Week 1 Review

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's been one of those weeks.  I started back to school this week, and as if that wasn't a big enough transition, I contracted shingles just days before classes began and got four rejection letters this week--one form, one personal, and two asking to see more work.  So all week I've felt lousy and tired, and my meds make me feel nauseous, and the rejections aren't doing a lot for my writing confidence right now, which is already pretty low considering the struggles I was having the week before with The Novel.

It's really easy to concentrate on the negative when you're tired and stressed and wondering how every semester seems to get harder than the previous one.  So instead of focusing solely on the negative, I decided this week to start trying to find one positive thing, or one thing I was thankful for, each and every day.  And it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

So here are a few things I'm thankful for this week:

1)  I'm teaching four good classes this semester.  We've only had two real discussion days, but so far they've been very responsive and willing to discuss, and there are some extremely bright students in there.  So even though I'm teaching four World Lit I classes, I think my students, if nothing else, will make this a fun and satisfying semester.

2)  The French reading proficiency class I'm taking this semester (a requirement for my PhD) is going to be so ridiculously easy--no real outside work the whole semester.  So one less thing to have to stress over as I study for comps.

3)  Gmail lets you know when you forget to add an attachment.  I might be the only person in the world who didn't know this, but after dealing with TigerMail for so long and having students send me email after email without the necessary attachments (which of course I've done before myself), this Gmail feature just made me giddy.  If you write in your email something along the lines of "please see attached" but don't actually attach anything, before you send the email Gmail will ask you if you wanted to attach something.

4)  Duotrope's Digest is a writer's best friend.  As is submishmash.  Sure I got four rejections this week.  But thanks to these websites/programs, just minutes or hours after receiving a rejection I was able to resubmit those stories.  No worrying about SASEs and postal fees.  I didn't have to visit thirty journal websites to find the one I thought would be the best fit.  (Okay, maybe I did that, but only because playing with Duotrope is so addictive.)  And I can check on almost all my submissions simultaneously.

So those are the things I'm thankful for this week.  Next week I'll be back with a new list and hopefully better writing news.

One of my all-time favorite images.

3 comments:

Monita B. August 23, 2010 at 10:01 PM  

Listing things you're thankful for: that's a great idea! I'm stealing it. I'm glad I came across this reminder to appreciate the positives. And might I add that I was so busy venting today that I didn't even ask about your submissions! I'm sorry, and I'm so proud of your positive attitude. You're my role model. :-)

American Puzzle August 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

How on earth did you end up teaching four classes? I thought the dept. restricted PhD candidates to three?

Lacy Marschalk August 29, 2010 at 1:37 PM  

A.Mo, I'm teaching two at AU and two at SU. Last year I taught 5-4 and had three preps in the spring, so this semester (four classes, two preps) is actually lighter than last year. In the spring I've been promised an extra class at AU, and if so I won't have to teach at SU. I'll have so much free time I won't know what to do with myself! Well, I guess I could work on that dissertation thing... ;-)

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