Saturday, September 20, 2008

Those who write...

David Gessner, in the New York Times, writes about his experience as both a writer and a teacher of writing. He loves teaching, but he worries on the effect it has on his writing, which he had previously done full-time. Teaching, he says, 
provides a safety net above the abyss of facing the difficulty of creating every day, making an irrational thing feel more rational.
Yet no matter how much support you have, how many schedules you make or how many books you’ve written before, there remains the basic irrationality of the task: you are sitting by yourself trying to make something out of nothing, and you rarely know where you’re going next. Creating your own world is an invitation to solipsism, if not narcissism, and as well as being alone when we work, we are left, for the most part, to judge by ourselves if we have succeeded or failed in our tasks. (Three guesses in which direction we most often lean.)
I think many of us have this push/pull relationship with art, whether it's drawing, painting, writing, or performing, especially when that art is created in isolation for some imagined audience. And while a part of me is extremely attracted to the idea of shifting my life around to make room for "art," the other part of me notices that Mr. Gessner shifted point of view in that paragraph I quoted and that I'd really like to show that to my students.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Anne Frank wrote, "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

I tend to agree with her, rationalizing the irrational, excusing the inexcuseable.

Is it November 4th yet?


Saturday, September 6, 2008


This task we all have of figuring out our lives is a difficult one. Without certain structures in place -- religion, marriage, etc. -- deciding how to make choices, let alone making those choices, becomes that much more challenging.

Two things do I know for sure: 1. I have the most incredible family, ever; and 2. Obama's going to be a wonderful leader for this country.

Everything else is a twisting narrative strand.