Week 6: Reflections as Writer-in-Residence

I found my rhythm again this week, after two weeks of rather frustrating levels of productivity. I came here to answer the question: Can I teach part time and still write, read, and submit at the level that I want to be? The answer came early and clearly: YES. But then I was thrown another question: Can I teach part time, write part time, and be in a relationship? The answer for the first two weeks was a resounding NO, which fact left me annoyed and confused if not still overjoyed to have the filmmaker in my life.
In Week 6, I have discovered that balance between these three things might be possible. I write 3 lyric essays this week, jotted notes for 1 more along with ideas for 2 short stories. I continued reading (add 2 more books to my list for the year: William Gass In the Heart of the Heart of the Country and Charles Siebert’s Angus), and I finished the week by mailing 1 submission and 1 residency application. I also spent decent time with the filmmaker, logged plenty of hours in my various roles as editor, got better sleep, and graded student papers. Seems possible, right?
As for the teaching end of things, the students are wearing those long faces of February. In particular, my seniors are “so ready” for college. When they’re not reminding me of this overtly they’re saying as much with their slouches, slight revisions, and forgetfulness. But goodness, they work so hard and they’re already accepted into schools (most of them)—I remember well the liberation that came with that position. It seemed ok, finally, to entertain the possibility of getting a B in a class (by choice) just because, well, I’d earned the right. They’ve earned it too. We’ll see if they’re surprised come mid-term, though.

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