07 December 2008

Moving Day!

The time has finally come. Yesterday I successfully moved all the posts and comments from this faithful blog to www.theanxietyofinfluence.wordpress.com - my new place in the blogosphere. I do very much appreciate what blogger has done for me but the enticement of easy lay-outs and better themes has done me in. If you do regularly read here, please update all your whatevs and I'll see you over at wordpress.

the anxiety of influence--now powered by wordpress.

04 December 2008

My life on paper

I have never been able to effectively use any sort of day planner thing. Throughout middle and high school I was given some sort of school sanctioned assignment planner every fall and every year I would dutifully plan to use it to its fullest capabilities. Three weeks later it would be buried at the bottom of my locker, not to be seen again until I cleaned out the wonderful metal box. Every semester at Harding, I was enticed by the large box of planners found next to the check-out aisle of the HUB and would shell out four bucks for a HU sanctioned day planner that would inevitably go to waste.

Not 2008! This academic year--the second and third semester of my M.A.--has uncovered an Ian that is fully capable of keeping a day planner. Not only do I keep my work and class schedule, I also faithfully record upcoming projects, reading schedules, planned meetings with fellow students, and even long-term project steps. I attribute this newfound organization not to self-will, but to my wonderful wife and the gift of a Moleskine weekly planner--horizontal layout. It looks like the typical Moleskine pocket notebook, but it's so much more! Beyond the quotidian (ha! puns) day planner features, there is adequate space for note jotting and an address book. Also included in the pages are several pages of possibly necessary information (conversion tables, geography, measurements, and area codes).

I have been very pleased with my weekly planner. For her part, Jenna tries to keep her mind sharp by keeping most of her appointments and dates mentally. I would never make it to anything if that were the case. How do you keep track of your life?

21 November 2008

Free Dr. Pepper!

According to the AP, the manufacturer of Dr. Pepper is making good on their promise to give free soda (or, as I prefer, pop) to every American, provided that Guns N' Roses releases their new album in 2008.

In their defense, it seemed like a safe bet. GNR fans (and yes, the do still exist) have been waiting for this album since they began recording it in 1994. Whether or not you're jazzed for "Chinese Democracy," you can now enjoy the cool, crisp, refreshing taste of a Dr. Pepper on the house. All you must do is visit the Dr. Pepper Web site starting on Sunday the 23rd of November, print a coupon, and use it on or before February 28th.


19 November 2008


Last night I was able to attend what was dubbed a Transnational Panel hosted by a professor at West Chester University. Presenting in the panel were three professors--a British man who focuses on postcolonial literature, an American woman who focuses on 19th century American women authors, and a woman of Korean descent who focuses on critical pedagogy and gender studies--who have formed a group of transnational scholars on our campus in an effort to move our academic discourse beyond nationalistic literary boundaries that have long dominated our discipline. The three papers presented were, all in different ways, enlightening and informative. Had I gotten nothing out of the panel beyond the information found in the papers then it would have been well worth my attendance. However, I had a bit of a scholarly revelation during the presentation.

My scholarly interests are pretty varied. Right now, I imagine that my focus is late-20th century American literature. It's where I feel most at home but that's not to say that I don't want to branch out. I have a great deal of interest in postcolonial studies, African American literature, and gender studies but I worry that I will be unable to contribute in these other fields because I am so terribly regular.

Here's where my revelation comes in. Last night, the aforementioned professor of Korean descent presented a project she has been working on that explores representation of Chinese women in American society. My initial reaction was to question why she wasn't working through Korean culture instead of Chinese culture but I quickly realized that I was being incredibly racist. There is no reason why her ethnicity should determine whom she studies and I was just being ridiculous. After my initial shock at my surreptitious racism, I realized that my scholarship, too, had been liberated! Just because I'm straight doesn't mean I have no place adopting Queer Theory, or that because I'm a white male I can't add to the conversation about black women writing in America. I can perform the scholarship that I want. I'm excited.

So for now, I'm off to class.

18 November 2008

Graduate Study Lounge

Found on the sixth floor of the main library of West Chester University is a graduate study lounge. The graduate study lounge comes complete with a standard library table suitable for six people, a love seat, and a fairly large padded chair to match the love seat. To gain access to the room, one must have the appropriate five-digit keypad code. Luckily I possess the correct code. I'm not exactly sure how one goes about legitimately gaining access to the room, but I was told the code early last Fall by a recently graduated graduate student and I have happily used it since.

What brought me to write this post is the way students refuse to share the room. There are over one thousand graduate students at West Chester University and, based on a terribly unscientific poll, only a small portion of those students are aware that the graduate study lounge exists. I trust this is the case because those that know about it guard the secret of it like a middle school crush.

It is wonderful to sit in said study lounge and see the faces of people who walk up to the door, only to see someone else occupying the room. There is plenty of room for at least five people to study privately and quietly with adequate room for their computes, books, notepads, etc but people refuse to share the space.

I may never understand people but at least they're fun to watch.

14 November 2008

Arts & Letters Daily

Just last week I discovered my new favorite Web site. It's a fantastic aggregate site called Arts & Letters Daily. This may be an over-generalization, but it is my humanities-oriented answer to Drudge Report (or Drudge Retort, however you are politically inclined). Found on the site are book reviews, literary criticism, history debates, music news, philosophical discussion, and articles exploring politics in our lives.

The motto of the site, "Veritas odit moras," means "Truth hates delay." With that in mind, delay the truth no more!