in_stead: (you are my)
BANK HOLIDAY MONDAYS ARE MY FAVOURITE. Not the least because I was just not in the mood to work yesterday and really didn't get any of the planning and marking and things I need to get done this weekend even started, so not having to go in today to teach tiny lunatics is a massive bonus.

I am extraordinarily in the mood to work right now and am currently enjoying an all over glow of productivity. We have finally got through the Tudors and Stuarts unit for Year 8, which we began back in September and I was quite sick of, so I can only imagine how the kids felt. We are now on to Black Peoples of the America. It's basicly an examination of slavery in the U.S. up to the point of emancipation and sets the kids up for some of the American history units that take place in upper years History, which focus on the struggle for civil rights for various groups through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

And while I feel bad saying I'm having fun with slavery, I really am. It is an interesting topic and one that I haven't done all that much on before, so I'm learning a lot, too.

That said, I've been letting my Year 7 stuff slide a little due to my enjoyment of the Year 8 content and am going to have to put some serious work in on that today, too.

Am currently curled up with my seven hundred pounds of work at the BF's, abusing his wireless internet to download all kinds of multi-media teaching resources. He has (foolishly!) left me alone here while he goes to get the exhaust on his car fixed. It is raining and I like very little more than sitting inside all warm and dry while listening to it be wet and miserable outside.
in_stead: (journalism is the rough draft of history)
As it is my last day here before heading back to London, I have decided to pull out all the stops. I have ordered up the (wow -- really, really, REALLY huge!) file of letters of condolence sent to Mrs. Stead following Mr. Stead's death on the Titanic.

*lays out the tissues and prepares to be weepy*
in_stead: (journalism is the rough draft of history)
Norman Angell = Ranty McRant Pants.

Good lord.
in_stead: (OH coffee)

Particularly the bits where drunken people stagger in to the dorm room at midnight, crash about, make a lot of noise, turn on lights, and wake me up from a dead sleep. Then, at 6:00am, when I have to get up, I am too nice and polite to return the favour and so struggle along in the dark so as not to wake those same people up at the other end of the clock.

To add insult to injury, I stubbed my toe trying to get dressed in the dark this morning.

On the other hand, have had COFFEE and am once again sitting with a big pile of letters to Stead in front of me.


I am spending today and half of tomorrow here, then hopping a train back to London so I can go in to the school and start getting set up for Monday.

eta: This archive is the coldest place I have ever been. I am going to have to buy some survival gear -- heavy-weight sleeping bags and Inuit boots and things -- if I intend to make it through two days here.
in_stead: (journalism is the rough draft of history)
(I am in the archives with collection 1/folio 1 of STEAD'S PAPERS in front of me. There are 61 volumes in 9 boxes.)


(*very tiny flail so as not to upset the papers or otherwise call attention to myself so that the archive people realise what they have done in letting me in and come to their senses and kick me out*)

(ps: they have wireless here.)
in_stead: (journalism is the rough draft of history)
[ profile] lazlet, [ profile] wildrocket, and I have been cleaning out [ profile] lazlet's loft. And, if I may say, omg. OMG. OMG.

The things that were up there. NEWSPAPERS! The Boys and Girls Daily Mail! From the 1930s! From the 1940s! The end of the war! "Goebbels' Body Found" as a headline! Books! Published! In the early 1800s and even LATE 1700s! A bound MULTI-YEAR RUN of the SATURDAY MAGAZINE beginning in 1832!! Which [ profile] lazlet GAVE TO ME! FOR ME ALL MINE PRY THEM FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS MINE MINE MINE MINE!!!!!

Me/Loft=OTP. Hard core.

*makes disturbingly sexual noises over semi-disintigrated bits of paper and dust*

In other news: the hot spot in the kitchen has, for the moment, gone very, very cold. Am, for the moment, internetless when not taking shameless advantage of [ profile] lazlet's hospitality.
in_stead: (journalism is the rough draft of history)
Dear internet,

You continue to be unbelievably awesome.

Carry on.

*falls back in love with the Victorian era*

Yours most sincerely,
[ profile] in_stead

In other news, today marks the first day of a new season of my cozy, warm socks-used-for-slippers. Autumn is on its way. Yay!
in_stead: (my dead historical boyfriend)
GIP -- my dead historical boyfriend! It's an actual photograph. I was suspicious at first given that Wellington died in 1852 and I thought that might be too early for photography, but it had been invented, so I am increasingly inclined to trust the caption that came with the picture.

I ::heart:: my dead historical boyfriend. His wife didn't understand him the way I do.

In other news, have survived my first week. Just barely. I feel as though I'm beginning to get the hang of things, a little, although that might be wishful thinking brought about by a day's distance.

Today, I spent a very restful and enjoyable time with [ profile] the_oscar_cat and [ profile] lazlet at the latter's house, watching a variety of pretty boys doing a variety of interesting things, including but not limited to: killing demons, riding bikes, getting head injuries and travelling back in time, and being smart. Fantastic.

Tomorrow, I am committed to giving the Frequently Lost British Historian's Walking Tour of London to a friend of mine from Canada who also got a teaching job in London. Lots of fun.
in_stead: (newspaper)
It's like England is saying "Hi! Hi! Oh, hello, hi, welcome!"

*happy flails*
in_stead: (read more)
So, I've started sorting and packing my belongings -- which mostly consist of books, and how very much the student cliche am I? -- for storage while I'm in England. My parents' garage has a big, empty space under the roof -- we're going to lay plywood down over the rafters, stack my boxes up, and tarp the whole pile to keep the lot dry.

And it's surprising me how very difficult I'm finding it to pack up my history books. I got rid of a lot of them in the last move, and more again with this sorting, so all that remains are the ones that I really, really love. All the old Stead and Victorian publishing sources, bits of literary and journalism theory, meta-sources on the history of popular culture and British imperialism, and a pile of Wellington biographies and biopics.

I don't want to box them up for an indefinite period of storage! I want to bring them with me and keep them and pet them and love them and even, occasionally, read them!


In other news, the packing process is proving quite interesting. I pick up an empty box, balance it on a chair, fill it up with books, and then call someone to come and take it away as I am still not allowed to lift anything. I could get used to this oi, you, come'ere and do the heavy lifting for me approach to life.
in_stead: (teaching)
And back to the classroom! I get to spend the next week in a high school history class, which is the placement I wanted all year. Of course, I don't get to teach at all -- just observe. Still, it's going to be fun.

Particularly because, as previously mentioned, it's in my sister's school.

In other news, myself and my Kenyan teaching partner are giving a presentation on literacy in Kenya to the local Rotery Club tonight. Should be fun.
in_stead: (rain on the thames)
Horrible couple of days, the details of which I shall not go into just now.

Tomorrow bodes well, however. I was, as mentioned in passing previously, invited to speak to one of the fourth year history seminars at the university on literacy and the press in Victorian Britain. I am very excited. I met with the professor today and she seemed very excited to have me. She says she hasn't told the students in the class about me yet -- I am to be a surprise guest speaker.

I am looking forward to this immensely. An entire captive audience and two hours to myself to go on at great length about the Victorian press and W.T. Stead. Fantastic!

Sometime tonight I am going to change my lj name to [ profile] in_stead. Five months after the completion of my M.A., the name still appeals. For now, however, dinner.
in_stead: (text)
Ah, me. And back to school I go.

About a month ago, I was invited by one of the history professors at the university to come and give a presentation on my thesis to her fourth year Victorian British history seminar. That's next Wednesday. I'm very excited. I've made a powerpoint presentation and everything. I am now at the deciding what to wear stage of preparation for the presentation.

Exciting news: STEAD STILL ROCKZ!!1!
in_stead: (morning after king)
Last night I dreamed I moved into Apsley House. [ profile] lazlet and [ profile] blythely came over while I was unpacking and trying to figure out where to put my things so that they wouldn't disrupt the careful museum displays. We had coffee at the table around which the Waterloo Banquets were held.

I was rather disappointed to wake up in my very own apartment, nice though it is.

And I am a huge geek.

In other news, GAH, morning, coffee, face, nnnasgkn.
in_stead: (newspaper)
A flaw in the Sunday plan:

I spent the day reading a collection of beautiful, emotional eulogies to Stead written by his many journalist and other writing-professional friends and colleagues. This means that I also spent the majority of the day sitting in a public space a) trying not to cry, and b) trying not to let anyone see that I am crying.

I fail at maintaining a stiff upper lip. The air conditioning was worth a little public weeping, though.

The eulogies were really quite evocative. All of them, even those written by the people who had openly opposed Stead's politics and opinions in life, remarked on what a wonderful man he was, passionate in his defence of what he considered to be right and equally fervent in his persecution of what he considered to be wrong. His sister contributed an excerpt from the last letter he wrote her, just before he got on the Titanic. One man wrote that Stead died just as he would have wanted to -- helping people (into lifeboats, in this case), with his boots on, and at the ideologically-appropriate midway point between Britain and America.

With the last, the gentleman was being a little free with the truth, as the Titanic sank significantly closer to North American shores than to her British moorings. But the sentiment is quite nice and blatant artistic licence is perhaps the most appropriate of all possible tributes to Stead, anyway.

In order to break things up a little, in between Stead eulogies, [ profile] mcee taught me how to play gin, which I had never learned to play before and which, it turns out, I enjoy a great deal. We proved to have two kinds of gin -- slow gin and sudden-death gin. We have no medium speed gin.
in_stead: (text)
Dear historians who have written on the Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon before now,

There are no wrong answers in history and other Arts disciplines, not really. We all know that.


You are all very, very wrong. I'm not sure how you managed it, but you have. You should take a certain degree of pride in the fact that you have accomplished the near-impossible.

I, on the other hand, am very, very right.

Glad we could clear this up.

[ profile] d_v_8
in_stead: (text)
Dear Raymond L. Schults,

It is my opinion that your biography of Stead, A Crusader in Babylon: W.T. Stead and the Pall Mall Gazette, has been consigned to obscurity for two reasons. They are, in order of importance, as follows:

1. You really didn't contributed anything new to the historiography of Stead. Your book is little more than an abridged re-writing of Frederick Whyte's 1925, two-volume work. You draw the much the same, and in my opinion erroneous, conclusions about Stead's character and motivations. You focus, not only on the same episodes of Stead's life, but the same aspects of those episodes. Given that, anyone interested in Stead is likely to give your book a pass in favour of the much more detailed Whyte biography.


I could forgive you the first, but the second one is going to get you beaten with a very large stick or shoe or book or whatever else is at hand should ever I meet you. It is not sufficient to say "according to Stead's own account" before a block quote that takes up half a page and leave it at that. Stead was a professional journalist and editor. He published any number of "accounts" in his life and produced, what's more, ten times as many "accounts" that were never published but may be found in various archives around Britain. It is absolutely necessary to be MORE BLOODY MOTHERING HELL SPECIFIC IN YOUR GODDAMNED CITATIONS, YOU COMPLETE AND UTTER WANKER.

I do hope that my feedback has been helpful to you.

[ profile] d_v_8
in_stead: (newspaper)
More history of little things:

The first English language dictionary was written in 1604 by Robert Cawdrey, who titled his book A Table Alphabeticall. The book was styled after the translation guides published for travellers, which translated English to French or Italian or Spanish or what have you. Cawdrey's book translated English into plain English and was intended to help people master the influx of fancy Latin, Greek, French, etc. words into the English language.

The Table Alphabeticall consisted of 2543 words. The first word of the table was Abandon, which Cawdrey defined as "cast away, or yeelde vp, to leaue or forsake." There were no entries for J, K, U, W, X, or Y.
in_stead: (allegretto)
In 1752, the first eraser was put onto the end of a pencil.

In case anyone was curious.


in_stead: (Default)

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