Sydney’s off to his last class before Thanksgiving.  I’m at home, grading my students’ final papers.  My goal is to have them done before Thanksgiving and have the final grades tallied, so that I stop juggling the their-work/my-work problem for a several-week stretch.

I’m reading a book about the role of secondary characters in Victorian novels (fascinating stuff, especially as I can see this being helpful for my dissertation), and I’m running into a problem that I can see will plague me all my academic life.  In his first chapter, the author of the book analyzes Pride and Prejudice.  Although I think I’ve read that book, I am filled with the desire to read it again.  Never mind that it’s 200 years off the stuff I’m currently working on, and never mind that I should be paying attention to some other reading for my exams: that’s the book I want to read, and the sooner the better.  So I’ve found myself a good copy online that should be winging its way here.  It will make for fantastic winter break reading.  Now that I’ve taught some Jane Austen to my freshmen, I have a new appreciation for her style and for her social acumen.  So, although I read that book when I was a teen and remembering liking it, I’m guessing I’ll have a very different (but most likely even more positive) reaction this time around.  I don’t know what I’ll do when I get to Chapter 2 of the book and he begins to talk about another book I’ll likely be interested in reading.

Now that we think we have Sydney’s passport on its way here, Oxford planning is beginning in earnest.  Attempts to find housing are being made, discussions about my visiting are being had, and it’s all looking a lot more likely.  Of course, my jealousy is also rising with every discussion.

Sydney, very busy Sydney, apparently looked up from his work long enough to decide that he needed to have half the department over here for dinner before the term ended.  I’m guessing that he wants to make sure they don’t forget him when he goes away for a semester!  So we’re going to try having a dinner party that includes his advisors, lots of grad students–i.e., a whole lot of philosophers.  Thanks, Mom, for those extra place settings you brought us a few months ago.  I think we’re going to be using them very shortly!


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