Returning to Fit (Day 3/90)

I haven’t thought about Fit for a little over a month now, but it seems way longer. It’s been a busy month, I guess. But that’s good(!), according to writer-me, who frequently tells students to have multiple projects in progress in order to get some space while letting drafts rest, and then to realize where the energy is (Project X or Y or Z, for instance) and consequently where it isn’t (maybe it’s time to finally scrap Project WTH once and for all?).

This morning, after a month away, I’m debating whether or not I want to continue with the day-by-day plan of The 90-Day Rewrite, which I was excited about on Day 1 and Day 2. If it’s been over a month though and I’ve abandoned it entirely, then either I’m kidding myself or maybe my 90 days need not be consecutive and I should just accept the fact that I’ll get to them when I get to them (hopefully with better results than these).

So, OK, I just read what Watt writes for Day 3, and he basically says stuff about how we can revisit and clarify moments that we know we need but for some reason just aren’t there yet. He suggests revising by adding a new or different perspective, an alternative or a variation, and seeing what comes of it.

Off the top of my head, I still haven’t figured out what to do with “pine torch” (which I started to worry about here and then began to figure out here). Wow, actually, I never would have realized “pine torch” was still a problem for me on my own today, and I know I wouldn’t have searched for or reread those old posts, which just reminded me (OMG, how much did I need to read these today?) that I am a really slow writer. (How could I have forgotten? Maybe because I’ve felt so guilty about not working on Fit at all for a month?) But anyway, yeah, FYI, slow writers are especially good candidates for having multiple projects in progress at once, so we can actually finish one once in a while, know what I mean? All right, if you made it this far into this post, let me at least leave you with these videos about (1) what we think we need to be doing and (2) just doing it your own way.

20 New and Scattered Lines on Liminality
  1. Sooo, over the long weekend, I rambled at everyone/anyone who would listen to me think some more about liminality (which, gosh, I guess I haven’t blogged about since 2016, [really?] wow).

  2. So, yeah, giant thank yous all around, especially to:

  3. JI Daniels, who helped me simplify my hypothetical/potential talking points about how we might view a creative writing classroom as a liminal space.

  4. Adam Tipps Weinstein, who made me remember the work of some theorists I’d forgotten about and, on a different note, also reminded me about conversations we once had about “deficit language.”

  5. Dale Enggass, who helped me further simplify my talking points and who also, unrelated, reminded me I’ve been meaning to reread/revisit Violette Leduc.

  6. This guy, whom I do not know, Mark Starmach, who posted this handy guide online about liminality wrt our morning commute, and who also provides this cool illustrated representation of one way of visualizing liminality.

  7. Matt Pinney, who’s got some other ideas for visually representing the concept of liminality to students, which would lead to a productive in-class activity—both in his visual arts classes and my cw classes (we’re working on it, we’re getting there).

  8. Rachel Levy, who asked the excellent question: What’s the point?

  9. And Kirsten Bakis, for telling me to make it personal.

  10. Crap, my alarm just went off and so now I’m cutting into my time for J19 edits and scholarship reviews, so I’ll wrap it up fast with some links to essays on liminality that I’m excited to dive into this week:

  11. George P. Hansen’s “Liminality, Marginality, Anti-structure, and Parapsychology” (whose Amazon bio is 100% what?: “George P. Hansen was employed in parapsychology laboratories for eight years-three at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina, and five at Psychophysical Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. His research included remote viewing, psychokinesis on electronic random number generators, séance phenomena, and ghosts. His papers in professional journals also cover mathematical statistics, deception, skepticism, conjurors in parapsychology, and methodological criticisms. He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.”).

  12. Ayo Mansaray’s “Liminality and in/exclusion: Exploring the work of teaching assistants” (from Kings College London)

  13. Sandro Carnicelli Filho’s “White-water rafting guides, leisure behaviour and liminality” (from University of the West of Scotland)

  14. Sisirkumar Chatterjee’s “Exploring the Liminality of 'Reality': Reading The Enchantress of Florence” (from Calcutta University)

  15. Nic Theo’s “Considerations on conceptual frameworks for writing liminality into popular film” (from Cape Peninsula University of Technology)

  16. Jonas Soderlund’s “Moving in, moving on: liminality practices in project-based work” (from BI Norwegian Business School)

  17. Angela Cruz’s “Discourses of Technology Consumption: Ambivalence, Fear, and Liminality” (from Monash University)

  18. Arpad Szakolczai’s “Permanent Liminality and Modernity: Analysing the Sacrificial Carnival through Novels” (from University College Cork)

  19. Pat Mahon Daly’s “Liminality and breastfeeding: women negotiating space and two bodies” (from Bucks New University)

  20. Elise Paradis’s “Skirting the Issue: Women boxers, liminality and change” (from University of Toronto)

20 Lines About Some Unexpected Perks of My New Job
  1. This week, I started my new gig and got to observe two classes.

  2. First, a 3000-level philosophy course called “Theory of Knowledge.”

  3. Then a 1000-level nutrition course called “Scientific Foundations in Nutrition and Health.”

  4. In the philosophy class, students were reviewing William James’s “The Will to Believe” and discussing Susanna Rinard’s work on Robust Pragmatism.

  5. In the nutrition class, students were studying vitamins and minerals.

  6. At one point, their instructor asked them how many colors had been on their dinner plate the night before.

  7. I thought about mine — an avocado bagel, leftover brussels sprouts, and green grapes — and made a mental note to eat more colors every day.

  8. Anyway, what a cool perk of this job!

  9. When I applied, I knew it involved course observations, but I had overlooked the obvious fact that I’d get to sit in on classes taught by people from departments all over the university.

  10. And now I think know a little bit about what some people believe about what other people believe we think we believe about what we believe.

  11. I think?

  12. And I was also reminded about some basic but necessary information about vitamins and minerals and how they’re necessary, for instance, for helping us to fight the germs that have been gathering on the desks and chairs we were sitting at/on for who knows how many years since they were last cleaned, which inspired a collective ewwwwww from everyone in the auditorium at 8am lol. good morning!

  13. I also got to observe an after-observation consultation, for a class that had maybe been about community organizing?

  14. Not sure, exactly, but it sounded cool.

  15. Mostly, we were troubleshooting the group work that happened in that class, and I learned about this catchy little phrase, “think-pair-share,” which is a faster way to get to talking about how we ask students to think about something, pair them up to discuss it, then have them share with the whole class.

  16. I also learned about “teacher-to-student, student-to-student, and student-to-self” interactions (ideally, all three should happen in the classes we observe).

  17. Teacher-to-student might be lecture; student-to-student might be group work; student-to-self involves students finding personal, individual, meaningful takeaways.

  18. Something I realized as a result of my observations and consultations, though, is that I can do better with my beginning-of-class agenda.

  19. So, in the past, my agenda might have sounded something like this: “Today, we’ll start with a quiz on X, then we’ll discuss Homework Y, and before you leave we’ll get a look ahead at Z for next time.”

  20. But now I realize a better agenda might sound like: “By the end of class today, you should be able to [verb] X, and also to [verb] Y, in order to appreciate Z [or, this very important thing about how today’s agenda is related to this entire class overall].