14APR, 9:41AM. And I’m done grading, or retroactive grading, for English 100. Now I can write. This feels amazing. I will say.. the one thing with which I struggle as a professor: assessment. I don’t enjoy doing it, and not ‘cause I’m afraid of student reaction, I just don’t like being a judge– okay, you don’t like that word.. then “evaluator”– Don’t like that one either.. well, then assess-er. I’m in love with the Exchange of Ideas, with the conversation, with the exploration of text. Grading elevates me to something I don’t see my qualifications reflect. Even with a Master’s Degree…
I’m on the fourth floor of the library, and have more time than I thought I’d have to write. Looking left, out that panoramic window, loving the low clouds, light drizzle, and I guess what could be qualified as fog. This is what Joyce would do– lock himself in the study, the library, surrounded by books, no devices.
Writer friend on my mind, as she’s still about the map, training for this new job of hers, a flight attendant. Being one’s son, I know all about the role, the stories that accompany, and what’s seen, felt on the Road. But she told me something interesting, and a bit disturbing the other day: that she has not even a second to write. Not that I doubt her.. but how can this be? Writers–it’s my stern conviction–always have time for their pages. But maybe this break from her written work, to fully immerse herSelf in the new role, understand what it brings, and enjoy the Road, new friends, challenges, will build her character, strengthen her paragraphs.. bring her to a finished work.
Students all around me in this room. I sip a gradually chilling coffee, the Sumatra blend they offer in the library’s café on the second floor. […] Just took another sip, and yes, it’s much cooler. Hate cold coffee, or a temperature that isn’t motivating. Can’t believe this is Week 14. I’m preparing both classes for their final projects.. the English 5 class having to write a story, or narrative, or whatever shape they want, about their growth this semester, actually being encouraged to minimize any emphasis on my class, academia.. but what did their Life teach them? The goal of the assignment is that they realize they taught their Self something.. and that readers, anyone, can learn from their story.