Friday, April 19

playing opposite

thinking today about the word "work," particularly all the times it gets linked up as a prefix or suffix to other words.

so I made a list (it's not as comprehensive as this list, but oh well). it would surely look better as a wordle or other word-art-blob, and maybe I'll eventually use this list to make such a thing. for now, it is merely a list.

coursework, coworker, co-working
framework, meshwork, metalwork, network
paperwork, post-work, workaround, workbench
workday, worker, workflow
workout, workplace, works cited, workshop
workspace, workstation

(I know "works cited" isn't a single word, but the idea is a single idea, and its particular sense of the noun is intriguing today.)

someday I'll go look up the etymologies of all these words, too. what history do they share? what do they not share? and why?

scribbly doodle with phrases like "above practicality" "art for art's sake" "ideological literacy in everything" "service"

something else I'm thinking about is all the stuff that isn't work, or the stuff that at least gets talked about as the opposite of whatever it is we mean when we talk about work.

work vs. play
working vs. unemployed
going to work vs. going to school
hard at work vs. taking a break

and then there are all the synonyms for work. labor. effort. striving. functioning. succeeding. trying.

the word (or suffix or prefix) "work" shows up in my (newly resurrected) file of daily writing 1183 times. I sense that the word, its synonyms, and whatever we mean by it are all going to show up a lot in my future scholarship. my scholarly brain is quite obsessed with the concept lately. partly because
of dissertation residue and many of the ideas I reference in this piece, and partly because in the past month or so I've been consumed with Asao Inoue's book Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom.

I have so many thoughts and so many tenuous hopes that the thoughts might connect into something bigger. if there are meaningful lines to draw around and among the ideas of working to learn, working to live, working to play, workplaces, networks, and the ways we share the world with a million forms of black-boxy technology, then I'm going to find them. write them.

1 comment:

Chris said...