Well, I all but abandoned this blog lately, but for good reason: I got a second job! I’m now a TA in the Spanish Department, as well as in the Creative Writing Department, working 9 hours in the Spanish Conversation Center, helping undergraduates figure out how to twist their tongue around answers to basic questions, like, Where are you from? And, is your roommate annoying? Describe to me your least favorite chore from childhood. We also make lots of small talk. If I had a penny for every student I asked what his/her major was… Brings me back, y’all. To awkward house and dorm parties with peers I didn’t know.
It’s very divertido and exhausting to speak Spanish 9 hours a week, but gratifying as I remember that I actually started out my professional career as a Spanish teacher, then an English teacher abroad in Andorra to Spanish-speaking students. I feel I’m getting less rusty, and it’s always enjoyable when, in any language, someone younger than you looks at you wide-eyed and asks you to describe the magical time you had, after graduating, in the workforce in places as glamorous as Philly and Andorra (I usually have to point it out on a map), and when they, in despair and in English, ask how you EVER learned Spanish because it’s SO HARD OMG IMPERFECT (answer: I personally think every university should adopt the RC from U of Michigan’s campus model by having morning grammar lectures in Spanish, lunch table conversation centers, and afternoon literature discussion circles in Spanish–8 credits in total PASS/FAIL to take the pressure off getting “everything right”–which is impossible when learning a foreign language at first, since you are basically a toddler developmentally in the language).
The extra money in my bank account does not hurt at all as I try to save save save for effectively being unemployed come June/July and simultaneously living in Oxford, England, where I’ll be taking an independent research tutorial on lady sonnetiers and a course on American Fiction since 1945. I’ll also graduate with my Master’s in English Literature from Middblebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. It’s really hard to believe I’ll be graduating, since that means it was four years ago that I was in Andorra teaching and trying to figure out how to break in the English literature teaching market back home in the States and thus elected to spend my first summer doing Bread Loaf in Vermont with other English teachers of the U.S. looking to up their resume/content know how.
It was at my first summer at BL that I took a poetry workshop with newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith, who mentored me and gently suggested I consider applying for an MFA in poetry once I told her what I wanted to do (teach writing, have more time for my own writing, read great works of literature), and, well, the rest led me to where I am now.
On top of double TA’ing at UNCW, I’m still blogging regularly at Ploughshares writing their literary round down every other Tuesday. Thanks to those who read and shared–I get a bonus if my views go up, so thank you. I’m also still teaching yoga at Pineapple Studios downtown and enjoying developing “regulars” each week. I’ve been there officially a year, which is an amazing anniversary to me. A while back I imagined my dream life, and it included author, yoga teacher, and outdoor enthusiast, so it’s pretty great that I’ve had the opportunities I’ve had lately to explore my passions and bring them to others.
Things with Daisycat are great. She’s currently snuggled in my lap. Sometimes (read: all the time) she wakes me up in the middle of the night, so I haven’t been sleeping all that well, but could you resist this face?
I didn’t think so.
Additionally, in the service of making more money for the summer/Europe, I may also be subbing for a local academy here in Wilmington, to keep my teaching fresh. If any people in the MFA program are wondering why you never see me perhaps this post will explain. I’ve also been suffering from insane allergy attacks lately which on top the not sleeping well have made me feel somewhat of a zombie. But a happy zombie who finally likes what she’s producing in her workshops. And who falls asleep at 10:00PM on Saturdays.
My boyfriend continues to be a lovely stud who cooks AND cleans, even when he’s been at work longer than I have, and when I ask if I can help, he shoos me out of the kitchen and tells me to take a nap/have a glass of wine/take a bath, etc. He’s a gem and a keeper and I’m so glad we had the various twists and turns that brought us together. His humor keeps me laughing and his goodness keeps me growing. His pretty sky blue eyes don’t hurt neither.
Anyway, that’s it for now: I will try to be better at putting something up here. Perhaps not Saturdays anymore that I agreed to support Arsenal Football Club (read the above paragraph), but maybe I’ll start Wednesday posts, since I don’t have much but an evening class that day.