It’s been awhile since I last posted anything I’ve been up to, and believe me, I’ve been wanting desperately to share the goings-on in my life. In some ways, though, this summer I faced the real challenge of achieving a work-life balance. Such a balance was hard to do, considering I taught three courses over two summer sessions, moved into a new neighborhood, had family members visit, took a trip to Boston, and adopted a dog. And although the fall semester is in full swing — we’re in our fifth week already! — and although I’ve hit the ground running with teaching and other projects, I feel a sense of comfort and, yes, balance in being busy with a new semester’s routine.
This semester at MC, I’ve been asked to serve as the point-person for MC Pride at the Rockville campus. So far, I’ve come up with movie ideas — showing “Paragraph 175” and “Bent,” two films about gays in the Holocaust — and I’m still rallying for more ideas, especially from the student group, The People’s Alliance. This will be the first time Pride is celebrated at MC, so we’ve got “endless possibilities” (which is also the College’s motto).
As interim editor of the Potomac Review, our staff have been busy with deciding on the spring poetry contest guidelines, attending local events like this weekend’s National Book Festival, and finalizing the Potomac Review’s issue 51. (Be sure to check out the Best of the 50 issue which came out in August.) Also, three PR authors have much to celebrate: Rick Fellinger, Amina Gautier, and Todd Carter have books that have won awards or are due on in the coming year. We’re doing all we can to celebrate and promote their work. On October 22nd, the campus will again host the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, where author Maxine Hong Kingston will be honored. Find me there, staffing the registration table.
On top of these projects, I also teach four courses: two composition courses, one creative writing course, and one introduction to literature course. One would think that this would mean too many students for one person — and sometimes it is — but I have to admit that this year’s incoming class has maintained solid attendance; they do the work; they participate in class, and they’re insightful and respectful. I shared this perspective with three other professors (one from the English Department, one from the Reading Department, and one from the Sociology Department) and each one of them replied this way: “I thought it was just me who noticed this!” Our students are changing, and for the better! In the meantime, MC itself has received good press, most recently in a Washington Post Editorial: “A College’s Stand for Hopes and Dreams.”
Being busy or being back in business feels good. Everyone wants to feel useful, like he or she is contributing to something positive and meaningful, right? That’s the best part of a new semester: new students, fresh ideas, and projects with lots of potential. Having someone to go home to also feels good. See the following picture of my Pomeranian Molly and you’ll know why!