The Sunday Salon: an opportunity to bask in bookishness. I have been nervous to join because even though I have been blogging for a year, there are moments when I don’t feel legitimate. I cannot say that is unusual because, at some point, I have felt that way in every aspect of my life. My teaching isn’t good enough. My writing isn’t up to par. I would say, also, that it is difficult treading the line between academic writing about literature and blogging about literature. On one hand, I don’t want to review books in a purely academic fashion as that can be boring. Yet, there are moments when I find myself desperately wanting to explore facets of the books I read in greater depth, and this is the place I want to be able to do that. Even as a teacher, I miss sitting at a desk in a classroom, thinking about what I read before class and trying to put my thoughts into words. I do that in my classroom now, but it is certainly different. I have to pull those thoughts from my students carefully. I know there are plenty of students sitting at those tables, too shy to speak up about their opinions, students who think they, too, are unqualified to talk about what they’ve read.
Those moments, though, that thrilling second before I would raise my hand and say something I prayed wasn’t completely obvious, my stomach quivering, those are the moments I want to instill in my students. Not because I want to torture them but because more than anything, I want them to feel my classroom is an open space to talk about and love or hate on literature. Learning – and teaching – is about discovery, and you would be amazed at how discovery has been discouraged in school. Students want to know the answers, and they want to pick their grades. Discovery never enters the equation.
Discovery is why I am here, why I am a blogger. Blogging is an experiment – one of the biggest I have embarked upon. In academic circles, writing spaces are a hot topic. The Internet as writing space is one of the biggest. Writing into the void. Often it feels that way. There are days when I log on and see no comments and feel disappointed. I want that sense of community. I don’t want comments for comments sake. However, I still blog. My aunt sent me a card week before last that says, “It isn’t enough to be a charming, witty overachiever anymore. Now you have to have your own blog.” In some sense, it’s true, yet I don’t often tell colleagues about my blog (partially because I think the word is so incredibly goofy sounding) because there is still a bit of that nervous grad student in me, so worried to say the wrong thing and feel embarrassed. I feel free here, and I blog because it is my opportunity to reinvent the classroom, to speak up and voice my opinion, my critique, except this time I am among peers.
Week in Review and What’s Next:
This week, though I certainly wanted to, I had no time to read. I picked up a fourth class, as an instructor had to leave mid-semester, and along with one class being in the library for the first time, it was an incredibly hectic week. Plus, I had a headache that, as of last count, has lasted six days. I finished up an M.C. Beaton but didn’t really enjoy it. However, this coming week is ….drumroll please…. SPRING BREAK! Though I still have to advise students (I do that 25 hours a week), I won’t have classes. I hope to finish grading some annotated bibliographies, and after that, I will read. I have had Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld since the Texas Book Festival back in October and still haven’t read it. Shame on me. That should be a fairly quick read, and I have plenty left in my TBR pile to choose from. Today will be spent reading, recovering, and preparing to paint next weekend. Yes, I finally chose a color for the dining room/library.
What are you doing on this day of rest?
P.S. The new Jane Eyre adaptation hits theaters in – count it – five days. FIVE DAYS!!! Is anyone else excited?