Expectational Headaches

Yesterday was a full day. It began with our meeting Andy at 11:00am for our Le Guin Special Authors class. We continued our discussion on Le Guin’s Earthsea sequence. Next week, we’ll meet with David Seed for our Le Guin class and we’ll be discussing The Dispossessed and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” Also during class, Andy handed back our final Genre Definitions papers. I received a 72 on mine, which is a distinction score, but it wasn’t as high as I had hoped. I put a lot of time and effort into that paper, because it will be the one that I’m delivering here at the Faculty/Postgraduate Lecture Series and the SF and the Canon Conference at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. I’ve looked over the notes, and I’m going to work on it some before the first presentation on 14 February.

After class, Jean and I walked over to the jobs listings board at the Career Centre. From there, I went to a presentation on AHRC funding, but I later found out that I’m ineligible for that award.

These things put me into a right foul mood and I still had one more appointment for the day. Sunshine and I walked over to Andy Sawyer’s lecture on “Ursula Le Guin and the Pastoral Mode.” It was an interesting paper, particularly since I don’t know much about the pastoral beyond what I’ve learned from Leo Marx and Sharona Ben-Tov.

When I got back to my place from the lecture, I saw that I had an email from the English Graduate Admissions Secretary at the University of Kansas. She informed me that they had not yet received my transcript from Liverpool or my recommendation letter from Professor Knoespel. I called Professor Knoespel and left a message with Mrs. Jackson to have him fax a copy of the letter to KU. Then, I tried to access my transcript online, but SPIDER was broken. More to come below…

After all of that, I finished reading my current book review assignment, John Scalzi’s The Android’s Dream. It’s an enjoyable read, but it’s far from serious. Also, I hate the cover for the book and the title. First, the cover: it features a blue sky with two dimensional sheep with a droid that looks a lot like a Battle Droid from Star Wars lying down with a thought bubble erupting from his cranium towards the foremost sheep. Considering the subject, it would have been far more appropriate to use a photograph or painting based on Tori Amos’ cover for her “In the Springtime of His Voodoo” single, which shows her chest up wearing a sheep costume. The title: yes, it’s cute that he’s tipping his hat to Philip K. Dick, but there aren’t any androids in the story and the sheep aren’t electric.

Today, I’ve been nursing a headache all day long. It seems to have subsided since I ate supper, but there’s still a bit of a dull pain. This wasn’t helped by further problems with KU.

After getting up, I was able to bring up my transcript on SPIDER and print it out. Then, I asked Mrs. Rees in the English Department office to fax it for me, which she did (they are so awesome over there). At that point, I thought I was done.

Unfortunately, I received another email from KU saying that they needed my grades and an description of the program. I emailed Andy, and he said that he would take care of it. He emailed them, but after the secretary spoke with the graduate director, they required an official document with my grades thus far. This could be a problem, because Liverpool doesn’t report grades right away for MA students. Andy had already left for the day before we were cc’ed on the last email from KU. Hopefully we can get this resolved tomorrow.

Tonight, I’ve been working on my book review of Scalzi’s book.

Tomorrow, I might go to Sefton Park for a walk with Jean and Sunshine.

Some good news: I got a better URL for my flickr photostream.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.