Month: June 2010


I’m officially an M.F.A.

It hasn’t sunk in yet. It probably will hit me when I’m walking across the stage.


Home Sweet Home

I’m on “vacation” at my parents house. Visiting my family is never a vacation, today I spent the day helping Dad out with some yard work, and tomorrow I plan on spending the morning organizing Mom’s “sewing/junk” room, heading out to Staples to get special paper, pens, and ink for my thesis. So while there is perfect summer weather here and I could totally use a tan, I’m hard at work.

This happens often when I’m home. I feel this obligation to help get things done. Mom is still working to fight the Sarcoma and well Dad isa  pack rat who has decided to finally clean out the garage. Oh and did I mention they recently renovated the house so everything is just chaos.


The thing is when I don’t help I feel terrible, though I have gotten better at sometimes just doing things for me. I do plan on having a fun night out with some of my friends on Saturday and tomorrow afternoon will be spent curled up with a book  in a swimsuit getting a wicked sweet tan!

Though I am home to visit the family, I am also home because on Monday I’ll be defending my thesis. My parents live about an hour away from where I did my masters degree and so it worked out nicely that I was able to come home for some “rest and relaxation” and finally be done with my masters stuff.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t function well in chaos which is why I am always helping to get my parents house in order. I also think for Mom and Dad’s sake if the house was in order I think that my parents wouldn’t feel so depressed.

Lately, I’ve noticed that my parents seem so down. They’ve been through a rough two years with their being sick, and my sister, and the renovations; they can’t seem to get out of whatever rut they are in.

I want so desperately to help them. My whole life I have watched my parents work so hard and as they get closer to retirement I am now seeing them struggle with getting their house in order, and frankly, it is so difficult to just stand back and watch. I refuse.

I’m young and can help them, it’s just that there have been times when I’ve tried to help with, for instance, organizing ,only to return and see the same disaster.

This afternoon I was sitting in the kitchen with Mom and she just looked so depressed. I can tell it’s because she can’t find any peace of mind in her house. We all work best in an orderly space.

There are a lot reasons why the house is upside down:

1. Dad thinks he can do every project himself and is, at times, cheap.

2. Mom is undergoing chemo and well, that takes it out of her.

3. Dad starts a million projects, never finishes any of them, and well right now the house has about 10 unfinished projects.

4. Dad gets overwhelmed by the projects and doesn’t know how to work efficiently.

5. They don’t have any help, besides me and I don’t live in the same state as them any more.

These are just a few reasons, but I find that as I’m getting older I find it a lot harder to come home, stay home, and not leave to return to my peaceful and neat apartment.

As I start my aggressive job search, I hope every day that I find something that makes me happy, helps alleviate the stress of paying the bills, and will be something I can do for a while. Since I’ve graduated from college, I haven’t been able to find a job–partly because I have moved and partly because of the economy and its impact on education–that I would want to wake up to and go to everyday for twenty years.

Dad has been a high school teacher for FORTY years. FORTY. 4-0. I know I could not do that but then I see how his and Mom’s life turned out, and I think I better get shit figured out real soon.

Nothing some R & R to put things into perspective.

The Final Draft

I just submitted the final draft of my thesis to my committee. I feel pretty good about it. It still needs quite a bit of work, especially if it’s going to ever be an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

I know I should feel really awesome right now, but I guess I don’t because I still have to format it, get a million signatures, and defend it in the next couple of weeks.

Once the defense is over I think I’ll finally start feeling more like a graduate and less like a student.

Have you ever completed a huge project and not felt satasified?

I kind of feel like I’m dangling on the edge of cliff and I just need once last push to feel the rush of air on my face.



Sitting next to me is my revised thesis which still needs revising. While I’m sure I will feel it needs perpetual revision, this weekend I found myself unable to get anything writing related done. My final final final draft is due to my committee on the 7th. So I basically have about 10 days to get it done.  This weekend I instead starting making big plans for the up and coming months.

Because of my brilliant planning, I am done teaching any new literature to my high schoolers, and have actually made copies of just about everything I’m going to need for the rest of the year. There are a few things here and there that will need copying, but there is hardly any homework to grade, because most of it will be drafts of their final paper. I’m looking forward to summer, because these past few months of teaching have taken it out of me.

I will say that I think teaching this past semester, at the high school, has forced me to be productive. Last night while watching whatever was on TBS and then later North by Northwest, I reorganized all my previous teaching materials into psychotically organized binders. I still have to do the same with my teaching stuff at work, but once it’s done I’ll be good to go.

Spending this past semester working on my thesis and teaching high school, I have learned a lot about what direction I’d like to take and teaching high school is not it.  It could be that I’ve had  a rough experience, but I do find that I’m too invested in writing and this is why teaching at the secondary level is not for me.

I’ve been so eager to get out of the high school that I decided sometime this past week that I needed to start packing up my classroom.  While it may be premature, because they may ask me back, I have found myself thinking about what papers I’ll be recycling and which papers I will be organizing into binders. Also, some of the old teacher’s things are still in my classroom and frankly I would like to have the whole room packed up and ready to go by the 8th.

My writing goals to be completed by August:

1)  To write another food essay

2) To write two to three short stories (in the first person) my thesis is in the third and I’ve been itching to write in a character’s voice

3) To publish some more work (at least one)

4) To get a job at the college or university level (this will mostly depend on the market but I have faith that my CV is pretty good and will land me a job)

5) To be halfway done with major revisions to my thesis as I work towards having it ready to send to publishers.

Some reading goals:

I’d like to finish reading some books I started and didn’t finish including:

The Time Traveler’s Wife

-The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

-The Road

I’d also like to finally read:

-Jane Eyre ( I know how I have not read it yet)

Love in the Time of Cholera

-Dante’s Inferno

Goals that have nothing to do with writing or reading

1) I’d like to get back into my running routine. My sprained ankle and laziness has gotten me into a running rut.

2) Finally get my apartment decorated–this will require funding and right now the money situation doesn’t look good.

Well, I feel good having written down some goals. It always makes them more official when you know some people will be reading them and you have to live up to them. I’m thinking I’ll update you guys on my progress after my thesis defense.

Holy crap I’m so close.


Parting is Such Bittersweet Sorrow–kind of

Today is the last possible day for me to do any last-minute revisions to my thesis. The final draft is due Monday.

Finally, I’ve gotten here.

I’m feeling super emotional today and I’m sure a good part of it is that I’m getting very close to ending a really great chapter in a so far, pretty satisfying book. Also, these past few weeks have been crazy with school coming to an end, writing final exams, parent-teacher conferences and so forth.

While my workout schedule has suffered these past months I’m eager to get this past semester behind me. Frankly, I’m quite over being a student and am ready to just be the teacher.

I’m still waiting to hear back about some professor positions. I’m neither hopeful or downtrodden, I’m just waiting.

The high school I’m working at offered me the position, I just need to pass a test and then I’m good to go. While, I’m relieved to know I have a job lined up for next year (barring I pass this test) I still don’t want to settle for a high school teaching job. But whatever.

I need to stop procrastinating, as the hours are almost up.

Wish me luck.

Open Letter to Students

Dear Students,

I remember spending two weeks on the apostrophe. Why, oh why are you still using the apostrophe to make nouns plural? Also, where and when did you learn that writing in the same you that speak (incorrectly) is okay. Have you learned nothing with me as your teacher. Sure as hell looks like it.


Your Evil English Teacher