Sunday, March 30, 2008

Air Radical

The Radical is once again airborne -- for those of you hoping for a sighting at the Organization of American Historians meeting in New York this weekend, no dice. I had to stay home and finish working on the talks I am giving over the next couple days. For those of you in the Twin Cities on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., you are invited: go here for details. I am also sure that super saver fares are still available for those of you who do not actually live in Minnesota but would like to come.

This visit is going to be a lot of fun: it's always nice to be wanted. The only thing I regret is that even if the Elite Eight match up between the Rutgers and UConn women's basketball teams is scheduled as the second game on Tuesday, I won't make it in time. Imagine: "I'd love to take more of your questions, really I would, but I've got to get back to my room and watch basketball." No, I don't think so. The Radical is many things, but not ungracious.

In other basketball news, it appears I am flying to Minneapolis with the Winona State University Men's basketball team, the new NCAA DII champions. Pray god this doesn't mean that I am part of a story that will be turned into a tear-jerker of a movie some years hence about how a small, gritty Midwestern school rebuilt its basketball dynasty after a tragic accident, a true American story of adversity turned to triumph. And of course they would make the movie that way, even though a far more popular plot would be the American Studies program that turned tragedy into triumph, conducting a search through a haze of tears, after the horrible plane crash that took the life of its dashing, brilliant chair. I understand it's a niche market, but imagine the great scenes you could shoot:

1) The president, provost and deans, weeping openly and unashamed as they authorize a new search for a tenure-track person, a search that suddenly reduces by half the budget allocation for my line.

2) Former enemies vowing to forgive all, and wishing only that there was time ("Goddammit! Why can't we have it to do all over again?!") to promote me to something beyond full professor -- Duke, perhaps; or fullest professor.

3) The heroic search comittee in the hotel room at American Studies Association, knowing they cannot possibly replace me without me there to help, but that they must, against all odds, try. Here, I think, we would need a pep talk from the search chair insisting that the committee go on, no matter what, because the Radical would have wanted it that way.

4) Campus visits, complete with the tension of not knowing whether an appointment will be made -- and if so -- will the provost sign off on it?

You see what I mean. I think it should be written by Mouse, produced by piggybank blues, and directed by Gayprof.


Belle said...

I like the past full ideas. I'll settle for Countess.

Susan said...

TR is right that there should be titles past full prof, but I think what her colleagues would miss is someone who does the work. They'd have to hire two people to make up for her loss. As for titles, the only noble title I've ever thought worth having is Marchioness (because the ch is soft, it's sounds a bit like martianess). The ONLY reason to marry a marquis...

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