Yesterday the college was so hectic. I always forget that this time in the semester requires more patience than ever. I tutored 17 students on Wednesday, 10 on Thursday, and 13 on Friday. Weeks before this were about the same. I felt also that I didn't give as quality of tutoring sessions as I usually do--I only pointed out grammatical errors, refining a thesis statement, more creative titles--don't use the authors' titles--"it's not yours to use." On a good tutoring month, day, week, I usually, include a close look at logic--do the paragraphs go back to the thesis? Are they logical? Are there enough supporting examples and details? If non-literary, is there enough literary evidence to support topics? I was tired, grouchy (starting at about 2 p.m.) and rather lazy yesterday. Quality was so low. I think I ran out of mental energy after several students came in for a session on how to approach their final exams (the writing part--the blue book part). Really, I've been teaching them the same mundane, traditional structure throughout the semester--I advised to approach the final like that: Don't just start writing. Plan first. "But it's going to be an argumentative essay? and we don't know what topics she will give us," one student said. I suggested she ask if she needs to include a refutation (probably not); pick one of the two topics she can best write on. Take a stance, use "should be" or "should not be" followed by "because" and give three reasons why or why not. Build a thesis, the topics, restate thesis in conclusion. "And my introduction?" Open on topic, make general facts or statements, then move to specific (thesis). Somehow, all that I've said and all that -some- students learn throughout the semester, this mundane, formulaic, traditional way of writing a general, very basic essay doesn't hold. Just doesn't. This particular teacher is giving her students 2 hours. But sometimes, I think writing within a certain time frame causes panic and all they have learned goes.
Some days I feel like a big'ol flat voice of boilerplate, but then, by the grace of literature Gods, I will have a student pop in and want to discuss Oedipus and compare it to my favorite The Book of Job or an Asian myth comparison: a daughter must go into the depths of hell to find her mother to Demeter and Persephone or to Dante. These students come in so lively and full of -want-. And some of them will not even go on to major in English, but other disciplines like biology or construction engineering.
I'm 'brainstorming' to come with ways to make my sessions more interesting (for those who are there just to get through the literature requirements or just there to get through). I remind myself, "Hey, at least they're here--getting by."
I'm looking forward to the month of December off--my brain is a bit shut down. I can't think, write well, or blog without a zillion typos--of course I question 'to edit or not to edit'---not to mention the rush in posting. I always have to post on-the-go. But I get it done one way or another.
What would you choose? To blog full-time or to teach full-time? Money aside. Choose one or the other...no in between.
It's May 2012 and nothing has changed since November.11. I am all smiles at my relationship and myself. My honey and I continue to amaze each other on a daily basis. We're still ever so 'in' with each other. I completed my MA in literature last May and I'm teaching four college English courses to really smart students. I am hopeful to enter a doctorate program soon. This way, I can run out.All is scary good.
upon hearing your voice life again expands like moon crest like pomegranates swell to the sun and you are patient because god calls
when he came for you this morning you were bent into the flower bed singing black hymns so he left you alone until this third afternoon but even then he found you elbow deep in jewel weed with a mouthful of figs from a nearby tree again he waited because each time seemed to him an inconvenience and a wrong moment
and it was your persistent humming that drove him up and back until he could get his timing perfect he waited another day or so until
your gardening tools rest into porch corners your paring knife shines deeply into a drawer your hair comb lies slanted in a shoebox your wedding band hides in the mattress your fishing rod stays stolen
the sound of your voice desires to sing or hum but this time is perfect he has covered you like lavender-colored silence but he has also added streaks of olive green and pink because this is what the other soul-folk has told him to do and he has become tired in the process and therefore begins to rush sonances of your body he finds you the least complex when you are not outdoors digging in that garden, humming hymns and thriving and for a moment he questions his own timing its perfection and everything goes accordingly until he finds you have buried fruit peels and wandering jew petals underneath your back this does not anger him but it tilts his agility to deliver you and in his own questioning and presence of smells that he cannot privilege all this over powers his choice all this reels his otherwise perfection into letting you go
when i see you sitting in the plush squares of limitless St. Augustine your eyes are lit like crystal warmed soil releases from each of your hands
how did i get to this point this point of knowing you for you are nearly a century old