Professors Gone Wild

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Break. Break means for us: a sandy beach, Tequila Sunrise, a fading memory of bygone literacy. But where do professors flock when school is out? One thing we’ve discovered: they take their books. // BY WEEKEND

Mary Miller

//Interviewed by ANTONIA WOODFORD

What I try to do in spring break is catch up on some of my own work. I’m going to an Ivy Plus deans’ meeting at Stanford. Then I’m giving a talk at the Art Institute of Chicago, about Mayan painting. Then I’m going off to Ann Arbor to work with my co-author on some last details on a book, “The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court.” The manuscript is fully submitted, [but we will be] doing something called match prints, where you check the color of how the print will appear. The book will be out in 2013. When I’m not doing that, I’m working on the last details of the other book I’m working on — my survey book will be out in a new edition in the summer.

Anne Fadiman

//Interviewed by YANAN WANG

Over spring break I’ll be at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, a place where writers and artists find out what happens when they don’t cook, clean, drive, take care of their kids, watch TV, or use the Internet, and are thus theoretically freed to commune with their muses — unless, of course, the absence of distractions itself proves distracting. I’ve heard about MacDowell for years, but this will be my first visit, and I’m excited. The most famous aspect of life there is lunch, which is delivered in a basket to one’s studio in the woods and left on the porch, lest a knock interrupt a sentence.

Jane Levin

//Interviewed by TAPLEY STEPHENSON

All four of our children and our seven grandchildren live on the West Coast. We’re going to visit them over spring break.

I’m looking forward to seeing them!

Reading list: I’m going to reread “Swann’s Way” in the Montcrieff translation in between reading Beatrix Potter, “Winnie the Pooh,” and “Babar.”

Shelly Kagan

//Interviewed by YANAN WANG

Nothing terribly exciting planned for spring break. I have some papers to grade, the rest of the semester to prepare for, some students (grad and undergrad) to meet with, recruiting prospective graduate students, catching up on email (okay, I will never manage that), and the like. We (me, my wife, and our kids) will [also] be headed to Chicago for one weekend to see my niece’s new son.

Tamar Gendler ’87

//Interviewed by YANAN WANG

I’ll be going to my grandmother’s 95th birthday in Kansas City, paying a guest visit to my sister’s book group in Washington, D.C., participating in an external review of the Wellesley College Philosophy Department, finishing an article that responds to a number of published reviews of my recent book, getting the tail light fixed on our Volvo, and finishing up a sewing project that I started months ago.

David Scott Kastan

//Interviewed by YANAN WANG

My wife and I are going to Rome for the first week, for a little work and a lot of play with some friends; the second week I will be back in New Haven hoping to finish up a book proposal and to catch up on the spring training reports from Red Sox camp.

Linda Lorimer

//Interviewed by TAPLEY STEPHENSON

I am looking forward to spending four days with my son in a place with little Internet connectivity.

Reading list: The new novel by the director of the Yale Press John Donatich, John Gaddis’ new biography of George Kennan and “The Idiot’s Guide to the iPad.”

Penelope Laurans

//Interviewed by TAPLEY STEPHENSON

As we head to the start of spring break

I fear I am barely awake.

So my plans are not deep:

They’ve been mostly to sleep

For my health and my temperament’s sake.

Oh to rest and to rest and to sleep!

These pleasures could cause me to weep

And if ever I rise

I would cover my eyes

And enumerate sheep after sheep.

However, as part of Yale’s mission,

— It’s not that I have great ambition —

I’ve been asked to help plow

Through the twenty-nine thou

Who are currently seeking Admission.

And then — I can’t leave out JE —

Where I must of a certain plan tea

And a bit of a fling

For when we win the Tyng

And the spiders erupt in sheer glee.

On the other hand, while I won’t cook,

I do have my eyes on a book

Which I’ve heard is a prize —

“The Hare with Amber eyes”

Which I’ll browse in some comfortable nook.

So Elis wherever you sail

Take time to let down — and exhale.

Get some sleep — Get some rest —

So you’ll bring back your best

For God and for Country and Yale!

Comments

  • Yalemama

    Penelope Laurans rocks!