Darkest Before the Unit 3’s Are Due

Week 9 of Grad School and Teaching Comp


Today’s dispatch comes all the way from a suburb outside of Seattle, WA where I arrived at Wednesday night following an eight-hour bus ride. At the moment, my partner is showering prior to our double date, so I’m taking the opportunity to write what may be my penultimate post for this term. Full of turkey and pie, it’s hard to grasp that four hours away awaits the misery of the final week of grad school.

             Time definitely flies when your eating soporific foods and spending considerable amounts of your time on your ass watching Duck Dynasty (a show I believe has got to be written by some higher power) while internally dreading the coming of the following week. Right before getting on the bus outta Corvallis, I was writing my latest comic impressions post and before then I was doing a workshop with my composition students who were kind enough to show up to class on a day where all their other classes were cancelled.

            That day only half of my class had shown up, and three quarters of those that did brought food to share with the rest of the group. We had food that varied from grape leaf wraps to ‘cookies’ that consisted of little more than slightly burnt store bought pie crust (still in the foil tin), and sat in a large circle like I used to as a creative writing undergraduate. From there, my students went one after the other, talking about their project, their proposed mediums and theses, and the rest of the class responded with thoughtful suggestions. Although not everyone spoke to the extent I would have liked, it was evident that most students were much more relaxed and willing to offer their opinions.

We wrapped up that class with a short exercise borrowed from a colleague where I wrote a student’s thesis on the board and we found ways to improve it in terms of specificity and clarity. Had we had more time I feel like students would have enjoyed doing several other thesis, so I’ll keep that in mind for next term.

As far as my own classes though, I see plenty of bags under my eyes in the near future. With two pretty substantial assignments left for my teaching of writing course, I do not see much down time in Corvallis since I hope to get it all mostly done by next Saturday when I’ll be getting back onto a bus for Spokane. Besides those papers though, I’m pretty much all wrapped up. Still got to defend a poorly written micro thesis, but sitting through several workshops where I had to remain wordless while peers thrashed my stories has put me in a good decision for it. The best part of all of it is that once I get past this week, I’m pretty much through my first term as a grad student. So long as I have the perseverance to do it 5 more times without significant nervous, I’ll have a graduate degree in rhetoric and I’ll be ready to do stuff with it such as juggle it, stare at it with remorse, or get a dog and train it to pee exclusively on a laminated copy of it.

Also, this movie is fantastic.

Oh, to dream.


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