May 9, 2011

Ducklings, Poems

Last Friday, I taught my students for the last time this semester. It was a bit difficult to gauge my rapport with this hatch of ducklings than it has been in previous semesters, but after I gave them their evaluations, they all thanked me in unison and clapped as I left the class room, and any bitterness I possibly had from this semester melted away. 

Two of my ducklings from the fall won awards for best freshman composition essays (2 out of the 3 awards given  for over 2,000 fresh comp students!). I was really proud of them and all their hard work and not surprised at all that they won. One of the ducklings told me that after taking my class she switched from Zoology to English. I told her I was sorry I ruined her life.

Furthermore, at the end of the year reading where our last fellows Rebecca Hazelton and Andrew Mortazavi read and the Institute gives out a bunch of awards, I received the Freshman Composition teaching award. It really meant a lot to me. I've really enjoyed teaching these last two years, and I feel really lucky that I'll be able to keep teaching next year. 


As a final bit of good news, I have poems forthcoming in Third Coast, American Literary Review, and Natural Bridge. All good journals and all poems I hoped would find good homes.

Currently, I'm reading Ada Limón's Sharks in the Rivers and am loving it. Here's a great poem from it:

Flood Coming

The pulled-apart world scatters
its bad news like brush fire,
the ink bleeds out the day's undoing
and here we are again: alive.

The tributary of this riverine dark
widens into the mind's brief break.
Let the floor come, the rowdy water
beasts are knocking now and now.

What's left of the woods is closing in.
Don't run. Open your mouth big
to the rising and hope to your god
your good heart knows how to swim.

(Sharks in the Rivers, Milkweed, 2010)

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