Friday, May 23, 2014

May report

So what have I been doing with my life? Several things. My semester of work is over here; I worked half-time, partly in an ITA class, and partly in the University Writing Center, but I will teach full-time in the ITA Workshop in mid-July, so that counts to bring my appointment up to the 3/4 time I am paid for. What is annoying about working half-time is that whenever you teach anything, your worrying expands to fill up the space, so you might as well be working full-time, because you're worrying full-time. I try to put time into other things, and do; I've been writing, I've been working on my music, but above all, we have two new children and have to fit them into our family routine, and this has all been quite draining. I turned 60, and some days, I feel very old.

But, before I give up, I have a couple of things I want to do. I've been collecting essays about acquisition, and I'm thinking of publishing them. I've also been writing about language as a self-organizing system, and I want to collect that writing as well. These, as I envision them, are two separate books, hopefully published this year, as I've already done the vast majority fo the writing. The first has this running title: O to be estar: Essays on language acquisition. The second has this running title: Language as a self-organizing system. That second title is rather boring; it might need some work. But that's where it stands. These are both collections of writing that put my work out into the world. Having them on google docs, or blogs, doesn't seem to be doing it for me. Not that anyone will read it in its CreateSpace form, either. But it will make me feel like I've put it out there better.

In fact, I've become interested in the process of putting things out there in little home-made books, if only because a book is something you can hold in your hand, and bonk people on the arm with. Lately I printed my most recent e pluribus haiku, 875 poems in a single volume which is still only $5 (+ shipping), and I find that quite awesome, sorry about the plug, but basically if I make a string of these, and put out the writing that I do, it gives me a feeling of being an author that I don't quite get from being a teacher, or being a fiddler, or being a father, all of which I am being, but which reward me in different ways. Applying this to my ESL career, there are things I've learned, and I want to say them; I want to put them out there. If I have a single book, I have a place where I can point that encapsulates my philosophy. This blog, obviously, is one place. But this blog is fading into obscurity. The best thing about it is its pink and gray (very stylish) appearance, and even that, to tell you the truth, gets old. I hate the font. I can't keep up the links on the template. I'm getting impatient with it as a mode of communication.

I missed TESOL this year, and might even miss the one in Toronto, if I'm not careful, and I love Toronto, cold as it is in March. There are people I love who go to TESOL, and I miss them, even though they are busy integrating technology into classes, and I am not. I have gone this far and not mentioned at all how I"m on the cutting edge of using EdModo; I'm not. I've lost the desire to tell the world to get with the program and get students to use the language in new environments. To some degree, this will happen on its own, with or without me anyway. There is one more book in me, though, and that's how technology has influenced the language, the grammar, and the way people learn language and grammar. It has, in fact, created a new world, and I'm in a better position to expound on this than most people, so I should, and perhaps I will. This, you'll notice, is a distant third, it doesn't even appear in my top two. Alas, either it'll happen or it won't, what else can I say?

Stay tuned. Here's hoping this blog doesn't go the way of the wooly mammoth.

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