As a side note, and on the side here, I really like how I've figured out how to embed what I'm currently listening to into the blogposts. It is sort of a throwback to my LiveJournal days of 2001, 2002, where I used to post koans and various poems and commentary to it and treated it almost like how I treated facebook for the first few years of its existence in my life.
I sort of miss the old days of near universal blogging among my friends, but it could be just nostalgia. Either way, I still keep in touch with a ton of people that would be hard to keep in contact with in the absence of social media. I think it's pretty good.
Also pretty good: The new Above and Beyond Album, which I have been listening to quite a bit since it came out last Friday. Really great stuff, but I expected it to be a pretty amazing album.
Also Monster Hunter World turned out to be one of the most amazing video games I have ever played, so that was also a relief. I am so happy that two things I have been looking forward to turned out to be exactly at the high level of quality I hoped.
But what hasn't been of good quality is everything else. It's pretty obvious I'm not going to meet my daily blogging quota, although I'm really going to try. I just really don't find the time for it, versus the excuse I give myself which is that I don't have the time for it. That's pretty untrue. I spend a lot of time on stuff that really doesn't matter as much as doing some writing does. It helps a lot with my frustration and anxiety and concerns about everything that I let stew about in my head.
Classes are going ok. I'm just really sort of concerned/frustrated about my more advanced class, which isn't going very well at all in my view as it seems I just talk about some ideas in the text and everyone sort of stares at me. There's a bit of conversation, but it's not quite where I'd like it to be just yet so it's going to take a bit of adjustment. I think I might have assigned the readings in the wrong order which is not something you want to realize when you are a couple of weeks in. I just feel like the ease of which teaching used to come has left for whatever reason, and I need to figure out some exercises to recover it or to reestablish it. Maybe not the ease, but the perceived quality (maybe it was never there?) needs to happen. It might be a necessary part of the whole machine of teaching, making the dynamic happen so that people can engage ideas and make them their own.
Related to the daily post goal, and teaching is the idea of the gimmick. I'm trying to teach and produce gimmick-free stuff. Gimmick free pedagogy is pretty hard. I didn't realize how much we rely on tiny points here and there, little blog posts, discussion board entries, and things like that to create the perception that we are teaching and that learning is happening. As I listen to undergraduates talk I am collecting my university-gimmick assortment and hoping to design the anti to it which may or may not include a dote. It might just be oppositional. But what better thing to offer at the university but a space where the oppositional can be cultivated and practiced? I want to recover (?) a classroom space where there is generation and sharing of thinking, not production of material that meets an expectation of what should be there. But this is really hard, as I didn't realize how dependent on these tropes I am.
We will see how it turns out. As for this space, I hope to write here more for you, whoever you are (right now you are me, reading this as it appears on the screen, but later you will most likely be someone else). But I only want to do it when it really feels like it matters, whether it actually matters or not is irrelevant.