In my time away from this blog (essentially 3 months), I’ve gotten very little writing done. Oh, I wrote the conference paper I referred to in Looking and the Gaze | Romance on Film and I delivered it successfully in Venice, which was definitely the high point of last semester. (I knew there was a reason I liked October!)
But as for sustained writing? Not so much.
I taught my usual number of classes (4) last semester; they were writing-heavy and also had a lot of students in them. Somehow, although my expertise is film, I’m expected to teach writing as well. That’s okay. I can. I have a B.A. and an M.A. in English, and I taught college-level writing for two years. But it’s beyond my current job description. I resent having to deal with what are essentially high-school level issues of grammar and composition. Lower than that, really.
(I’m sorry, but when I was a middle-schooler I wrote better than a significant number of my students. I’m not even talking style. I’m talking simple grammatical sentences with correct word usage.)
ESL students are one thing: they have their own issues — and so would I if I were getting an undergraduate degree in a language not my own. But first-language English speakers? I don’t get it. I understand not being particularly good at it — but lack of basic knowledge of grammar, punctuation, spelling? How did these students get into college?
Perhaps the same way I got in with less than college-level math?
All right. I’m judgmental. This is nothing new.
At any rate, without going into greater detail, I had a very heavy schedule last semester on the academic front, and so very little writing — academic or non-academic — got done. Folks think professors sit around, think deep thoughts, opine, work a few hours each week and get 3 months off during the summer.
‘Tisn’t the case.
Happily, I anticipate having more time when next semester starts at the end of January — specifically more time for writing. I have an internal grant that pays for a course release, which means I don’t have to teach one of my student- and writing-heavy classes. I won it for the purpose of revising the Venice paper as an article (by the beginning of August, I think). It’ll require additional research and possibly a trip to Los Angeles for that purpose, but I anticipate enjoying the process.
Before then, by the end of next month, I have to revise a chapter for a book which is under contract by Macmillan. Yay and all that, though I feel the pressure of time already. Still, I’m not going to start that process until next week (January 2, to be precise). I want to relax as much as possible until the holidays officially end.