Two weeks in…

Monday, August 30th, 2010 by Rachel

and I’m exhausted. I’ve never looked forward to Labor Day weekend so much. I’m thinking it’s the way my teaching load is distributed. For example, at NAU, I taught Eng. 105 four days a week. Last year, I taught Engl. 1101 three days a week. Now, I’m teaching Eng. 1101 two days a week. You would think—hey, that’s less work right? Not when my schedule is weighted so heavily Tuesday through Thursday. (I have a class on Wednesday, plus Wednesdays are “meeting days”). Hopefully, I’ll adjust by the time I get my first student papers to grade.


So, I’m halfway through my MFA! It’s amazing and exciting, but just thinking about it makes me a teeny bit nauseous. I don’t know where we’ll be heading after that. More info is forthcoming… I hope. It’s time to contact all my Interfolio people and see if my recommendations hold up for jobs. I’ll be observed next week, so I can get my big teaching letter. I need to ask a few more people here for recommendations too. My goal would be to be done with all that before Nov. 1st, which is when most schools begin taking job applications. As I’m very happy with a composition job and/or intro. to creative writing job and I’m coming out of here with four years teaching experience, I hope I’ll be pretty marketable. I still might apply to two PhD programs to cast a wider net, but I’m not sure.


This semester, I’m taking Teaching Creative Writing (I’ll be teaching Intro. to Creative Writing in the spring!), thesis hours, and Poetry with Poet-in-Residence Alice Friman. This poetry class doesn’t have traditional workshops. We basically meet one on one with Alice every week, and our class meets officially three times during the semester. For two of these meetings, we’ll need to have prepared a 10-12 minute reading of one of our favorite poets, and we need to have memorized one of these poems. Of course, you loyal readers know how much I struggle with the memorization, so I’ve already started on my first poem.


Just to give you a quick glimpse of what I have due this week: 2 poems, one 10 page book review, read two chapters of Creative Writing book, need to have marked up 45 “diagnostic” writing samples for students, need to fill out application to graduate and pay 45 bucks to Registar, schedule a library fieldtrip for students, keep working on memorizing aforementioned poem, eat healthy food, figure out my exercise regimen for the semester, do laundry, do dishes, hang out with Derrick, purchase/write cards for Grandparents day, sleep. I also might start getting Arts and Letters submissions that need to be looked over/accepted/rejected this week. And…I’m getting married in less than seven months, so calculate in all that wedding planning stuff that I’m doing now so next January and February aren’t terrible. This is why I am tired.

Can’t wait for our wishbone to dry out so I can make a wish

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 by Rachel

Turkey skeleton

Reciting my poem last night went well, though it was the strangest poem selection out of the bunch. I think that the process of memorizing these two poems this semester has been a good exercise for me, but I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of person/poet who wants to just sit around and memorize poems for fun. I’m not sure I absorb the music or rhythm the way other poets do. It’s just so hard to spend so much time working on something to forget it within a week. I don’t think I’ll ever assign memorization to a poetry class that I’ll teach, but we’ll see if I stick to my anti-memorization guns down the road… Maybe all memorizing and reciting a poem should be is a rite of passage?


I also got some positive reactions about my Uncle TJ/bunny ghazal and a revision of a different ghazal (making it free verse), so last night was a good last night of poetry. We might be meeting up next week for drinks, since class is over. Hopefully my schedule will allow that.


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