I am nearly finished with my first syllabus. There are a couple of things that I need to add that I will find out about tomorrow, and then I will be ready to email it to my supervisor and get it okay'd. I actually have more control over it than I had expected I would, but I stuck pretty closely with what he gave us -- I just added a little flair of my own, including a Kurt Vonnegut quote.
My goal as a composition instructor is to be tough but fair and to help them become better, more confident writers. The direction of the class will really depend on how they are as writers and where they need help. I have a lot of freedom as far as the day-to-day structure of the classes, and what kinds of things I can do to teach the students. If possible, I want to find ways to teach them that are fun for both them and me. I don't know if I will do in in the fall, but in the Spring I might have my class do blogs and post their homework on them, or something. I can help them set them up in class and then they will have the choice whether they will publish them for the mass public or just the class. I have a lot of ideas and I am getting some good direction right now, and I am also working on the reading and getting myself into the right frame of mind.
I am not going to use any of my own writing as examples -- I don't have that much of an ego. The text book is adequate, and, if I want them to read a short story, I will find one online. I will talk about my writing though -- mostly my essay writing, but I will bring up my fiction when it is pertinent. I haven't decided whether I am going to tell them that I am self-publishing my own books or not -- although I do feel like it gives me more credibility. I don't think I will tell them about this website, though. If they find out about it on their own, it doesn't matter. It's not a secret.
I should, however, be building my name as a writer around the department. I will introduce myself in class as a writer who avidly advocates for self-publishing, as I believe it is the wave of the future, and so long as the publishers aren't censoring what is being written, the writers can prove how hard they are willing to work and learn as they go, and sell their own books, which are written the way the writer wishes them to be written, and fuck everybody else.
Even though the Internet has grown a little douche-y in recent years, I still believe it is the best hope yet for keeping the punk / DIY ideal alive, and, really, stronger than ever. We are like entrepreneurs who are willing to work hard and do what is necessary to stay true to ourselves, and fuck what the status quo says.
Okay, so maybe I won't go into it like that, but that is what I believe. Maybe my audience will never be huge, but at least I don't have to become someone I'm not just to turn into a monster. I would rather earn a living as a professor or a teacher or a librarian or whatever the Hell I can find a job doing.
As I grow older and my life progresses and I eventually have children who live to be old enough to understand that life is all about how you perceive it, or should be, anyways. So long as some major totalitarian shit doesn't take place between now and then. It should be about how you perceive and can use your perceptions create your reality. It's really the same thing as visualizing and achieving. And success should therefore be measured by how well your are able to perceive and realize. The more closely your reality matches up to your perceptions, the more successful you are in life, that is if you let it be a positive thing and not a negative one.
That's why I believe I am successful, even though I am not rich. I have found a way to do what I enjoy doing for a living, and it is only temporary if I don't take it seriously enough. There are opportunities for me if I continue to work hard and take my work seriously. It will only be a matter of time before I will actually be able to earn a decent living. I just have to keep my head done, my brain focused, and put my senses to work, on high efficiency.
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