Just when you’re ready to misquote Churchill

I was getting ready to say the following: We have killed the monster and thrust it upon an unsuspecting public.

That’s my private way of saying that the latest issue of Ideation is off the presses and in the mail. I know this because I received my copy at home already. The on-campus copies also have arrived, and have just been placed in department mailboxes. My mother, who lives out of state, has not received her copy yet. I put my own address on the mailing list so that I can know when the copies are delivered. I send one to my mother as tangible proof that her son has a job, a fact that still causes her a bit of surprise. It’s mailed third-class postage and sometimes my mother’s copy takes a few weeks finding its way to her mailbox.

The “monster” bit comes from a Winston Churchill quote describing the stages of an author’s involvement with a book. It begins with infatuation and progresses through the various stages (pleasant and not-so) of a love affair, ending, Churchill says, when at last you “kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

With due respect to Churchill, I like my version better. But I can’t utter either a quote or a misquote just yet.

Usually, when I misquote Churchill, I am speaking solely of the print version of Ideation, which is the twice-yearly magazine devoted to research and scholarship at the College of William and Mary. Since Ideation also exists on the web, I can’t fire off the quote (intact or mangled) until all the stories are entered into what is known as a “content management system” and so are available on the web.

Just as all the stories are loaded in and I think it’s safe to butcher Winston Churchill, I get e-mail from Joel Pattison. Joel is a person to whom the aforementioned content management system seems as rational and friendly as it seems hideously baroque and finicky to me. Joel says that I need to link the stories as widgets. (Don’t ask.) I just learned to perform this operation this morning and have to write some summaries, which I can’t get to today.

In the meantime, you can read the Ideation stories. This issue features William and Mary’s new Integrated Science Center. The ISC is being constructed in three phases. Phase 3 is still on the drawing board. Phase 2 is under construction. Phase 1 is open for ideas. I have a general story on the ISC as a work in progress and stories that represent some of the work going on in ISC 1.

It’ll be a day or two before I get this last widgety step done and then I can ceremoniously fire off the misquote, so that the demands of tradition will be satisfied.

Categories: Faculty & Staff Blogs, Research

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