Thursday, March 26, 2009

Feeling like I might be in a Wilkie Collins book

It's finally starting to sink in that I'm moving to Regina. I took a tenure-track job in the Department of English at the University of Regina, teaching Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Queer Studies. I'm teaching a course on Gay and Lesbian Studies and Critical Theory in the fall. I get an office. That's actually mine. I can put a couch in the office. I may already have picked out the couch that I want to put in said office.

I need to figure out bus routes. I'm probably going to be walking through Wascana Park in order to get to campus, so I need an even better winter coat. The Montreal coat will do in a pinch, but for a prairie winter, I feel like you need to buy a serious jacket. Don't skimp on the liner. You need quality fleece. Seriously, if the staff at MEC tried to sell me a space suit to protect me from the elements, I would probably buy it. I think Stephen Colbert may already own it.

I need to find an apartment. I can't hold out for the Cathedral area--I need to find a serviceable place, with utilities included (especially heat--Montreal has taught me that). As long as it's near a grocery store and a bus route, that's fine. Although I did hear about a few 1920s brick walkups, populated mostly by grad students. I feel like such a building would have, at the very least, a serviceable laundry room, hardwood floors, and some kind of informal potluck situation going on between floors. Grad students have absolutely nailed the art of potluck. And those who know me also know, when I'm a party guest, I always, always bring 1) chips 2) bite-brownies and 3) a good Chilean or Argentinian wine. I also (often) stare raptly at people's bookshelves, until they finally offer to lend me a book. I love, love, love lending books. But once I lend you a book, I will immediately try to steal all of yours, possibly through some style of legerdemain. Be forewarned.

So I am moving. I'm excited about visiting the LGBT Archives at the University of Saskatoon, the Archer Library, Briar Patch Books (independent!), Wascana Park, The OutSide (they have a store called Homo Depot that intrigues me) and the on-campus Tim Horton's. I also noticed a comic shop near Scarth, and a Timothy's! I have not been to a Timothy's since I was in Toronto, and that was the one in Church St, which is really more of a circuit party than a coffee shop.

I'm flying to Washington to visit family tomorrow. Very psyched about seeing the Battis clan, which so rarely assembles in one room. This is the character of the cross-border family. I am going to visit the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, and someone is going to have to tear me tooth-and-nail away from Georgetown, since I've always dreamed about visiting that neighborhood.

Listening to Amy Winehouse. Cat #1 and Cat #2 are asleep on the couch, while Cat #3 (referred to hereafter as 'the kitten') is sleeping in her basket. She has a basket tucked into my massive shelf unit, which I have bequeathed to Brianne, mostly owing to the fact that 1) I will never disassemble it and 2) I don't want to ship it. So many books to ship. So many files. So many small appliances and useful items to (lovingly) steal from my parents in the meantime.

In love. Like, serious, life-altering love. Scared. Reading a lot of Marx and Lukacs. Wishing my Spanish was anywhere near good enough to read Lorca. I am going to enroll in a year-long course. This should supplement my current studies with the Berlitz 'Take Off in Spanish!' DVD set (with workbook!), which, surprisingly, has not prepared me to move to Madrid.

I'm holy-shit-scared but also incredibly excited to start teaching in the fall again. I've never known where I fit within the overlapping systems of the academy. It's likely that I don't fit. But I love teaching. So we'll see.


Jim said...

what are you reading by Marx and Lukacs?

Jes Battis said...

class consciousness (lukacs) and parts of the gundrisse (marx).