I’ve finished a couple of books these past two weeks (more on that below), but the one that’s had the most impact so far is Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professorby Lynda Barry. In fact, the book has inspired two activities I did in my class the past two weeks.
Activity 1: We’re working on poetry and some of my students submitted their pieces for feedback. I found myself making the same comment over and over (needs more imagery!), so inspired by Syllabus and “Variations on a Summer Day” by Wallace Stevens (snippet here), I came up with the following activity.
So, this book starts with a tragedy and I was NOT PREPARED. As in, I almost quit reading the book because I was just not in the headspace to deal with a tragedy, and I am at the point in the semester/year/my life where I need stuff like that to be spelled out for me so I can decide if I even want to engage. But I checked in with some friends who read the book, and they told me to keep going, so I did.
So in an effort to get back on track, I am getting back on track. This is another way of saying that I could either grade or write this post, and, well, you see what’s happening.
The back on track really does mean that I have not been getting enough sleep, so in order to do a better job at that, I have to accept that I’ll have to do more grading on the weekends. This makes me sad face for obvious reasons, but! It’s also the end of the semester so I just need to suck it up and deal.
I don’t know what to post about today, probably because I had a bit of a nothing day. Still, though, I feel like I’ve hit a wall.
Today, I woke up, showered, ate breakfast, checked email, did a little course prep, took a nap, set up my gradebook (finally), had a snack, and now I’m just kind of twiddling my thumbs. I don’t know why because I have plenty to do to prep for the week AND I’m going to get a ton of grading tomorrow AND I’m behind on Canvas grading. But I just am where I am, I guess.
To end this on an up note, I am glad I set up my gradebook. Last semester, I used the provided attendance printout and just felt out of sorts all semester because everything was all scattered and not in one place. So I feel so much better knowing that all of my students’ information is neatly tucked in the pages of my gradebook. Whew.
1. A lot has been going on this week. I asked some friends how they were and what was happening, and then I listed two things for myself and thought of a bunch more. But then I remembered I have a blog.
1. Last week, I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time ever. My friend had a work trip there, so she invited me to crash it, and I did.
It was very brown. And cold. But! I got some culture. I went to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture as well as Meow Wolf and the Loretto Chapel to see the miracle stairs. The museum was great because I had an awesome tour from a delightful docent who kept talking about “fiesty lady archaeologists.” (Also, have you heard of archeaoacoustics? I hadn’t until she told us about them.) Plus, because the museum has been largely curated in cooperation with Native groups and is focused on their history and culture, it is way less rage inducing than going to the National Museum of the American Indian.
I’m feeling a little out of it today (maybe I need some protein?) so I’m going to keep this week’s update pretty short.
1. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas yesterday (or a happy Monday). As previously mentioned, my daughter and I are at my friend’s house for the break, so it’s nice spending time with both of them (and my friend’s family). We opened presents and napped and cooked and ate and then played games.
Hey, so, I was very reluctant to read this book because the topic is pretty triggering, and I wasn’t sure I could handle it. And while, yes, the book starts with Khalil’s murder and the topic is serious, there’s a lot of humor and heart to this book. It’s not a problem novel (Google it), but Thomas offers real and nuanced characters who have real and nuanced reactions to real things.