First day at winery yesterday so time time entirely consumed. And was still quite sick but couldn’t allow myself to call in, not on the first day. My mood, at days end however, low. No writing done with the occupation of the day’s time schedule.
Tasted a couple wines at three locations but couldn’t taste a thing with this deprivation of nose and tongue, which only added to my frustration. AND, I forgot to get one of those journalist “flip-pads”, as I call them.
Just had a fiery and electric class with the 5-ers. Gave them their paper 1 grades, overall I was happy. Expectations are interesting as a teach as you can never know truly what to expect, or even what your expectations should be. What I mean is, how can you expect a student who has had poor instruction during high school and before and somehow placed in 1A to write with coherence, or to be at the “A” paper-writing level. How do you, or CAN you, expect your rubric to be advantageous for them?
Watching my students in ‘5’, how they had their items and articles arranged on the desk surface before them, so eager and organized, prepared, often more than this writer. I thought to myself, as I so many times have, but not with the urgent climate of today: I want to be a student… I AM a student. I’ll take more notes, print more of my pages and not just post to this infernal blog. I’m a writer, and an academic, not a common laborer (not that there’s anything wrong with labor, or the trades— but who’s to say what “the trades” are.. are not teaching and writing the same trades?). My thoughts are cosmically and delightfully disconnected and scattered this morning as I return to the league of living, shedding whatever bug this is. Need more coffee.. students need more coffee. And more stories. And more dreams. Dreaming is what motivates and propels the student toward what they want, what they know they have to have. My expectations for Self will stem and extend from all dreams.
This morning’s meeting was one that I’m sure has reshaped my cognition, inoculated in the writer a certain empowered growl, which will only work for me as I travel further into my work, my pages and teachings. My mind wanders again, thinking about the students and how they with elevated pulse scribble in their journals. I’m the same, now, with my Comp Book open— “lectures; new words.” I write. I’m like an aardvark searching for ants or anything to consume, leaving not an inch without survey. I write and write, brainstorm and further organize— and that’s really the panacea to successful teaching, organization. Which, I’m still learning to better execute.
A full-timer, ‘C’, just passed through, looking more a professor than I. Another aspect needing more address. C, the kind chap who brought me back to campus in Fall of ’12 when he was chair, soon thereafter retiring. He now teaches one, or maybe two sections. I admire his fervor in teaching and his embrace of the role. Not that it’s a role, meaning ‘to be played’, but the identity, the consistency in personification. I’m fine with who I am, but there are provinces of my Personhood that need improvement. First issue has to be organization. This coming from more “reflection; self-awareness & actualization” as I just scribbled in the Comp. And THAT, from the Plath meeting this morning, her poem “Mirror”. Students in the ‘5’ class have surely shown they can make topics and authors their own, something I’m learning more to do as an instructor.
Can’t believe I didn’t write a thing yesterday. Not even a haiku. Not even one of my Kerouac-ian short verse efforts. This feels amazing, like a spa getaway, or dinner at some whatever-star restaurant. And I have till 11, then back to the frenzy of home, where petit Emma now has a bug. This has to be one of the more aggressive flu seasons that I can remember. Me for example, getting sick two times in a semester. First time ever that’s happened. But I’m getting more well with time, and seeing more in my writing/teaching character. My lectures next week will follow and be in alignment with this morning’s feel. But that’s just a promise, and it’s empty till it’s fulfilled. Pretty sure someone else has written that, but that’s what’s in my thinking presently.
Do I go get coffee now, or wait till I’ve written a bit more? Ms. Plath’s eyes glare at me with a sweet venom, telling me “Don’t you move, finish what you’ve started.” I can only obey. She’s one of MY teachers. Everything from word placement to meter, line and stanza length to tone, titling. I feel for her oppression but at times I envy it. What she did feeling as she did, and the precision to her writings. Using her and the thought of her as catalyst as I again start to feel less than 100% at this conference table. What she felt is what I feel multiplied by three universes, to be modest. I need to be strong as this writer-father, show my children what strength and the ardent nature gets you (as opposed to those who just settle, and let people order them around a stage and pull their strings like so easily controlled puppets). Almost feel’s though I don’t need bloody coffee. Plath’s work is enough, I now see. Her beliefs, her visions and her understanding of what’s around her. And again, all while suffering as she did. What I feel now is nothing of a suffer. It’s controllable disquietude.
Ah the love of this quiet room, and floor. Don’t want to leave for anything. Not the ramshackle I thought I was when I woke, or last night. When I don’t write, I only feel ruin. I’m not IN ruin. Collecting my ideas like Ella Mason did her cats, and I look at each one painted on this page of the Composition Book and know there’s something, something new in this Mike Madigan character. There’s something to him. Something that only now he sees. More in control of my finical form. And I’m the one with the yoke, not someone else. I’m Captain, and Co-. My own veritable village where I write, looking out at bucolic visual, no technology and interference. Same adoration as in this room. Thinking more of my student role and me teaching from a student’s perspective and disposition, haughty humility.
I start writing Kerouac-shaped haikus and poetic winks on the page: ‘Sniffling, stopping not./I get annoyed, in/fire, but that hardly helps.’ Remember what an old professor told me about writing, writing anything: “You need to establish definitional clarity.” So… then, what’s a student? What sept of student am I? One with books. Who’s always with pages at face; always writing, noting, free in thought; exchanging ideas, playing with those ideas, having submissions and lectures at ready; knowing who I am, and who I will be; whom I wish my children to everyday see.
My expectations have been set, scribed.