Days 7 and 8:
Friday started slow, as the break didn’t end until 3:00 PM. I slept in an extra hour, then woke to laze about my room checking email, getting myself organized, and in general ruminating over what’s to come. I worked out a writing schedule/goals for the coming school year and came up with a list of some books I’d like to read. Over the year, we are to read 24 books and respond in writing (2-3 pages) to each. Though this is a heavy work load, I’m excited about this, and it’s very close to what I’ve been doing on my own over at What I’m Reading Now.
The 3:00 class was on just this topic, focused on what is expected in the paper. I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that I’m a teacher while I’m here—to fully inhabit the role of writer—and not get pulled into the excitement—it is exciting!—of planning and pedagogy. However, I just couldn’t help but think about how all this reading will not only make me a better writer, but also a better reader, and probably a better teacher. I’m also hoping that I can choose at least a few of novels I’ll be teaching this year as part of my 24, otherwise…I see me with my nose in a book while walking, while showering, while mowing the lawn. I will definitely keep up Winston and my summer routine of sitting for hours every Sunday reading at Borders. And, yes, if by some off chance you happen to be reading this Winston, you’re going too!
There was another impressive graduate reading, and evening reading, then an open mic student reading at the Northern Pacific Coffee Company on Garfield Street.
The readers for the evening were Greg Glazner, Dinah Lenney, and Jim Heynen.
I’ve met some beautiful people here and went with two ladies—first year students like me—to the open mic. We shared a picture of beer, but somehow I ended up with more than my share. I slept well, but since I didn’t hit the sack until 1 AM, I woke tired and a bit woozy.
Dinah Lenney gave the Saturday morning talk on memoir. She played just a little piece of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, which of course, being a Joni Mitchell fan, endeared her to me even more. That song in particular is just sooooo good. Lenney was poised, well-spoken, and funny.
Today was the first day of our mixed-genre workshops. A whole new group—a new set of mixed genre pieces to workshop.
There was a long break between noon and three during which I went for a long walk and sat at the book store reading You Suck by Christopher Moore.
The 3:00 class was the second half of the critical paper class with Ann Pancake. I left feeling like I had a good idea of what they’re looking for in those papers and some ideas about what I’d like to read.
After that there was another graduate reading and a dinner. I made the difficult choice to skip the evening reading so that I could get to sleep early. I was SO beat, and it paid off. I slept right through seven hours and am feeling like a new woman this morning.
Two by two, they boarded the narrative arc. I swear to Dog, I can’t use that phrase anymore with a straight face. I bow down to the sentiment, but discard the phrase.