Post-Lunch Haze into Evening

March 28, 2012 in Home, Night, Project Work, Reading, Research, Travel, Writing

Well, even with the best laid plans, this afternoon was a post-lunch haze — just goes to show that I should never eat beef in the middle of the day. I need a nap afterwards.

The evening concludes with some contemplative time and reading more emails and packing for tomorrow’s journey to Philadelphia. I’m finalizing my talk for the Re:Humanities crew and then will trek to NYC/NJ where I’ll visit old stomping grounds, new food places, and wonderful old friends. It also means a whirlwind of staying in a different place each night. It also means visiting Patience & Fortitude at my favorite library in the world: The New York Public Library Central Research Branch.

patience, nyplI managed to eek out my 10-chapter dissertation on 19th-century literary texts because of the collection installed in this library. Then, there’s the Rose Main Reading Room — a glorious vaulted-ceiling haven with rows and rows of wooden tables and reading lamps.

rose main reading roomI would spend hours here reading through reviews of literary annuals & then make photocopies of them if I didn’t have time to transcribe them with my extended keyboard Palm Pilot. (I can’t remember how I transferred them to my desktop at home or even printed them out….shew…lotta work.) This time, I’ll spend some time in the Pforzheimer Collection, the general research collection, and the Map Collection. I would dream up projects in that library just because I found something cool — like an early 20th-century edition of Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko printed on grass paper. (The page cracked off a piece every time I touched it….and yes, it was in the general research collection.) Often, I watched in horror as the hourly workers (usually teenagers) would take books from me and toss them into the return bin without a care for handling.

But, yeah, that’s where I “grew up” as an academic — under the watchful eye of David Greetham, who is part of the faculty at the Graduate Center and always pushed me to think bigger beyond what the current theory and vocabulary could hold onto. Now, Steve Brier has become an important part of this section of my career, a colleague in arms about digital pedagogy.  The GC is truly the institution that continues to foster my career.  (It’s late….I wax….and procrastinate because I hate packing.)

The trip culminates in a chat with the CUNY DHI people at The Graduate Center (my alma mater) and a visit to Greetham’s course the following day, “Meaning of Media,” where I’ll get to meet the new crop of doctoral students who are interested in all things media. And, if they’re lucky, they’ll get to work with David on a project or two.


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