer's business card stuck in our door, which is not a little unsettling. Neither is the fuse box laying open on the passenger seat of our honda, which did not make the trip with us. Needless to say, we're waiting around for a return call from the officer. My narrative hopes are pinned on a criminal joy ride.
[UPDATE]: Got in touch with Officer K, who tells me that 12 or 13 cars in our neighborhood were broken into over the weekend, and the offender took a total of $6.00 in change. Turns out too that the police were hoping that the credit card they found in our car was left behind by the offender. The confusion I guess was that the card was JM's, and the car is registered in my name, and we have different last names. JM is no longer a suspect.
I must say the whole conference is a blur at this point, except for the three day routine that went exactly like this: up ass early; coffee shop for wireless access; shower and oatmeal back at the apartment; travel to conference by whatever means; a jumble of panels and meetings and one-on-one appointments, followed swiftly and noisily by a glut of parties, so many sharply-dressed bodies crammed into windowless rooms. Highlights, for me, included hanging with roomie Blake, smashing performances by my graduate students, a seven-mile saturday morning bike trek from boystown to the chicago hilton, (relatedly) a presentation on mysticism delivered from the midst of an amazing endorphin high, and night-time galavanting with the beautiful and brilliant Queens of NCA.
1. negotiated (alongside co-author) the most drastic changes to the textbook ev0r 2. written more than 20 reviews and recommendations 3. counseled three phd students through their exams (yay phd students!!) 4. finished, revised, and sent off my book MS 5. edited my first batch of QJS book reviews 6. bought myself this little number to kick off my sabbatical:
However this is not enough to distinguish illocutionary acts, since we can for example warn or order or appoint or give protest or apologize by non-verbal means and these are illocutionary acts. Thus we may cock a snook or hurl a tomato by way of protest. --How to Do Things With Words, p. 119
As I mentioned in a previous post, Sharon and I have been asked to cut a rather ridiculous number of pages from the last four chapters of our textbook. That we can't take those pages from the first eight, which are running very long, is frustrating. That we weren't told our book would have to be the same exact size as our previous edition is infuriating.
On the chopping block, then, are two chapters: chapter 9 on sophistic topics (definition, division, etc.), and chapter 12 on Memory.
Collin and I were joking on Friday about how Sharon and I were going to erase memory from the canon, and while it's kind of funny, it's really rather depressing. The problem is that the chapter on sophistic topics has some usable stuff for composition--like what goes into a good definition, and how definitions can be incorporated into arguments--whereas the memory chapter has some useful stuff for history of rhetoric, such as a treatment of ancient memory systems, which were pretty damned cool. Complicating matters is the fact that our book, for those of you who don't know, has two audiences: those who use it as a resource for ancient rhetoric, and those who use it as their comp textbook. So you can see why we're at something of an impasse about which one to cut.
Our editor favors memory, probably because the bucks aren't made with grad students who consult our book on the shelves of their comp office. We on the other hand cherish those readers.
Trimming down at this point isn't really an option.
So I'm asking you, dear readers, especially those who use ARCS in either of the ways mentioned above, which one could you do without?