Monday, December 31, 2007


Every year, I set a reading goal for myself -- I never reach it. This year, it was 50 books. I'm 8 short. Hmpf.

In 2008, I'm participating in a TBR (To-Be-Read) Challenge. I have to choose 12 books that have been languishing on my shelves, waiting to be read. Here's my list (to be read in no particular order):

1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
4. The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
5. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
6. Ironweed by William Kennedy
7.The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving
8. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
11. Fluke by Christopher Moore
12. Black Boy by Richard Wright

1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
2. Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
4. Adam Bede by George Eliot
5. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

I'm looking forward to getting started!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Choosing to feel sorry for myself...

I'm tired. TIRED. Tired to the point where I couldn't focus while teaching this morning. I stumbled my way through two of the poems scheduled...I just wanted it to end. The students were tired, and weren't helping me out at all. Things started to liven up a bit when we discussed Donne's "The Flea" and Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress." Apparently, sex poems wake up students. Unfortunately, I can't do that all semester.

I'm having a difficult time keeping my Basic Writing students interested. I've tried different fun writing exercises like sending them out of class to find either something very gross or very beautiful to practice writing descriptions. That was successful in one of my classes, flopped in the other.

I just feel like I bore my students. Maybe I do. Maybe it's just that they're not awake. Or they don't care. It's probably not completely me...right?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I have no focus to write a real entry, so here are just two bits of news...

*I got a call from the English Dept. Head (former professor, all around fantastic human being) at the community college on Monday. He asked if I would be willing to teach 3 classes in the fall, and I had to tell him that I haven't graduated yet. But he didn't care! So I'm teaching two sections of Developmental Writing, and one section of Comp II. I'm going to pick up the textbooks today so that I can start planning -- classes start Sept. 4th.

*Knowlton Riverfest
I'll be reading my poetry there on Sunday afternoon along with a bunch of super-talented students from the community college.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I know where I'm going...and it ain't where I've been

I can't believe it's mid-July already. I'm at a point where I know what I'm doing every weekend for the rest of the summer, which makes me a little sad. I feel like there's so much more fun I want/need to have.

So what have I been doing? Still working for the insurance broker 15 hours or so a week from home. Going to the races almost every weekend. Working in my garden (ok, they're mostly in containers this year). Learning about homesteading, eating locally, and self-sufficiency.

I've spent the past two afternoons baking zucchini bread. At least once a day, I kick myself for not learning more from my grandmother before she died. I wouldn't have had to try 3 different bread recipes from the internet. I'd know how to can & preserve things. I'd know how & when to plant vegetables. But I took her for granted, and never thought about what I'd do without her. So I'm learning it all on my own. And kicking myself for not buying her farm when it was sold 5 years ago.

It makes me sad whenever we drive by the farm. I avoid it whenever I can, but lately Dad's been taking that route on the way to the races when we go to South Jersey. I tell him that I don't like going that way because of the Narrows (narrow [duh] one lane road smooched between railroad tracks and mountain rocks) but I really just don't like driving by the farm. It is, and will always be, my favorite place in the world. And it breaks my heart that I'll never set foot on that property again.

My veggies are coming along, though I'm far behind most folks in my area since I got them in so late. But I've learned so much this summer that I'm not disappointed. I've picked out a plot of lawn that I'm going to 'till up for a larger garden next year. And I've got plenty of seeds leftover for next year since I bought way too many this season.

I'm still debating on whether or not I want to finish my thesis or continue teaching. I'm so far removed from the girl I used to be...and I'm happier. We'll see.

Now, I have to try to figure out how to make the brown sugar frosting Nanny used to put on her zucchini bread.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I really should be at the library right now, but this recliner is too comfy to leave. I thought about going to B&N...but I really should buy any non-thesis books until the thesis is finished. Which might be never.

I've been in college for 14 years. There have been many schools (I transferred a few times), a few majors (business, history, then English), but I never took a break. Not even over the summer, until this one. I was passionate about literature and scholarship, determined to get my PhD. I wanted the cushy professor's office with stacks of books everywhere. I wanted students to line up at my door to chat because I inspired them. I wanted to spend hours researching and writing journal articles.

Not anymore.

I want to be what I used to think sucked the life out of women -- a housewife. I want to cook, bake, clean, do laundry, raise our children, grow a garden, and wear an apron around the house.
I want a more peaceful life. I want the life my grandmother had. Not necessarily the nine children, though. But I would love a farm.

I just wish I could find enough oomph right now to just finish my thesis and graduate. Then I can be a housewife if that's still what I want.

Anyone have some spare oomph?