Do you know what it feels like to wake up and think, “Wow, I have wasted hours of my life and have nothing to show for it”?
Perhaps anyone who has frequent access to the internet or manages a facebook account (or is reading this blog) can attest to watching the hands of a clock move at warped speed, but I woke up today thinking, “Wow, I wasted hours of my life and have nothing to show for it except a couple of poems,” and this was after I actually tried to be productive.
This is why I can never be a writer.
Today, I present my work at Writer’s Workshop, which will be a colossal, epic fail. This is my second time to present this semester; the first time my piece was ready two days before the deadline (an occasion more rare than a chimp orbiting in space), and much to my delight, it turned out to be a hit—the group thought I was funny!
See, I live my life thinking I am funny, which my mentor says makes me a born teacher, but which I find problematic because I’m often the only one who’s laughing at my jokes. This then carries into writing because as a writer, I also think that I am funny, or—when it comes to poetry—that I am good, and like my thesis advisor at Dartmouth kindly noted, “it’s humorous where it doesn’t fall flat.”
As an example of “teacher” funny, when I create a PowerPoint for class, I add sound effects, like a karate chop or the swing and miss of a baseball bat followed by an, “Awww,” and I title my slides with headings that contain the grammatical errors I’m hoping to correct (For example, “If you write a fragment.”).
Anyway, the point is that I tried to write something for Writer’s group today, beginning three weeks ago when I first realized I’d been assigned to December 5th, and I have since produced a large collection of unpromising introductions.
In regard to continuing my last submission, the funny one, well, the Funny Well ran dry. I stared blankly at my computer screen for days and then changed my facebook profile picture.
I also discovered “Gangnam Style” on YouTube; laughed so hard I cried watching this video (“The English Fuhrer”–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOfFBezjnSE&feature=plcp, –please watch it if you teach English/enjoy English/know or speak English); and watched the entire Twilight saga in one weekend.
As you can see, I had a bad week(s).
Then, this past Sunday, the day after the Twilight marathon (which, by the way, I wasn’t a fan of—despite my obsession four years ago with the books—until the last movie. I actually cried during the montage of “See how much I’ve loved you?” scenes at the end, when Bella drops her mind shield and allows Edward to glimpse into her memories. If only such a thing were possible!), I woke up with a new determination to:
I had a stack that looked like this:
But instead, I wrote a poem. And then I marveled at how wonderful it was (see “poetry problem” above) and decided to email it to my closest friends.
I spent hours tweaking it, brainstorming other possible poems, and the next thing I knew, it was nighttime and I had graded five essays.
Now, my next problem. When faced with actual work (reading essays, grading, test making), I will choose to do the other thing, so I chose to work on my Joy Writer’s piece.
And for what? ONE poem (which I don’t even like), a 100 word introduction to “The Most Amazing Story” (which is amazing, but cannot be posted for fear of legal consequences) and this blog (which, if you think about it, is not about anything.)
Unlike my students, I will not claim that I was “too busy” to write something.
No, no. I had time.
I just suck.
And today I will be using my prep period to do two things: type this out—mind you, I’m still neglecting to grade the essays that have now multiplied like fungus—and trim down my overly zealous grammar test.
(Sorry, kids, I went too far.)
Also, please note, as I walked to school today, I realized I did not do my hair (it has to be in a bun or French braided), and instead of dodging immediately into the bathroom to fix it upon arrival, I was greeted by five of my students who “thought I’d never come!”
I swear, I’ve never had a line of students waiting for me before. I’m glad I remembered to wear pants.
On the plus side, it’s nice to be loved.