Over the past few days, I've responded to questions from some creative writing students about the place of creative writing in the world. I also responded to an e-mail or two about curriculum, which led me to first find, then to take a look at my notes from May of this year--that's right, two and a half months ago, like an eon--notes from a meeting where I started to imagine what I wanted my composition courses to look like this fall. That's right, a month from now. Less than a month.
But who's counting.
I'm also at a point where my own creative projects seem to share a margin with work I hope my students will do. I worked some more on my photo essay, which is shaping up pretty nicely. It involves images from the Scotland trip and some thoughts about ruins and ruination. I'm also using photos of the shacks from our Joshua Tree/Morongo Valley trip from last year.
It's great to work with those images and to bring my disparate thoughts about these abandoned and collapsing structures together into a series of statements with something like a coherent through-line. This is something I would like my students to be able to do, with or without the photos. Same with my video essay about feminism--assembling primary and secondary research materials, ordered and juxtaposed in a way that creates a nascent argument, with the writer's own point of view to frame and shape all of it. With or without video, voiceover, ambient noise, or a soundtrack.
But it's okay that my projects are verging on demos for what I want my students to do. It's what teachers do--find a connection between their own projects and what they hope their students might be able to do. Yep, that's me, a teacher. Getting ready to teach, although well in advance of actual syllabus making.
Today, this came to me as a recommendation from the UK Amazon:
Amazon.co.uk, you've got my number.