I am “over” teaching out of field in an unstable (who knows what the students will be like and what they will bring with them?), yet rigid (certain things must be covered because they must) program.
In a stable program, you can do it: take a standard curriculum and go.
In a flexible program, you can also do it: teach what you are comfortable with and that the students show interest in.
In an unstable, yet rigid program, the kinds of pirouettes needed can only be done if you are in field and have a full bag of tricks.
What I said socially: “I am in Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies.”
I felt comfortable with this.
I sign “Spanish” sometimes and “Hispanic Studies” sometimes, because those are the words my institution uses. Of the two I much prefer Hispanic Studies, but I am comfortable with neither.
What is the difference? Well, visualize the courses.
I would never have majored in a national literature and I think the difference between people who do that and people who do something else is profound.
Even though Hispanic Studies is ultra-cool as a field, I still do not identify with the sentence, “I am a Hispanist.” But “I am in Comparative Literature” or “I am in Latin American Studies” feel true.
…I relate to academia the way abuse victims relate to the world and this was why I knew I was disabled and should leave. People did not see this, and at the time I did not have the language to explain it.
This is because of having had a few abusive situations and then, when I did not, received abuse from the envious, that I did not understand.
It is the lower undergraduate teaching situation that terrifies me the most.
(I also do not identify with the mentality that goes with teaching a national language and literature — it is what I avoided studying as a student, and what I am not willing to reproduce as a researcher, yet it is etched in the curriculum where I am nailed into covering requirements. Perhaps I should visualise myself living in another building, and coming into Spanish just to give certain courses. I do not feel this limitation in the same way at places with broader graduate programs.)
Be all of these things as they may, I want to stop relating and reacting as an abuse victim. My solid spaces are so solid, I can almost see what it would be like to be entirely solid.
♦KW21ZM — ID Code 1P3D. I must call United and make sure they have my frequent flyer number. I must remember to download a parking coupon for the Parking Spot.
I must decide whether to drive to N.O. at the crack of dawn, or spend the night there before LASA. If I do this, I need a reservation now. It means spending more money but I could do research, it would be during the week.
I must decide whether to drive to Houston at the crack of dawn, or spend the night there before going to Cincinnatti. This is an easier decision since I know where I want to stay. I need to reserve, however.
♦I have to call Judy, e-mail
Judith and Corinne , and write that letter of recommendation .
♦I must mail things from the Pest Office and pick up cleaning.
♦I must do taxes.
♦I might as well reserve that Peruvian flight.
♦I need a Peruvian abstract.
♦I need to keep working on that LASA paper, and maintain momentum on my book since it is very inspiring.
Darío, Cardenal, Cortázar’s “Apocalipsis en Solentiname,” more. One would learn about Sandinismo and its vicissitudes, and about some authors, and find out how to read some literature.
This is how they do it for English at the University of Amsterdam.
More and more I think it should be something like this, on a theme. I am tired of what we have been doing, and what I tried this time, does not work. I think we could have three books or so, a short novel, a play, a short story or two, and some poems … and a book like this in English, and some materials like that in Spanish.
My department chair thinks the course needs to be made easier: no discussion of narrative voice, no theory at all, just developmental reading with literature, essentially. I think not. It needs to be more accessible, but it also needs to be an introduction to literary studies.
There are many things here I do not take advantage of because of financial considerations — getting to them. No individual excursion is particularly expensive, but they mount up and I need more than I actually undertake. Life would be really different with a small amount of funding. Those working in the university’s centers of excellence are able to take advantage of our area in ways I am simply not.
This is unfortunate and must be addressed somehow. I wonder whether, if I moved, I could paradoxically be funded to do more work here. Just thinking about what it would be like to work at this place I am threatening to apply to makes me truly appreciate the exotic Louisiana culture and its comparative plethora of research resources.
Keywords to be kept in mind for work and other things are: gaslighting and addictive love.
♦Are you being told there are terrible disasters that must be addressed just so someone can offload their pain and enmire you in trying to help them work out what were really only passing emotions for them?
♦Are you being engaged or told your efforts are sorely needed on a particular project because they are, or because the weak need company? (What looks like an energy-destroying black hole, probably is.)