Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beguines in the NYT!

Beguines are not quite nuns, but have a number of similarities.  This article is not entirely accurate, but not at all bad.

Meanwhile, I continue to slog through course materials. I am trying to select readings for the course I'll teach in the fall. I'll be starting a new visiting position, which means I don't yet have an office. This means that my academic books are crammed onto shelves, stacked into piles, and loaded into boxes, which are themselves stacked into piles. Finding a particular book I want to look at can require a lot of digging through boxes and stacks. This is just one of many things that are annoying about not having a permanent job.

I always find the process of selecting readings challenging--which selections to put together? is the reading too long? is the reading too short? etc.  I know people in other disciplines who are able to simply pick a single textbook and use that for everything.  I don't find that suitable for most of the courses I teach, and particularly not for something that is supposed to be a seminar.  Getting the right balance of primary and secondary stuff, and making sure the reading load is challenging but manageable, is something I spend a lot of time, effort, and worry on.

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