Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Doing enough?

Oh it's just crazy here. Grading, of course, but also benchmarking and assessing and developing curriculum. Is that service? Maybe. Our department meets weekly for faculty meetings. Does that count as service? Not so much? Should I go and teach a class in the public schools? Isn't that too much service? Probably. Guest writers and student readings and tryiing to figure out if I'm a committee person or the do-it-myselfer. Most of the good do-it-yourself gigs are already filled so I'd need to come up with an entirely new project and probably find new funding for that. Which is so unlikely.
Poetry Night is tonight so I cancelled class which runs straight into the events (encouraging but not forcing my students to attend), I'm picking up Zo, I'm running home to clean the house for the babysitter. I'm bringing the programs to the reading. Does that count as service?
Perhaps one day I'll read a book again. Or write a poem. A very very short book. And a very short poem.
Really, all is well. Erik and I and Zoe had a great weekend going on long walks, driving to Saugatauk for the Oktoberfest, watching good/bad TV, meeting our neighbors again for a strange party where the moving folks invited the new folks over to meet us. It lasted from exactly six o'clock to seven o'clock. We were invited to bring wine if we wanted so of course we did but we were the only ones drinking. We are also one of the few with only 1 kid. Everyone has 3. I think it's a rule for our block. Erik and I might have to move before the neighbors turn the screw.
OK--here's a fun question: what books would you teach an advanced undergrad creative nonfiction class? An advanced undergrad poetry class? I'm thinking 5 or 6 books for each. Michael Martone, Lawrence Wechsler, Lauren Slater for the first and Frank Bidart, James Tate, Terrance Hayes and Paisley Rekdal and Olena Kalytiak Davis for the poetry. Any ideas? Warnings? Must do's.
And, if I do ever get to read a book of my own, what should I read. I'm reading Jim Wenderworth's essays right now... (where's the mot juste, Jim? Where?) Where's my French? Where?
OK. Must pick up Zo and not forget the programs. Man, service is hard work.


Dr. Write said...

What about Plainwater? I guess it's genre crossing, but isn't that what it's all about? And by "it" I mean whatever you want it to mean because you're the teacher. Also seeking, as I know you do, to expand the notion of "essay." What about using a magazine or journal?
I like Bernard Cooper's essays. I wish I could find that one, the Insomniac's Manifesto.
Joan Didion?
My problem is that I like a lot of individual essays and haven't read a lot of essay collections.
But if I were teaching poetry I'd teach X cuz then I'd get to gossip, which is fun.
I'm also hopelessly outdated on the poetry front, but I like Dan Beachy-Quick's book. (name escapes me) And of course my old fave, Brenda Hillman.
I want to take your class. Can I? And sorry about the service. I'm sure it gets better.

Trista said...

Bidart? BIDART? Please, god, anything but Bidart.

What about Harryette Mullen's Sleeping with the Dictionary?

You know, it's getting about time for our annual picture of Zoe...

Anonymous said...

The best non-fic book I've read is the Gourevitch (sp because I am too lazy to go pick it up) one about Rwanda called "We Wish to Inform You that Today We Will Be Killed with Our Families."

There are many craft aspects you could define and discuss in that book. It's also just fucking good.

Lisa B. said...

It's totally a throwback to say so, but I love good old John McPhee. Pretty much anything.

I second "X," which would be fun even without the gossip. Also, I love Frank Bidart, so that's a vote in the "for" column. I also love Linda Gregg, also any.