Monday, October 27, 2008


Yesterday: the clotting of first snow, the wet sort that comes down thick and dissipates on the four degree warmer ground. The leaves are still brilliant in places (our wee maple, the one we planted last autumn, has these gorgeous red leaves), gone in others (our boulevard trees are naked). I am loving the way Penelope blends in with the season.

I am conscious of how quiet I have been here since the school year has begun. I think, given my cryptic postings, it's fairly clear that I am attempting to take root, to figure out where I am, psychologically speaking. It's a dream to be in an MFA program, but I think it's also frightening too--not all is ideal, not all is awful, not all is belonging. But I'm pounding away at something that seems to make sense to me, and though I feel grateful to the memories of teaching from before, I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now.

The campus / office chatter is now focused on next semester: what will we teach, what will we take. I will be a TA for David Treuer in Contemporary American Literature. He was busy with a Guggenheim this past semester or so, which means I cannot drill other folks as to what it might be like to work for him. I also plan to take the seminar in poetry ("Bodies and Knowing") and the seminar in creative non-fiction ("Bodies and Place"), and I am contemplating a third course. This is generally not advised (at least by Julie, head of the program), but I am the procrastinator who likes to see things checked off in required boxes; I've been searching for a lit class that might satisfy just one more to-do. Have also been thinking about specialized biology courses (plant biology, insect behavior, and on) and digital photography.

For now, it's just about what falls into place: routine, reading, relaxing. Writing overdue book reviews, essays on Chaucer, reading novels, enjoying cloudless days. Weatherproofing windows: the chill of late autumn, the way autumn is over so swifty in Minnesota, settling in for winter, biding my time.

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