Well, it’s a non-teaching day, which means technically I could have gotten my day started earlier than I did on Tuesday and Wednesday. But I stayed up late watching the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and had trouble sleeping (no connection – I seriously wasn’t thinking about the film’s overt criticism of how automation and capitalism bring down the already oppressed and dispossessed worker, or how Tim Burton likes to add frames around existing self-contained stories… Alice in Wonderland as a love story…?), so today I woke up at 9am. And technically, although since I teach children’s lit, watching CatCF could be considered “work,” I’m not counting it as work… and even though I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about “How to Publish Your Article” by Dr. Phil Nel, I didn’t add that time either. Also, since I worked more than 11 hours on Tuesday and more than 9 last night, and even though I’m more recovered from the cold today than I was yesterday or Tuesday, I’m okay if today’s tally of “What do professors do all day?” (inspired by Dr. Phil Nel‘s “What Do Professors Do All Day?” series) doesn’t add up to at least 8 hours. Okay, so here we go! Day 3:

Thursday February 24, 2011

9:00-9:30 AM Woke up to my alarm (which ironically is set to David Crowder‘s “Can I Lie Here“) and did daily Bible devotional reading.

9:30-10:15 AM Washed up and got ready for the day!

10:15-10:45 AM Checked email, FB, chatted with Tarie, and painted my fingernails green.

11:00-12:15 PM Hunkered down at my favorite cafe, had a breakfast burrito and worked on a letter of recommendation for a student.

12:30-1:30 PM Arrived on campus, got my French Vanilla Cappuccino, and checked out Handbook of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (Routledge 2011, eds. Shelby A. Wolf, Karen Coats, Patricia Enciso, and Christine A. Jenkins) from our library – I had requested that we purchase this last year. Saw that it’s in the PS section, next to the ethnic lit books. (Side note: sad to see that my personal collection of Asian American literary criticism is larger than our St. Catherine collection. hRmm…) Back to the Handbook:

This landmark volume is the first to bring together the leading scholarship on children’s and young adult literature from three intersecting disciplines: Education, English and Library and Information Science. Distinguished by its multidisciplinary approach, it describes and analyzes the different aspects of literary readings, texts, and contexts to illuminate how the book is transformed within and across different academic figurations of reading and interpreting children’s literature.

WOW. I think the multidisciplinarity of children’s literature studies is most apparent to me when I attend the Children’s Literature Association conferences, which is dominated by English professors, with a smaller contingent from Education, and a smattering representation from LIS. I learn so much from everyone’s approaches (not just through their paper presentations, but also the articles and books they write), and hope that they learn from our LIS approach as well. When ChLA was in Manhattan Beach, CA, (my first ChLA! I *heart* ChLA!) an LIS colleague rounded up us 5 LIS folks (out of a conference of 200+ people) to go out to dinner. It was great. Anyway, back to the Handbook (again); this book is explicit about the multidisciplinarity nature of its contents. It’s reflected in the summary on the back, in the backgrounds of the editors, in the table of contents. It brings together voices from scholars, authors, illustrators, editors, curators, librarians. And I can’t wait to read it.

1:30-2:30 PM Polished and sent letter of recommendation. Crossing fingers and hoping to hear good news from my student.

2:30-4:00 PM Started constructing the first draft of my Día webinar. Spent some time on the childstat website to see how our young people are doing these days. My goal was to write 1 paragraph per day, as per Dr. Phil‘s suggestion, but I wrote a page and a half! Yay! 

  • 3:30 PM Popped into FB to throw out the question, “If you were going to speak to practicing children’s librarians on how to choose multicultural and/or bilingual books for their collections, what is the one piece of advice you’d give?” First response, from Dr. Joseph Michael Sommers: “Don’t forget your towel! :)”

4:00-4:30 PM Admissions meeting. Wow, already 52 applicants! Almost twice as many as last semester!

4:30-5:00 PM Found out Dr. Debbie Reese, dear friend and author of http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/, is passing through MSP this weekend. Trying to arrange a last-minute breakfast so she can meet my students!

5:00 – 6:15 PM Attempted to organize/file some of the paper that has piled up in my office. I need more storage space. Wrote a thank you note to Betsy, prepared a package to send to a colleague, and then headed home!

7:00-10:15 PM Small Group/Bible Study with Covenant Life Church. Today’s topic was based on Colossians 3:22-24 and centered around our attitude regarding our work; work at work, work at church, work in other spheres of our lives:

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

(Note: The Bible does not condone slavery. In this historical context, slaves were a normal part of society. In the previous verses, Paul addresses husbands, wives, children, and then addresses slaves; basically, he’s speaking to all people living within a household.)

Since I’m doing this daily log of my activities, it made me think about how much and how hard I work at my job, and what my motivation is. Am I consistently thankful to God that I have a job (that I love) in this rough economy? Do I work hard, “with all my heart,” because I’m really working unto the Lord? By teaching well, doing good research, serving on committees etc., am I seeking glory for myself or for God? Why do I push myself so hard? hRmmmm…

11:15 PM- Got home pretty late, washed up and zZzZzzzzz…

Total work hours: 6 hours and 45 minutes.

Note to self: You wrote almost 2 pages today. Good job, Dr. Sparky. Keep it up 😀