Thursday, November 20, 2008


Kid Koala on the turntables, ladies and gents. One in a line of many Asian American turntable gurus. And damn, how did he know exactly where the individual notes were on the record?


I've been chatting (grumbling) about all the requests for letters of recommendation that I've been receiving and I've been having conversations with Mere about why I do so many. Because of the sheer volume of the requests this year, I've been a bit grumpy about the process, but you know, I chose to be an artist in academia in order to support fledgling artists. Does that take away from what I do in poetry? Sometimes--these rec. letters are difficult and time consuming, but ultimately this is the path I chose.

It's not for everyone. There are lots of non-poetry things that I have to do in order to be a part of academia and, I'm sure you're all aware, that sometimes it can seem like hoop-jumping.

Still, there's nothing more gratifying than when an undergraduate student that you've been working with closely has been accepted into a grad school (not just in poetry, but in any discipline).

I was a teacher before I was a poet--when I was an undergrad at Loyola Marymount, I was a chemistry T.A. and a biology T.A.. This was long before I decided to go into the writing field. So, I've had the teaching bug for awhile now. Handling the teaching bug takes effort and so does writing rec. letters.

Okay, I've talked myself back into finishing up my rec. letters. Thanks for listening to me talk myself off of the roof.


Heading to Eastern Oregon for Thanksgiving. While I'm looking forward to seeing my family I'm not excited at all to be driving ten hours with an 7-month-old. Yuck.


Current spins--The Grey Album. I could tell you how I acquired this illegal bit of art, but I won't. I did not obtain it from the link, I can tell you that much.

Current readsNational Geographic Magazine.


Vince Gotera said...

Hey, Oliver ... with regard to letters of rec, here are some resources that might be helpful.

I got tired of telling student after student about letters of rec and what would make my life easier as a referee, so I put this article online:

Before I write a letter for someone, they have to read this article and follow the directions.

Also, some help on writing statements of purpose:

And one more:

Hope your students find these articles helpful. See ya.


Oliver de la Paz said...

Awesome, Vince! Salamat!