Sunday, April 8, 2012

Update from the Life of a Teaching Poet

63º ~ proper cloud cover and cool breezes for an Easter morning, after weeks of highs near 90, we've settled back down to some spring weather with a forecast that doesn't make it out of the 70s for a bit, whew

Let me be frank, Dear Reader, I do not intend this post to be one of complaint or whinery or fishing for a pat on the back.  It should serve merely as a record of my absence from these pages and my lack of draft notes.  While you may not know it, you serve, my readers, as a partial conscience, keeping me honest about my process and my meager progress. 

April has always been the busiest month for me, as it means research projects for composition and lit students and revisions for workshop students, on top of National Poetry Month and the Arkansas Literary Festival.  However, this semester has conspired to make February and March both into Aprils as well, with a funeral and AWP in the same month, some hooplala committee work for new and exciting happenings on our campus, oh and editing the campus wide academic journal (the new issue of which arrived on campus last week!), plus running the reading series which puts on three readings per semester.  Okay, I'll say it: my cup runneth over. 

After many years of teaching, I've homed in on which activities fit with my personality and my strengths.  I've found my place on campus and I believe in each of the events listed above as service to my students, my community, and myself.  What I haven't figured out is how to keep the balance.  I did very well in the fall and when I had my on-campus teaching days as Tuesday/Thursday.  The switch to live classes (as opposed to online) on Monday/Wednesday/Friday has not been as smooth a transition or as successful as I would have liked.  This is definitely something I will need to work on as it doesn't seem like that schedule will be changing anytime soon. 

Next week, will be a huge week, so I will most likely be silent on the blog for another stretch.  On Tuesday I'll participate in our advising fair, trying to help students learn more about their choices for classes in the fine arts and humanities. On Thursday, I will need every ounce of strength and grace I can muster as we will wrap up the Big Rock Reading Series with a double-feature in partnership with the Arkansas Literary Festival.  This will also be our first daytime reading.  That evening, I'll be on campus for our Celebrating Student Milestones event, where we will launch the new issue of the journal I mentioned above, Milestones.  Friday and Saturday, I will attend back to back to back events at the lit festival.  I'm super excited about this year's offerings, and for the first time, I have the AWP dilemma of wanting to go to two readings/panels at the same time.  I'm so thankful this festival exists in my hometown!  No travel worries, no hotel prices, and I get my husband to play taxi, dropping me off and picking me up so I don't have to find a bleepity-bleep parking spot.  Wahoo!

So, Dear Readers, it may be the month of May before I return to smooth sailing on the blogosphere, but I shall return, never fear.  The sickly speaker is itching for me to finish her story; there is an urgency I've never felt before in working on a book.  In the meantime, I must redouble my efforts with my weather book and find it a home in the world as well.

Until then, be happy & be well!


Kathleen said...

Lots of this BUSY sounds really great. Hang in there!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, K!

Molly said...

All good stuff! Somewhere, recently (can't remember where) I read a good reminder to give yourself credit for all the things writers do... and you are doing them! The balance can be tough. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Molly. I received the handouts the other day, so big ups to you for spreading the poetry joy!!