Voting, Writing, Grading, & the End of Soccer Season

Welp. This week I voted -- not that it did a damn bit of good on a -- baffling -- dominantly Republican Long Island, but it happened. I'm thrilled with the bulk of the changes that took place across the U.S. but wish that locally the Democrats had made more of a dent, even if I'm not wholly in love with the Democratic party. Our current House Representative for our district engages in a kind of conservatism that attracts the racist and the anti-feminist, which I find utterly demoralizing (it's so difficult to have neighbors that find that shit acceptable), and his campaign was rife with typical Trump-era fear-mongering, but I SUPPOSE I should find some encouragement that he won by a 4% margin, which is a clear win but by no means a landslide.

I try not to wax on about politics in this blog because that's NOT its primary purpose but it's difficult to ignore the state of this country sometimes. The latest with Jim Acosta has me so angry -- but nope. Not gonna do it. Not gonna engage. 

ANYWAY. Just over 1500 words of my play Accountability Partners for this week's Long Form Friday, which took place in the afternoon because I had to attend some training for the college in the morning. Also, four poems written this week, two of which I (kinda) finalized this morning. When I should have been running. *Cough*

I'm being really, really, REALLY stubborn by keeping to these early morning and Friday writing sessions, considering all of the grading I'm backed up with, but damnit, I made a commitment to my writing for this academic year, and I did it by abandoning a shit-load of committees and other responsibilities, and if I wasn't backed up with grading because of my writing at this point in the semester, I'd be backed up with grading because of all the committee meetings and driving between campuses and other time-sucks that make this job absolutely maddening. 

Ermahgerd. 40+ days!!
Also: LUGGAGE RECEIVED, YA'LL. I know you're just super excited for me.

So in some ways, this semester is business as usual because I'm drowning in papers and assignments that I consider necessary teaching tools -- like, the act of doing the assignment is supposed to teach the students aspects of writing. But then I have to grade the damn things. I assign so many quizzes and reading responses, but if I didn't I don't think they'd read, and class discussion (I loathe full-on lecturing) would be flat and boring and terrible. And for papers and bigger assignments they all expect feedback, which by all rights they should, even though I would say 80-90 percent of them don't actually use or read the feedback.

Ugh. ANYWAY. What I was going to say -- before I derailed this post with a monologue about assignments -- is that while it appears that nothing has really changed, everything has changed. I am so much calmer, and enjoy teaching so much more, when I protect my writing time. (I'm also so much happier and healthier when I protect my running time, but we can't have everything, can we?) 

Okay. Also, also, I watched (because I sacrificed some sleep) John Leguizamo's "Latin History for Morons," the idea of which is awesome, but the execution of which doesn't quite live up to expectations. There's a pretty apt review of the Netflix-released movie version in the New York Times (it was also a one-man Off Broadway show), although my own critique would be with some of the humor -- some of the jokes were not fresh, but rather expected, etc. -- and less with the structure of the show (although the  ending was perhaps a little too twee). 

But one of the things that I DID find kind of fascinating was how, in some ways, this show is such a good homage to one of Leguizamo's (white) heroes, Spalding Gray (which is slightly problematic, as he recounts in a reenacted therapy session). Spalding Gray was not -- by choice, of course -- the (highly) physical actor or comedian that Leguizamo is, but there was something so reminiscent of Gray in Leguizamo's storytelling that I found it kind of touching. And it made me miss Spalding Gray, which somehow I feel is a testament to the strengths of "Latin History for Morons." So now I have to watch Swimming to Cambodia again, which I saw for the first time in an art seminar class in college. It blew my little mind and I was an instant Spalding Gray fan.

Of course, I'll have to watch Swimming to Cambodia when I've put a serious dent in my grading . . . which somehow I'll do this weekend between the last of the kids' soccer games. (And while I love watching the kids play soccer -- YAY THE SEASON'S FINALLY DONE! It's a lot with three kids playing and practicing all at once.)


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