The past two weeks have been filled with grading, emails, web site updates for the festival, and other school business that has consumed my thoughts and my time constantly -- when I'm not panicking about giving
labor birth, that is.
Last week I thought I might be going into labor, but it turned out that I just had a stomach bug. Strange, I know -- but apparently the signs of early labor can mimic those of the flu. That was fun! I had to cancel some classes and deplete my already-insufficient stock of sick leave, so now I'm in the process of pleading with HR to allow my office mate to donate sick time to me -- all so that I have enough days to finish out the semester.
Otherwise, I'm going to drag my postpartum ass back into the office in May for five days and grade final exams . . . because fuck the system, that's why. They don't want to grant us maternity leave? Fine. I'll do what I think is unprofessional and pedagogically disastrous and return for the end of the semester to "teach" for five days (meaning, I'll collect final projects that my substitute professors have assigned and then grade them. That should provide some nice consistency for our students, who are already having their semester disrupted by my departure at the end of the week.)
Somewhere early on I did manage to send out a lot of manuscript (chapbook and full-length) and journal submissions, so it's nice to know I'll have some work circulating, and doing some work, in the months immediately following Vampire Baby's birth. (Vampire Baby is ginormous, by the way, according to my latest appointment with the midwife. And in other news, "ginormous" is considered a word by Blogger's dictionary.) I'm wondering when/if I'll get back to the business of writing anytime soon, though -- my head has certainly not been clear or relaxed enough to write over the past two weeks. I'm kind of hoping that I get a little bit of "down time" between my last day of classes (this Friday, March 8), and the baby's arrival.
That probably won't happen -- but I'll just hold on to the dream for a few more days . . . it'll help me get through the week and the 80+ papers I have to finish grading by Thursday.
And of course, while all of this is going on I've been grumpily and jealously reading everyone's AWP updates on Facebook. Judging by my News Feed on the ol' effbook, it feels like everyone will be in Boston but me this week. I'm being childish and sullen about it, I know, but I was really looking forward to the conference this year. Of course, I thought my chapbook might be ready by then, too, but apparently that's not happening, so I guess that if I'm going to miss AWP, at least I'm not also missing the publication of my first (hopefully "first," not "only") chapbook. (I did want to catch up with certain friends, though, and be part of that writing community once again for a few short days, and listen to Walcott and Heaney banter back and forth during the keynote . . . but *sigh* . . . it was not to be . . .)
So I'm going to go tackle some of that grading now . . . if I can manage to stay awake. (It shouldn't be too difficult, actually -- the puppy is laying on the bed with me and destroying a chew toy as loudly as possible, a situation that's not very conducive to sleep.) So, to conclude a post lacking any real substance, but certainly ripe with lots of complaining, here are two links to items I found interesting:
No Justice Done to Poetry at The Inauguration: On Richard Blanco in The Contemporary Poetry Review (I like this last review. It makes some really good points, I think -- and remember, I liked Blanco's inaugural poem -- but without feeling like an attack on Blanco's character or without resorting to any "Blanco sucks" kind of schtick.)