Thursday, January 18, 2007

Like a CEO

A new analogy for teaching and why we should get paid like a million dollars a class.
1. Each class is like it's own small company. You need to make promotional materials for it (syllabi, handouts, etc.), you need to do research about the product (read books), you need to incorporate that research into the product (lectures, discussinos) and you need to persuade your customers (sadly, your students) to buy it (tests, graded work). The ideas in the discussion and the lecture are unique therefore should be patentable (although there may be some legal business about patenting speech but if we get Disney in on this, I'm sure we can work around it). Oh, and you make copies yourself which makes you an administrative assistant to your own boss which is also you! You're a very, very busy person. You shouldn't take any unsolicited phone calls. Have them send the prospectus to your office and you'll take a look at it later.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So the news of the NEA hit the University circuit. It's very funny to see your picture on your school's home page. They have a rotating set of "success stories" and every so often when I open the page to access school stuff, there's the picture Egg took of me staring back. Of course, I don't love the picture; though it's not terrible. I feel like I'm the same color of face & hair & shirt. Three interviews, one online piece & a oforum, one school paper and one city paper is exhausting. It's kind of fun too and I like this bit of fame. What I really like are the questions about poetry as if anyone cares. Maybe they do. At least the interviewers do. And so have a couple people who have contacted me who didn't know me and read about the grant. It's also kind of fun to articulate my project. It provides me a bit more clarity too. Now if I only knew what to do with the grant. Take a semester off? But then we'd stay here & I'm not sure how beneficial that would be. Spend it on a trip to Europe? Perhaps a bit of dislocation would help me write more regularly. Maybe I'll just go hang out in a beach house in Oregon. Yes. That sounds nice.
I sent the PR stuff to the U and to the Trib in SL so maybe they'll be interested. It'd be nice to have people who know me see me in the news. The best part: My students said congratulations when I walked into class yesterday. It's so rare for them to speak without being directly asked a question and a number of them, in front of everyone said how they'd read the piece in the paper. My intro students who I've taught for only a week. So sweet. Makes teaching a bit easier too. They seemed (of course, could have been purely the glow through which I say them) to pay more attention to what I had to say. I think I've been talking--including the 3 hours classes, the interviews, and the welcome back from break conversations--for the past week and a half straight. My jaw hurts a little. Perhaps that's a sign I should go write something.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I knew I was bossy but...

You Are An ENTJ

The Executive

You are a natural leader - with confidence and strength that inspires others.

Driven to succeed, you are always looking for ways to gain, power, knowledge, and expertise.

Sometimes you aren't the most considerate person, especially to those who are a bit slow.

You are not easily intimidated - and you have a commanding, awe-inspiring presence.

You would make a great CEO, entrepreneur, or consultant.

Is teaching like being a CEO? I suppose. In a way.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Dr. C added me to her blogroll so I thought I'd better return the favor and update. I have only updates because something about break has sucked the life out of me. It's been so great to be home, eat, hang out, drink excessively, write a little, see so many people that I adore, but, man, it's been nonstop. Tonight is the first night we haven't been out to dinner or over to someone's house in over 13 days. So many abundances that are so scarce in G.R. (where we're missing the Gerald Ford funeral--such pomp & circumstance.) I simultaneously can't stand the idea of going back and can't wait. It's so comfortable her and we have so much help with Z but life seems sort of suspended. Thank god I got the emails that I did so I felt connected to the ever-moving stream of things.
The good things are that I've heard from long and lost friends this break and am so happy to have reconnected. I have written enough that I'm not overwhelmed with that which I must write when I get back. I did what I could to balance the amount of time we saw everyone although we erred on mountain-side of sleeping-over just because it's so hard to move back and forth and so easy to just sit around here and look up at Mt. Olympus and drink 5 cups of coffee and then eat breakfast. My mom's house was great too. Everyone has been so generous with their space and food and time.
Christmas itself: eh. I'm grinchy. I hate all the plastic and the anticipation and the disappointment and the money spent. Who knew I'd become so much like my Reed College self--particulalry particular and a bit on the judgemental side. There was so much stuff for Z that even she who is always cheerful and patient started to shove aside one present for the next. Not my favorite kid behavior.
My syllabi are about 75% done. I plan to finish them tonight or tomorrow. 3 is a lot of preps I just now realize. I really want these syllabi to have imagined every contingency but I know there will be details I missed. Still, I'm excited for the readings and I think the pace of the class will be much more reasonable this time semester.
I can't wait to hear from folks about their MLA successes. I hope good news for all of them although I think this was a pretty rough year. I feel I'm pretty lucky to have the job I have.

All in all I'm looking forward to 2007.