December 28, 2005

Yes, Dammit! I'm a blue-collar scholar!

In grad school we had a fellow TA buddy who liked to put aside his Shakespeare on the weekends in favor of NASCAR, wrestling, and Budweiser. We affectionately referred to him as the "blue-collar scholar." He's now an assistant DA for one of our nearby counties, and what a long, strange trip that was for him.

I'm remembering that term today as I peruse the blogroll after a long absence and check out what my virtual pals are reading.

See, the Christmas holiday usually affords me a lot of free time to read, but this year, my heart wasn't in it. Still haven't finished Jonathan Strange, and it's not because the book is bad, it's just that every time I pick it up and feel the heft of it, I get tired.

I even got a big ol' bookstore gift card, and have only managed to spend a small portion of it, 2/3 of which were a calendar for my office and yet ANOTHER Thomas book for my beloved Boy. I bought Eragon, just 'cause I've been curious for a while and hey! It's not like it was my $9.95.

And here's the sad part--the highlight of my Christmas reading experience was the autobiography of Ric Flair, the Nature Boy. Yes, the wrestler. I know. I will pause here while you mock me. But it was funny (sometimes intentionally), and it was truly a window into a world that, if you grew up in NC in the 70s and 80s, was always present in the background.

So while my fellow bloggers are busy parsing the readability (or lack thereof) of Heinlein and purchasing A Reader's Manifesto, I'm learning all about the crimson mask, and the proper way to walk the aisle, style and profile. Woo!

Just call me the blue-collar scholar, brother, and I will meet you in the squared circle! Woo!

Posted by Big Arm Woman at December 28, 2005 04:09 PM

Be calm; it's OK to be a blue-collar scholar, so long as your professional prose is incomprehensible.

Posted by: PersonFromPorlock at December 28, 2005 04:49 PM

After composing myself from your confession, I have but one question. Can I borrow the autobiography from you? (I'm not kidding....)

Posted by: Jimmy at December 28, 2005 07:31 PM

"Parsing the readability of Heinlein" does not an erudite scholar make one: It's been perennial geek fare since the days of those pen-and-mimeograph blogs, the 'zines. The only question nowadays is whether it's the first go-round of nerd-osity or the umpteenth.

(For the record, as a card-carrying nerd, I'm always up for a fresh round of "What's wrong/right with RAH". Good clean geek fun.)

Posted by: Carbonel at December 28, 2005 07:36 PM

Easy, now. I'll not have my redneck credentials impugned like this. You should know that I have added the Nature Boy to my Amazon wish list, and that he's followed by a John Wayne movie and Cool Guacamole potato chips.

Posted by: Tony at December 29, 2005 09:37 AM

Wooo! As a side note, I just finished Eldest last night (the second in the Eragon series)--let me know when you want to borrow it. The man-child who writes them certainly loves his alliteration.

Posted by: Feral Girl at December 29, 2005 10:15 AM

Finished Eragon myself. Couldn't go along with Eldest. Just. Couldn't. Do. It.

As I told my oldest, if I was his age I might enjoy reading them more but since I'm "old" I found the plots predictable, some of the descriptions a bit much for the tone of the rest of the book and the numerous deaths unneccessary. (OK, so I peeked at Eldest, a book that begins with a funeral... reading at Chrstmas time... just. couldn't. do. it.)

Posted by: M.C.C. at December 30, 2005 12:35 PM

Hey! I'm a Redneck Scholar too! I was so happy to come to grad school in NC, assuming there would be other Nascar fans (which I started following after marrying a real Southerner). Amazingly, I have not been too succesful in finding them at UNC - apparently Chapel Hill is not the Nascar mecca you might imagine!:). However, this has not stopped me from bringing up Nascar examples and ancedotes to use when teaching my management classes. My students all think it is funny. It does take them off guard to have a female Yankee teacher tell them about the points standings each week - which, hopefully helps shock them into learning. :)

Posted by: Mary at December 31, 2005 09:49 AM

Mary (I post this at the risk of alienating the good-natured UNC grads out there who don't take themselves or their school too seriously - all three of them)Chapel Hill and its university are actually an anomaly and not really part of the state of NC (a little known fact - I think you can find it in some, uh, bylaws somewhere). Anyway, if you further want to shock students there, discuss any of the following terms/phrases as well: spanking, guns, church, tobacco, the military, hunting, traditional families, or Republicans.

Posted by: Husband of BAW at January 1, 2006 05:24 PM


Yes, although I myself lean toward the lefty-overeducated-Yankee spectrum, I have tossed some of these ideas out in class and been very amused at the results. (I should add that I really do love being at Chapel Hill, but am kind of entertained by my fellow students and teachers!) It is good to keep students off balance sometimes - helps them develop those good thinking skills we are all supposed to be striving for! :)

(Okay, plus it is just too easy and too fun to play with academics sometimes!)

Posted by: Mary at January 6, 2006 12:50 PM