Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Writing projects and other frustrations

Since I turned in my grades on May 2, I've been trying to get started on some writing projects for the summer. I'm not teaching this summer, thanks in part to the pay raise that came with my "upgrade," so I decided to make use of my time to read and write--and more generally, to think about life directions at this stage. As my old friend ERG reminded me a few months ago, we've been teaching college students since 1990--over half our lives!

I've completed one mini-project so far, which was to write a few posts here about the writing assignments we worked on in ENGW 1102 (First Year Writing for Multilingual Students) this past semester. In case you missed those posts, they're here, here, and here. (Sorry, but I read something on a writing website that said you should link to your previous blog posts whenever possible!)

The second project that I'm currently working on is a revision of a paper I presented at the Boston MLA conference about 3 years ago; I hope to get that done soon so I can send it to a journal for review by the end of this month. The revision work has been a bit slow going, though, partly due to some confusion about how to end it (I hate writing conclusions!) and partly due to the general lethargy I'm feeling as a result of hay fever. This month has been terrible so far for pollen. So far I'm celebrating little victories like finding my copies of Cold War Orientalism and The Rhetoric of Empire, which I thought were lost after our move last year. Now that I've given myself a deadline, however (the end of the month), I hope that I will work harder on my revisions.

Finally, I hope to develop and work on some sort of writing project in response to the recent death of my father. He passed away in April after a short stay in a hospice, and I've been experiencing quite a mix of feelings since then. After we came back from the burial, I located a CD of interviews that my brother had done with my parents starting in the mid-1990s. I had never listened to them before, and I started listening to one of the interviews from 1995. I was surprised at how my father sounded back then--very different from my more recent memories of talking with him. I want to listen to the interviews more and think about what I might write about him--possibly using the interviews in the process. Maybe it will just be some blog posts about him, but maybe it will be something more developed or "formal." We'll see.

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