I've been spending a lot of time lately avoiding blogging. I'm not sure why. I spend a lot of time being afraid of blogging. It is a bit silly. I make a lot of "blog this" notes to myself in margins and on post-its, but then I never actually bring the material to the "page."
As I logged in today, for the first time in a long time, I lingered over my screenname because ofthis, after reading BitchPhD's response to the case. As a "former" Vermont resident (my heart still resides there) and friend to a number of Middlebury graduates, it makes me feel shame and sadness to read this. For me, the only drawback to Vermont is the lack of diversity. Yet I've always loved the (predominantly) live and let live mentality, along with the progressive politics and (mostly) foward-thinking residents. Reading about this Middelbury case puts a damper on some of those feelings.
So I'm prepping my summer course, 300Z Expository Writing, a class I have not taught before (at least not at this institution or this level). Creating new curriculum/prepping is always one of my favorite activities, but I also end up filled with this strange mixture of excitement and trepidation. Still, as I'm working on the prep it consumes me. I fall asleep creating assignments, shifting readings around, and thinking of discussion topics.
Here is my reading list so far:
300Z Course Packet Contents
Introduction from The Art of Truth
“How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
Kathryn Harrison from The Kiss
Mumia Abu-Jamal: Live from Death Row
John Edgar Wideman: Brothers and Keepers
Selections from A Place to Stand by Julie Lindquist
Daniel Miller “Making Love in Supermarkets”
Barbara Ehrenreich Nickel-and-Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
George Orwell: “Politics and the English Language”
Excerpts from William Zinsser’s On Writing Well
Hmmmm...well, looking at it from this perspective, it doesn't seem entirely coherent, but there *is* much thought put into this. I hope it all comes together.
The course will begin with dicussions about dealing with the concept of "T/truth." That will be something we continually come back to throughout the six week course. Initially I am trying to cover writing about "self" (memoir); moving from there into writing about "other" (**I'm having trouble here with framing this/knowing what to call "it"--"other" seems like a loaded word to be using and I'm not sure it is saying exactly what I want it to say. Yet simply saying, write about somebody else, doesn't seem to work that well either). Finally, we'll do come cultural criticism/literary journalism. It is important for me to make it clear that these are not three distinct categories at all, and the readings I've chosen (for the most part) illustrate this "blurriness," "messiness" of genre and theme (etc.)--Brothers and Keepers does this particularly well.