Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Academia versus Creativity

I spent the day with others who love writing, but the more scholarly type. I'm not a huge fan of academic writing, but it's contagious when you're surrounded by all of those excited folks. Most of them are not of the old school, and they seem to be able to make writing accessible to their students, as well as challenging. It was Conference day, with our first classes at the university tomorrow. I've got my syllabi and I'm ready. I think...

Anyway, it was a good day.

But. I'm pretty sure that I overdid it. I haven't stopped working all day. Once I was home it was the boys, I had their homework to do. No, I don't mean I did their homework, I mean the teachers assigned homework to the parents. A MOUNTAIN of paper work and syllabi to sign for each teacher, not to mention emergency contact info and medical release forms. I literally spent 1 1/2 hours signing, organizing, emailing teachers, and filling out forms. THEN I moved right into getting the site my school uses ready for my class. I like posting the syllabus rather than printing it out (Okay, I just forgot to do it and now it's too late, but hey, no trees died on my watch today). That took FOREVER. It seemed so simple in the workshop this morning... *sigh*

Now to bed. I feel so unprepared, but then, I always feel that way no matter what I do. And no matter how many times I teach composition, I change it up every time, so there's never a feeling of having "arrived" with my lesson plans. Of course this year I'm at two new universities with different texts and... I'm done now.

We're pretty much all fiction or creative non-fiction around here -- what do y'all think about academic writing and discourse communities? (And how do you like that I used y'all in the same sentence as academic?)


  1. Academia's easier and creative writing is more challenging. I like academic writing when I really believe in what I'm doing. But I also like to make it accessible. My pseudo-dream is to write some pop academic nonfiction - something that explores something esoteric but is easy to read and hopefully interesting for the lay reader who browses the bookstore. You're gonna be GREAT! By the way, when are your office hours?

  2. That's so exciting. Good, I can experience college vicariously through you and maybe get an autumn writing bug. Rest!

    I secretly feel that I am better at academic writing than creative writing, but I think it's because academic writing is [more] measurable, so I'm confident that I'm better.

  3. Emily, I'll be there from 1-2 MWF and from 3-4 by appointment (if they let me get away with that, haha). My classes are 12 and 2 MWF.

    Did you hear Chris got the lecturer position? I saw him today, good times. Elizabeth is back of course, but otherwise, I didn't see too many familiar faces. Oh, Mandy was there from Comp Theory. All good. :)

  4. Jaimie that is simply not true. The thing is you're excellent at both, but if I were forced to say which one you excel at, I would quickly say your fiction. Your drive, passion, and the final product itself are proof of that.

  5. Isn't that mountain of paperwork horrific? It's worth homeschooling my #1 just so I have only 4 kids' paperwork left to fill out! And don't even get me started on the "requirement" to sign their agendas EVERY stinkin' night...