I would like to begin using this blog as a forced means of making myself write, and think, every day.
it's very easy for me just to trudge through my days, not really giving a thought to thoughts. i used to aspire to be a writer -- i still do, though a different flavor. i wanted, all my childhood, to be a novelist: typewriter schlepping and infinitely wise to all manner of story and tale. i wanted to be that person who, despite what anyone said, created things unique and fabulous which would inspire people not just to love me, but to respect me.
i still crave that same respect, but in a different genre. because i am not overly taken with my own writing, i really don't expect anyone else to be blown away by it. my scholarship, though, is pretty valid. the ideas that i can forge based on a poem or a selection of prose are ...ridiculously varied and, while i still feel i inadequately cover many interpretations, i know i do a good, thorough job with the things which i consider. i find myself in holes sometimes.. sometimes a recognition within a literary piece just won't come -- those times are heart-breaking, but i am learning, slowly, to deal with them. i know that i cannot encompass the entire human span of understanding, so i regulate myself to the most poignant, telling points. and i love it. i get a genuinely rewarding feeling from writing a good paper which points out important things to a reader who might otherwise not even begin to grasp the depth in which a topic is spoken. i feel like a prophet. a very pretentious, probably boring prophet.
my prophesies, though, are not new revelations.. they are the culmination of thoughts, my thoughts, on what an author is saying about a certain subject. there is no canon to my prophesy, no scroll to back me up.
though i know that my field can be portrayed as just "pushing the envelope" or as just making points for the sake of making those points, i feel like, instead of envelopes, i'm shoving out borders, making room for new thought to explode out of the old. i can analyze virginia woolf.. a century old text.. and still come up with something new, something fresh forged from the perceivably rotted writing. i feel like i can reclaim the past through scholarly work. and i feel like that can be enough for me - just to cherish those contributions made by others and to help future others to recognize those donations. i will encourage them to make their own.
in class today, we did some "peer editing" which usually leaves a bad taste in my mouth. usually, i'm confronted by awful papers with hugely blatant grammatical errors which i can't even see past. today, i found mild errors .. and good work. i enjoyed the editing more than i might have ever enjoyed it in the past. i mean, i always like editing, copy-editing, even, but this was different.. this was a conversation of ideas between someone else's well-thought out work and my own conceptions on that person's work. i helped someone. i guided her through a rough patch in her own understanding and explication and i helped her to improve her work. it felt really good. not because i was doing something that i enjoy (picking out grammatical errors) but because i was actually teaching. teaching. i almost savor the few opportunities i have to do so... and it reminds me, everytime i lose faith in my ability or my destination, that i can teach, i can help. every paper i mark up with a black scrawl and pink highlighter is a validation of my ambitions.