In office. But first, restroom.. then coffee and planning.
Back, and already feeling magniloquent after the first sip from the large coffee I bought, this morning odd, thinking of all I thought yesterday at work, about wine, about teaching, about the PhD… yes, not sure I want to do that now, and it’s not a matter of me being finicky or flitty with my ambitions and ideas but I always come back to the question of ‘in a perfect world’ Dad posed that one dinner at Monti’s.. would I write or teach? And if I went to get my PhD, even if for a personal goal, would I miss the time taken away that could have been used for a sitting, for writing, for finishing a novel? Not sure but I am. So today, all day singularizing, and going back to school would oppose and contradict everything involved in my singularity valueset. Reading Kerouac’s ‘Spontaneous Prose’ commandments yesterday.. and they also added to this.. wouldn’t say confusion but certain reevaluation, doubletake. Have to plan for class, but it can wait. Writing out the 1A’s lecture plan, like it’s that simple– Driving home yesterday I heard a piece on NPR about a teacher in Arkansas, I think, that was gaining national attention with her methods, shunning books (she’s a math teacher) and rather having hands-on activities, incorporating everything from spaghetti to manipulatives to other devices and real world incorporations; testimonies from students on how amazing her lessons are and how they used to hate math but now they enjoy it, and are developing strengths in mathematics where before they ailed and “failed”.. in fact, in her class, you can’t fail, you either get an ‘A’ or ‘B’, or something like ‘not ready’. No ‘F’, or ‘D’. Not even a ‘C’ direction or label, or result. Have to say, I was charmed. And I don’t mind being charmed or inspired by that. The wine world, I love, but for writing. There will be no career for me in the proper of the wine arena. I will always write about it, but that’s it. And making my own wine, if it’s Pinot this vintage or whatever, will ONLY be for a writing exercise, part of a book, novel or memoir, and nothing more.
6:15… 20 more minutes allowed to write which means I need to down this coffee and just think of what I want to do in class with the early 1A-ers.. well, first I want to write with them, explore the notion of work and duty and duty to one’s self and making yourself happy, otherwise why live.. that kind of idea play. Then, listen to their proposals on Hemingway, what they want to write and why and what sources they have in mind (2 required for this paper).. easy instructions.. 5-6 pages/1250 words, draft by next Monday, works cited page with 2-3 outside sources.. again, easy. Final draft due the 19th (which one student last class told me was during Spring Break, that all next week was Break.. to my knowledge that’s inaccurate, it’s the following.. I think…..).
Less than 15 minutes for my sitting here. The day, all of it, ahead of me, like life; undetermined, open and inviting, certain seduction… to a degree insoluble, which I like. Paint the canvas, I keep saying to myself and don’t let yourself stop typing, just keep in the moment and the types and imagine all, the vision you wrote about in Forced Avarice, which I still have not started editing, goddamnit. Maybe today or who knows– But I need to see something, something, what.. my desk. MY office. The place where all I do is write; no grading, no homework, no forms to fill out, just WRITE. Aside from the obviously beamingly beautiful grounds of Arista, one thing I take to is the story, how the original owner, Ben and Mark’s father Al, changed careers, essentially, moved out here bought a vineyard and began a new chapter.. would love to interview him and his sons separately. I’m in the presence of the kind and level of passion that motivates and changes my character for the better. Not present at the last winery. I should interview them, yes, post the interview to the blog, and study our conversation; my words and their words and their responses, see how I can transfuse that to my writing practices, the whole ‘go for it’ scope and trot.
6:29, missed the turnoff to campus, had to make a U-ie on Mendocino. Not sure what I was thinking about, but I’ve never done that, ever, I just drove past the light like I was headed to Safeway, or Bicentenial, or Fountaingrove. Interesting. When back home, and I am going home between classes like I always do even though last night I had the idea of going straight to PC like I did that first week, but no, I need to go home, center myself, meditate on page and then drive to PC. Not running today, I’ve decided.. will run.. well, not tomorrow I don’t think as I’m taking Ms. Alice to an appointment, but Thursday for sure. I just want to enjoy my afternoon, write or take a nap or even get a beer somewhere and write about the patrons, collect fiction.. FICTION! Or journal, blog from where I am, about the location and stage and all that’s happening around me! That’s what writers do, don’t they?
Two minutes left in my sitting, a little over. Approaching a thousand, “That was fast” I think to myself, but there’s still so much more writing to do today, about all details; keys, paper towel, all right, my coffee this comp book, the students I’ll see in a drop over 25 minutes.. do everything differently today.. writing, performance if they want.. keep them at their chair’s edge.. surprise them! Music, film.. clips.. what else?
He walked to class. Unsure. Be he didn’t care.
It’d be different, his lesson. He’d teach himself, he’d teach them how to teach themselves. Smile, sip of coffee, and he was off….. He’d welcome the unintended sentences.
Home. 9:22 on clock and coffee in brew.. coming straight home after class as we’ll be taking little Kerouac to the doctor later for his cough and little sniffles, poor little Beat… Not a bad 1A session this morning.. wish I could have been a little more thorough with certain points but I did the best I could with what I had and how fast the coffee was working..
Shared Vonnegut’s “How to Write with Style” and Kerouac’s “Rules for Spontaneous Prose”. The two perspectives, thinking I see something I didn’t before and in relation to the thoughts I had yesterday while at the winery, on winemaking and getting a PhD and ONLY writing for my living and wages.. hmm. interesting, that’s all I’ll here type. Coffee ready and away I go…
Want to more embrace my secret pages and scribbles, ‘for my own joy’ as he put it. And that’s what this black journal’s for, now, the one I meant for the Massamen novel. Which I will write, but it’s on hold for.. I don’t know, a while.
At the table with my coffee.. and now what, I think. What do I do what do I write and how do I use my time effectively. Juvenile thoughts, in my opinion, but that’s what I’m thinking and that’s where I’m going with my thinking. But, English 1B just around the corner, in the hour more or less so I need get into character. Foggy outside, so much so that I couldn’t see the driveway as I drove up from Yulupa & Bethards. Not sure what kind of tone or mood or consistency the day wants to establish with me. I’ll just run with the story, try to keep up with it, and go from there. Thinking of time, and Jack’s appt, and how to budget with what I have time-wise if anything.. okay, 1:20-something, leave Petaluma Campus.. get home right at 2, latest. Have lunch, get J by 3:20.. so not much time. That’s fine. I’m not complaining or worrisome I just want some line, some visual table in my brain.
Wrote a freewrite in class this morning with the 1A-ers, about “Work”. Their only prompt, one word.. no visual, no other cues.. just a word. Going to do the same with the 1B-ers and see what they produce, and add to my work piece as well. Was interesting how they approached the topic; one addressing his military experience, the other saying how we all do it and have it, and the other student (young girl) posing questions. Either way, I have to singularize my work; what I do, what I’m aiming for, and how to get there. By writing. And that’s it. I may once, and forever, for all, and for me, swear off and bid goodbye to the PhD.