I have been thinking for a long time that I want to blog about issues in classics—both strictly scholarly and in the politics of the humanities—and about university administration. Every time I start writing an entry, though, I become nervous, because I really don’t like conflict, but there is little point in blogging about topics about which we all agree. I have, for example, wanted to write about the newly imposed requirement of the graduate school at Michigan that graduate students have eight hour of instruction on research ethics, from faculty and in person, before they can be candidates. I have thought about the name change of the American Philological Association, now the Society for Classical Studies. I’ve thought about commenting on the Administrative Services Transformation at this university, which has gotten much public attention, and the self-deception that I have seen in many quarters. I will write about all these topics in coming weeks. And, perhaps, about my experience doing an NEH seminar on Euripides for faculty at Historically Black Colleges. I spent a week at Grambling State, saying in a motel in Ruston, LA, just off the freeway. This photo of the business next door may give some flavor of the place:
I think my first real blog will be about that week. One of the participants asked me whether I had learned anything from them. I’m sure that I did, but it is not easy to list exactly what I got out of it, and I don’t want to bs. Maybe on Monday I’ll make myself try to write articulately but honestly.