Friday, April 18, 2008

Michael Chabon

I had the honor of introducing Michael Chabon the other night, when he came to Purdue as our annual Literary Awards speaker. I've had the fortune (or, misfortune, sometimes) of meeting and getting to know a number of writers in my field, but I was particularly impressed with Chabon. He's a nice guy, a real person--not pretentious or egotistical, like one or two other writers in my field with whom I've had interactions. And he was a very entertaining reader, which was refreshing, since often readings by some of the greatest writers can be the dullest experiences on earth. Yay for Michael Chabon!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, Happy Day

Today was one of the happiest days I've had in a long time.

It started off with teaching Bible as Literature. Today we talked about the rebellion of Korah against Moses, in Numbers 16. It's one of my favorite parts of the text. It's the one where Korah pisses Moses off, and so the ground opens up and swallows Korah and all of his followers--except that it's not meant to be read literally. It's a metaphor for how deep and great is the chasm between two parties who fail to communicate with each other.

And then I came home, made coffee, and laid on my couch, watching the rain through my window, and thinking about all of the work I have to do on my dissertation before tomorrow.

Then I got a lovely email, from someone I love very much. How much happier my day suddenly became. It's amazing how powerful words can be--an amazing reminder that we should always use them carefully and lovingly.

Then I thought for a while about moving to LA in a few months, and of all of the new directions my life is taking, and I was happy. I am excited to be in warm weather, to do the work I love, and to be with the people I love.

Once I finally got situated and began working on my dissertation, trying to finish a chapter on Krzysztof Kieslowski's films, I was happy again, because I remembered how much I love my project.

Of course, it would've been a happier day had I actually finished the dissertation chapter, but it was still a day worth having. Tomorrow will be stressful, but today was happy.