Thursday, September 22, 2016

20 Days Later

It's been 20 days since I posted here. What have I been doing?

  • Running
  • Not running
  • Teaching
  • More teaching
  • Watching my hair creep back
  • Designing, drawing, making things
  • Selling things I made
  • Going to scout meetings
  • Helping Greyson with reading and homework
Stuff. The stuff of every day. 

The most profound things I've been doing are making things. Putting my creativity to use. Sure, there's the sticker shop. It is so much fun...but in other ways I've been creative, too. 

This semester I'm teaching two university on-ground courses. For many years I taught the majority of my classes online. It's good to be back in the classroom more than I'm teaching digitally. 

One of my classes, my last one of the day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, is full of athletes. FULL. A majority of those students are boisterous young men.They deliver on some of the things I expected when the class started: they talk over me and each other, they spit canned answers and tell me what they think I want to hear, and it is hard to get to the meat of a reading or a class discussion. Then they surprise me with what they divulge. The things they write. I'm not quite sure they know what to do with me, and me with them. 

More than anything, they challenge me. They make me turn inward. They make me read harder, annotate more, dig for material that we can sink our teeth into. Yesterday, in the middle of a discussion of literacy, sponsors of literacy, discourse, and discourse communities--a convo that wasn't really going anywhere--I pulled up a page full of Jeff Koons' work and asked the most eye-rollingly obvious thing, "IS IT ART?" And that was the thing that did it. We got past some of the canned answers. We rolled around in uncertainty. We were honest. They started to discuss the fact that there are big conversations going on everywhere, and unless we are curious and diligent, we will never know. We will never even know they exist...much less be a part of those conversations.


  1. I haven't been blogging much lately either. Just like D is adjusting to being back in school, I think I'm taking a while to do the same! I imagine it's even more of an adjustment for you, to be both a teacher and the mama of a little one in school.

  2. It sounds like your days are full and you are living life to the fullest. I was beginning to wonder if you'd ever return to this blog, so I'm glad you shared a little bit of what's been keeping you busy. Your class sounds challenging/fulfilling/frustrating/rewarding. And, of course, every time I see an Instagram post of you after a run, I say, "Bravo!" I need to move my a#*! :)

  3. Hi Andi! Glad to see a post from you, but glad you have stuff happening! I love your sticker store so happy it is going well!

  4. Ah, yes, I love that moment when it just clicks. Yay teaching!

  5. LOVE THIS. I wish you were my teacher <3

  6. You're so great, Andi! If it helps, my brother teaches three classes of high school English (sophomores), and two of the three classes are 80+ percent athletes. He's got his work cut out for him, but meanwhile I benefit by hearing his stories. My favorite thing he does that if any of the boys start doing anything that sounds like locker room talk, he says, "Oh you guys are always gossiping!" Athletes boys do NOT CARE FOR THIS. :D

  7. Sounds like your classes are challenging in the best way possible! Love the sticker shop and look forward to seeing what else you come up with!

  8. That life work balance is never easy. The beginning of a new school year has me drowning in so many ways. Sometimes I want to quit teaching and find some other job that won't be so overwhelming (and at times unhealthy). Getting talked over is something I can relate to! But also that feeling when you persevere as a teacher and doors open!

    I've never taught online, but I think it would be hard. Those amazing moments with students in the classroom are what keep me going. Everything else falls away. Teaching is all about relationships, and I can't to relationships without face to face contact. I'm glad you found time to get back to the blog. I'm reconnecting with my blog after being in survival mode for a couple of months. I love that you are making art: the best thing for your heart and life!

  9. I've missed you, Andi! I'm glad to hear the teaching is going well. You always teach the most interesting classes.

  10. Sounds like you've been busy and welcome back! I'm glad that the class is making you work harder, even if it IS harder - it sounds productive and enlightening.

  11. That moment makes it ALL worth it! I remember those times when I was teaching at the college level, but now I'm back at the elementary level. They are fewer and farther between, which makes it even more amazing when it happens!


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