Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Break

It may be evident by the fact that I haven't posted here since the very beginning of the semester that I've been busy. That is certainly true. It's been a difficult semester. The first four weeks or so, I felt quite often that the only thing that was going well was teaching and sometimes poetry workshop. I was just not comfortable in my other classes, and I felt out of my element. I eventually settled into them and feel pretty good about everything right now, but it was a process and made for a difficult eight weeks and made me very glad last night to leave my professor's reading and say "I am officially on Spring Break!"

I'm not going anywhere for break, and I have lots of work to do over the week, but it will be very nice not to have any scheduled obligations, to sleep in and stay up late and drink wine, to go running during the warmest part of the day. It's also supposed to be about 50 degrees for at least part of next week, which might finally melt all the snow, which is super exciting. I am really looking forward to warm weather!

Break has been good so far. Last night after the reading, five of us went to go see "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" at the State Theatre downtown. It was a really quirky, lovely movie, and the theatre is nice - one of those old-fashioned single-screen theatres with a balcony and a stage so they can also host musical performances and other events. I got home around midnight last night, and stayed up for awhile. I woke up this morning with no alarm, walked the dog, drank coffee, ate a "penalty donut"*, worked on poems, submitted one set to an online journal, then did some lesson planning for the week after break. Went for a 3.5 mile run later and it was sunny but chilly, and windier than I'd realized so my eyes were watering like crazy. Ate leftover tofu curry and channa saag for dinner (M had stayed over on Wednesday and I'd cooked dinner), and I think I'm going to soon pour some wine and try to work on my next nonfiction submission.

I've been doing a lot of thinking this semester about what I want to do after the MFA. It's a two year program so once I got through the milestone of that first semester, I had to start realizing that I was already a quarter of the way through and should probably give some thought to what to do next. I'm still contemplating applying to Lit PhD programs, but now leaning more toward applying to PhD programs that offer a creative dissertation option OR just taking my MFA and trying to get a fixed term position at Penn State for the standard three years (or possibly four if I could swing it). The one thing I know for sure is that I want to teach. Like I said, my teaching was sometimes the only thing I felt good about earlier this semester, and I've been having a really good experience with this class. I actually had a really good day regarding teaching earlier this week. I'd applied to teach in the LEAP program this summer, and I got assigned to the section I'd requested. It's a section that's paired with a Photography class, so I'm really excited to work with some creative kids and plan cooperative lessons with the other instructor. Later that day, I also got my SRTE scores from fall (the quantified student evaluations) and they made me really happy. So I'm looking forward to an exciting, challenging, fun summer teaching assignment, and I should get to teach creative writing in the fall, and it's incredibly nice to know that at least this one thing consistently feels good and right to me.

*Oh, and to explain the "penalty donut" - a fellow instructor has a rule that if anyone's cell phone goes off in class, that person has to bring a snack for everyone on the next class. A student had to do this yesterday and brought in way too many donuts, so the instructor was giving them away afterward, and I took one home for this morning. I may institute that rule myself in the summer.

So, I am going to do some work now and hope to have a similar day tomorrow and most of the next week - sleep in, coffee, write, run, more work. Rendezvous with M at some point. Other social engagements as they occur. Yay, spring break!