Sunday, August 29, 2004

A week of classes has gone by and all seems okay. Introductory stuff seems to have gone through okay and all. Trying to get my plans done a week in advance so I have more time at home for my quiet time and stuff with the kids. Spent much of the weekend getting the kids to clean their rooms and other domestic stuff like cleaning my study. Got my hat rack on the wall. Read the in class writing I wanted to read for tomorrow, but not everything. I want to tweak my presentation on invention.

Found out this morning that my poem "Midlife" has been accepted to the print issue of Mandrake Poetry Review, a sister publication of The New Formalist. This is pretty exciting. Not as many of my rhymed pieces see print and this is one I'm a bit fond of.

Angela is off at college, living in the dorm her mother once lived in, her first class tomorrow. We all got to chat with her a bit. Boyfriend was there being Mr. Wonderful. I'm a little nervous, but I've got much faith in her.

Made more notes on the essay about student reading and preparedness. It seems the more I draft, the more I feel I need to do in the way of invention. Read the introduction and some of the first section of a grand old book called The Art of Rapid Reading by Walter B Pitkin. The book was published in 1929, and it seems that what got in the way of businessmen and women as far as reading is concerned seems to still plague our modern day student. I think I may use a quote or two from the book in my essay.

A thousand or more people protested Bush today in NYC. There was a replay of the episode of The Practice where a woman who is told to move her protest of the president assaults a police officer. I certainly don't condone violence, but the commander in chief and his cronies have to see the bad p.r. that stifling free speech does to them. This issue alone may make me vote for Kerry. But I refuse to vote according to one item or agenda.

Started reading Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Trying to practice what I preach about reading. Probably finding it as tough to wade through as much students find much of the material I assign. This is in the second book of a four volume set called The World's Greatest Thinkers. This is the "Man and Man" volume. I have given myself the lofty goal of reading the entire series, hopefully by the end of the semester. So gentle reader, prepare for either pithy quotes and astute observations or my vile expressions of frustration.

Listening to a tape I made several years ago of the David Becker Tribune. Sure wish Napster had some of their stuff. KNTU played a few cuts from their recent album regularly this summer and I wanted to get some. But alas, none is to be had.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Convocation week. This is the week before classes begin when we go to meetings that are usually too long and often unnecessary, work on our syllabi, and catch up with our colleagues. Today we had a workshop on collegiality. I went away feeling unwell. Maybe that's good. I have a lot to learn.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The school year will soon be upon us. Monday begins school for the kids (except Angela) and I have reporting week. Then classes the following Monday. Angela moves into her dorm at Texas A&M Commerce on Wednesday. Tonya had a devil of a time getting Angela registered for her classes, thanks much to the runaround of a student worker who didn't understand enough English to get past the difficulties of the pat responses he was told to give.

I am looking forward to everything, but I feel I have not gotten as much done this summer as I would like. I hope I can work on the syllabi and writing e-book this week, so I will not be so stressed next week.

Have not done much writing...a few poems, or rather a handful of disparate lines. The other day, I worked on the plagiarism essay and the letter to politicians essay, but I don't know if I've really accomplished much.

Spent last weekend with my brother John and his family. Was really nice to visit. Mom and Bryan came on Saturday and we played volleyball and ate steak. Mostly I did nothing and chatted extensively with John.

Finally finished The Greatest Story Ever Told. I'm glad I read it. There is much to like about it, but some of the book did not set well with me. There were some subtle places that seemed a bit anti-Semetic and too often the dialogue (especially where passages of Scripture had been taken directly) lapsed into King James English, which disturbed not only the flow, but the tone and flavor of the overall story. However, I may be too critical about these points.

Have returned I, Robot, by Isaac Assimov. Am in the third chapter/story. So far so good. I do sense, perhaps because I am returning to school soon, perhaps because I have not written much, to read something a bit more substantial.