Showing posts from August, 2008


These are the money days. I've just moved into a new apartment--need to make a good first impression on my roommates (she writes after spending an hour and a half writing email in her room alone). I enter the graduate program--that's a whole list of people to impress. I teach my class in two days--that mostly involves striking appropriate fear. I'm thinking about just failing someone straight out ("You! E! Get out of my class!") just to prove to them that I can. Yeah. That'll show 'em. Though this is a bit nervy, pins and needles, I appreciate it. How many times in your life to you get to more-or-less remake yourself every year? This is probably why I liked moving apartment complexes all the time. It's very redemptive to make a first impression over and over again. Still, I can see how this could get old and why people "settle" into people who already know them.

Althusserian Hailing and the Freshman Mind

They could teach us how to set up Blackboard. How to put together a tightly worded syllabus. The relative virtues of guest lecturers. But what the freshmen should call us, no one knows. Dr. Hedengren : Of course not. I don't have a PhD. This title is a lie. Professor Hedengren : This is not a lie, but it's an untruth. There's no real hard qualification to being called "Professor." Most "Professors" are actually assistant professors or associate professors, but no one calls themselves "Assistant Professor Smith." That's silly. Instructor Hedengren : So per above, I'm technically an "instructor." However, this is a mouthful, and somehow has a futuristic-battle-academy favor to it. Maybe that's not altogether a bad thing, but still awkward. Master Hedengren : MA students joke about this, but it's just as much of a lie as "Dr." because I haven't earned that MA yet. PhD candidates can maybe use this distinc

The Lists

So one of the magazines I was reading behind the sound machine today taught us about making life lists. So in case anyone's interested, here's my lists. We all need lists. 4 Things I'd Like to Do Before I Die: 1. Raise children of some sort (what sort? vampires?) 2. Temple-married 3. World's Leading Expert on X (where X is something, not that I'm a leading expert on the letter X, although it would put in the forefront of the Arts and Letters world) 4. Do me a little more travel: Thailand, get back to Russia, the Caribbean 4 Things I'd Like to Do Within the Next 6 Years: 1. Be PhD-ing 2. Significant Other-ed 3. Published 4. Go to Croatia 4 Things I'd Like to Do Within the Next 3-5 Months: 1. Make a short film/music video with my friends 2. Play intramural sports 3. Throw a dinner party 4. Rock the apple harvest. Old school. 4 Things I'd like to Do Every Week: 1. Have an adventure (go/do something new) 2. Watch a movie 3. Studerday! (Study a bit on Saturda

7 Surprises in the Ladies' Home Journal and Good Housekeeping

1. You can prevent varicose veins through a baby aspirin (with your doctor's approval). 2. It turns out, yes, this marriage can be saved. 3. Dogs can make your fashionable clothes more stylish. 4. Princess Di truly was the people's princess. 5. "Super" and "Fabulous" used to be youthful slang misunderstood by Boomers' parents. 6. You can actually make money by stacking coupon savings on sales promotions on refunds on in-store credit cards. 7. It's really hard to be a mom; not just "take out the garbage, help with homework, go to soccer game" hard but "son commits suicide out of nowhere, sexual harassment of daughters at after school job, pool toys make drown children" hard.

A Far, Far Better Thing

You may notice that my "What I'm Currently Reading" list has altered: yes, I've finished A Tale of Two Cities and really, that last book of (huh), reminds me why I started reading the book in the first place. Sydney Carton. Some girls have Mr. Darcy for a literary crush, me, maybe there's something hopeslessly fatalistic about my Romantic (or Victorian) fantasies, but I dig the Carton-man. Is it because I like the concept of the tragic sacrifice? Or is it that I romanticize the idea of wasted potential? Or is it just because Dickens writes a dickens of a snarky character? This is not a good romantic ideal. My more persistent literary crush, Melville's Ishmael, is a much better match for me, seeing as he is not an unambitious and cynical drunk. But it's not like Ishmael is without significant emotional baggage himself. But neither of this is as dismal a beau as Heathcliff, but, really, girls who like Heathcliff kind of weird me out. No offence t

Off the Deep End

I didn't want to look chicken in front of the twelve-year-old boys coming up the platform in front of me, so I jumped. That's the short of it. The long of it starts with my decision to focus on courage for a weekly goal last year which did two things for me (a) inspired me to take risks, live fully and move forward bravely and (b) convinced me that I am right-out yellow. So fast forward several months and I'm swimming laps at the BYU pool thinking, "before this summer is over, I'm going off that huge platform, yeah, the big one." For those who don't know, this diving platform is roughly 400-miles from the water and only open twice a day, maybe to avoid conflicts with the other diving boards, but probably to decrease liability for wrongful death suits. But then I think, "hey, summer's almost over, why not now?" Climbing up the platform, I didn't look down, but I kept thinking, "this is taking a long time to get up. This is taking way