bio: June 2005 Archives

Why aren't I dancing around my office, you might well ask?

Well, do you remember rain sticks? There is a shocking level of correspondence between the sounds that rain sticks make and the creaking coming from my limbs right now, the only difference being that the movement of my limbs is also accompanied by loud groans and moans.

You see, on Wednesday, the people in charge of my building dropped by to check on my progress (which was fairly substantial). I said that I'd be ready on Friday to move, and they told me that there'd be "some guys" coming by to "help me." Already I'm a little suspicious, because my understanding was that "helping me" had originally been defined as "moving my stuff for me, considering the colossal disruption that this process will have already had on my life." Alas. "Some guys" ended up being the property manager. I recruited Derek, and the three of us moved me from one building to the next.

So, anyway, I'm moved, and if I'm lucky, the ache in my body will vanish sometime in the next week. If I'm luckier, I'll find a comparably priced place to move to, since I'm boxed up anyway and less than pleased at the phantom "some guys" that may never have existed in the first place.

Why might I dance around my office, you might ask?

Well, I just picked up Nouvelle Vague, which bills as an album of bossa nova covers of new wave music. Think smoky French lounge covers of the Clash, Joy Division, XTC, Modern English, the Cure, Sisters of Mercy, etc. Très intéressant, si vous me demandez.

Ok. It's not really dance-around-your-office music, but it's kind of fun.

John wrote that exactly a month ago, in a post on the occasion of the 2-year anniversary of his blog, where he reflected on what he had accomplished over those two years:

In looking back, I think I've pretty well accomplished my central purpose, to document my work as a writing teacher in a large two-year college. I write from the context of 40 years of full-time teaching, with an annual course load of 8 classes, typically loaded this way: 5 first-year comp (150 students), 1 developmental comp (25 students), 2 elective courses, one in literature, one in linguistics (90 students), for an annual total of 265 students. Over that time, I also taught summer session about 80% of the years. What I have tried to do here is describe some of the day-to-day realities of teaching, service and professional development work that fits most of the people who teach college composition full-time, namely my community college colleagues.

I've also tried to address issues of theory and practice as they have been articulated by leaders in our profession through journals and conferences. And, frankly, I count myself as one of those leaders.

That post also made reference to the health problems that claimed his life yesterday, problems that kept him, over the last month or so, from posting at the prolific rate that he had established for himself over the last two years. This should have been a sign, I suppose, but John was also adamant about his blog as "a public place, not one where I will go into personal and private matters," and so I had no idea that his health was so precarious.

I can't say that I really knew John all that well, having only met him face to face in March in San Francisco, but of course I knew him better than that. Anytime I posted something critical of the field (and granted, it's not all that often), I could rely on the fact that he'd leave me a comment, not out of a desire to defend the field so much as to let me know that "the field" was listening. There are some people who do that, who listen so well, that it ceases to matter so much whether or not they agree. A lot of the time, it's enough to know that you're taken seriously.

And it was important to me (to many of us, I suspect) that John, whose experiences were vastly different from my own, took me/us seriously. Maybe that's why, even though I would be hard pressed to demonstrate that he and I were anything more than acquaintances, I feel like I've lost a good friend today. I feel like we've all lost a good friend today.


| | Comments (3)

I know. It's hard to argue that I'm "back" from hiatus if I'm only posting once a week.

I've got tons of stuff going on right now, though, and much of it isn't especially bloggable, I suppose. One of the background processes that's taking up a lot of spare time is my upcoming pseudo-move. They're going to be working on my building in a month or so, and so my rental company is going to move me to another building for a month and then back (they'll be working on that other building after they're done with mine). And that means that I have to spend the next couple of weeks slowly dis-embedding myself from the space I've occupied for four years now. Ugh. And I don't even have a supernewbiggerbetter place lined up to provide a light at the end of the packing tunnel. I'm going to end up in the same damn place.

I will probably make some decisions, though, about how embedded I want to be upon my return. I've filled up about a dozen boxes so far with books that I'm mentally filing into long-term storage, and I'm doing what I can to be a little more willing to pitch the junk.

As happy as I am about that, it hasn't helped for this to be going on while I'm teaching another grad seminar, working on dissertations, getting CCC Online going, revising my book manuscript, etc. I assumed that my schedule would lighten up after the semester ended, and if anything, it's been even worse.

And the blog, it suffers as a result.



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This page is a archive of entries in the bio category from June 2005.

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