Monday, February 08, 2010

The End of the Line


IMG_2833, originally uploaded by odelapaz.

So, as I've hinted, I'm retiring from blogger and migrating to my new and refurbished website: www.oliverdelapaz.com/.

I've been reluctant to leave blogger because I made a lot of friends through blogger. But I do hope to continue the same spirit and tone of Pugnacious Pinoy over at my new site. That said, it'll be hard to "quit you."

So do drop by my new site and write me a note. My web designer's migrated a lot of my links, etc., so I'm attempting to keep the flair of the place on my professional site. Ooh. Professional. I promise to remain as goofy on my "professional" site as I was here.

Okay. Really, I must be going. It's been real. It's been fun. I leave you with The Arcade Fire as my blog's sendoff song:



Adieu!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

New Marching Orders

So I received word from the Provost at my university that I am now, officially, an Associate Professor.

People have asked me how it feels to be promoted and tenured. Short answer--the same.

To be honest and perfectly blunt, I had always expected to reach the rank of Associate Professor, and I never saw the rank as some kind of validation or license. If anything, I've got more work to do, what with wider campus responsibilities (beyond just the department level) and the continuation of both my creative and scholarly work. I also think that such a rank affords one the opportunity to become a more dynamic and inventive teacher. So there's that.

The small boost in pay will be nice, but it won't compensate for the loss of income we suffered early in the year.

Overall, though, I can say that I'm relieved that I don't have to have annual evaluations in the manner that I had had. That's one less headache, for sure.

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My time is so compressed, what with the coming baby, the advisory duties for my department, and for this forthcoming book. Sometimes it's just good to chill with the kid and watch Yo Gabba Gabba. Last night we sat on the carpet eating unsalted popcorn.

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I really should be grading right now. My students wrote short responses to Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. I'm 1/4th through 'em all. Egad.

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Current Spin:

A little dream pop for your Thursday.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mid-Quarter Check

Head. Present. Fingers. All ten. Feet. Tired but functional. Ankle. Slightly swollen, but functional. Eyes. Tired.

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The lovely and talented Monica Ong is busily working on my new website which will include blogging capabilities. I'd let you take a peek, but I think I should let the maestro do her work.

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So far, in our long poem class, I'm sensing fatigue. Students are tired of working on the same project, which is part of the problem of mandatory obsession. So stuck are they in the realm of narrative that they don't understand a long poem is more than its narrative. A long poem is about resonance. Tone. The only way to understand these concepts--read more long poems.

We're on Carson's Autobiography of Red right now, and so far they seem to embrace the book. The problem with the book--the way the bulk of it models the novel. As a teacher of the class, I'm more invested in them understanding how the apendices and the interview contained in the book are even more tonally significant than the actual "novel" but I'm not sure that lesson is sinking in, and I'm not seeing the change or variation in their own work. Which, in the end, is okay. It's a foolhardy exercise to expect a long poem from 20-23 year-olds in a span of 10 weeks.

Ultimately, I'm more interested in the exercise. We're doing studies before we tackle the huge canvas.

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So, I bought Mass Effect 2. Cinematic. Very cinematic. Do I have time to play the game? Hell no, but like I said in the previous post, I bought the first game, got hooked, and enjoyed myself for the months that I played. Sometimes, when the kid's asleep, I need a little "me time" outside of letters.

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Superbowl Scenario: Peyton Manning and the Colts are up big on the New Orleans Saints. In the fourth quarter, up by almost 20 points, Manning decides to hand the Saints defense the ball on consecutive plays. This he does willingly, being Archie Manning's son and having lived much of his young life in New Orleans.

The Superbowl ends in a draw and all proceeds go to the rebuilding of the 9th Ward.

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Current Spin:

Musical crush.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book Orders Are Due! OMG!

I can't believe it. Four weeks into the new quarter, and I have to turn in book orders for my classes next quarter. Holy cats.

Remember how I was going to teach that groovy ekphrastic writing class? ZZZZZZZZZT! Nope. Because someone's already teaching such a class this quarter and if I want people to graduate, I can't teach the same class.

So it looks like I'll be going back to the tried and true short prose/prose poem course. Ah well. Someday I'll teach an ekphrastic poetry class.

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A bunch of books came in the mail over the past two days--I got copies of the new Mississippi Review Poetry Series books as well as several chapbooks from Son Volt fan.

Fun times! And these are coming just before AWP, when I spend all my money on books and food!

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Speaking of AWP, I'm staying at the Hyatt. I'm worried about this. Generally I try to avoid the conference hotel. It's too hard to hide at the conference hotel.

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I posted on my twitter account about blog tours. I know Shaindel ran a pretty extensive one to promote A Brief History of Time.

I'm not sure this is the right thing for me to do, but it might be the necessary thing to do, once the new baby gets here.


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Tax time.

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Yeah, it's a video game trailer. But I played the first Mass Effect and I was hooked for months. Will I get this game? Probably. Will I get to play the game? Very little.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Being a Bad Blogger and Reasons Why

When I started this blog, I thought I'd be profound. I thought I'd share you some thoughts about poetry, life, other stuff.

That didn't last.

The truth of it is I get tired of thinking about poetry. In the ten to fifteen minutes I take to blog, I generally think about things outside of poetry because, frankly, I think about poetry every day for long stretches of time.

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I bought lots of poetry books and my wife doesn't know.

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Alas, I'm teaching summer school because I need $$. Sign up for my classes, will you?

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I've been thinking about preparing for a mini-book tour. I don't think I did a good job of this when Furious Lullaby came out in 2007. Around that time, we found out that we were going to have a baby.

Well guess what . . . 2009 I'm in the same predicament. I wrote a book. It got published. We're going to have another baby.

I've decided to stop writing books because of the repercussions.

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So there you have it . . . the real reason why I've been a bad blogger. I've got stuff on my mind that I wasn't exactly prepared to share with the world. So now I've told my secrets, what about yours?

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Currently eating a very weird "taco salad" wrap prepared by campus food services.

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I also just appealed a gigantic parking ticket. I know I was parked in the right zone. Perhaps I should take pictures . . . gather witnesses.

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Current Spin: Rabbit Light Movies. It's not really a spin, but I've been watching all the videos.

Monday, January 18, 2010