In one day, a lot can happen and a lot of stresses. All of it led me to ask questions of myself:
- How many people will (not) come to the community group reading group? What will that mean for the dialogue? What kinds of questions will I get about how I composed the group? How do I anticipate a challenge around not composing the groups in a way that privileges variety of experiences? Should I privilege variety of experiences or similarities? What will be most effective in people identifying action plans and checking in with one another after reading “Coloring the Academic Landscape”?
- What can I learn about the institutional systems at play? How are adjuncts converted to rank and tenure positions? Does this occur with visiting professors? What does it mean to be a visiting professor?
- How does one prepare for a meeting on one’s poetry? How are structures for that meeting communicated to students? What is my role as a student to structure the conversation?
- What are those areas that trouble and interest me in my writing? How do I consider the work of the line? Turns out I have a lot of thoughts on this, particularly with this project. How do I connect and differ from other writers working in literary cosmology?
- How do I experience race and gender in workshop, in the MFA program, and in the literary world?
- Am I expected to explain more in my work because of gender, race, or because the work is really unclear? How much supports should I offer in my work when those who read have not read the whole of the work? How much explanation should I do to explain the world that I have created? How much of the need to know by readers is fueled by power and interrogation of me as poet and woman of color rather than world creator? What poems can I write that might reveal the process of my creating this world? Is writing about process too meta- for what I want this work to do or is it just what is needed?
- How can I learn from students to impact my work as a teacher? When a student tells me that a course is too long and was exhausting for her in the two week intensive format, how do I value her experience and think through how to balance the immersive quality of the course with the human beings experiencing that course?
- How do I have a constructive conversation with a colleague that focuses on pedagogical differences? How does one co-plan with the expectation of pedagogical distinctions while having commonality in content? How do I assert my expertise in a conversation in which my expertise does not seem welcome? How have I myself conducted conversations in similar ways that introduce a colleague to content but do not invite questioning and working together as thought partners and co-planners? What does this mean? How does this re-enact and affirm hierarchical structures? If I call myself a critical pedagogue, what does this mean for my work practices, and how does this push against institutional structures in higher education?
- How much should I voice my opinion in workshop in a way that builds on what has been said? What is the appropriate balance for voices in workshop? How do we in workshop come to a space of understanding the work and honoring that work? Is there a place for writing an artist statement or ars poetica? Who are the instructors that incorporate that practice? What are the results of that incorporation?
- How can I learn from the differing styles of my colleagues within the program? How can I, too, integrate dialogue, art, music, playwriting? Is there a place for these ideas in my work?
Wednesday: print out the agenda for the Community Group; print out poems for Poetry Class; Community Group readings; SSTE meeting (last half hour); Poetry tutorial; lunch; MAIT 403 meeting; poetry class; prepped my bag for upcoming poetry readings (20 copies of the new book, 10 copies of 1st book, remaining copies of 2nd book).