7:25AM, still tired from yesterday a bit, but watching little Kerouac fiddle with his trucks and cars and share what sentences he can now assemble, I’m enlivening, and this coffee quite helps as well. Already started piecing together the grade book for summer. Like Ms. Alice one time said, “assessment, assessment, assessment…” I have three items to grade today. Wow, already. But they’re small, and it’ll be quick. I’m noticing a more unique approach to Gatsby with this group, one easier and more involved. Not like pulling teeth as it somewhat was with the ‘100’ from last term. But I don’t want to think comparatively. I’m here, now, with this group, and so far it’s wonderful.
Going to SBUX to work a little, and write, my daily thousand, and a couple poems–
9:32, was interrupted by little K, and now I’m at the neighborhood SBUX, grading and entering into my spreadsheet. Shamefully, I’ve never graded this way, but it’s the most fluid and motivating thing I’ve done as a teacher, on my own time, ever. I’m owning this semester, my work, thus far, in only two days. Like one of my students wrote in their first day response, “Giving up isn’t something I can do this time.” Not that I have before, but I’ve let mySelf become exhausted, discouraged. I will leave the wine world by saying, “I’m going off to write and teach.” And be done with it. A student just messaged me, D.L… She said I’m an inspiration to her and that she loves my teaching methods. This is what drives me, honestly, and nothing in the bloody wine industry–certainly no inept manager–can muddy that. I feel my strongest, in this quiet café. Earphones in my ears, but I haven’t started the music, yet. I’ve just been working here with them leaning on the insides of my ears.
Another student, S.S., “I do not consider failure an option.” Loving the confidence in this group. I have to prove it, “IT” as M.R. wrote, to them, more so than to mySelf. I will be FREE by August 7th… “I will rock it,” D.L. wrote in her first day letter to me. I can’t adequately or as richly convey what I now feel, and I feel failed in confessing that, but I’m here, the writer/professor, and I’m untouchable. “This is part of my future, and I need to take this seriously and responsibly,” K.R. wrote. These students are emboldening me, just enough to not care about any assault from wine’s world– in fact, wine isn’t at this table with me, in my head, in my reality. It’s gone. And fare-bloody-well.
“I am hungry for success and I will reach it…”
Done with grading, and still very much caught by the wave of my student’s energy and drive for the semester. Looking around at the few people I can see from this seat, most of them outside, enjoying early heat. Me with this early launch, juxtaposing student mindset vs mine, both in terms of goal orientation and method. I’ve often seen mySelf as the eternal student, and now I see I am! In these first two classes! I’ve done it, “brought mySelf there,” as Dad has in the past said I’ll have to do in certain matters. Any consequence that would befall me in wine’s world, any “review” or direction is just meaningless and should be catalogued as humor, especially how serious some of them take it all. Ha ha… Look at me chuckle at these keys with my 3-shot mocha, how free I am and how there’s nothing they can do about it!
9:59. Not even 10, and I’m feeling like a Literary bull. People leaving the shop with their cups, treats, and I stay with my work, my students, my ideas in this constant story… So many of my friends with new opportunities… I woke this morning at 2-something, went downstairs, couldn’t sleep, thought about writing, but didn’t, it wasn’t right. I had to remember that I was up, and could have written but chose to not. My choice, or “My call,” as one of the buffoon managers said the other week, about something so insignificant and trivial I again chuckle to myself, while typing, having all around me thinking I’m MAD. Now it makes sense, a full-circledness, “It’s YOUR life, you have YOUR choice,” Grandma said. And now, I exercise and implement my choice. Was supposed to go into winery today, write wine club letters.. but it’s MY day off. And I elect no.
Rest of the day, spending time with my little Artist, relaxing with my Composition book, the poems, then to campus.. fully Literary… May go to now-unknown or specified location to write after class. May let them go early to research Fitzgerald, give them a hearty reading assignment. That Zin last night, tasting with unexpected ardor, like a buzzing swarm of flavor daggers.. interesting.. and this mocha, telling me to keep writing to this jazz. Yes, the music finally on. And I want to be on that Road, with my writer friend, perhaps meet her at some campus library back east, discuss our thoughts on recently read authors, take notes of what’s around us– the students, the books, the students studying “diligently” and those just talking… The Road is where the stories are, and I WILL succeed in getting there, at some point this summer. ‘Summer’.. interesting concept. I remember when I used to take Summer vacations. Child, uncaring, free, playful, and strangely directed, focused on happiness, self-fulfillment.. always pretending and succeeding in construction of certain fictive scenes. That’s what I return to in this revived Beat, this reinvention. How about another cup of coffee, just straight black and see what happens? See how much faster I can write, what else I can do, for my students, for mySelf.. oh, and how much closer to TRUE freedom I can gallop, saunter.. the American Scholar reborn, in TRUE poetry, music, and flight like my father.. “Everything you’ve instilled in your students has now suddenly fallen into your lap,” he said a couple years ago. And now I wrap that in appreciative pats, paginate it sans edit so it’s more impacting, resonant.
Just checked on my poem collection, “bells over ruin”, and I think it’s done, ready to print! Bloody finally! Forgot about my poem-a-day promise, in the 35 Laws.. composing one now..