Wednesday, June 10

might as well

I think it is a cardinal there building a nest outside my bedroom window. she flies away when I move too suddenly, so it's hard to get a decent look. watching the nest take shape in the crook of those little branches is pretty awesome.

will there be baby cardinals hatching, eventually? that will probably be awesome too.

every time I startle that bird into rushing off, every time I interrupt her nest-building, I wonder if she'll be gone forever. if she'll abandon the work and find somewhere less window-adjacent to build a little nest. so far she keeps coming back, and the twigs keep accumulating.

it would be sad if she left. but I'd probably understand.

slowly, I have been working on designing classes for fall semester. I'll be teaching a new approach to English 106, and I'll be teaching English 420 for the first time, too. it's going to be crazy, I feel like. hopefully good-crazy and not overly-stressful-crazy.

teaching still (and might always) feels like the hardest and most mystical thing. planning one's teaching is a little more concrete and manageable, as far as planning goes, but there is still a made-up-ness to it, a pretending, a humongous hopefulness with sprinkles of optimistic assumptions on top that still makes it really hard.

did you know syllabus isn't even a real word?

I might possibly be in one of those whyamIevendoingthis? sorts of moods again. yep.

summer has given me time for reading random books, and here is one of them. Syllabus by Lynda Barry (she has a tumblr where she posts class notes, too). I blogged about one of her other books many years ago. my relationship to this one is a little different, my place and my wants significantly shapeshifted. the way Lynda Barry does art isn't gonna be the way I do it. the way Lynda Barry teaches won't be the way I do that either, no matter how much I might pine for her style and concision or how much I admire the slice of her prompts and questions.

using Syllabus for a textbook would be pretty neat, but I get to use this for one instead. it is fat. colorful. we'll see how much the students complain about it.

they'll complain no matter what textbook they have to buy, I'm sure. students are funny and I don't know if I will ever figure out what exactly to do with them. maybe that's okay.

outside these syllabusy readings and note-takings and thinking and such, I've been reading other things. I did finish friend Sam's copy of Metaphors We Live By. yesterday I got to the end of Tim Ingold's Lines: A Brief History, which I have because of my Professional Writing Theory course last fall. it was too short. I'll possibly have to go read more Tim Ingold books to make up for this.

these whyamIevendoingthis? moods try to get in the way of life. I'm learning not to let them. why read all these books? because I like to. why bother thinking about how to engage your students with words and ideas? because even if I don't remember them all, I had teachers who must have done something like that for me and I can't thank them enough. why bother writing this stupid article draft? I have a few smart things to say. even if they don't matter any huge amount, this knack for observation and description might as well do something scholarly while it's here in this gradschool space.

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