16 November 2011

Wednesday's Wonderings

This isn't really a wondering, but I have developed an even greater appreciation for college professors. I am currently working on a syllabus for my 19th Century U.S. History Colloquium. And it is seriously giving me fits. Creating syllabi is hard work! I think it's something that we take for granted as students, but boy, do I appreciate it now! My imaginary class is "Biography and the Nineteenth Century United States." (If you have a snappy title, let me know!) This semester I read Jill Lepore's article, "Historians Who Love to Much," which basically asks if biographers get too close to their subjects. I am intrigued by the fact that biography seems to be considered "less academic" than other approaches to history. So in my course, my imaginary class will have to grapple with questions like, "What can we learn from studying the life of an individual?" and "What role does an individual have in history?"

Should I go on a caffeine detox over Thanksgiving break? I leave for break on Friday and then I think I'm going to try not to drink anything caffeinated for a week. Or at least significantly cut back on my consumption. I've been feeling pretty jittery lately so I think I need to catch up on sleep and detox over Thanksgiving break. Only decaf coffee for me (I can't believe I just said that)!

Will the movie J. Edgar be any good? Or should I go see The Muppets instead? While I'm home, I'm planning to go see the movie J. Edgar. I'm generally suspicious of bio-flicks, but I'm extra suspicious of this one. I don't know if it's because Leo DiCaprio is playing Hoover, or what. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm in graduate school and being here ruins your ability to just sit back and enjoy a film. Instead, I'll be constantly analyzing its inaccuracies and bias. Maybe I should go see The Muppets instead. You can't really go wrong. Our pep band used to play the theme song. And I loved Muppet Babies growing up. And now the song is stuck in my head...

Why do we say "an" historian? I mean, we don't say "an human," do we? It's not like "hour" or "honor" -- we all clearly pronounce the H. At least I've never heard anyone say 'istorian. Are we trying to sound more intellectual? Because I just think it makes the English language sound weird and like we don't know how to follow our own rules.

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