I finally finished the paper for my Native American literature class. I am afraid that I made assumptions I shouldn’t have made about a culture I barely understand, that I let the critics speak too much, that I didn’t make my own voice heard as well as I should have, that I tried to tackle too much in the paper and I barely got to scratch the surface, that I didn’t synthesize the information as well as I would have liked, and that I realize I could have written a whole paper on Fleur, a whole paper on Nanapush, and a whole paper on Pauline under the overarching narrative of the consumption of Ojibwe culture by the windigo of white culture. My problem, I have finally recognized is that my brain doesn’t deal well with compartmentalization. I can’t focus intently on more than one idea at a time, not within a paper, but within life. What I mean is that I need to only think really hard about one class at a time in order to write a paper. Right now I am split between Native American Lit., Fat Studies, CNF, and cross-genre themes. I have a hard time keeping my Foucauldian analysis of clothing stores separate from my windigo analysis of Tracks separate from my memories of Jaymes separate from my interest in gleaners and freegans. I think when I am writing my dissertation, I will be fine because I will only be teaching and writing and balancing life. I won’t be teaching and writing and taking classes and balancing life. I do suppose, however, that I will have a whole new set of stresses, like trying to find a job. I also won’t have to write about things I don’t care about, which will be nice. Not that I don’t care about what I wrote about this semester; in fact, I care quite a bit about the stuff for this semester. Maybe that it is why it was so challenging to write about. I have only thirty pages of new writing to achieve and 12-20 pages to revise. Sadly, I also have 100 (well, technically 98) student papers to grade and 49 portfolios. I will finish them all by December 19! I will do it if it kills me, which it might.
In more exciting news: my parents 40th anniversary party went off well. They were mostly surprised, although one of my father’s coworkers let the cat out of the bag about half an hour before the party. There were some people there that I hadn’t seen in quite some time, and some others that I had never even met before. The soups were a hit, and the sandwiches were too, once we found the mustard in the church fridge.