otherwise entitled, why I think I didn’t blog much this semester!
This semester started out quite stressful. I was teaching a new course and debating whether or not to take my comprehensive exams. I also had an Incomplete hanging over my head and a course in a new department. Of course, it all ended swell and I think I’ve learned more this semester than any others in my PhD career! Well, maybe that’s not necessarily true, but in terms of the grand lessons of making decisions and getting over writer’s block/procrastinating habits, I’ve been successful.
Teaching Expository Writing was a joy and I cannot wait to do it again in the Spring. I had met with other teachers early on but our styles differed, so I stuck with my initial idea to build off of techniques I learned as a grad student in a nonfiction writing workshop. The students were great and I think they enjoyed the course too. The last weeks of individual conferences and presentations were quite informative and they’re a strong group of writers. I was always impressed with how they made the projects their own.
I think it helped that I was also being challenged to write in the same way I was assigning–with dialogue, fully developed characters, and plot. Once I got over the idea that I was writing about the trauma of Hurricane Katrina and just focused on my story, I realized that writing personally was OK and important in an academic setting [thanks to being introduced to Carolyn Ellis, wounded body narratives and the field of autoethnography].
Waiting to take my exams was the smartest decision I could have ever made and while I know it will be a hair-pulling process in the Spring, I feel better informed about things now. I still haven’t created complete reading lists yet but that’s something I will work on over the break.
Getting engaged 2 months ago was of course the most fabulous highlight and I kind of wish we could get married sooner than we’re planning, but I really doubt I could write a dissertation and plan a wedding at the same time. You know me and distractions.
As for not blogging much this semester, writing my Katrina narrative was such a healing exercise, I didn’t find myself reflecting further or going online much. And when I would open a browser, nola.com was my home page [still is], so I found myself engrossed with what’s happening at home. If I want to move back, I need to be informed. In brief, the crime rate is skyrocketing but the Road Home efforts are improving. Let’s hope the new year is more peaceful.
That’s all I got for now. With holiday travel looming, I don’t see myself blogging much again til the new year, but you never know.