No, I didn't drop off the face of the earth.
Thank my professor, because--get this--it is actually an assignment in my English 610 class to "write 500 words on-line anywhere." I guess that's for the people who haven't had much experience writing on-line (is there anyone like that out there anymore?) who are preparing to teach our last unit in freshman english, which involves using new media of some sort or another. Whatever the reason, the result is that YOU get a blog post from ME! (assuming there's anyone still out there . . . )
My freshman students tell me that "no one reads blogs anymore." I can't figure out what, other than facebook and twitter and texts, people actually read. How do they get their news? I guess people figure they can see what their friends are doing on facebook more easily than going to everyone's blog. I can't blame them for that; I gave up reading blogs two years ago (yes, even yours, probably). It just took too much time. (And too many of them were about people's kids. Sorry, but unless I visit teach you, I don't really care to see a daily account of what cute thing Junior did.)
So why did I even bother with a blog if I don't even like to read them?
I don't really know. I guess I wanted to show I had something to say that WASN'T about my kids but which also didn't have the constraints of an actual Piece of Art. And, ironically, I did find, when I was posting regularly, that my blogging made my writing come more easily. At least when I was writing novels.
OK, enough of the intro. Here’s an official update, because if you’re still reading this, you are one of my very dearest acquaintances on earth (hi, Dad). Thanks for still caring about me.
I am IN LOVE WITH SCHOOL. It is just like first love, really. I’m obsessed, ecstatic, unhealthily attached to anything to do with my life at BYU. And also in great terror of the Day It All Ends. Because it will. Agggggh, what will I do then?
Yeah, I could get an adjunct teaching position so that I can continue teaching freshman English—which I am LOVING, by the way.
Yeah, I could continue to write.
But I will miss the feeling of all of it piled together, and all at one particular PLACE, a place that I love. I’ll miss having professors to work hard for. I’ll miss rubbing shoulders with other people who are earnestly working on the same kinds of things I am. I’ll miss the deadlines. I’ll miss the way I feel so justified asking my family to help with the laundry/dinner, etc. because I’ve got homework JUST LIKE THEY DO, so WHY SHOULD I BE STUCK DOING IT?
Ah, well. I can’t let the fact that it will end spoil my time now. But it’s always there, over the horizon, haunting me.
My ideal: to be in school for the rest of my life. A close second: to be at BYU for the rest of my life. I don’t think either of these has a great likelihood of coming to pass, though I can dream about getting an adjunct position there, I suppose . . .
So, anyway. I’m teaching Freshman Comp. I’m taking three grad classes, only one of which really counts as far as my writing goes (“Intro to Grad Study,” “Composition Pedagogy,” and a grad poetry workshop from Lance Larsen). I had a fantastic retreat with the other MFA students at Susan Howe’s cabin near Capitol Reef; it was good for me to get a chance there to just socialize more. I still feel a little strange, being the age of my professors (or even older) rather than my classmates, and I’m trying not to let it make me nervous. I don’t have time for that. I’m just very grateful to be there. Something interesting: I am the only MFA poet who was accepted this year. There were only two the year before. Hmmmm.
So, we up to 500 words yet? (Just kidding! I’m a kidder!)
Some things I’ve learned:
1. I’m a good teacher. Really. Mostly because I’m articulate and I really, really love my students. But also because, as it turns out, I do know a thing or two about writing.
2. I am not afraid of my poetry workshops, or of my faculty. (It helped that Lance told me he voted for me when I first applied. It was hard thinking I was in his class and maybe he didn’t want me there.)
3. This is my time to TAKE RISKS in my writing, not write to impress my faculty or classmates.
4. I don’t care all that much what my classmates think of my work, except insofar as their suggestions help me. I’m really glad to have outgrown the desire to impress.
5. I still love love love BYU. Always have, always will.
6. Bronco should have taken Riley out and given Lark a try on Saturday. Really
8. I am less tired (and eat less) when I have something absorbing to do.
9. There is nothing in the world like having work to do that you love. How can someone who has experienced that do without it in the future?
10. I have the World’s Most Supportive Spouse. Period.
And there, my friends, is my Update Supreme.
p.s. It’s very weird to think that one of my students could find this blog and read it. If YOU ARE ONE OF MY STUDENTS, QUIT READING THIS AND GO FINISH YOUR PAPER THAT’S DUE ON THURSDAY. Believe me, it could use another revision. Really.