Sunday, April 13, 2014

Across the street in big sloped yard of the victorian on the hill yellow daffodils are coming up. The tree next to my porch is starting to grow its leaves. Yesterday in this same tree I witnessed a cardinal, a woodpecker, a flock of little brown birds, and a bluish grackle like bird all hanging out and twittering at each other. Spring feels so good after such a long winter and last week, after passing through a number of deadlines, has brought the end of the semester. Three more weeks + a week of finishing up papers/projects/grades/evaluations for classes and soon it will be summer. Did I mention that it feels good? Yesterday I presented at my first conference, a paper connecting David Hume, Buddhsim, and making a case for the pedagogical functions of "expressive" discourse. I ran out of time and didn't actually get all the way through what I wanted to say but it was a good experience. Next time I'll make sure to time my dramatic reading of academic prose more carefully. On Friday I finished a midterm for the empirical class and on Wednesday wrote a response to the Rosi Braidotti's The Posthuman and now all I have left to do for Post Modern Rhetoric is write one more page and an end paper that doesn't need to be researched, as it's more of a response/synthesis paper of all the books that we've been reading. All this to say, the semester's end is in sight. 

This week I have to read student drafts for their Discourse Community reports which under such a short deadline (10 papers in 24 hours to be ready for Tuesday conferences) is kind of stressful but all the hard work and hurdles of the semester have for the most part, been traversed. The other day I was meeting with one of my students at the OEPP, a graduate student in the material sciences, and out of our conversation, uncovering problem words and sounds, and collecting them into a sentence, we arrived at the following: "We can imagine the image of a very ugly diamond in our minds for months." Sometimes longer. A couple weeks ago when the leaf buds in the tree next to my porch were beginning to appear, I touched the one closest and wondered if that little bud would remember, if it would grow more or less, faster or quicker, and I looked at it today and it seems to show no difference but my eyes are big and if there has been a change its too small to be seen.

Summer is going to be busy but pleasant. For starters, Indiana summer is nice and this apartment, with its light and doors and air coming through is good place to work. I'm flying out to Portland as soon as the semester ends to visit Aric and his family, and then flying to New York to see my brother and his family, along with my New York friends that I haven't seen for three or four years. When I get back I'll have about a month to work on writing, a new project born out of the reading I did last month, putting together a manuscript and with my remaining time hopefully writing out the dregs of the fall, of trauma revisited one last time, extending my memory to the page and letting the page do its archival work. Writing stories like I'm putting away winter clothes, and maybe I'll need them again or just move back to California. Work wise I'm tutoring at the OEPP, the perfect summer job in that I don't have to teach but meet one-on-one with students. No grades to drag on the horizons of conversation. But the main event is studying for prelims, the big test that I need to pass so that I can get started on my dissertation, and those come at the beginning of August and stretch towards the middle. All this I'm excited about, and I'm also on a softball team. Carter, #5. Got a glove the other day and this afternoon I'm going to go play catch. Yah.