Thursday, May 05, 2016


I sent my comments to groups for their group projects, and to individuals for their individual work. I ate granola for breakfast. I dug deep, I trusted and believed, I used my body as my equipment (morning workout). I hung up my red skirt and put away my yellow tee shirt. I wore white jeans.

I scampered away from grading to attend a movie that is slightly too embarrassing to mention. Okay, The Boss. And snuck my salad and yogurt and orange in there like a thief in the night. And emerged feeling slightly better for having laughed. Not that I was in a state where my mood needed rescuing.

I found my academic robe. Okay, I got it out of the trunk of my car. I submitted all my grades for my composition sections. I made soft tacos for Cinco de Mayo. I ate a zillion cookies. In my defense they were tiny. I read the final projects for Publication Studies and was moved and impressed. I submitted those grades. Which makes me--in case you're keeping score--through with grading before graduation. If it seems like I'm gloating, it's only because I am.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

things I am looking forward to once my grades are in.

  • planting flowers. loads of them.
  • assembling delicious dinners with lots of vegetables. lots.
  • wearing white clothes like crazy.
  • waking up whenever.
  • sleeping with the fan on.
  • reading all the books that are waiting for me to read them. maybe Moby Dick.
  • watching that damn Lemonade visual album for heaven's sake.
  • breakfast with my daughter.
  • my parents' sixtieth wedding anniversary party.
  • going to Phoenix to hang out with my son and daughter-in-law, and Will and Van.
  • writing poems every day. poems for days. poems like mad.
  • organizing things around here so that things are immaculate. (I know that's not real, but maybe closer to immaculate. the next county over from immaculate. from here, it's just a short, 30 minute drive to immaculate. I could call immaculate and it wouldn't be long distance. immaculate and I are in the same time zone. like that.)
  • making video essays.
  • visit to my friend in NoCal.
  • long walks at night, when it's cool, with Bruiser and the historian.
  • seeing grandkids galore!
  • hopefully even more visits to further climes.
  • dreaming time.
  • and so forth.
I am turning my grades in tomorrow, so all this magic begins in mere hours. MERE HOURS is when the magic starts.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Areas of my expertise.

Today I was having a chat with my Scotland daughter, in which I made the claim that one of the things I was known for was taking my time getting up in the morning. (other things I am known for, according to me: red lipstick, my on-the-fly rhetorical touch. Also poetry prize winning, but that's really only for the period between August 2014 and April 2015.)

Today, I was also good at

  • granola making
  • being super productive in my super quiet house
  • reading and writing comments for ALL of my English 2010 students on their final projects. That's right: ALLLLLLLLLL.
  • retrieving packages from the porch
  • answering Shaun T when he said, from the television, 'I wanna hear you say it!' ('I can do it!')
  • listening to Lemonade like it is my job (mostly while I was working out at, and on my way home from, the gym).
Things that are not the area of my expertise:
  • equanimity in the face of officious sounding emails
  • tidiness, obviously
  • being able to accept the inevitable as, you know, real.
But I am expert at
  • choosing an outfit with extra insouciance and double-extra sparkle for a slightly swanky evening event ('cocktail attire'). (N.B.: I am truly sorry I do not have a picture of this outfit. Mostly I'm sorry for myself. And sorry for my Outfit Archives, which will have to accept words and memories [tulle skirt, bejeweled tee, tuxedo jacket, all grey; extra fancy new shoes] instead of the ocular proof.)
  • eating a Pop Tart after the dog walk
  • opinion mongering (I'm so good at this!)
  • blue sky thinking (also expert at this!)
So, you know. If you need an expert in any of the above, you know who to call.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Dear first day of grading,

I am pleased to say that the progress was good today. This means that I
  • set up the rubrics, and
  • graded one third, more or less,
of the available stuff to grade. I am therefore, and thusly, on my way to being finished grading by tomorrow evening. A consummation devoutly to be wished, don't you agree, first day of grading?

Other things I accomplished:
  • two workouts
  • submitted my travel paperwork huzzah
  • attended a meeting
  • considered my place in the universe, and found myself wanting
  • figured out what I'm wearing to a fancy event tomorrow night
So, you know, good day. Oh! also, I watched
  • Purple Rain for the very first time in my life.
  • !!!!!!!!!!!
  • I KNOW.
One of my friends went to far as to say that this made me 'kind of a fraud.' At which I take umbrage, first day of grading. That was a long, long time ago. Who knows what was even happening? I had small children and responsibilities and there may have been other movies to see. Also, I finished my master's degree that summer! so, you know, I was writing a thesis. Fraudulent my eye. 

But I will say that when Prince plays that fantastic three-fer--'Purple Rain,' 'I Would Die 4 U,' and 'Baby I'm a Star'--to end the movie, it's clear--he is and was and forever will be a star. So it was high time, first day of grading, that I see it, and having seen it, it is and was and forever will be all I could ever have hoped for.


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Live to tell.

I've been saying for the last several weeks or maybe for the last several decades that I can't think about the thing that's happening in, like two weeks, because I can only think about the three things that are in my face (when I say this, I like to hold my own hand one inch in front of my face, with my fingers spread out like an immoveable wall) right now, and when those three things are out of my face, then the next three things can take their place. It's sort of shocking to me (a) how much I like retelling this little demonstration of my state of mind/life, complete with hand gesture, and (b) how entirely apt it is.

So the three things that are in my face right now:

(a) grading
(b) contracts for visiting writers next year, and all that that implies (and believe me: it implies a lot)
(c) there are actually several things vying for the (c) spot on my list of three things (hand in front of my own face) currently in my face right now, I can't quite decide which one is in-my-face-iest. Which may be a little problem, come to think of it.

Well, the good thing is that teaching is finished for the semester and the academic year. I do have a few students who don't quite seem to realize this, which is probably my own damn fault because I have let a few of them have a little bit of extra time, which one or two of them seem to think means I am still teaching the class. Which I am not. I am not teaching anymore, even if I'm letting people turn things in one, two, three days late. Still: teaching, as an activity that involves me actively instructing people, is over. OVER, students.

And the other good thing is: today I could actually feel myself unwind. I read the paper without the strong feeling that I needed to be done with it already so I could move on to tasks. No. Today my tasks included:

  • talk to my daughter in Scotland
  • go down to Orem with my daughter and grandkids to visit my folks
  • buy excellent cheese at Trader Joe's and also ranunculus and stocks and sweet William, which are currently making my house smell beautiful
  • plant a heliotrope
  • take Bruiser for two walks with the historian
  • watch the penultimate episode of The Good Wife, which, no matter how it has let me down, and in fairly significant ways, I am still finding riveting
So that's my Sunday. If you were keeping track, I wrote 26 poems for National Poetry Month (some of which I did not post, but I did write them). Perhaps I will write four more poems, belatedly, in much the same spirit as my students, who are still turning in late activities and assignments and heaven knows what all. But at least I will not email and ask you to teach me how to write them.

In conclusion:


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