If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RBOC: Migraine Edition

  • Woke up this morning feeling really awful. I was convinced I'd finally caught whichever of the nasty bugs that are going around SouthLite: my body ached, my throat was scratchy, and my head was both foggy and hurting. I took some Vitamin C and Motrin and headed off to the office. About halfway through the day it occurred to me to take my migraine medication. It worked.
  • I have a bunch of posts that have been running through my head this week but with a migraine the best I can manage is this RBOC post.
  • One of the posts I've been thinking of involves my love of a certain tea. I drink this tea all winter long. I drink this tea whenever I'm on a diet. I drink this tea when I get migraines. It is currently rainy and yucky outside; I'm on a diet and I have a migraine but I have no tea.
  • I've been out of tea for almost a month. b has been valiantly checking our local natural food coop for the latest shipment every week. Two weeks ago he tried to order it online for me (I also take this tea with me when I travel and desperately wanted it for my conference trip) but no luck--distributer is all out.
  • I fear my tea is being discontinued.
  • My favorite bra was discontinued many years ago and I have not been the same since.
  • Pumpkin, b and I got into a conversation about being particular. I am convinced I am the most particular of the three of us. b agrees but Pumpkin does not.
  • Angel got negative feedback from both this classmates and his teacher on his poem. He has to revise it and both he and I disagree with the suggested revisions. While the poem can use revising, my feeling on the suggestions is that they show a lack of understanding of the poem.
  • One of the suggestions was to not label the man in the 4th stanza as "black" but to find another way to describe him. It was implied that to describe the man by his race was racist. I find it disturbing that college students do not understand the difference between racist statements and descriptions of racism.
  • Tomorrow is the last day in the semester that I actually have to teach my classes. I will still have another week and a half of class meetings but they will be spent listening to presentations. The thought of not having to prep another class until January is very comforting right now.
  • This entire week has been taken up with other people's needs. End of the semester is a very needy time and while I'm less busy then most (due to how I plan my classes) I don't want to spend the time I have on other people's agendas.
  • Pressure is growing on me to take on an administrative task in the department. I've effectively put it off until tenure is official but I'm seeing that it will be close to impossible to avoid it completely. Soon my strategy needs to turn towards negotiating compensation.
  • Having administrative talents does not equal wanting to do administrative work.


Seeking Solace said...

Yay for migraine meds!

Drax said...

The suggested revision to Angel's poem depresses me beyond measure. Tell Angel to hang fire!

Annie said...

I sure hope you'll be feeling better soon. I don't often get a headache that sends me into a dark room with a wet cloth on my head, but it's awful!

Regarding Angel's poem: I learned, unfortunately, in my writing classes, that sometimes you make a revision for the class; and then you make your revisions for yourself. The poem or story or chapter you keep is the one you love. However, the fact they want him to change the word "black" seems utter ignorance, and as you say, a lack of understanding of the poem. Let's hope he has the kind of teacher who doesn't expect the student to take every suggestion. The idea in most creative writing classes is to use what you think is useful, and ignore the rest; as long as you are seriously considering the suggestions, and utilizing the ones that fit your vision and improve the poem.

Annie said...

Here's a possible way to change the text, without changing the intent, though it loses subtlety, and states racism, rather than implies it:

We joined a crowd.
And waited for a bus on 63rd and Lex.
Taxi’s sped past like angry
Yellow-jackets. One stopped
And the driver argued
Against the first man to reach it
Because his skin was brown.
And my father cried for justice
As it flew off.

I was thinking again about my critique experience in creative writing classes: You learn to trust certain people with their feedback, and not others. You won't follow every suggestion, even from the ones you trust, but you'll know their suggestions have some basis, and they are sincere in their desire to help.

life_of_a_fool said...

YES on the last point.

Julie said...

I'm rooting for Angel. I'm gritting my teeth at what his classmates said. What simple minds. I'm also flashing back to my MFA days. Ugh. I hated workshop days with other students. It was a huge waste of my time. I know that sounds arrogant, but it was true. Individual study with teachers was great, but I rarely listened to my classmates, if ever.

Obviously, Angel's classmates don't understand the intent of the poem. And the fact that the black man was the first to get to the taxi but "the driver argued against him" says it all. Yes, revision is a good thing (I never stop revising), but implying racism is ridiculous. The teacher should have put a stop to that immediately.

Please tell Angel that this poet sees much potential in his work.

I hope you get your tea! If you find it, please keep us posted as where to buy it. I hope the end of your semester is not too stressful.

Maggie May said...

Ugh. The poetry comments your son received are irritating.

I think I started having migranes last year without recognizing them. I just thought they were...bad headaches. Blush.