This morning I taught my first-ever undergraduate creative writing course--bright and early at 8:30 a.m. I barely slept last night, as I kept going over exactly what I wanted to tell them in exactly what cadence in exactly what order. And of course, all that tossing and turning did little good, as it came out differently anyway. It wasn't a particularly difficult day--mostly going over the syllabus, talking a bit about writing in general. But it did go more smoothly than I thought it was going to. The students seem relatively engaged, and it's a small group, so I'll hopefully get to know them better. And I felt far more awake than I expected.
That was not the case when I taught my 102 class this afternoon. The lack of sleep caught up to me at around 1 p.m., and I've been struggling to keep my eyes open ever since. I'll have to regulate my sleep schedule this semester, as this particular level of sleep deprivation is not sustainable.
Yesterday I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of my former students for the first time, which was a surreal experience. I've had so many good people write letters of recommendation for me in the past, but doing the recommending is even harder than I thought. Not because this kid isn't worthy--he was one of my best students--but simply because I had to balance effusiveness and specificity. If you insert too many phrases like, "XYZ is bright and engaged," you risk sounding too generic. But if you insert too many specific details about the work they did, you risk the readers becoming bored or confused. I suppose it's good to get some practice writing them, though.
I could also use the karma, as I'm asking a few professors to write more letters of recommendation for me. I'm applying to yet another writing fellowship. This is the last one, I think. Then I just have to start looking out for jobs! What fun, what fun. Applications forever.
I've been listening to David Bowie's entire oeuvre in chronological order. I'm still in the 90's.
I'm very sleepy. It's 5:30 p.m.
How is it only 5:30 p.m.?
Getting up early is the worst.