lolaraincoat: (leap!)
Here's an email I just sent, with some explanatory emendations:

Dear [Hapless editor at mid-level academic press who asked me for a blurb of a new edited collection in my exact field],

the ms arrived just now and I am very sorry to say this, but I can't blurb it. One of the articles included is about [very specific topic in my exact field], about which I published a fairly well-known article myself a decade ago [the only other scholarly work ever about this event, although subsequently there was a documentary film on the topic.] Its author is both inaccurate and - in my biased view - unduly harsh in his characterization of my article, and it's just a footnote, but I can't quite bring myself to help out the otherwise quite lovely book. Do convey my regrets and apologies to [the editors, one of whom was on my dissertation committee and also, ten years later, was the supervisor of the ill-mannered scholar who wrote the mean and inaccurate footnote]

best,

[Lola the Pissed-off Raincoat]

For the record, I am usually delighted to have my work discussed, updated, improved upon; criticism is somewhat less delightful to me, but only a little. But in this case the author of the article clearly felt that he couldn't write about the topic without trashing the work of previous scholars who had written about it. Shouldn't somebody have taught him better than that?



+++
lolaraincoat: (not worried)
I'm sitting here surrounded by towering stacks of admissions files to a graduate program, which are more than a bit daunting, and so I cruise the internet for solace and distraction, and this is what appeared today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/us/20mobility.html?em&ex=1203656400&en=fd81d8756f45e5a5&ei=5087%0A

I always look for the phrase "first member of her/his family to attend university" in letters of recommendation; those are the students I most want to admit and to fund. It's good to have a little empirical research out there as a reminder of why that matters.

And so anyhow:

Writers of letters of recommendation! Teachers and tutors and librarians and university staff and principals and deans and department chairs and committee members and high school staff and teaching assistants and teachers' aides and Montessori teachers everywhere! Crossing guards and school-bus drivers! Politicians who don't cut school budgets! What you do counts for something! It counts for so much! Thank you so much!

And now I'll get back to reading the files, all right? All right then.

...

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