Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ol' Man River

For those who might not read it, over at Musicology/Matters we're hosting a colloquium on Michael Jackson. I reposted my own earlier entry, my friend Marianna has contributed something, and we're waiting on several posts by a range of friends who are lending their expertise.

But in other news, my little family has settled itself in a new home, literally alongside the banks of the Schuylkill river near Valley Forge, or to more accurate the Scuylkill canal. It's an idyllic existence, where the choice of where to walk the dog in the morning consists of, "up the canal, or down the canal." If we wanted to do, we could launch a canoe out of our backyard, paddle downstream about a mile, tie up at a local pub, have a drink, then paddle back. That's pretty cool. Phoenixville itself is a quirkly little town. The home of the historic Phoenix Iron Works (among other things, they supposedly made the iron for the Eiffel Tower), the town has managed to avoid to desolate fate of other industrial river towns along the Schuylkill. The main street is full of hip restaurants and bookstores, and there is a restored 1913 movie theater that was a filming location of The Blob. Next weekend is the annual reenactment of the scene in The Blob where everyone runs screaming out of the movie theater.

A bunch of my Facebook friends have been making academic summer to-do lists, and so am I, in hopes of accountability:

*Find a place to live in Williamsburg.

*Organize two syllabi: a one-semester Western music survey, and an upper-level seminar on Minimalism.

*Research: luckily I have useful confluence of events. I'm giving an early doo-wop paper at AMS this fall, and the sample chapter of the book proposal I'm putting together is also on early doo-wop. Slightly different topics, actually, but close enough that working on one is useful for the other. I'm quite enjoying the process of revising the dissertation, re-reading the old sources and giving myself the leisure to spin out ideas into a longer format.

*Move to Williamsburg.

I think this is all do-able, if I don't get too distracted by watching the ducks float down the canal.


Rebecca said...

This all sounds quite charming! I'm excited that I will have another reason to visit Williamsburg besides fulfilling cravings for Virginia Ham. (Ok, I actually do not crave Virginia ham, quite the opposite, but it seemed plausible.)

I like your academic to-do list and you have motivated me to do my own.

Doug Gentry said...

If not for Virginia Ham - a Williamsburg visit demands buying a stick of rock candy at the little candy store in the historic section. I remember doing that at a tender age.