Tab Overload Disorder

Tab overload is a real thing in the virtual world. It’s what happens when you spend your days skimming, clicking, reading, and thinking, “Oh, that’s interesting. I’ll finish reading it later. Maybe I’ll share it on my Facebook page. Maybe I’ll even blog about it!” Soon you’ve got two or three browser windows open and eleventy billion tabs crammed across the top of your screen and you imagine that the virtual chipmunks who keep your machine running are panting, sobbing, begging for mercy. Sensible people, technologically savvy people, deal with the problem of tab overload (which actually does put a strain on your computer’s memory) by adding free extensions like OneTab to Chrome. OneTab will convert all your open tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once. No, I haven’t tried it, but just writing this paragraph has enabled me to close one tab in my browser that has been opened for nearly a month. Spring cleaning FTW!

Less sensible people who are sick and tired of trying new things manage Tab Overload Disorder by being secretly happy when their computers crash and all their carefully arranged tabs disappear. (Yes, I know they can all be restored through “History.” I’m not an idiot, just lazy.) Or, they finally bang out a blog post that is little more than a link farm so they can close a few tabs and start the Madness all over again.

Welcome to the Madwoman’s Spring Link Farm Extravaganza. I’m still alive. And blogging. Sort of. If you are reading this, you are alive, too. Congratulations. Follow these links and your mind will feel refreshed for the next round of grading. Or at least my Tab Overload Disorder will have become your Tab Overload Disorder, which will bring us closer, sort of, virtually. Read on.

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet was on my campus yesterday. The Woman Formerly Known as Goose and I spent the whole day in the presence of this affable fellow, who was as impressive and remarkable as I had heard he would be. We liked his humility, his playfulness, his obvious delight in every aspect of the occasion, including the Terp schwag he got as a gift:

Photo Credit: Gary Cameron, Reuters. 5/7/13.

Photo Credit: Gary Cameron, Reuters. 5/7/13. Via.

(Yes: We are aware that His Holiness has a thing for visors. We’re just glad he liked ours.)

Our favorite moment was when the Dalai Lama went nose-to-nose with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley as the big wigs gathered on stage at the end of his lecture. We may not become Buddhists, but we are definitely committed to becoming nose-rubbers:

Photo Credit: Nicholas Kammnicholas, AFP/Getty Images. 5/7/13.

Photo Credit: Nicholas Kammnicholas, AFP/Getty Images. 5/7/13. Via.

Question: Would the world be a better place if President Obama rubbed noses with, say, John Boehner or Wayne LaPierre? Call me crazy, but I think it’s worth a try.

Second Question: Does the Pope do nose-rubs? Again, totes worth a try, in my opinion. Nothing says humility like a good eskimo kiss.

Enough religion and hyperlocal news, let’s turn to the Black Gay Sports S/Heroes tabs that have gotten opened up in our browsers in the last couple of weeks. Kwame Holmes has an excellent analysis of how class factored into the highly respectable coming out of basketball player Jason Collins. Holmes doesn’t disrespect Collins or underestimate the significance of his announcement. His aim is to situate it within the context of black respectability politics, which is helpful indeed. Meanwhile, Wesley Morris explains why Brittney Griner’s coming out was totally no big deal. It’s a deft analysis of how Griner’s self-confident gender performance over the past few years made her official coming out seem so superfluous. Griner herself addresses her sexuality, the bullying she has endured over the years, and her commitment to helping to ease the way for others in an essay in the New York Times. Brittney, we’d look up to you even if we wouldn’t have to climb a step ladder to rub noses with you.

Meanwhile, in academia, our friend and QTU colleague Keguro Macharia is resigning his assistant professorship and returning home to Kenya. His staggeringly eloquent “On Quitting” is about precarity, professionalization, toxicity, deracination, and bipolar disorder. Among other things. It deserves a response, but I am not ready to produce one. Not yet. Not publicly. Go read it. Also, Tim Burke will make you think and feel better with a marvelous piece called “The Humane Digital.” It explains the necessary messiness of humanistic inquiry and its many differences from managerial modes of thinking. I would declare Burke my blog boyfriend if Chris Newfield didn’t already occupy that position. Chris, by the way, has some thoughts on MOOCs up on Remaking the University, for those of you whose Tab Overload Disorder is all about the MOOC Madness. Knock yourselves out, people.

There, that’s better, and I didn’t even bother to burden you with several dozen links related to the recent publication of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, edited by my pals Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout. That’s big news in my neck of the professional woods, but I’ll save it for another post. Meantime, happy grading or happy avoidance of grading or happy celebration of finishing your grading. And remember: Close your eyes when you rub noses with someone. It’s sweeter that way.

Comments

  1. Why that’s why I must be watching YouTube videos of Lady Gaga instead of preparing to teach my last gender studies class. Tab Overload Disorder.

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  2. mnsmith says:

    Hey, I just installed One Tab and love it already!!! And now I’m going to search for Lady Gaga videos. Great post, Madwoman!

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  3. Julie R Enszer says:

    I’m worried about the possibility of broken noses through nose rubbing with eyes closed. There should be some sort of safety protocol. And I like seeing the moderated, “We May Not Become Buddhists,” which I clearly think should be the title of something. Two yeses: blog on the Cather letters. I’ve been reading them and love how feisty she is. (You can speculate on what feisty is a cover word for.) Blog on Keguro’s essay. That is all. I must now return to work. . . .

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  4. Ooooh, videos of Lady Gaga — Must open more tabs! So pleased that the Woman Formerly Known as Goose, old as she is, is still willing to try new things. Maybe I’ll install OneTab after I submit grades.

    And thank you for your suggestions, Julie. I’m so glad that the Cather of the letters is now more widely available. Feisty is the word for her, and that is, as you know, one of my very favorite words. I’ll be reviewing the book this summer. Maybe I’ll blog on it, too. Still wrestling with whether/how to blog on K’s essay. Not sure I’m the one to do it. Why don’t YOU?

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  5. Madwoman, I thought of you when I heard an interview on NPR of Andrew Jewell, and wondered what your take might be. (I don’t think his co-editor was in on the interview). So let me add my second to Julie Enszer’s request that you blog on Cather! (BTW, I need to go check out Death Comes for the Archbishop. That’s her only novel relevant to my time period & interests that I haven’t read yet!)

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  6. Try an app called Pocket. You can save everything there for reading at any time. And all information will transfer to your handy mobile devise if you download the app on it. Very very handy. Also handy: Evernote, for anything you know you need to keep for long-term reference.

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