September Update

Ahoy.

I never update this blog because I’m too busy updating the Umeboshi Babies and Red Sky blogs! However, it is nice to check in here, check in with myself, and just kind of take inventory of my life.

Poetry
My work has sort of fallen to the wayside since I graduated in May. I have work to do on my thesis. I know what that work is. I need to make time to do it. That way I can send it out to more contests. I did write one new poem this summer though and that felt really good. It was for an art show hosted by Jeremy Hight–photos and text from various writers. Called LA Exchange. It was really cool and I am glad it forced me to write something new!! I need more reasons to do that because I am bad on my own.

Doula-ing
Was slow-going at first but now I am working with clients, interviewing with more clients and the ball is rolling with my doula career. I am learning a lot and enjoying it. It’s hard but good work. I love babies.

Red Sky
Red Sky is booming. Over 100 submissions for issue 3. Lots of good stuff happening there.

Teaching
Teaching so many classes this year. Tuesdays I teach Playwriting for high school students at a really small, really awesome school. Thursdays I teach an after school class for K-2nd grade called Fairy Garden–we make fairy arts and crafts projects, learn fairy songs, fairy dances, read fairy stores. Sunday I teach progressive, secular Jewish sunday school at a place called Sholem. That’s a really cool job because I get to incorporate a lot of different artistic practices into the teaching. This week, being the sunday before Yom Kippur, I’m having the kids draw portraits of their deceased friends/relatives/pets and write name acrostic elegy poems to accompany them. I’m hoping the process will go well. I figure acrostics are a manageable form for 2nd/3rd graders. It’s also important, I think, for children to be allowed to express their feelings about death. Some time ago a friend of mine posted a wonderful video on Facebook of a teacher in Japan who teaches his class in the most loving, beautiful way. He is someone all teachers should learn from. In the video a child is upset and it is revealed that their grandparent died. Suddenly other students in the class become emotional and the teacher encourages them to share their stories of relatives passing. It is a beautiful moment for teaching, for compassion, for empathy. I don’t know if anything profound will happen in my class tomorrow, but I hope the kids feel comfortable expressing their emotions on the page or in discussion.

I hope all of these things can continue to go well and that I can ultimately make enough money doing these things that I care deeply about.

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