Only one week, and already I’ve failed in my resolution to post every Monday. No surprises there — it’s on a par with my every-couple-of-years News Year’s diet resolution.
That said, the new school year seems to have gotten off to a good start. My son is about as happy as he can be with school, though he hates that he has to take Spanish (a child after my own heart, he’d rather study French or Latin) and some of his “extras” aren’t quite what he’d hoped they be. His accelerated math program starts Thursday. He’s a bit iffy about it — he’s rather be doing advanced English — but I hope it will re-energize him and boost his psyche. He really needs the mental challenge, and, like me, he’s more content when he’s kept busy (not that either of us will admit it).
As for me, the two seminars I’m taking this term are shaping up nicely, even though we’ve only had one meeting apiece. I’ve already started doing basic background research into the topic I hope to do my final paper on for one of them. Last fall, when I had to do a presentation on John Baldwin’s article “The Many Loves of Philip Augustus,” we got into a discussion on the conjugal debt, elements of which have stuck with me, so I’m hoping to follow up along those lines.
As for the other seminar, it’s still really too early to say much, although I’m glad to be doing good old-fashioned social history again (especially after being beaten over the head this spring over how the linguistic turn has made social history passé). Ultimately, I hope it’ll provide enough of a foundation in legal history that I can put it to use in my thesis, a topic that has occupied my mind a lot this week. There’s someone at Leeds who’s been doing work on a loosely-related subject that I’ve been thinking about more and more lately, so I should muster up the courage to drop him an e-mail and see if he’ll let me pick his brain.
I learned last week that my favorite columnist for my favorite newspaper in my former (adopted) hometown has retired, somewhat unwillingly. Fortunately, he’s got a blog that he’s already posted to several times, and I’ve been fascinated by his account of the restructuring of the newsroom. I still follow the paper online because I like to know what’s going on there, but it seems that hasn’t really conveyed how much the paper has changed (not for the better, according to some accounts).
After several warm, humid days, last night the temperature dropped quite a bit (a good, hard rain helped) and I’m now wearing jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and a cardigan, my uniform of choice. I love fall, with the cool, crisp air, and I can’t wait for the leaves to start changing. There’s a gorgeous sugar maple at the northeast corner of the house that last year turned the most brilliant shade of orange. Apples are coming into season now too, which makes my son happy, and now that I’ve finally realized why it’s worth it to get up early on Saturdays (to go to the local farmers’ market), he’s been munching on locally-grown apples like there’s no tomorrow. He’s also been craving some sweet potato soufflé, but I told him that will have to wait a few more weeks. I love fall, have I said that lately?