Sunday, July 25, 2010

After a long absence...

I am finally posting on my blog again.

My summer has passed through a few distinct phases, which I'll try to summarize, and it is now winding to a close. A month from now, fall semester will have already begun.

Phase 1 was the one in which I last posted. I read a lot, relaxed a lot, hung out with friends, wrote, and ran.

Phase 2 was two glorious weeks away from this town. I spent ten days in California and didn't want to leave, then spent a long weekend in Columbus before returning to PA. San Francisco was fabulous, and Berkeley was beautiful, and M and I had a wonderful time. Columbus was also an excellent time in which I ate a lot of good food and hung out with a lot of old friends.

Phase 3 was rather unpleasant and unhappy, in that I had to adjust to being back here and get ready to teach class. I also decided in that time period to take Spanish this summer so there were logistics to be worked out with that. And I started thinking more about what to do after the MFA; my conclusion, subject to change as always, is that I'm going to apply to just a couple of PhD programs in creative writing, as well as apply for other types of things as well. Hence me taking Spanish; most of the PhD programs require a foreign language competency. Phase 3 ended with my pilgrimage to Comfest back in Columbus. A wonderful hot weekend and another which I did not want to leave.

Phase 4 began on June 30th when I started teaching and on July 1st when I started my Spanish class. What I've been doing since then is getting up at 6:00am every day (M-F), catching the bus at 7:30, spending 8:00-12:25 in Spanish class (it's a summer intensive course, which basically goes through a semester of Spanish every 2.5 weeks. I skipped part 1 since I took Spanish in the past, part 2 was the second elementary level, and part 3 which I'm doing now is intermediate), then going to my office to eat lunch, prep for class, have office hours, etc, then teaching 2:20-3:35 and then either walking or taking the bus home and getting back between 4:00 and 4:30. Then I do homework, grade papers, and maybe read or write. M moved in here last weekend, just temporarily, because his old lease ended before his new one began. It's going well.

I'm actually really loving my Spanish class and really wanting to go to Spain next summer. I also am enjoying my teaching assignment this summer, though the room is small and hot; the students are smart though and interested and mostly unjaded. I get to teach creative writing this fall. Definitely exciting, but I also need to plan a new course. If you have suggestions for readings or activities, let me know. Particularly in the realm of fiction because that is not my genre of choice. I'm more comfortable talking about poetry or nonfiction.

What have I read? I don't even remember. I read a lot during that third part of my summer: some memoirs, some poetry, some fiction. Outstanding things I remember reading were Audre Lorde's memoir "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name - A Biomythography" and the poetry collections "Late Psalm" by Betsy Sholl and "Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities" by Kazim Ali.

So that is summer in a nutshell. Busy, mostly good, and going all too fast.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I have very fond memories of summer intensive language programs at Penn State. Great way to really immerse yourself in a foreign language.