Thursday, September 28, 2006

vision and revision

I'm resisting the urge to put in a movie right now--because it will keep me up for two hours, because I don't have the movie I want to watch on hand, because it will distract me from myself, which of course is the objective.

I always line up my thoughts before I begin a post, and then find them misplaced when I sit down to type. That sounds woefully like testimony meeting, but it's true.

Other things that are true:
  • My life is busy, but not too busy, not yet. Which means I am strangely contented, despite the tiredness. I finally connected with my 150 students today, courtesy of Lady Jane's brilliant lesson plan. And it didn't hurt that Zero had hyped me up via sprinting to class and attacking an elevator.
  • I read Tam Lin this week. I should have been reading theory, but Tam Lin appears at least once a school year. I read it first in high school, but it reminds me of freshman year and Aislin and London. And of course it gives me the chance to swoon over Thomas Lane and feel relieved that men like him don't exist.
  • Somehow the panic has gone away. Not the stress, but I thrive on stress. I can't focus without it. But things feel much more certain this year. I have a good idea of what comes next and why and I'm still letting myself write about wings. Not as many shoulders. I should return to that theme, image, whatever.
  • Finally (not because it's the last thing that's true, but because I'm slowly convincing myself that sleep is not the enemy), I'm excited to go home this weekend. The Jester and Marzipan are in Aladdin as the Genie and Narrator, respectively. And then I plan to grade poetry in my pajamas during conference. Does life get any better than this? Probably. But I don't need any more right now. Not for a few days, at least.

Monday, September 25, 2006

eg's anatomy

If I'm not already crazy, I'm on my way.

I've spent tonight trying to figure out the two kinds of openness defined in Allan--not Harold--Bloom's "Our Virtue." In addition to the stupid title, the man doesn't make any sense, at least not that I can figure out. There are two kinds of openness defined, but I can't decide which is which. It probably doesn't help that I had Grey's Anatomy playing in the background, but usually the background noise does help. Let's define that as one type of openness--open to outside influences.

I still have 40 poems to "grade." It's not really grading--it's commenting and giving credit for having done the assignment. Add to that two lesson plans (Muhlestein is a genius for planning four weeks in advance, but how is that possible.) Tomorrow's subjects are word choice (for 218) and intros, conclusions, and APA format (for 150). 150 is easy--just a repeat of past lessons, featuring Indiana Jones and Hitch and the tech podium. The 218. . . I don't know. And I know that there is the possibility of riot if I don't have the aforementioned poems marked up and ready to go. It's 1:20 a.m. Either I pull an all-nighter or it's not going to happen. Just waiting for the Diet Coke to kick in. If it doesn't, I'm dead.

What I did do this weekend: read Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, which is what I still think college life should be like; saw World of Dance with Lady Jane (they abused the smoke machine and ended to High School Musical, but I can't really fault them on either point); met up with Saule and Tolkien Boy in Salt Lake for a final night of reveling before TB leaves us for Washington; killed my feet walking around SLC in heels; and I did read for 628 (Doctorow's The March) and most of 630. . . which returns me to the problem at hand. I still don't know what Bloom (Allan--not Harold) is talking about. Time for more DCwL, a bath, and a hi-lighter.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

She liked imaginary men best of all.

I think about men. I think about men a lot. In fact, I think I think about men too much, but according to scholars, my singles ward relief society president, and my mother, it's normal for a twentysomething female to think about the opposite gender (or the same gender, depending on said female's preference).

Before Master Fob left for the great and spacious city, and even before Melyn left for the middle-of-somewhere city (which would put us somewhere at the beginning of August), the subject of men-eg-is-interested-in came up. I rattled off the usual suspects: John Cusack, Benedick, Mr. Darcy, Bradley Cooper (who, by the way, is exhibit A). Master Fob pointed out with his usual fobby wisdom that none of the men on my list were real. And I pointed out that John Cusack and Bradley Cooper were very much real, just not. . . real real.

This exchange has been in the back of my mind since it happened and an evening of watching The Goodbye Girl with LadyJane and exclaiming over the brilliance of Elliot Garfield has made me return to the subject, but now with the tainting of late-night worry. What if I really do like my imaginary men best of all? Has all my reading and movie watching amounted to insane expectations of not just men in my life, but the man? Case in point: The selling point on the seven-year-crush (which I think might actually be an eight-year-crush now) was always that he annoyed me more than anyone living, a la Benedick or Darcy.

I attempted to create a shortlist of "real" men. Couldn't do it. Instead I added Gregory House, M.D., to the original list. How can you not love that man?

Something's in the water. . .

So there's an uninvolved couple on the fourth floor of the JFSB. Actually, there's two couples. One is doing laps, trying to figure out a phone conversation that will involve the girl asking the guy's friend out. . . or something. It sounds more like they're rehearsing a play than deciding the proper way to ask someone out.

The other couple is fighting. Physical, with a piece of wood or something. And nothing will stop them. They just keep fighting, mostly in slow motion. It would look so much cooler if they were wearing pirate outfits.


Kim Johnson likes to describe the completion of a poem as a closing--a snapping shut. She does this thing with her hands that reminds me of a Venus flytrap. And then the poem is done, there isn't anything more she can do.

Tonight I'm giving Kim my poems that I think are closed, that have snapped shut for me. The ones that when I poke around the components all line up the same way. They're the ones that logically are ready for publication or readings, but I really want Kim's nod of approval. Because closure isn't always a good thing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The entirety of my notes from English 628: Contemporary American Literature

Wikipedia knew Lance Bass was gay before he did.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I am not a theory girl

It's not that I don't understand, it's that it just doesn't thrill me to push and pull ideas that don't affect my reading of a text or the way I write or the way I live my life.

There's also the sneaking suspicion that I'm not cool enough to be a theory girl. There has to be a certain, unspoken-but-discernible air about a theory girl. The hair, the clothes, the literary preferences. . . they're all there. They all must have been initiated through deconstruction. I'm just not that.

After 630 yesterday, I was informed that I hadn't said anything. I had thought a lot of things, but those didn't count. Better to sound like a fool than to stay silent in this class.

I prefer not to play the fool.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I have survived

week one, at least. This is not to say that I'm ready for week two, just that week one didn't kill me. I would apologize for not writing, but that's so diary circa tenth grade that I can't do it. Instead I'll itemize the week (which is, admittedly, diary circa senior year, high school).

  1. The sweating continued, but I've concluded that it's the room and building, not me. At least, I hope it's not me, because then I'd have to be grossed out by my own body, which usually only happens. . . never mind. But the room is in the middle of the basement of a building with crummy ventilation, so I'm going to go with that.
  2. Teaching improved considerably. I have full class rolls and I actually enjoyed creative writing after the horror of Wednesday.
  3. I have at least 150 pages of theory to read by Monday--that's not counting what I read through today. And a short essay to write. The good news is, "work theory" predicts that I'll never actually acheive a PhD and if I do, no one will hire me.
  4. I wish I was kidding about the work theory.
  5. Lunch with cousin and her husband today. They talked houses and babies. I didn't talk. Good times.
  6. Hitchcock tonight. I will die happy, although without having read everything for Monday.

I suppose that somewhere on the list should include last night's soiree with high school friends. . . I wasn't told that the seven-year-crush was there or I probably would have made an excuse to not go. How many times do you have to get over someone? And is it possible? Because I know he's not the hottest guy out there. . . but when he's around, he's still the one I want. And until I really am over him, I don't know if I can open myself up to anyone else.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sweating it out

I just taught my first 218 solo. I have six students wanting to add. I have six blonde glasses-wearing girls who all sat together. I have three required textbooks, one optional textbook, and one on its way.

I'm pretty sure it was a decent class.

But all I can remember is that I was sweating. . . a lot.


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