A circuit-board-inspired drawing of a human brain

The Writing Block

I’ve been having a lot of trouble this weekend. I’m so close to finishing a chapter that it’s really embarrassing that I can’t do it. It’s awful. I spend a lot of time, believe it or not, thinking about Alzheimer’s disease. My grandmother suffered through it and I was in the house when her body […]

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Bart Simpson writing the first line of Caedmon's Hymn on the chalkboard repeatedly

Bring Back Memorization

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the ram his […]

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A shoe steps on a banana peel. Meme caption reads I have trouble articulating my own ideas; I'll just post this meme I found on Facebook.

Thinking in Memes

As far as communication is concerned, I was often considered “old-fashioned” by my students. That’s not to say that I preferred (or even used) non-digital methods or media, or that they perceived that I was some sort of luddite (I had a student once say in class, “Mr. Larsen, you internet too much.”). Rather, it’s […]

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The shield boss and other hardware from the Sutton Hoo shield.

Protecting Your Head with Jesus: a Note on ‘Helm’

It’s always interesting to see what a culture uses in its material metaphors. For instance, while English-speaking couples talk to one another, one of the most common terms we see used is “dear,” which was something I always understood as just a placeholder for “someone I hold dear” when my parents would use it. Well, […]

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Delete Facebook?

What I’ve Learned About Trust from Facebook

I think we’ve all seen the various news posts about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica by now and we all know that there’s a lot of stuff coming down the pipe for both of them. The $50 billion (note the “b”) nosedive that Facebook’s stock took earlier this week is a pretty significant chunk of handwriting […]

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The purse lid from the Sutton Hoo ship burial, which is on display at the British Museum.

Stuff: Connecting Medieval to Modern

The reason I’m writing my dissertation on the material culture that appears in Old English poetry is because I’m like most of my fellow Americans: I dig stuff. I like things. I enjoy having, using, making, and breaking doodads, doohickeys, gizmos, gadgets, and gear. As someone who also enjoys thinking about the middle ages, and […]

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I am by no means an expert, but isn't Guinness supposed to be so dark as to be unable to see through it? Photo by Flickr user leyla.a

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Of course, St. Patrick’s means more to a medievalist than green beer, green clothing, green rivers, and corned beef & cabbage. It has nothing at all to do with snakes, either…but it does involve raiders. Really, though, St. Patrick’s day serves to remind me of a few things every year, and the most powerful thing […]

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The Dissertation Fellowship convenes.

The Importance of Fellowship

Absolutely no one is shocked to hear that I’m a complete nerd. I even hang out with nerds. It’s kind of hard not to do that anymore, to be utterly frank, since it has become acceptable to admit that you’re a nerd about something. Of course, I’m not just a nerd about something. I’m a nerd about almost […]

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A hole in a manuscript page shows the page below it.

Something Missing…

You know what I don’t seem to talk about much on my blog, which I’ve titled “The Digital Medieval”? No, no…if you look at the archives, I talk about digital crap all the time. What I don’t talk about nearly enough is medieval stuff, and there’s a reason for that. I’m not saying it’s a […]

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This is me trying to write

The Importance of Feedback

First off, this is not the kind of post that complains about a faculty member who doesn’t get back with feedback soon enough. I don’t work with faculty who are like that for one, and the other is that there are better places to air such grievances besides a blog that no one reads. More […]

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