It’s 5:30 and I’m awake!…

It's 5:30 and I'm awake! Granted, it was a nasty nightmare that woke me up, the sky outside is still pitch black, and I'm yawning a bit -- but I'm actually feeling fairly well rested and eager to work. Maybe there's a hope of getting back into my Clarion schedule.

This morning I read through the TA handbook and critique one of Rob's stories that he e-mailed to the Clarion group. I'm looking forward to it. But first -- time to make some tea.

7:20. Read and critiqued Rob's story. Added "Temptation" to the stories page. Added reviews of "Jinsong" and "Japanese Garden". Feeling virtuous.

Also feeling nervous about "Temptation". The story is harsh. It's horror, it's nasty, it's blasphemous, it gave me nightmares when I was writing it and makes me feel guilty every time I look at it. Sister Agnes (one of my 5th grade Catholic nun schoolteachers) would definitely not approve. I hope it wouldn't upset her. I didn't mean to upset anyone with that story...I honestly do think it is at heart a *good* story, a parable even. But I think you have to read the story generously to get that. I'm a little afraid of what unsympathetic or careless readers will think of it.

Tell me I'm being silly -- tell me to stop worrying.

1:30. Mary Anne Triumphant! Okay, I'm being silly, but I'm on a bit of a high -- just read the comments of Tom (my Modern Fiction professor from last spring) on my Faulkner paper. Good, good, good. Re-reading the paper, I pretty much agree with his small points of criticism -- there was an area concerning Benjy that I didn't really analyze in as much depth as I should have (relying on the critics' interpretation, which was pretty silly considering my secondary focus was on the subjectivity of critical interpretation. :-) But on the whole, he really liked it, and I'm really happy because I thought Tom was just brilliant. One of the best classes I've ever had. *bounce!* If anyone wants to read the paper, e-mail me, and I'll put it up. It's a solid 20 pages of academics, be warned.

Okay, time to calm down. The morning went well -- lots of organizational stuff for TA'ing. It turns out that actual work doesn't start until Monday after next, which gives me plenty of time to get nervous.

This fall is going to be a bit odd -- there are two teaching classes I really want to take, and I want to do a workshop, which means that I'll have to take two academic classes and do my thesis in the spring. Not impossible, but not entirely easy either. Eh. I'm tough. I can handle it...

Gods, I'm *so* much happier with this paper than I was with the one I wrote for Stephen. Ick. Feh. What a terrible piece of writing. Goes to show what being out of school for 3 years will do to you...you forget how to think.

Got e-mail from Bob, Clarionite. Heart-twisting -- talking to these people is wonderful but only makes me miss them more. He was talking about that day we went hiking -- you remember my talking about it? Reminded me of details I'd forgotten: Rick's wry comments on Alex's poetry, an Indian couple we passed on the trail (which led to a conversation about my family, if I remember right), my sneakers, which were totally not up to the hike. Almost twisted my ankle more than once. Memory is so very weird. And fragile. I want to write it all down -- all of it. What the sun feels like today after three days of unseasonal cold.

The slight twisting at the pit of my stomach at the thought of teaching soon. (Actually, tutoring, this fall. Teaching isn't until the spring. But tutoring in the Writing Center is just as scary. Well, almost as scary.) The relief of getting this paper back from Tom -- makes me think that maybe they knew what they were doing when they hired me to teach composition after all. Maybe. The loneliness at Mills. While the other students in the program are all nice and friendly and good people, I haven't really clicked with any of them. Partly because my life outside is so busy, I suspect -- I haven't made it to a lot of group activities. Understandable, but difficult. Not to worry -- it's not nearly so bad as high school started out. :-)

Well, pick and choose, right? If I put down all the details of my life, you'd never have time to read them all. Hopefully, I'm making good choices. Maybe someday soon I'll run a survey -- ask you all to write me with your favorite journal entry, and tell me why you liked it. Hmm...I'll think about it. Don't send it to me yet -- this week is a little too full of stuff already.

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