7 April 2006
The good news is, I have a second reader for my thesis committee. Blackwood suggested Dr. Descartes (not his real name), who has specialties in 18th century lit and the Enlightenment, among many other things. So I emailed him today to ask if he'd be interested in being on my committee, and he wrote back to say Yes, he could do that, but he won't be able to start reading chapters until after April, but we should definitely get together with Blackwood and work out a “plan of action” in the meantime. Crikey.
The bad news is, I don't have any chapters. Considering that I haven't even filed my prospectus yet, it seems unlikely that I will have any chapters by the end of April. So I had to write back to him and explain that, um, actually, I'm really not that far along with the project, they told me I should get my committee together before I file, but if he thinks it's worth his time, I'd love to talk to him about my ideas ... the truth is, Descartes kind of scares me. Just a little. Blackwood assures me that he (Descartes) thinks very highly of me as a scholar, but still. The breadth and depth of his knowledge are intimidating, and when I talk to him I'm always afraid that I'm going to inadvertently say something stupid. I've had a class from him before, and he always treated me respectfully and professionally. But I've also heard him speak quite scathingly of people he considers stupid, and I would very much dislike to have that directed at me. Also, every time I see him, I just want to apologize for the term paper I wrote for him, which was kind of bad.