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Category: Writing

OG Granny*

OG Granny*

Not long ago, my stepdaughter called us and left a few concerning messages via voicemail and text. I knew, immediately, what was up. Suddenly, many of the bloggers I follow are pregnant, too (ok, maybe not so “suddenly” in the cases of some – if not pregnant, then newly delivered). Suddenly, I’m thinking about small children again – I’m used to thinking about young people in terms of my students (who are definitely NOT children, although they might act like…

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End of Semester Woes

End of Semester Woes

The semester can’t end, it would seem, without a student crying in my classroom (I don’t have an office, really, so this is as likely to happen in the hallway, in front of the Coke machines, or on the way to the parking lot, tbh). I always feel badly when students are upset by the work we are doing, but I’m also heartened – it means that they actually care about what they are writing, and how they’re writing it….

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Hassan Probably Had a Sand Maze

Hassan Probably Had a Sand Maze

I’m floored by how affected I am by listening to the newest installment of podcast brilliance (“S-Town“) by the folks who did “Serial.” I listened to “Serial” as I drove to and from a less than exciting semester of classes – I spent a lot of time driving that semester, I was somewhat unhappy about various things (not just work), and so I spent a lot of time attempting to soothe myself through the use of enormous amounts of junk food….

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Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

So part of my summer vacation was intended to be work on how I can best recharge my batteries during the semester. I do a very, very bad job of self-care, I think, and am in a constant state of forgetting that if I do not do at least the bare minimum of self-care daily, I am in actuality doing a detriment to not just me but my students. I have to remember the old “put the oxygen on yourself…

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In Which I am Not

In Which I am Not

I’ve run across a pattern here in Goldberg’s book, or at least a pattern for me, one that resonates in me: owning whatever we want in our writing, and then freeing it (31). She expands on this in her chapter “We Are Not the Poem” in ways that ultimately don’t work for me (she applies the discussion to gaining too much recognition for a particular type of writing, and reading that work too often in public – problems I don’t…

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Poking Garbage

Poking Garbage

I’m continuing my reading and working with Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. I’m finding it helpful for me, as a writer (how weird is it to apply that title to myself, even though that’s what I am, and have always been), but also I’m trying to see it through the lens that my students might use. I know that they struggle – as do I – in finding ways to make their writing work for them, and to make it…

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Giving Natalie Goldberg This Moment

Giving Natalie Goldberg This Moment

As Natalie Goldberg asked me to do in her chapter “Writing as a Practice,” I’m going to sit down right now and give her this moment. What’s running through me? I’m alone in the house, with just two sleeping pets, and I’m surrounded by calm, and green, and music. I’m writing – a thing I didn’t expect to ever get to do, and haven’t done for myself, in a very long time. I get so caught up in worries about…

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In Which I Consider Writing as a Practice

In Which I Consider Writing as a Practice

This is the practice school of writing.  Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don’t want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run.  It’ll never happen, especially if you are out of shape and have been avoiding it. But if you run…

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I Resolve…

I Resolve…

In the process of filling out this reflection of the past year and planning for the coming year, I discovered a list of resolutions I made after my birthday this past year. I’m sort of surprised at how well I did in keeping up with them, although (as is fairly normal) I failed on a few. But this year part of my work is going to involve treating myself more nicely, and not allowing the demands/desires (perceived or stated) of…

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In Which I Consider Truth and Deception as Pedagogy

In Which I Consider Truth and Deception as Pedagogy

  So amidst the avalanche of end-of-semester emails I received this go-‘round (“my grandma’s cousin’s brother’s goldfish died tragically, and I couldn’t write my paper and I know that the semester is over, but I need an extension” – do these kids think that the bills never come due? Things can just be put off and put off without question?), I also received a link to a list of Magna Publishing’s top 15 teaching and learning articles. There are so…

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