Title lifted from Dean Dad. These are some items I need to mark here so that they don't keep occupying a window with 500 tabs open:
Mike Garcia's dissertation notes. It's going to rock the field of rhetoric and composition; I'm sure it's going to be one of the best critiques of assessment out there. I also like what he's doing with del.icio.us.
Some of you know that I've recently suffered a series of crushing career-related disappointments, and I want to be honest about that in this space, if vague and oblique. This has made it a lot more difficult to finish my dissertation. I'm not facing a running-out-of-funding situation, but I am still determined to be finished by this summer. So: I'm interested in inspiring stories, like this one about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and this one about several other women who accomplished so much under much more adverse circumstances than mine.
What's also helped me during this time is reading beautiful posts by outstanding, talented writers about What Really Matters, like this one from Flea:
And after his shower, he asked me, "Mommy, do you still like me?"
"Not only do I like you, I love you," I told him, towelling off his hair, "I love you more than anyone."
I felt like I had to cram six years of talking to him into this one day, because I didn't know if I'd ever have it again. I had one day to find out if he liked Tae Kwan Do, if he had any friends at school, what he did in gym class, if he was having difficulty in any area. One day to help him with reading and tying his shoes, one day to tell him how much I loved him before he disappeared back inside himself. Which he did, today. That sweet little stranger that curled up in my lap yesterday morning and sang "Rich Girl" and showed me his fancy dance moves and looked right into my face and laughed and smiled is gone today. Is that what parents of normally functioning children have every day? And, if that's what you have every day, why would there be a rush to put that kind of kid on Ritalin?
And Dooce's latest monthly newsletter:
A few moments later he returned to tell me that they had found a seat for me and that I needed to hurry, they were holding the plane. I took off flying, my suitcase turning flips behind me, and as I ran down the indoor tarmac someone suddenly called out my name. I stopped suddenly to scan the faces in the crowd only to see my mother standing twenty feet in front of me, my beautiful, perfect mother. It seems ridiculous now, but in that moment it seemed as if she had appeared out of thin air, that she had dropped out of heaven. When I saw the features in her face, the way her cheekbones meet her thin nose in symmetrical angles, her milky complexion peeking out of the black of her business suit, I realized that everything was going to be okay. That was one of the most spiritual moments of my life.
I wanted to tell you that story because that is my hope for you, that no matter how far away you go or how different we may become — I know it’s going to happen, it’s only a matter of time — that when you see my face you will find strength. Look for me.
Also, the new issue of Kairos just came out.
And to close with a few things coming up that I'm excited about: first, I'm going to do a stint of guest-blogging at The Valve soon. Second, I've been invited to participate in a meeting for the Institute for the Future of the Book. We'll be talking about digital/networked textbooks in the field of rhetoric and composition. Finally, I'm going to be interviewed for a story in The Minnesota Daily about my use of blogging in my teaching. [Edited to clarify: The story is about using blogging in teaching in general; it's not an entire story devoted to MY use of blogs in my teaching.] I'm thinking of this as an opportunity to be pushed to find something new to say about using blogging in teaching. It's tempting sometimes to make it easy and trot out the same old examples and comments.