The College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire awarded me one of three teaching excellence awards. They say some nice things about me here:
I think in my head I’ve always downplayed my teaching. Part of me has always thought, I’m teaching until I break on through (to the other side) and get that big advance and buy a private island and tell everyone to pound sand and laugh like a crazy person as I wave my fat wads of cash about willy-nilly and light cigars-most-foul with hundred dollar bills.
But in reality, this is what I do. I’m grateful for my job. I do the best I can at being a good teacher, at least. I work with nice people. My students are really smart. A lot of them are way smarter than me. Way smarter. I often have rocket scientists in my classes. Actual rocket scientists. And bio-chemists. And future business titans. And people who will grow tomorrow’s crops and nurse tomorrow’s sick and counsel tomorrow’s troubled and write tomorrow’s books.
It seems so odd that I get to teach writing. There’s so much I don’t know about writing. Sometimes, I wonder if I know anything at all. You sit down at the blank page. You find a creative space. You stay there till the page isn’t blank any longer. You revise. What else is there? The students who said (in the interviews) that they came away from class as changed people…I don’t know what that’s about. I hope it was good change. I hope their parents don’t hate me for encouraging their children to seek a life in words (dooming their potentially prosperous, fabulous, wealthy, rewarding careers).
I’m very appreciative of the folks in the English department who nominated me and said nice things about me and my teaching. I’d like to thank each and everyone of them for allowing me to steal all their best ideas for use in my own classroom. And now you’ll have to excuse me… I have some papers to read and some books to recommend. It is, after all, my job.
I have new stories (or old stories newly published, for the first time) appearing in Limestone and Nimrod. Both very nice journals full of good fiction, poetry, and other artistic hullaballoo. I’m in Nimrod with my good friend Hayden Saunier, a very fine poet.
Both of the stories are stories I worked on for years. I’m happy to see them both in print and grateful to the fine staffs of these magazines for selecting them and taking the time to make their respective journals look so darn good.
Two female republican senators have endorsed stripping and posing nude in order to pay for college. Apparently, Elizabeth Warren (dem) (who is running for Scott Brown’s (rep) seat in the US Senate) quipped about Scott Brown (who posed naked for Cosmo to help pay for college) that she did not, in fact, take off her clothes to pay for college. Brown responded, “Thank God.”
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) came to Brown’s defense and said that it was wrong of anyone to mock the “hard” choices people make whilst attempting to meet the ends. Brown, they seemed to imply, had entered the seedy world of nude naughty bits because life had dealt him a tough hand and he was simply trying to put food on the table. Here are their quotes:
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said in a statement published in Politico, “It’s inappropriate to make light of his personal circumstances, or to disparage or belittle him for the decisions he made to improve his life. Scott is one of the best guys to work with in the Senate, and I am proud to call him my colleague.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine): “It’s wrong to mock anyone who had to make hard choices to overcome tough obstacles.” She added, “His story is no different than millions of Americans who are doing everything they can to make ends meet.”
College students in both states rejoiced at the news. Many female students were heard to exclaim that they could now freely “work the pole” at establishments like Gents Only and Boobs-R-Us in order to pay for their tuitions. Male students quickly flooded phone lines to like minded establishments and publications, trying to secure immediate improvement to their financial situation by revealing their junk for all the world.
This policy shift marks a stunning departure for the more conservative senators. One of Ayotte’s assistants hinted that Ayotte would soon reveal a wide number of stripping/sex-industry related reforms to her agenda. “We need our kids to be educationed,” the assistant said, “and now that these two brave senators have boldy accepted Scott Brown’s wang in a nearly three decade old issue of Cosmo, we believe the states can more fully withdraw from the funding of higher educations as more and more students make hard choices that will see them disrobed and displayed for cash like never before.”
Grace and Kyoko watching spirited away. In Japanese with English subtitles. A little bit of home for our guest.