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First Class 2019

Got through the first class okay today.  Went over the syllabus, the roll, who I am, and showed the short movie about Google Docs.  Tried to help one of my co-workers pull up her course and we couldn’t find it.  She’s going to have to talk to the guy who built it and get his input on how hers can appear like mine did.

It was so hard to get around today.  The elevator in the building my office is in is out of order, so I don’t know how I can keep climbing the stairs every other day.  Maybe it will help me lose weight.  That’s the only upside I can find at this point.  I hurt so  much after climbing three flights.  At least it was in my muscles instead of my knees.  So that was a plus.  We will see what happens.

I start W classes tomorrow.  I’ve read two of the books and am partway through the third one.  I feel a lot better about staying up with both the courses with this head start.  I think I will be okay if I stay on the path of reading ahead every weekend so I will be prepared on Monday for discussion.  I think that’s a good plan.

Hope everyone has a good beginning to their week like I have thus far.  Have a great day!

 

 

 

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Reading Two

I did start reading yesterday–I read while my youngest was at the dentist, I read whenever I had a free moment throughout the day, and I read in the tub,  I got about halfway through the book.  SO I thought that was good for my first day of really paying attention to the books. Soon I’ll get a syllabus and know what order to read the books in 🙂  RIght now I’m doing it in the order they were listed on the order form from the bookstore.

I got a few other things done yesterday, but not many.  Wrote a small piece, cooked dinner, measured a space for a new bookshelf in the kid’s den, etc. TOday I’m going to figure out how to customize my syllabus for class and work on that most of the afternoon.  I need to get that done so it wil make sense to me.  I keep waiting on the call that the class won’t make because there aren’t quite enough people in it–a call like I got last year.  I so do not want to teach this class.

I’ve started toying again with the idea of a prequel or sequel to “Looking For Home”, trying to continue the story and maybe get that published in this year’s anthology.  Deadline is February 19.   I just don’t know if I have enough material to do either without significant rewrites, and my confidence isn’t very high when going back and rewriting old material.  SO I don’t know.

I guess I will go get dressed for Candy and Christy to come this morning.  I am so sleepy.  But they will be a big help getting everything back in order. Everybody have a good week!
 

Reading

I’m really going to buckle down and start reading this week and try to get ahead in my class with reading the books for the lit class on memoirs.  At least attempt to do it.  Maybe more stuff with get done in the house due to my avoiding reading if I don’t do it 🙂  Either way, I want to be more careful with my time and more productive with it.  What I do not want to do is sleep the days away this year.  I need to focus on that. I’ve done really well through the holidays but I have kept busy a lot of it.

I wrote my buddy Mike in Wisconsin about my acceptances and he wanted a “sneak peek” at them, so I sent the stories to him.  He was very complimentary on both of them, so much so that I think I might get him to blurb any book I end up writing  🙂  WE have known each other a long time and he has always been complimentary of my writing.  I would be of his too if I understood anything he was saying–he is way over my head.  🙂

My youngest goes to the dentist today to fill some cavities   I hope she doesn’t turn out like me and have trouble with this for the rest of her life.  WE will see what happens.  I will take one of the aforementioned books with me and try to make a dent in it while I’m waiting.

Hope everyone has a good Monday today.  WIsh me well reading!

So Mad

Sigh.  I guess I get to join the ranks of the aggrieved and super-sensitive.  The story we read for class this week was a dystopian future about how people with mental disorders are treated.  Once a boy reaches thirteen or a girl gets her period, they get to go to the local mental facility and pick out a “madman” just like we go to  shelter and pick out a puppy.

Of course it’s set in California and here is the rationale for doing things this way–“The whole idea is that you take in a madman and that teaches you about Facing The Incomprehensible and Understanding Across Difference, and soon we are one big family.” (Cronin 436)

Oh.  It’s all about “understanding diversity”.  Well. That makes it all right then.  Since you mean well, after all, who cares that you’re penning people with brain disorders up so they can be selected for adoption and treated like animals?

I think the author is trying to mean well. (it’s taken a day and a half to even conceive of that sentence).  But as we all know, words have consequences.  Particularly when written and published in literary anthologies.  And the mental patients read like characters out of a horror movie.  It is so  stereotypically done it makes me angry just typing about it.  And I hate being “that person”.  But I couldn’t find any redeeming features in the story what-so-ever.  So I don’t know if I’m even going to do the assignment or not.

Mental illness just isn’t like this, you guys.  I want equal time to respond. But my little blog doesn’t have nearly the readership this anthology does.  And the writing assignment is to NOT react to the content but react to the writing.  I can’t seem to do that yet.

 

 

Class Day One as a Student

So today classes opened in the W’s schedule.  I’ve already posted in the discussion threads for this week so I think I am done.  I am just waiting for the book to get here that I’m supposed to read for this opening of class.  It really makes me ill that I don’t have them all and had to order another one so late.

Found out about another inaugural class member, Allison, that is dropping out.  She says it is only for the fall and I hope she does return and finish her thesis. She is so close to finishing and I hate to see her go without doing so. One guy is coming back, Thomas, and I am glad to see that. We have just a pile of new people and we will see what will happen to all of them throughout the next few years, We have two or three that are finishing in December so we will see what happens with them winding up.

I need to turn in my disability plan for this semester, I never did do one for spring but I have a different  instructor so I need to do that and make her aware of my difficulty,  I need to get in, print that out, and send it back.  I don’t anticipate any problems so it will mostly be a formality. But an important one.

I called Social Security yesterday and reported that I was working and turned in my employer information to them.  Hopefully that is the end of that.  But we should keep receiving benefits  because I’m not earning enough for them to stop.  I just need to keep doing what I am doing.  Because it is working.

 

 

Writing My Thesis

Yesterday I took what I have written so far that has been through workshop, read by my professor and commented on, etc. I came up with a little over 100 pages when it needs to be closer to 280.  The good thing is I have 100 pages on the meat of the story, starting when I first became really symptomatic through when I ran away to Louisiana.

So I need about 80 pages on my life  before hand and 100 on my life afterwards.  WIth varying degrees of episodes to talk about, I think I should get to the page count before the thesis year, which I hope to spend refining it.

So we will see.  It will be a long process, but I think it will go well.  The hope is to have a salable book out of it by the time I finish.  I may have a novel as well taking two years of fiction workshop and forms. All I know is that it seems a long time away right now. I’m not quite halfway through the program.

We’re waiting on my mom and dad to pick up the youngest one and spend the better part of a week with them.  They’ll come back Sunday.  I think it’s going to rain the whole time, but maybe not,  Maybe the tropical depression will spin out soon.

Success!

So the new site went live with content yesterday and I got almost 100 hits.  They almost all came from Facebook; I had linked it to my personal page and a lot of people read it from there.  I got a lot of support from people and hope it continues.

Today is the last day of the residency.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned a lot about myself and my writing here and a lot about what I can do with my writing to make  it better.  I got a lot of validation but also some suggestions from everybody on what to not to do.  Some pushback, of course, but I think my reading at the beginning blew the lid off and let other people read controversial, brave things as well.

We are workshopping my final piece today–the dancing one.  I really hope to find out what I can do for it and get it out.  I submitted more things last night and pulled Hurricane Baby away from someone and gave it to someone else.  We will see how all that turns out.

Bob and Terrie have already headed out to go to Williamsburg, I think.   He said they were leaving early so that I what I assume.  I so hope she does well.  I so do.  But this is her first real experience being way away and not having us fairly close.  I hope she has learned how to behave on the job and how to keep herself from getting into trouble. That’s my wish for her.