Last night I was working on a new article to submit to America that I've toyed with mentally for some time. It's using research from an earlier conference paper I presented, now redone for a more popular journal. Submission guidelines give me a maximum of 2000 words. Thus far I've been able to cut it down to 5000. Fleecing ones own words is not a natural gift for an Irish! There's material I can re-write in a form that's more brief, but the real struggle for me is trying to figure out what actual points I could skip over while still making my case. I feel like I have a tight argument as it stands. Happily, Mari feels particularly gifted in chopping up other people's writing, so she offered to be an editing eye when I was describing the work to her today before we both taught.
I met tonight with Calvin, a senior who is doing an independent study on the Second Vatican Council under my direction as a capstone for his Catholic Studies program. It's exciting to see someone digging through this material for the first time, giving me the same sort of thrill I get when I vicariously hear about a friend's experiences as they read some favourite novel or see some favourite film of mine for the first time. Mostly tonight we were still talking over the literature itself: certain documents (the Constitutions on the Church) which were essential reading, and which, for matters of economy or interest fell into the "second tier" for an overview of the Council. So we talked about whether, for example, it would be more important in the time we have for him to read the Constitution on the Liturgy, or whether something like the Declaration on Non-Christian Religions was more timely or closer to his interests. So meeting with him is a fun, once-a-week dive into that material, which I'm also covering this week in a general way with my Master's students.
We had one of our dramatic fronts go through this afternoon as a thunderstorm. It was 70ºF when I left in the late afternoon to go teach, and heading into the mid-thirties as I left after my long evening's conversation with Calvin. I preferred the seventies!
But whoa! I just read how huge this storm was: we got the mild tail end of one of the worst storm fronts to cross the United States in history. Scratch what I wrote before: I'll take my bad day of rain and temperature drop to the thirties!