So I made it through a tough week. Tonight: the last of the grading. Tomorrow: a play -- Clive Barker's Frankenstein in Love at the Vortex. Local performance poet Danny Solis is the lead, local columnist and personality Gene Grant is in it, as is Eric Bodwell. Some of my favorite ABQ boys!
I feel put through the ringer, and although I've spent all week cursing teaching and all it entails (grading, preparation, reading shit that' s not for my thesis), it's also been the source of ego boosts this week, too. Tuesday was a lecture/discussion on Transportation Planning -- of which I know next to nothing. Most of what I know I got from reading their textbook (through the prism of my other interests, of course!). The only advantage I have is that I'm a better student than my students. Otherwise? I'd be lost for sure. Thursday was a lecture/discussion on Community Development -- of which I know next to nothing (hmmm...noticing a theme?). What I know I know from sporadic lectures in other classes and ... you guessed it ... the textbook.
But both classes went BEAUTIFULLY. Maybe because I didn't try to say too much (not that much TO say, really) or maybe because I had to think really quickly about what it was that I wanted them to know. Mostly, I wasn't afraid to extrapolate from the information my larger points about the role of government and the underlying values that should inform all our planning (and political) decisions.
And we had a public meeting in the North Valley for a planning process that's just getting started that I got to facilitate, only because my normal project manager had another meeting in Socorro. It went GREAT. I was so ON. There is nothing like facilitating a community meeting. It's almost better than teaching. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to tell you which was better. There's certainly less post-stress from teaching. The hard part about community meetings is the work that comes after to capture and use responsibly all the information you get.
Last night was a meeting with fellow poets to choose poems for a local anthology published by the Harwood. Wading through over 150 entries. Arguing about the merit of poems. What's new? What works and why? What speaks to you? What's too important to leave out? What is lost if not included? What will only do a disservice to itself by being included among other poems that are sure to overshadow it and render it flimsy at best? SO FUN. Talking and laughing and advocating and putting your foot down and knowing when to let go. Mostly just reveling in being one of several poets supporting other poets through love of their poetry.
So this was a professional development week, disparate though it still seems to be. And now? Now time for grading and then THESIS ALL WEEKEND LONG. And the break has actually wet my appetite to get back into the mix. I actually want to do the map analysis to see what my data actually show. The story will uncover itself this weekend, and then all I have to do is write it up! Holy god let it go quickly.
All this time feels positively decadent. Now I just have to not waste it.