Thanks Be To Rhetorica

As strange as the past year has been, I’ve much in the academic realm for which to thank the goddess Rhetorica.

To wit:

  • My cohort. We’ve always been good, but this semester’s made me realize how lucky we are to have each other: we’re a strong triad, each arm strong in her own way. They keep me sane, and I can only hope that I return the favor every once and a while.
  • My dissertation director, she who says “I know you can do this” first and then asks smart, productive questions that make the project that much more complex and entertaining. She makes my work kinetic; sees the potential and pushes me towards it. And I haven’t even started on the dis, yet.
  • My visual rhetoric prof, who covered for me with my colleagues when I slept through a class. Who admonished me kindly for not taking care of myself (true) and overcommitting (guilty) and gave me strict but loving advice about my conference-ing next year: go to only two in your third year, she said, and she’s right. That said:
  • Bloody academic conferences, all seven of you fuckers. There’s a whole post in this, but suffice it to say I’ve met the right people in the weirdest places and my reading list for the break is so very long because of them. And my research’s the stronger for it, too–if not my schoolwork.
  • Tumblr, that timesuck/project generator. It’s about 60-40 timesuck, but those moments of research gold make the hours of scrolling worthwhile.
  • Those who’ve been willing to participate in one of my projects. You know who you are. Please know that your input is invaluable, and I’m so grateful for your willingness to play along.
  • That academic at PCA/ACA who argued with me at my panel back in April. As much as you annoyed me at the time–as inexplicable as I found your position–the nettle of your comments settled into my skin and informed my work in the second half of the year. You pushed me in a way I didn’t dig at the time–ok, you kinda pissed me off–but you forced me to think more carefully and approach my research from a different angle. And my work’s more effective and persuasive because of that. So I say sincerely: thanks. Though I think you’d still take issue with what I’m arguing. Oh! And something your partner said, he who was on my panel, inspired my latest fandom-related project. So give him a thanks from me, too.

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