Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On metrogiraffe

It's been years since I last visited Paris. I think it's time to go back. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On the return of light and giraffes

The sky is reflected in the windows of the nearby building, stretching out in a metallic-blue-yellow hue in between an instagram filter and something you might have found in the fabric of a skirt in the S/S13 Saunders collection, if you cared for such things. It's been a lovely day, with deceitful promises of pending spring, even though the mended heart is too scarred to believe it really is so. Winter may catch you yet. Regardless, you have this day. The day the light returned. Light, which will kick start the slow process of defrosting the marrow of your brittle bones.

In the meantime, there is this picture of a woman and a giraffe:

Friday, December 13, 2013

On the excitement and worries concerning two important work tasks I have today (the title is an understatement).

Today I have two tasks that plague me more than the 70-paper-long-log-of-papers-I-need-to-grade.

One is to write a speech for tonight's Christmas Party at work, where I will mull over the past two years I've spent here as an employee in the history department at the university.

The other is to refresh the website of the faculty board committee for hiring, to have first eyes on the protocol from today's meeting determining my future. You see, after having taught history for two years with only a Master's degree I finally decided it was time to apply for a phd. It's been quite the process getting here, but today the final verdict stands. Will I still have a job come January? (And if not, how will that affect my speech tonight?)


I am of course overstating the tension for dramatic effect. In reality I have written most of the speech days ago, and I also have a fairly clear idea what the result of the meeting will be.


Two days ago a department board meeting took place, where the matter of the phd position was discussed prior to sending it off to the faculty. The board, following the advice of the appointed committee that considered all the applications, recommended me for the position.


Two weeks before that, when I was asked to deliver tonight's speech, I decided against writing two speeches covering the two potential outcomes of today's meeting (an idea I briefly toyed with). No matter what the results of today's meeting, no matter whether I will still be working here in January, I've had two marvelous and challenging and exhausting and rewarding years, and my potential future here does not change that.


The excitement today, then, is not so much whether I will get the position, but my feelings concerning it. There is a substantial insecurity connected in this for me. There is a reason why it's been three years since I finished my MA and I never even applied before now.

So, in order to start with a a fresh sheet, I feel the need for some confessions. I have never read Bourdieu, or Derida or even Gadamer. Worse, I don't actually want to. I can't list every battle in every war despite being a historian. I am frequently wrong. (Though hearing me admit it is unusual.) I don't think writing history is a piece of cake. I don't even always think it's particularly fun. But I am quite good at it. Even if I don't always believe that myself.


*refresh again just to be sure*


Thursday, November 14, 2013

On pretense

Let's pretend this is a blog you still read with some regularity - in fact, let's pretend it's a blog I write with some regularity.

Let's pretend Albert Einstein was a duck. Might as well.

Let's pretend the below picture isn't photoshopped.

Let's pretend the reason I am not writing here regularly is because I am so busy living a fabulous life. Let's pretend I'm never tired of the fabulousness.

Let's pretend. That nothing no one never said was true or false.

Let's pretend that winter is not coming.

Let's pretend that I am not worrying about work and not work and the potential of not having to worry about work.

Let's pretend that I write. Occasionally.

Let's pretend that placebo is as good as Placebo. Let's pretend you could watch that video without having to watch a commercial first.

Let's pretend that all it takes is a good night's sleep, and that you will get just that, tonight.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On words to the wiser*

"It is important to note that..." doesn't meant that something is important.

"I have fixed every edit you suggested" doesn't mean that no more edits are required (or even that you actually fixed what I suggested).

"I've been ill the last three days before the deadline" isn't an acceptable excuse for not having used the previous thirty days before that, also included in your deadline.

"I don't know how to improve this text" is not a cue for me to jump in with a cure.

*Note: in this case I am myself the wiser. Or the unwiser. Or at least the person in need of taking my own advice. By admitting this I am, of course, in no way suggesting that there might not also be others in need of taking this advice...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On words I have yet to decide the meaning of

I have invented the following words, but have not yet decided what they should mean. Screw etymology (even though, or perhaps just because, I love it). Suggestions are welcome.

Ksnø (alternative spelling for the less Scandi-inclined: Ksneu. The k is not silent).

Yuips (best uttered when slightly tipsy, so the meaning should probably be related).


Pouiyrtre (not to be confused with Poiuytre).

Whhsnosis (thinking this might be something for the medical communtiy?).

Fogbliggerfoullervat (most likely a rather literal translation of something German).

Thank you for your attention.

(For the record, I did not invent these last 23 words. Nor the first 29 of this post.)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On jolly July, aberrant August

It's been a weird summer in Norway. Weird, because it's been awesome. Weather-wise we are talking about the July of the century, or some such cliché. Sun has been had. Pale Norwegians soaked up vitamin D's to last us into the next decade, and for once I actually have tan lines on my back. We're normally used to summers where any outdoors plan always need an indoors alternative, but this time no such modification was called for.

July was spectacular.

August is looking for payback.

Frequently, August has been the warm and sunny month here. Just in time for school to start, summer kicked in, like a wonderful irony of life. This year, however, since July took August's job, August, apparently, decided to take September's. Ever since the start of the month we've had rain, wind, the occasional bout of sunshine, but then with the obvious promise of "plan B kind of day - expect to have to go indoors any moment". The cloudless days of July are long gone.

In a way I appreciate it. There is no doubt that it's really fall, summer is over, vacation time done, work takes the front seat. The transition is made somewhat easier by nature's clear message.

But then again - a few more weeks of sunshine, with the possibility of enjoying after-work-afternoons in a park instead of having to tote an umbrella everywhere - sounds nicer. August isn't playing nice this year.

There is, of course, absolutely nothing I can do about this. I can recall the lovely July, and I can curse the erratic August. In reality it makes no difference what I do. Winter is coming.

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