What I’m Doing on My Summer Vacation

Nose to the GrindstoneSince I’m a teacher, and it’s summer, I must be having a great, relaxing time, right? You bet! Here’s what I’m doing on my summer vacation:

I am teaching online sections of Literary Theory, Creative Writing: Poetry, and the Comprehensive Exam class. Fortunately, they’re small sections.

I completely redesigned the Creative Writing: Poetry class and updated the other two.

I am teaching an independent study on Shakespeare online. I had to build this course from scratch. I’m not getting compensated for building the course.

I edited my friend Marty Reaves’s latest novel and started a literary agency just to try to get him published. Then I wrote a proposal and sent it off to a publisher (and I had to research publishers that might be open to his work), after researching author/agent contracts and coming up with one that we both liked. I’m doing this not just because he’s my friend, but because he’s that good a novelist.

I edited my friend Chris Maxwell’s latest book. Thirty-one chapters that ran between 1500 and 2000 words each.

I interviewed a local mechanic about his electric conversion vehicles and wrote up a transcript of the interview. It’s going to be posted here soon. Early next week (update: it’s posted now).

I have been assigned three books to review. I have completed one review and am reading for the second. Because these are academic book reviews, I have to do a bit of research to write these book reviews.

I attended a workshop on TEI associated with the Digital Mitford Project. Lasted about four days in early June. I will be editing one of Mary Russell Mitford’s longish poems for online publication at the Digital Mitford site. I’ll start work on this after I finish my book reviews.

I wrote a panel proposal for the upcoming CCCCs conference and submitted it for review for the conference.

I wrote a paper proposal for NASSR and submitted it for review for the conference.

I applied to, and was accepted for, the St. Augustine Writer’s Conference.

I have written perhaps ten poems so far this summer. There are sixteen links below, but some of these poems are older and have just been republished on this blog, and there’s a bit of fuzziness about when summer begins. My Spring semester ended the first week of May, but I go back to the beginning of May because many of those were reread and revised for one to two weeks after posting. Anyway, this is the kind of work I had to do to get accepted to that writer’s conference.

I have submitted poems or a collection of poems to perhaps seven to ten different contests or publications.

I worked with a fellow faculty member to write a grant for the Ohio Council of the Arts and made contact with local high schools to get them interested in the project/event that we’re planning — and to express support for the project in writing (they’re great people). This work may have been late Spring semester rather than Summer, though.

And as you see here, I post the occasional blog. My more notable ones so far this summer are:

Since my wife is a teacher too, she’s had to find summer employment in order to get paid over the summer. Fortunately, she’s found it — test scoring for Pearson, full time. It’s temporary work, but it’s work. But of course that means that I’m in charge of the house and kids during the day, so I get to do my work after she gets home, which means from 6 p.m. to midnight and on weekends.

I actually love most of what I’m doing. Just don’t forget that your teachers are probably still working even though it’s summer.