Summertime Blogging

The Academic Blogosphere (the blogging world in which I live) seems to go on semi-hiatus once classes end—or at least once they end for you semester system schools. We on the quarter system are still plugging away for 2 more weeks. Interestingly, I’ve found few community college instructors who are bloggers (as is also true with the academic novel—there are few that focus on community college faculty and students—another interesting gap to explore).

But I’m finding that the relatively light blog-reading the last few days has allowed me to get more done. I’m also less writerly these days myself: I have a list of blog ideas, but little time or inclination to pursue them right now. Instead I’m doing the usual end of term/start of summer chores:

  • Reading research paper drafts—in fact, this activity should take every waking moment of the next week despite the high attrition in those classes. Most intriguing fact from this term’s papers: I have THREE papers on “evil” and one intriguing paper on women who choose to be exotic dancers.
  • Reading my online literature class’s weekly postings—this week, they are on Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver, two of my favorite writers, so I’m looking forward to reading their postings. Yet, unlike the research paper classes, this class has no attrition, so I have 40 postings and responses to look forward to….so far, they seem to be getting O’Connor’s wicked sense of humor (and, as always, critiquing the hapless grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find”). So far, no one has taken me up on my prompt asking for an analysis of why “Everything That Rises Must Converge” appeared in the season finale of “Lost”.
  • Fine tuning the big speech I’m giving this weekend. I have the meat and bones nicely organized, but now I need to work on wording and delivery, and I should time myself, I suppose. Anyone know how long 1700 words should take to read in a New York-velocity accent?
  • Choosing textbooks for fall—yes, it’s ridiculously early to even think of such a thing, but I’m already a month late on my fall book orders.
  • Planning the summer vacation—this summer, it’s hubby’s turn to plan our vacation in August (itinerary, hotels, etc etc), but I suspect he’ll need a little pushing. Yes, I’m obviously the pushy one in this relationship….
  • Gearing up to teach two back to back online classes this summer—luckily, both are graduate level, small classes, focused on researched writing.
  • Training for two half ½ marathons in June
  • Assorted social gatherings every weekend for the next few weeks (funny how mostly introverted faculty start becoming social and extroverted as the term winds down). One gathering is a “Pure Romance” event: think Tupperware-type party with dildos and edible panties.
  • Still reading “light and uplifting” fiction each week in the endless task of finding a community read book. Has anyone read The Help by Kathryn Stockett? That was has been added to the list. Right now I’m reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: a beautiful novel, not unlike Jewett’s The Country of Pointed Firs in terms of structure (each chapter focuses on a different character in this small Maine town), but so far, I wouldn’t call it “light” fiction.

I suspect in a few weeks, once the grades are submitted, the speech is done, and the gatherings are over that I will be able to do a few meaty blog postings. Till then, I’ll probably just do hit or miss links to interesting stories and sites, which I hope are at least mildly amusing (well, they are amusing to me, and perhaps that’s all that counts in the Daily Me world?).

4 responses to “Summertime Blogging

  1. AnnieEm, I am happy to read anything you post, light or meaty! 🙂

    And I want to know about the O’Connor allusions in Lost!

  2. Do you watch Lost? Well, it’s the book that Jacob was reading….

    I’m actually hoping one of my 40 students has some theories as to WHY that title and why O’Connor….

  3. I love me some O’Connor. In my other writing life, I consider myself a southern gothic playwright/poet, along her vein – though nowhere near her talent. I’m looking forward to seeing one my “southern gothic” plays done at Northwestern, provided everything works out.

    Gosh, Annie Em, I just really like the things you post. I’m so glad to “know” you.

  4. Thank you, TK, though I could never match your posts in terms of their depth, charm, quality, quantity and overall, genuine and heart stopping creativity. I subscribe to dozens of blogs, but always savor your postings for later in the day, with a glass of wine or some tea and ginger cookies (depending on the day, naturally).

    That’s why I end my Intro to Fiction course with O’Connor: I consider her works a treat for me and for my students, and this term, they have loved her work. And it’s always the best writers who are most attracted to her writing, too, and who get her humor, and her sensibility.

    Perhaps it’s our shared love of O’Connor that connects us: I so desperately wanted to spend last summer in Georgia working with O’Connor’s papers (there was an NEH summer seminar in her hometown), but couldn’t get away. Someday…..I wrote my dissertation on Catholic women writers, but focused more on the more familiar New Yorker versions than on O’Connor—she was too intimidating for me to approach in some ways. Yet, she’s the one I teach the most…

    Your writing attracts me in the same way O’Connor’s does. Please keep posting.

    And you must keep us all posted on the play at Northwestern!

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