Will tells me it’s been a month since I’ve updated this blog. A month? That can’t be. I mean, I know I’ve been busy… but a whole month? So I took a break from my other writing life to figure out where I’ve been. And here’s what I found:
-- I’ve been working on my thesis. Slow, painful work that I haven’t even invited others to read. This involves quick spurts of activity – days where I write ten or more pages – and then a sluggish half-week of revision where I realize that at least half of the “spurt” has got to go. It’s fun.
-- I’ve been blogging elsewhere – at Her Plot Thickens, a group blog with two of my whip-smart writer friends. I insist you check it out!
-- I started a sort of internship/unpaid teaching assistant position at California State University, Stanislaus, and suddenly I’ve found myself immersed in American Modernism. I’m teaching on Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams and T.S. Eliot (insert gulp here).
-- I’ve subbed for 5th through 12th grade – Special Ed, 7th and 8th grade Language Arts, Reading Lab, 6th grade Math/Algebra/Geometry/Algebra II/Finite Math (don’t even ask what they were supposed to be doing… I have no idea), American Government, World History… Most of it is a blur, which is a good thing.
-- I’ve walked Baxter a few dozen times, at least. Once he got out and led me on a wild-beagle chase through our neighborhood and beyond. That was ten days ago and I’m still catching my breath.
-- I’ve collected manuscripts from my compatriots in the graduating class of July 2010 for Stonecoast Lines. Now I’m editing, formatting, stressing when the publisher doesn’t call me back…
-- I’ve cleaned (not enough), cooked (probably too much) and generally neglected the laundry.
-- I’ve worked out at four to five days a week, visited the post office a half-dozen times, and stopped by the library once a week at minimum to recharge my mind.
- I’ve read: not just the stuff I’m teaching, but also A Thousand Acres, A Short History of Women, Olive Kitteridge, Motherless Brooklyn, Americans in Space, When Will There be Good News?, and I’m nearly finished with Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. This book is seriously hilarious, and I often have to put it away at night so I don’t laugh myself into a state of permanent awake-ness. Right now I’m at the part where a fired employee dressed as a clown returns to the office with a paintball gun.
-- I tried (and failed) to keep up with LOST. I discovered a few weeks into the season that Project Runway had started without me. I learned the “essential seeds” for any diet on Dr. Oz.
--I’ve been accepted as an ETS rater (rating college entrance exam essays, etc.) and start soon. It remains to be seen if I will like grading essays – that task used to be the bane of my teaching existence. Now, apparently, all anyone has to do is dangle a money-shaped carrot in front of my eyes and I’m in. I’ve also started to apply for post-graduate fellowships, teaching positions, etc. It’s tiring. I can only write so many cover letters and statements of purpose before I degenerate into silliness.
-- I celebrated Grandpa’s 101st birthday in February. A week or so later, I was on hand to bring him to the ER when he fell and hit his head. I spent a full day with him when my dad was out of town, alternating between FOX News and Animal Planet. I left with a huge headache.
-- I’ve emailed Paige and Beth recklessly, helplessly, laughingly, knowingly. I’ve told Will long, detailed stories that he politely pretends to listen to. I’ve forgotten birthdays, forgotten to comb my hair, forgotten to pay the pest control service. I took a cold shower when the “stem” in our hot water faucet broke. I’ve daydreamed about the shoes I might wear when I cross the stage to get my diploma.
-- I took a two-day, 720-mile trip to Oregon and back with my dear friend Alisha, and loved every minute of it… even the minute when we realized the alarm didn’t go off and we would have to rush to breakfast as we were.
-- I’ve sipped chai lattes at The Queen Bean, like I’m doing at this very moment. Sometimes – like right now – I’ve eavesdropped on conversations. I’ve chuckled to myself. I’ve passed judgment. I’ve stored up tales to repeat to Will over dinner, to Alisha over Guinness, to the dear faithful readers of my sadly not-up-to-date blog.
2 years ago