Sunday, September 30, 2007

Stick a fork in it

THANK GOD: I'm finally done with that essay on Neglected Author. Yeah, the one that I've had all summer to revise. For various reasons, I've had a serious block on this project--more an emotional block than a mental one--and so even though there really wasn't much that I had to do to the thing, every time I thought about it I Just. Couldn't. Deal.

But with the deadline approaching, I dealt.

Most of it was relatively easy. But yesterday I spent FOUR hours and today THREE hours revising exactly two sentences. Over and over and over and over. Does the improvement in the sense of the paragaph equal the time spent working on it? I'm not at all sure.

But I do know there's little in life that's more satisfying than the moment the right wording finally comes to me: "That's it. That's fucking fantastic," I say--trying not to look in the nearest mirror and observe that the fucking fantastic originator of the sentence is still unshowered and in her pyjamas. "Goddamn, that's good."

So yeah. I'd be, like, celebrating if it weren't for the fact that my reappointment materials--all two binders' worth of them--are due tomorrow.

Statement of teaching philosophy, here I come.


Sisyphus said...

Hooray! Congrat ... uh, it is hooray and congratulations, right? Not that you're gonna stick a fork in your eye when confronted with revising a teaching philosophy? 'Cause that's what I'm feelin.

At least you're revising your sentences ... I keep starting at the beginning of my essay, writing different introductions, then getting stuck. I have 6 intros and no middle. Would you like one? I have extras.

life_of_a_fool said...

congratulations on the essay. But - isn't this just your second year there?? You need to do a two-binder reappointment thingy??? Yikes. I don't think I have to do a major thing until my fourth year; til then it's a pretty easy form (um, knock on wood. I don't think it's really considered a big deal).

Flavia said...

Yes, it's all very mysterious. RU does what is, in effect, a third-year review in the second year. Meaning that if I get approved, I receive a second three-year contract. Before even starting the third year of that first contract.

Like I said: all very mysterious.

squadratomagico said...

Six hours crafting the perfect two sentences? Why not? Those may be the sentences in the piece that work best, teach the most, are remembered longest by readers. Well worth it!

Pamphilia said...

Oh man, you have to write a teaching philosophy statement? And here I was thinking *I* was the one undergoing a stressful 2nd year review at a LIBERAL ARTS college. Ugh. I feel for you.

Pamphilia said...

PS I posted about being under review on my blog. Feel free to check it out, unless it would make you nervous. Our activities seem to be mirroring one another these days.

Rufus said...

I'd say it's worth it. I think Joyce also spent hours on some of his sentences.