Stay(ing) on and in the move...even while sitting still
Once the Spring semester came to an end I lost touch with a rich, dynamic, and inspiring educational community that kept me moving through the academic year. Now June, I continue to find myself gravitating to a blank Word document, GoogleDoc, and foray into the land of blogging with desire to write some-thing. In academia, this would be viewed as some strategic form of 'productivity'. Yes. I'm preparing and submitting manuscripts (and co-editing a Special Issue) for publication this Summer, but those manuscripts (and this initial post) is not an outcome of enacting proper productivity that contributes to 'the academic machine,' rather it's me grasping for something to keep my thoughts on the move. Each time I attempt to perform a 'good lazy summer,' with the computer lingering near by, I am reminded of my love affair with teaching. Within one week of finishing my first Spring semester at Millsaps I quickly began drafting-up new course ideas for my Fall classes. I couldn't resist. As I finalize the community-engaged learning experiences for my Fall classes, I resist the urge to begin working students for a class that has yet to commence. Must I wait two whole months before I can think alongside my students again?
Teach(ing) without the Classroom
Teaching happens everywhere and radiates from every-body (i.e, human & non-human), yet there is something special about formal (under)graduate coursework. It's quite possible the students at Millsaps College have made me view my teaching commitments with rose-tinted glasses, but even before beginning at Millsaps I (like many others) knew there was something unique to the social phenomenon of 'the classroom'. Perhaps bell hooks' claim that the classroom (and she points to the undergraduate classroom in particular) functions as a scared space deeply entrenched with radical possibility speaks to my summer teaching withdrawals?
I must keep writing. I must keep reading. But most importantly, I must keep living each day as it shows itself to me. Even if I am not traveling the world, I find myself looking towards molecular moments to keep me on the move: (a) my dogs' keen attentiveness; (b) the unwieldy Bermuda grass; (c) the television on mute; and (d) a sunny sky taken over by an imminent thunder storm. Herein these minor moments new questions reveal themselves:
A tentative thinker.