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Friday Afternoon Confessional: The presence of my struggle

I confess that I’m tired and feel like I’m behind on everything. In reality, though, I’m just “not as far ahead as I’d like.” I confess that my intake of caffeine is already at levels that I normally associate with the end of the quarter, as is the frequency of ordering out.

I confess that on Tuesday, I let both my classes out significantly early — in both cases because the hoped-for discussion time turned out to be a bust. I confess to puzzlement at the fact that the book I’d assigned in my devil course for this week — Carlo Ginzburg’s The Night Battles — is acknowledged by virtually all my students to be simultaneously very interesting and yet not the kind of thing that gives rise to discussion. How are these things compatible? A similar puzzlement overtakes me when I ponder a teaching evaluation from last quarter, which rated “instructor’s contribution” at a 5, yet rated the class overall as a 2. I did an awesome job of teaching a mediocre class? (Remembering that evaluation probably counts as a confession in itself, but such a weird result does stand out.)

I confess that Domino’s has now replaced Papa John’s as my go-to pizza delivery place. The new recipe really is a lot better, and in any case it was becoming clear that my nostalgia from college could only carry Papa John’s so much further. I confess that I am on a kind of unofficial boycott of non-online ordering of food delivery and, furthermore, that the feature on Domino’s website where you can track the progress of your pizza is both pathetic and fascinating. My favorite step: the quality check.

I confess that after indexing my dissertation for publication last week, I received the copy-edited manuscript of my Agamben translation — events are now converging such that I will have two books and a translation coming out in a two-month period next fall quarter. A handful of articles and a review should also be in print by the end of the summer, meaning I’m in danger of completely clearing out my “forthcoming” queue, a prospect that (I confess) scares me a little. Thankfully I have the rest of this quarter and all summer to put some more stuff in the pipeline.

I confess that I’m kind of thinking of doing an article on John Calvin as the first thing.


April 30, 2010 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. I confess that I left my bike unlocked last weekend. Guess what I have in store for Tuesday?

    Comment by k-sky | April 30, 2010

  2. I confess that I suspect the use of testosterone shots here somewhere.

    Comment by JoB | April 30, 2010

  3. I confess that I still can’t stop watching that ICP video.

    Comment by M. Showperson | April 30, 2010

  4. I confess that I get *really* antsy if a previously established cycle of email-and-response is broken up by a greater than usual delay in the response phase. I must have done something terrible!

    I confess that whenever I see someone doing something stupid on a bicycle, I wish that something would happen to reveal the stupidity to the cyclist and also injure him (usually a him). I confess that if I actually witnessed something like that happen I would probably feel pretty bad, and also that I think I confessed to this last week.

    Comment by ben | April 30, 2010

  5. I was scanning through the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decisions released today–as I usually do to track the implementation of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act–and read what I thought was “loco parents” in the keywords (on an unrelated decision). Obviously, the keyword was “loco parentis.” The former is clearly more interesting than the latter, however. I realize that this was not phrased in terms of a confession–this I confess.

    Comment by Craig | April 30, 2010

  6. If you only had a work ethic you might accomplish something in life.

    Comment by John Emerson | May 1, 2010

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