Friday, July 04, 2008
The Third and the Fourth
Happy Fourth of July, everybody! I'm happy to report that I've now finished the redraft of Chapter Three, although the book's shifting on me enough that I know I'm going to have to rerevise earlier sections, too. But I think that's a good sign. It means I'm figuring things out.
Gary hasn't read it yet. I hope he finds it coherent!
Tonight we're going to a party given by one of my students. She lives close to one of Reno's prime fireworks sites, and also has Abyssinian cats. I've been hearing about her critters for several years now, so I can't wait to meet them!
Speaking of writing, today I finished reading the DeSalvo book about writing and healing. That, in conjunction with an e-mail conversation with my bishop (with whom I'm meeting next Friday to discuss the shape of my calling), has made me realize that at some point, I'm going to have to write out the full version of the church fiasco that happened several years ago . . . or my full version, anyway, which isn't even remotely the same as anyone else's. I don't think I'll show this document to anyone, not least because it would make all kinds of people angry in ways that would be more destructive than helpful, but I need to get the mess -- and my still-volatile-entirely-too-long-after-the-fact feelings about it -- out of my head and onto paper in more detail than I've done.
Ugh. Can't I just undergo an exorcism instead? Maybe I'll ask Bishop Dan if that's one of the sacraments he performs.
(If you're tuning in late, here's a very vague outline of the matter.)
Or maybe I'll save this project for after retirement, given my copious spare time right now.
All this reminds me of the responses to an essay I wrote in grad school, which was very critical of certain elements of graduate education -- at least at Yale -- and which I still haven't published. I did show it to my dissertation workshop group, which consisted of my advisor plus several other students writing dissertations. They all liked it (even my advisor, I think), but were alarmed at the prospect of my trying to publish it.
"Maybe after you get a job," one of the other students said, sounding worried.
Another student shook her head. "No, after you get tenure."
My advisor looked up from her copy of the manuscript. "Posthumously," she said.
At this point, I suspect the answer is "never," not least because I hope the piece is dated. But I'm still glad I wrote it!