mercredi, avril 01, 2009

Of Teaching and Scrambling for Academic Funding

I’m back! Monday and Tuesday were really busy with the beginning of the spring quarter and the arrival of new students, but that was actually a good thing; it kept my mind off of my less-than-excellent weekend.

Today, I got a good bit of news from U of C: I got a teaching fellowship! At first I was under the impression that it was the Tave fellowship that I won, since that was what I had applied for (this pays you to teach a course of your own design). But then the email I got said that I could list this as a “Whiting Teaching Fellowship” in my CV, which was confusing, seeing as the Whiting fellowship is something substantially different (tuition + a large stipend for 1 year). After an exchange of a couple of emails, I figured out that it was a teaching fellowship in the same format as a Tave fellowship, but with funding coming from the Whiting family endowment.

Either way, I’ll be teaching a course called “Nightlives: Music and Nighttime” next year. Yay!

However, it’s not quite that simple. Next year will be my first year out of the funding package that brought me to UofC in the first place. I’ll still have a tuition waiver for the next year, but I need to find money to pay for rent, food, and other living expenses, and the teaching fellowship only pays $5,000. I’ve got two other applications in the works (well, I have many more, but these are the two where I have some chance). One is a dissertation-writing fellowship where I get a reasonable amount of money BUT I can’t take any jobs, including teaching gigs (i.e., I’d have to give up the teaching fellowship). The other is a job as a preceptor (editor / mentor / tutor) for the MAPH program (a general humanities MA program), which pays very well ($22K!), but also involves a lot of work-hours, so I’m less likely to finish my dissertation by Spring 2010 in that case.

So I’ve got that coming down the pipe, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there (how’s that for mixed metaphors?).

In other news, I made daurade rose (red sea bream) today, which has to be one of the most expensive fishes by weight that I’ve ever bought, but it was certainly tasty. The daurade rose is described as having a very delicate flavor and buttery texture. I agree with the first part; “delicate flavor” is often used as an euphemism for “tasteless” or “not stinky,” but in this case the fish did have a delicate flavor that was slightly buttery and salty. For the texture, however, I found that the flesh was far too soft. It wasn’t as bad as that vieille I had the week before, but nonetheless it was seriously lacking in firmness.

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