I’d like to take a minute to make a couple of reading recommendations and to offer an explanation. First, I can’t recommend this Jacobin piece by Allie Gross highly enough. It’s an exhaustively researched piece of investigative journalism, and totally damning of Detroit’s charter school and the profiteers who have created them.
Second, I’d like to recommend this Gabriel Rossman piece on the incredible aggravations of peer review, and where they come from. My recommendation, I assure you, has nothing to do with recent events in my day-to-day life as an academic, trying to build a career like anyone else, buffeted by the whims of a system that is set up to make accountability and transparency impossible. Nothing at all!
Finally: please forgive me for what an awful correspondent I can be. I’m temperamentally bad at responding to correspondence, because a) I find it incredibly difficult to face up to praise and support, and b) because I think to myself “I need to reply to this email” and then put it into the filing cabinet of my mind and then push that filing cabinet into the sea. It’s not intentional. I just think “I’m gonna answer that email!” and then it’s three months later and it’s weird for me to just write back.
But I’m also just crazy busy right now. I’m not complaining; I know you’re busy, too. But just to give you a flavor of where I’m at right now:
- I’m dissertating. So far this summer I’ve written two draft chapters (which will need extensive revision, of course) and am just sitting down to start a third.
- I’m collecting research and interviews for my dissertation.
- I’m rating exams for Purdue’s Oral English Proficiency Test.
- I’m trying to send out an article in the next couple weeks, as the incredibly slow turnaround times of academic publishing means that if I want to get any credit for a new article on the job market in a few months, I need to send stuff out yesterday.
- I’m prepping for an oral English skills “boot camp” for the computer science program coming up in a couple weeks.
- I’m doing editing for a project out of the Education department.
- I’m taking a class in advanced qualitative research methods just for fun, to the confusion of pretty much all of my peers and professors.
- I’m prepping for a major assessment project for our introductory composition program this fall.
- I’m trying to see if I can learn enough to create a database website for a not-for-profit, academic resource I would like to start.
- I’m writing a review for an online journal.
- I’m getting ready for an exciting writing opportunity I’ll share with you all soon.
So those are my excuses. Which, you know. Everybody’s got one. Just please know that if you’ve written to me I intend to write you back. It just might take some time.