"once upon a time" | friday | august 31, 2007 | 6:13 pm
UFFICE IT TO SAY, I HAVE BEEN BUSY.
Real busy. The past couple of months have kept me neck deep in various affairs, mostly
work and teaching related. I've gone from one project to another, one job to
another, one text to another. It's been pretty non-stop. I'm not really complaining,
just recognizing that I haven't really had the time or focus to blog about it.
I have wanted to; it's been on my to-do list. So, I'm going to try to get it checked
Most of last month was spent working with the
GIS 140: Writing Ready class for incoming athletes.
I originally wanted to teach the class, but
didn't get the job. But tutoring puts me in the running next year. I taught GIS 140
last year for early fall quarter, for regular students. The athlete's program is
similar. I spent four weeks as a tutor, sitting in on the class,
assisting the instructors, and helping the students during study table. I was one of eight
tutors helping a group of thirty-six or so students -- mostly from football, a few from
basketball, a few from women's soccer and basketball, and women's crew. Class was Monday through Thursday
from 9:30 AM to 12:00 noon. Then we had study table from 1:30 Pm to 3:00 PM. They
were long days, especially since we wanted to give the students a lot of help, attention,
and enthusiasm. I had a really good time though it was exhausting. I learned a lot.
(I taught college athletes a few years ago at UMD. I really like working with them.
But then again I like working with new students.)
After that particular incarnation of GIS 140 was over, I had only a couple of weeks before
early fall quarter and the regular
GIS 140 began.
I was made the lead instructor for the course, since I taught it last year and tutored the
athletes and have tons of experience. A great honor, no doubt. But with great honor comes
great responsibility. I spent much of the couple of weeks before the start of EFQ revising
the course, creating course outcomes, cobbling together a giant orientation manual, and
running the teachers' orientation. It was a lot of work. But I think the course is much
stronger now. Here's the website for
my section of GIS 140.
So, lots of teaching. I had originally been offered teaching through the English department
to teach probably composition this summer. But that would have been one class, for all
three months of summer quarter. Instead, I tutored one month, am teaching one month, get
the third month for free, but make one and a half times the money. If I'm lucky, I'll get
both teaching gigs next year and make double the money for only two-thirds the time. That's
a pretty sweet deal.
The rest of the time, I've been trying to hang out, have some time to play, have some time
to myself. It's been pretty good. I've been taking care of myself. I spend most of my
time trying to read for my PhD exams, which seemed so far away just a few months ago and
are now right around the corner. I have a little over three months to go. My goal for
the summer was to finish my Postmodern American fiction list. There are some pretty long,
pretty tough books on my list: Thomas Pynchon's
(which is available via
Empire of the Senseless
(which is available via Google Books),
and William Burrough's
The Soft Machine.
American Pomo is so not what I did most of my training in, but I am enjoying it so far.
I wanted to get these novels done because I haven't read many of them. Now I just have to
keep chugging along.
I have also been keeping up with my exercise regimen: run three times a week, go out dancing
on Thursday nights, and then get in the occasional walk around
with my friend Jason or day hike. It's been going well, though my body is still
acclimating to the activity. But it's been three months since I started this past spring.
Three months. I am totally proud of myself, but things are just starting out. I'd like
three months to become six months, six months to become twelve, and hopefully all of this
will become routine, part of my life world. It's been hard. It's been good. And I'm
noticing the change in my body. There's nothing like running, in particular, to put you
in direct awareness of your body (I guess you could say that about most sports or dance).
The irony is that I have always hated running. Disliked vehemently. And everyone that
knows me even moderately well are always surprised upon hearing of my escapades. I am
surprised myself. I think part of the success of this current endeavor is that it is
something I can control, manage, and look forward to; it is something that is relatively
easy since all I have to do is step outside of my house and run around the neighborhood
it is strangely performative since I am being seen by others out at seven in the morning
and get to see others out running or walking or wahtever; it is a really nice balance,
counterpoint to the fact that I'm usually inside teaching or inside reading a lot of the
time; and ultimately it is producing the results that I want.
Of course, the
shin splints are evil.
Overall, I can actually say that I like my headspace these days. Being busy helps, though,
of course. It keeps me focused. But I feel like I've taken the summer to really sort out
some things and to try to change some things. I still have the usual issues and complaints --
my so called single and celibate life, school stress, missing friends, general loneliness,
nostalgia, sharing living space, money or lack thereof, what am I going to do with my life --
but they seem surmountable. Or somehow not as pressing. But some days are better than others.
I hope the last weeks of the summer will continue to be enjoyable and productive. The
weather has been unruly and cooler than normal as of late. Friends and peers are slowly
trickling back into the area. Some have left as well. My
cards have said that
romance isn't likely in the near future. Drat. But maybe that forecast will change as well.
Anyway. More soon. And now, as
Soul II Soul says,
"Back to life, back to reality."
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