my_window_seat: (Default)
Just for the halibut, here's the pieces I submitted for my final Creative Writing Portfolio.  Behind a cut, because I'm courteous and shit like that. 

I'm pretty much - happy isn't the right word, but...  at peace I guess with the way most of them turned out.  I think I've posted the lot of them here a piece at a time at various times, but they've been - what? retooled? - based mostly on feedback I got from the instructor, who's a damned insightful woman and a fanfuckingtastic teacher.

So anyway - enjoy.

My Poetries - Let Me Show You Them )
my_window_seat: (Frances Farmer)
I've had some stuff on my mind quite a bit lately that I still haven't been able to sort all the way, and as I'm not feeling 100% at the moment, I'm probably not going to be able to puzzle through much of it just yet, either.

But I had my DVR appointment with Nadine today, and it brought to a head a lot of what I've been muddling with.

DVR, just to give catch-up here, is the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.  I got on board with them back in 2003, after my brief but colorful visit to the Funny Farm.  DVR's purpose is to get people who are disabled in one way or another back into shape to be able to be self-sufficient and self-supporting - something I definitely needed.

Unlike most social service agencies, DVR is funded through the Department of Education, which makes them a more flexible agency and one that can provide a number of services not available elsewhere.  They also have a particular interest, naturally, in education, so a large portion of their clients are assisted in - you guessed it - getting back to school.

That's how I ended up on the path that's brought me where I am now.

I'm a 4.07 student.  I'm a member of several honor societies, and have been on the Dean's List at my junior college, the four-year school I'm at now, and the National Dean's List.  Hoorah, bells and whistles, yadda yadda.

I'm scheduled to graduate May of next year.

And honestly - I'm still not sure What I'm Going to Be When I Grow Up.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher.  I remember that one of my favorite possessions was an old school desk that was left behind in the garage of the house that I lived in briefly with my mom and stepdad.  I used to make lesson plans from my favorite books and television shows.  Two of my favorite book series' were Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables - both of which feature main characters who eventually become school teachers.

The problem with this childhood goal - being a teacher - is that it's been based on a model of education that hasn't existed in this or any other country in almost a century.  It used to be that all one had to do was go to a teaching college for a few years, and then they'd turn you loose with a classroom full of children - and you were pretty much on your own after that.  Aside from the few times a School Superintendent might come for a visit, assuming you performed adequately enough to get kids in and out of your classroom with a dose of Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic, you were assumed to be competent and let to do as you would.

It's not like that anymore. 

I probably would have been a good teacher in those days.  Given a few tools and a minimum of supervision, I've been able to accomplish a fair few miraculous things in my time with kids.

I originally dropped out of college eons ago because I knew that my stubborn inability to mesh with 'systems' and fit into 'models' was incompatible with the way education is run now.  When I went back to school with DVR's help, I didn't originally go back with the intent to teach, either.  At that point, just getting enough education to get me out of dead-end retail and office environments was my only real goal.  I didn't have sufficient belief in my own abilities to aim for anything other than that.  I thought, hey, I'll get a certificate for Graphic Design and get some simple job doing layout somewhere.  Play with some shiny toys and call that good.

I went back to school.  I did surprisingly well - but realized I wasn't as creative in the design kind of way as I'd thought I might be.  I saw kids half my age pulling stuff out of their ears that I wouldn't have been able to do myself, and I knew that wasn't the right direction.

I rediscovered my love of words again, and thought, okay, maybe Journalism then.  I changed my education plan at DVR - but within just a few months, I started to have that nagging idea come back to me.  Teaching.  Realizing that the difference between how good one class was compared to another class was not in the subject as often as it was in the person teaching it.  Coming back again to that idea that, while I'm not as gifted as many of my friends, I've been able to help other people refine their own abilities and grow stronger in them.  The old adage, "Those who can, do:  those who can't, teach" isn't really the derogative that it's meant to be when looked at in the right kind of light.  I may not have the same kind of talent as I see in those around me - but I can see it - and I've been able to help other people be able to see that for themselves.

But I'll never have a one room school house out in the middle of a chunk of frontier.  They don't exist anymore.  I was born about a hundred years too late for that.

Now I'm graduating in a year, and I don't know what I'm going to do with my fairly useless degree.

In the last couple years, I've made forays into researching how to get into teaching.  Every time I have, the shape of the system makes my head hurt.  The educational field has its own language and codes of conduct and - and - and -

I swear to god, sometimes I feel like a smart person - and then I stare that stuff in the face and it makes my head swim.
And I look at the kids that I work with, and I can't see that the system is helping them.
And I look at what it would take to get into that system, and I can't see any way that I can jam myself into it.
I can't even understand it well enough to climb the walls - and what I see on the other side -
It makes me sick.

When I ran into my teacher on campus the other day, Brian, I was talking to him about how I'd been looking into getting into a program overseas that would end in teaching certification in another country.  His first reaction was an interesting one - he referred to me as "an educator with a particular interest in Social Justice" - something that took me aback for a moment.  I guess I hadn't thought of my goals in those terms before, but it made a kind of sense.  He then pointed out the fact that by going to another country, I'd have to learn the challenges of a completely different society - that at least here, I knew what was wrong and had some idea of what I had in myself to work towards making things better.  I came back with, but I'm so fucking tired of the ways things are here - I feel like I really need to see the way things are somewhere else, even if it only results in my coming back here with a new appreciation for a country that I really don't feel like I belong in right now.  We eventually compromised in our cross-purposed talk, and Brian told me to make an appointment with him after school starts again so that we can start looking into different programs, both here and overseas, and look for something with the best fit.

I like that idea.  I'm going to definitely make that appointment.

But when I was talking to Nadine today, she pretty much rejected that idea out of hand.  She wants me to start talking to a Job Development counselor and look at what I'll be able to do just with the degree that I'll be getting.  I'm going to do this - but I know that there's going to be a much greater challenge in this than there is with most of her clients, who are getting much more straightforward degrees in things like Engineering or Business or what have you.  There's not a specific industry geared for a person with a Theatre Education degree - especially one that doesn't give one license to teach in a standard school system.

The one bright spot in the appointment - not that it was a bad appointment, just challenging - is that Nadine's going to get me started seeing my old counselor/therapist/life coach again.  If nothing else, it will be good to get that going again.  Mark's a very clarifying person, and being able to reestablish that relationship will be very helpful.

::sigh::

Betwixt, bothered and bewildered* - that's me.

This is a shapeless sort of entry, but that's how I'm feeling at the moment.  Formless around the edges.  Certain, really, of  nothing - other than my uncertainty.

"And there it is - too many notes."

Tired now.

Night, all.




* Apologies to George Gershwin for the mangled paraphrasing.
my_window_seat: (Default)
So, yeah - I'm working on an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest for my Playwriting for Youth class. Also, I'm planning on using an even more pruned-down version of the final product for the summer session at the community center - assuming it still happens. There's some debate on that matter, but - whatever.

Anywho, haven't got terribly far yet, but if you're bored - have a look -


============================================

Comments, thoughts, suggestions?
my_window_seat: (Default)
Being back in school - and more specifically, now finally being in a position to be in classes that have to do with what really interests me, namely art - well, it's reminding me of the contradictory feelings I've always have about the purpose of education in art, namely that it can be both instrumental and detrimental - it can be either or both necessary and dangerous.

For example: I've been assigned to read both Aristotle's and Castelvetro's theories on poetics - the term then used to refer to theatre, go fig - and both of them, though they differ on many points, agree that there are supposed to be very specific rules for how comedy and tragedy should be constructed.

The thing is this - part of me feels that, in order to most effectively create, it's beneficial to know what the 'rules' are in order to better break them. On the other hand, some of the most amazing leaps forward in the arts have come from 'outsiders', i.e., people who have no knowledge at all of the 'rules' - or even that there are any. While it's impossible to know for sure, some theorists say that Shakespeare can't possibly have known the theories of poetics - and yet other theorists use his work to illustrate their own points about the necessities put forward by those same constructions.

The short form - I wonder how much my education is going to help or hinder me. Is it the mind 'unshadowed by thought' that has the greatest chance of reaching the heights, or are we meant to 'stand on the shoulders of giants' - necessitating knowing enough about them to scale them?

Meh.

I think it's probably six of one, half dozen of the other.

About the only thing I know for sure is that I have a deep-seated streak of resentment towards anyone or anything that puts any kind of restrictions or limitations on me. Which makes me wonder what kind of a teacher I'm going to be - about the only thing I can think is that I'm going to want to encourage that same kind of rebelliousness to codified thought in my students.

Why do I think that this is going to make for a whole lot of challenges in my future career....?

Yeah - that's a purely rhetorical question. ;)
my_window_seat: (Average Day)
Just signed up for the last class I wanted (Performance in the 21st Century), which was closed but opened up again after disenrollment.

Meaning, I'm now registered for 18 credits for this new semester.

Up from previous semesters of 12 credits.

Am I that desperate to a) get through college before financial aid is just a sweet dream of bygone days, and b) assure myself of having absolutely NO time in which to be distracted by - things - I don't need to be thinking about...?

Yes. I do believe so on both counts.

We whose head shall surely explode in the next few months salute you.

Urk.

New Schedule:

Stagecraft, M/T/Th, 9-11
Early Shakespeare, M/W, 5:30-6:45
Survey of Math, T/Th, 11:30-12:45 (TVI)
Theories of Theatre, T/Th, 2-3:15
Performance in the 21st Century, T/Th, 3:30-4:30
Fundamentals Of Playwriting, T/Th, 5-6:15

EDIT: It is highly unlikely that I'll actually keep all of these classes - it's more realistic to think that I'll drop one, after trying them all out for a couple weeks. Still, it's going to be an effing challenge, even with only 15 credits.

Hum.
my_window_seat: (Default)
One tally in, via e-mail, because this particular teacher FUCKING ROCKS:

Subject: Math 119 grade
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 15:23:57 -0700
From: "Martin, Linda" <****@tvi.edu>
To: ******@yahoo.com

Hi ~D~,

I just finished grading the finals. You got 93.5% (187 points out of 200), giving you an A in the class (757 points out of 800).

You did a great job this semester. Congratulations.

Linda

====================

YEAH, baby.

::bows::
my_window_seat: (Default)
2 finals down (math and spanish)

2 to go (history + history)

On the final stretch.

Long day/night ahead - and then....

::head explodes::
my_window_seat: (To Much of the Stupid)
Found and registered for four classes. Still may have to juggle later, but at least for the moment I have a schedule, and I am registered full-time, and this should mean that my financial aid is secured even if I can/have to move some things around. Only two of the classes meet core requirements, but out of the two that don't, one of them is at least something I wanted to take anyway (fundamentals of playwriting) - although if I take that, I can't take Children's Theatre, which IS in my core requirements - but again, was fucking CLOSED.

I know, none of this means anything to anyone besides me, but if reading the above was completely unintelligible, think of what it feels like to be the person who's goddamn LIFE hinges on, not only understanding it, but making it fucking work.


And the best part? I wasted two fucking hours on this shit, I have a headache, and now get to keep studying for my finals.

Yeah. Envy my fucking life.

NOTE: The one bright, shiny spot of happy news in my life at the moment is something I'm under bonded secret not to talk about. Damn you [name withheld]. Damn you to hell.

ABRIDGEMENT TO NOTE: And no, it has nothing to do with ~R~. Stop looking at me like that.

POSTSCRIPT TO ABRIDGEMENT TO NOTE: And no, whining, begging, and pleading will not gain you access, and in fact any comment regarding same will be deleted, because I'm feeling the need to be in control of SOMETHING in my life, so why not be RULER OF ALL I SURVEY in my own LJ? Ph33r my petty attempts at bolstering my self-worth. Grraaarrr.
my_window_seat: (Kat Poison)
My registration date was apparently the 9th, as I'm able to get in.

And all but ONE of the fucking classes I need IS FUCKING CLOSED.

FUCK FUCKJ FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

I am about two inches away from just fucking driving up to the goddamn motherfucking point and JUMPING THE FUCK OFF because what the FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO FUCKING DO if I'm supposed to be REGISTERED FULL FUCKING TIME for financial aid but THERE ARE NO FUCKING CLASSES THAT I CAN FUCKING TAKE YOU FUCKING FUCKING FUCKS.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Other good news - the pending acceptance thing doesn't put a hold on my registration; I can register for my classes - YESSSS!

Now to find out which of the THREE DIFFERENT REGISTRATION DATES that I've been given so far - the 9th, the 12th or the 13th - is correct.

Obviously, I will be frantically punching registration buttons on the 9th, and hoping for the best. Failing that, again on the 12th. Third verse - on the 13th. Sigh.

Now to try to wrangle one or two more classes into the mess...
my_window_seat: (Default)
UNM BASHING TEMPORARILY ABATED IN LIEU OF:

Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 13:03:23 -0800 (PST)
From: "D" <******@yahoo.com>
Subject: Req. permission for Theories of Theatre
To: ******@comcast.net, ******@unm.edu

Dear Professor Herrera -

I will be a new student transferring into UNM for the Spring semester, and I would like to request permission to register for your Theories of Theatre class, on Denise Schulz' recommendation. I am a junior student with a 4.0 GPA and have about 10 years professional experience in theatre, and I'm hoping that that will help meet criteria you may have for students in this class. I do plan to take the prerequisite THEA 335, but it isn't being offered this term and I am wondering if you can waive this requirement.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.
~D~

=============================

From: "Brian Herrera" <*****@unm.edu>
Subject: Re: Req. permission for Theories of Theatre
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 14:48:13 -0700
To: "D." <******@yahoo.com>

~D~!

I'm sure there'll be no problem admitting you to the course. Why don't we plan to meet the first week of class (or sooner if you're in town) to clarify the assumptions guiding the prerequisites, etc., so that -- in the unlikely event that there is some problem -- we can be alert to it sooner rather than later.

Keep me posted.
Best,
Brian Herrera

=============================

YAY!

This means that I have three classes lined up - Math at TVI, Children's Theatre at UNM, and now Theories of Theatre. I need at least one more, and am debating on trying to squeeze in a fifth, because damnit, I need to try to get through school before the plug gets pulled on Pell Grants, and with UNM not offering stuff I can take during summer, I'm limited to the two semester per year in which to fucking get all this stuff done. I'm looking at a modest estimate of about 2-1/2 more years, I think, including the extra semester required for teaching certification.

But anyway - best news I've had all day.

Oh, wait - the other really cool moment of today was running into both [livejournal.com profile] whichcunt AND [livejournal.com profile] skoptzygrrl in the hallway AT ONCE - something that hasn't happened in quite a while and definately makes for a happy [livejournal.com profile] word_whore. And werd to [livejournal.com profile] skoptzygrrl - we need to talk, woman. Jesus.

'Kay - more homework and back to class....

YAY!
my_window_seat: (Kat Poison)
MORE REASONS TO HATE UNM:

- My registration date is the 13th, and yet the online registration system STILL says my acceptance is 'pending Fall '05 grades' - so I'm supposed to register HOW...?!?!

- Class I want to take is 'permission of instructor' - an instructor who apparently doesn't exist according to UNM's online faculty directory - so I'm supposed to contact him/her HOW....?!?!?

- The schedule I thought I had worked out the other day - not so much. One class is graduate level, one class already closed; two other classes not sure I need to take and would have to meet with the instructors to determine if my previous experience would allow me to 'test out' of them and take something else (higher division) in their place.

- Advisor I met with today informed me that there are NO THEATRE CLASSES OFFERED AT ALL for the summer semester.

Fucking great. I get to trek up to UNM campus for the third time already this goddamn week to ask questions and get treated like a retard for about the umpteenth quazillion time - taking time YET AGAIN away from the shit I need to be doing for the classes I'm already IN, thankyewverramuch.

I swear to fucking GOD - I fucking HATE UNM.
my_window_seat: (Default)
I just pulled a ten page paper on The Decameron and the Black Plague out of my ass in two hours.

And boy does my ass hurt. Hyuk-hyuk-hyuk.

1 paper down, 3 more to go, two more finals, and this shit is DONE.

God. Two more weeks. Two more weeks.

VEGAS baby, VEGAS and Stephie!
my_window_seat: (Default)
And, appropo of nothing at all, you know you're completely insane from finals when:

- You're in the same building in which your regularly scheduled class takes place, doing homework downstairs - and forget what time you're supposed to be in class (even though it's been the same fucking time all fucking semester you ignorant slut) and arrive at said class 15 minutes before it's over.

- You use a word like 'inveigle' in a sentence, correctly, and yet can't remember what it means or where you learned it. Okay, so that's not a finals thing - that actually happens all the time. Still, it was weird.

- You're convinced that you can achieve an impossible workload over a weekend, not because it's within the realm of human capability, but simply because it has to be done.

- You don't give a shit WHAT you do with your winter break, but start to whimper at the thought of trying to schedule or arrange anything, and realize that this means that you will probably spend most of that time curled in the fetal position, sucking your thumb. And you're okay with that.

Gah.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Potential schedule worked out for next semester.

::blink, blink::

Yes, I'm rather amazed myself.

Meeting with yet ANOTHER advisor next week; this time in the actual Theatre Dept. as opposed to just the Fine Arts Dept, so that ought to be helpful. Layers upon layers of bureaucracy. Whee.

Met with Financial Aid advisor this morning. Supposedly, I've dotted every i and crossed every t, and there's nothing left I need to do besides - register for classes on the 13th.

Cross fingers for me, okay? There may yet be a fatal flaw I've once again overlooked. Pray to whatever gods/primal forces you pledge fealty to that whatever I may be missing, I'll be able to beat it down before it beats me down.

Grar.

Okay. Now to teach myself Spanish. Whee.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Still haven't been able to work out a schedule for UNM next semester. 90% of the classes I need aren't being offered, and out of the handful that ARE available, 2/3 conflict either with each other or the one stupid math class I need at TVI. I've been consistently getting the run around from advisory people, and I'm about this close to strapping a bomb to my chest and blowing up the fucking Fine Arts building. NOTE: Expression of frustration, NOT A BOMB THREAT. Call off the dogs already.

I have two papers, 6 chapter reviews, another math write-up, and a spanish take-home final and approx. 40-45 workbook/lab exercises to finish over the weekend, plus finals to study for.

I think I'm going to skip the stupid Posadas event for Spanish class tonight, because goddamnit, I'm going to learn neither jack nor shit about the fucking language by cooking food for them, setting up their stupid buffet, and watching people dressed up as nativity-scene wannabes sing. If I'd wanted to take Hispanic Culture 101 that's what I would have signed up for - I didn't so, fuck their pointless party. I'm going to stay home and get some actual WORK done.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Pretty much socially off the map until Dec. 14th. Must firmly affix nose to grindstone to just make it out of this semester. Nearly fell asleep reading homework last night; still only got through 3 of the 6 chapters I need to get through by Monday when I knocked off at 11:45 last night - and still have the chapter reviews to write, the 6+ motherfucking papers, the oral presentation due Monday, math tests to study for -

I feel like a marathon runner on the last, oh, 7k of the big race. Not actually close enough to see the finish line, and wanting like fuck to just bag it and run into the crowd on the sidelines, waiting for someone to catch me before I hit the pavement.

Fucking school. Goddamn motherfucking school.

Worst of all, I have this increasingly deepening suspicion that UNM is going to be an unrelentingly horrible experience. And I'm going to regret my decision to stay in New Mexico to go there.

Goddamnit.

Godfuckingdamnit.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Seriously, though -

No time to ponder this at length; need to leave for class -

But this is the reason I left college twenty years ago. No, not so much because of the college red tape -

But because I knew that by becoming a teacher, I was dooming myself to end up on the inside of the fucked up world that is academia.

This is one of those 'and you changed your mind and decided to come back to all this shit for why exactly...?' moments.

Fortunately - I have no time to think about it right now.

Wheee....

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