Monday, November 17, 2008

No Guest Blogger? Really?

I've had exactly zero people volunteer to do the guest blogging. Now, I can always force my minions to do the Miscellanies, but I'd rather find someone who wanted to do it.

I asked for blogless graduate students, but no takers, so I'll open the floor. Who among you would like to guest blog Morning Medieval Miscellanies?


  1. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I found your blog by chance, while looking for material on the relevance of taking a Beowulf class for an Arizona State MTESOL (Masters of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) student.

    If I weren't the least qualified of all your readers to take up the guest blogging offer, I would! But truly, I know nothing of use or interest on the subject. I merely have a personal interest.

    So why's she leaving a comment, you ask? I am still trying to decide about taking Beowulf next semester. My advisor says it's "ok" as an elective but more appropriate for pure linguistics majors - a view that disappoints me!

    If you have stronger reasoning for why I should take this class, please do share! And thank you for an interesting blog.

  2. TAKE IT!!!!!!

    Great Nokes, I'd volunteer if I didn't already have 4 articles overdue on my plate, plus editing the diss, trying to get a new journal issue out, travelling for the holiday, and a book to finish editing that's a year overdue, and an encyclopedia project gathering dust, and sending out job letters, and occasionally wriing on my own blogs.....

    The Miscellany is a real service and I've missed it, but I confess that as tempted as I am to volunteer, I really shouldn't.

  3. Nenuphar,

    I'm a dude who spent a few years in pure ESL teaching, and spends a good deal of my time working with ESL students, with graduate-level training in linguistics (yes, including applied linguistics), so believe me when I say that studying Old and Middle English is more than a luxury of "pure linguistics" -- it is essential. Without ranting too much here, I would argue that the reason so much second-language acquisition methodology fails (and, let's face it, most of it does) is that it is created by people both ignorant and contemptuous of historical linguistics. Indeed, the contempt is the contempt of the ignorant for that which they do not understand.

    OK, yeah, that was a rant, but I'm too preoccupied with other things to make a full-throated argument. If you don't want to listen to me, listen to CS Lewis, who said:

    "The taproot, Anglo-Saxon, can never be abandoned. The man who does not know it remains all his life a child among real English students. There we find the speech-rhythms that we use every day made the basis of metre; there we find the origins of that romanticism for which the ignorant invent such odd explanations. This is our own stuff and its life is in every branch of the tree to the remotest twigs. That we cannot abandon."

    Don't be a child among true English students. Follow the example of Lewis (and Verner, and Grimm, and basically any linguist worth listening to) and study Beowulf.

    I would also suggest you study at least one (modern) non-Indo-European language, though that's another topic altogether.

    /rant off

  4. Anonymous11:23 PM

    Dr. Nokes, thank you (and C.S. Lewis) for taking the time to rant. You have confirmed what I was thinking, but as I'm new to the field, I was discounting my own thoughts as naive idealistic blather.

    In seeking advice about this class, I said to my advisor and several other people, "It would seem that thorough knowledge of English origins is what separates a good English teacher from a superior one." I found it strange that the only people who responded directly to that statement were people not at all involved in ESL (they agreed with me, by the way).

    As for the non-Indo-European language study, fear not: I have studied Arabic, Korean and Japanese.

    I hope I will be able to register for the Beowulf class...but if I can't for some reason, I will still be peeking in on your blog.

  5. I'd be happy to help out. I've got a degree in medieval studies but am out of university at present. I'd rather let someone who is a current student take advantage of the opportunity but if no one else is putting themselves forward, I don't really have any qualms volunteering myself.

    I do have a few questions that might apply to any other applicants, as well:
    1. Would you provide us with a list of bookmarked sites to start from? I'm afraid my morning bookmarks are somewhat less varied.
    2. How long do you think you'll want a guest blogger?

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Rivkah M.

  6. Rivkah,

    E-mail me at, and we'll talk details.

  7. I already have a blog, but I don't post much because most of my coursework is non-medieval right now, and the time to ramble I had in MA program no longer exists. But I'll help out if you need help.

  8. Karma,

    E-mail me directly for details.