Exciting moments with maps and next week…

Today, we saw several  maps revealed in full, in part, and/or in progress.  Next Monday, Apr. 2, we’ll see everyone’s maps again and a draft of the paper. Also, you need to have photographed your map by this date, too. We need several photos, please, as some of the maps will not be able to be scanned due to 3-D elements. Thank you.

Also, if anyone forgot about the IP story–please bring that on Apr. 2. Remember, it’s old-school: bring it printed on paper. AIEEEE. You read that right. I’m feeling nostalgic.

We have a new deadline for the paper/map project: Apr. 9. We need a week more–no other way around it. We must have that. So plan, accordingly, please.

I’d like you to blog over the weekend about your project and where you’re at, what’s on your mind, where you may end up going with your project, etc. Include some images or a picture, or a snippet of your text, so folks can read about what’s going on. Please comments on everyone’s blog (in this class) by class time on Monday. We’ll have some time on Monday to do this, but you need to have most of it done ahead–which means you should plan on doing your blog posts by early Sunday, Apr. 1 (not an April Fool’s Day thing–this is really an assignment!).

Be ready to make some plans for how we can connect with those who are not traveling with us… Ciao and may be the odds be ever in your favor.

Where I took my mind for spring break

Physically, I had a staycation for spring break.

I was at home and the office pretty much all week, except for the occasional trip to the grocery store. It was quiet and I needed that. I had reading I needed to do for my class on Dickens, thirteen professional papers I needed to edit (2-4 hours per paper), some writing that I needed to do (the first weekend of spring  break)–which then inspired a blog post that will be my writing guide for the next year or two. SO that last thing was huge.

I hope.

I have been wanting to write about my teaching life for a long time and just didn’t feel like I could do it or what that would mean or look like. But in the last few weeks–thanks to you all in Honors Comp II, students in my Dickens’s class, and a few friends–I seem to have gotten INSPIRATION big time. Everything started to come together a week ago Sat. I’m delighted because, as writers, you know how hard it can be to articulate a large idea into parts that can be conquered over time. Like a research project with various requirements, writing a book is a gesture in faith as well as perseverance. And I will need to persevere (don’t you think there’s a good reason “severe” is part of that word?).

But the good thing is–the vision crystallized and clarified a bit.

My spring break mental trip, then, was something of a map of the future, a path I can follow to grow and learn and keep writing. It is a yellow brick road to something like an emerald city, an Oz, that I need to get to, in order to find the wizard, discover he’s just a dude behind a curtain, defeat an evil witch, tap my ruby slippers together, and come on home–to where I’m happiest.

That would be a classroom. Home is a classroom.

Where are you at? I’m here.

Here’s where I’m at right now: Montgomery, Alabama.

Montgomery, Alabama (where I'm at 2012)

There are other places I have been at, or at least a few. These are the places I’ve spent more than a few years at, in, around. I’ve enjoyed thinking about where I’ve lived just now. And then, I’ve recalled all the stories I have lived and created.

What a miracle the human mind is, the heart, the body we haul around with our hearts and minds to all these locations where we live and work and learn. Where have you been at?

Los Angeles, CA (LOT of years)

Boise, Idaho (1980s)

Azle, Texas (some of the 00s)

Portland, Oregon (LOVED living there)

DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth--fourteen years in this region)