Excuses, excuses …

Sorry for the long absence, Ye of the Internets.

I had precious little time after returning from Med-Ren this summer. In a matter of four weeks, I packed up my house, finished an article, prepped for four classes, passed my black belt test in karate, said goodbye to some of my closest friends and to the place I now think of as home, and moved 660-odd miles north to Hartford, CT.

I’m currently an assistant professor of music history at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. I have a cute little house just northeast of campus, a short commute, a yard for the pup (who is loving it), a screened-in porch that the cat adores, a fantastic new CSA that gave me a 20-lb Hubbard squash today, and the most beautiful autumn weather in recent memory. The trees are already starting to turn, but it still gets up into the 70s during the day, with just a hint of chill in the air first thing in the morning. I love the crispness in the air, the smell of the leaves—as much as I adore Durham, and I do, there’s just something homey about New England. I guess I’m just an East-Coast girl at heart.

This semester, I’m teaching two sections of the undergrad Medieval-Baroque history overview, which Hartt places last in the music history track (posing an interesting set of challenges), and two sections of a class I revamped rather thoroughly, the graduate ProSeminar, which is sort of a mish-mash of history review, research methods & bibliography, and intro to doing your own projects. We’re doing a lot of reading of interesting articles, and the students are having … fun? anxiety? about learning to read not so much for content but to understand how someone is doing research and presenting information. There’s also a lot of hands-on research in the class, some small writing assignments, and lots of discussion. Some of the folks are getting quite into it—they rather adored reading the Sarah Fuller article on the Vitry ‘Ars Nova’ brouhaha, which I thought was amazing, but maybe it’s just because it was first in the semester. We’ll see how things progress, but as of right now, I’m quite impressed with everyone’s energy.

Now, just to make sure mine doesn’t flag. Right now, I’m finishing up three articles, writing another conference paper, and getting two preliminary book proposals together. Lofty, but one must have goals. It has taken me a bit of time to adjust to the new schedule, though, and to properly set up my home and work offices, obtain and set up the new work technology, etc. So, with most of that said and done, and the semester only getting more challenging from here on out, it’s crucial to protect my own personal research and writing time, which I’m not always good at doing (hello, extra faculty meetings? sure! and new faculty workshops? absolutely!).

Hopefully within the next few months, there will be a lot of positive news to share out of all of this frenzy! That, or winter break will be incredibly productive …


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