Yikes—– December is nearly halfway over! November, which is national novel-writing month, saw me complete about 30,000 words of my novel If We Deny History. Although I began the month with a bit of a head start, I achieved my goal of reaching the 50,000 words that are generally considered to constitute a small novel, around the size of The Great Gatsby. The process was challenging, time-consuming and at times frustrating. I spent lots of time in the coffee shops of Syracuse, NY- the baristas of Recess Coffee and Cafe Kubal know me very well as the annoying customer who orders a small coffee and proceeds to type away at his computer for five hours. I also write from Syracuse University’s Bird Library, and of course from home. My resulting manuscript, though not exactly finished and certainly no where near complete, represents a project I’m profoundly satisfied at having completed. It’s the culminating project of my career so far, perhaps my entire life. I’m proud. I’m excited to get back to work editing, rewriting and polishing. Lots remains, but for now I’m allowing myself a small bit of pride for this accomplishment. I’ll get back to work soon.
I’m submitting applications for graduate school as well, which is an inherently strenuous process. I have particular trouble “managing” the colleagues and former professors who I’ve asked to write me recommendation letters. So far, so good, however.
My comp classes at SUNY OCC are also progressing well. It’s my first semester as a full-time teacher, and I’m really enjoying the pedagogical aspects of teaching. Setting goals, learning objectives and outcomes, integrating digital media into our curriculum, working collaboratively and ecologically, etc. We’ve been doing a lot of writing, and my students have been providing me a lot of useful feedback on how to improve the art of critical thinking instruction.
Lastly, I want to press everyone reading this post to act to protect our natural landscape in the Adirondack region of New York State (especially in the wake of recent climate change-denying cabinet appointments in our presidential administration). A massive tract of land should be classified as “Wilderness” to protect it for all to enjoy. State lawmakers need to be reminded that there are hundreds of concerned citizens willing to act to protect this valuable region.