Monday, January 24, 2011

Back in Boston

Whatup world?

Been a while since I wrote last, and it's about time for an update.  Christmas break was just about the right length and it was good to get back to Boston and to be busy again.

The last few nights have been enjoyable.  This past weekend I went to a women's basketball game with my friend Janey and her friend Karoline.  I know, women's basketball.  That's how bored and lonely I was.  Luckily for me both girls are awesome so I didn't have to watch the game.  I heard later that BC beat NC State by like 20.  So I didn't pay much attention, but BC's players are HUGE.  Tallest group of girls I've seen in a long time.  Kinda scary and kinda hot.  This past Friday I got to eat Melanie's cooking again, because she was having the missionaries over for dinner and needed another person to make sure all the food got eaten.  Elder Pimentel is a talker and Elder Black is not, but they're both great kids.  I hope my Brazilians liked me half as much as I like these guys.  And tonight for FHE (my new calling is part of the FHE committee) we finger painted and ate goldfish and I made three new friends, Diane, Frederick, and Kelly.

Last Wednesday I taught my first college class.  I'm teaching English 202, Intro to Creative Writing.  I decided to do 6 weeks of fiction, 7 of poetry, and 2 of play writing.  It's basically the greatest class ever:  small reading assignments, basic writing assignments, two weeks with Antonio (one of our MFA fiction writers) guest lecturing, at least one day of movies, and a field trip.  Couple that with having the coolest "professor" in the world and you've got quite the course.  I have 15 students, 12 of which are upper-classmen and class Wednesdays from 2-5pm.  We spent the first hour of the class with introductions.  I told them all to tell me their names and where they're from and their favorite band, movie, book, and ninja turtle.  I also let everybody ask everybody else questions.  By the time we got around it had been half an hour, and somebody said they wanted to do it again, so we changed the categories and went crazy.  One of the kids asked where I did my undergrad.  When I told him Brigham Young he said, "Are you a Mormon?"  I said yes, and then a few minutes later one of the other guys asked, "Are you really Mormon?"  It was super funny, and I answered in the afirmative and told them they could all ask other questions on their own time if they want.  It's going to be a great class and I have them started on short stories that build on the "Unity of Effect" that Edgar Allan Poe expounds on in his essay "The Philosophy of Composition."  I love my life.

Then this last Friday I gave my first poetry reading at a professional (aka real) venue, the Brookline Booksmith, which is actually really close to my house.  TJ was supposed to read that night, but he was also supposed to read on Tuesday and didn't want to do readings that close, but then the Tuesday reading got cancelled and I had already gotten put up on the website, so I dedicated my first poem to him.  Check it out!  I am famous.  Well, not quite, but I had the most supporters there.  All of my classmates came, a handful of my students showed up, and a good 20+ people from church showed up.  I was honored and prideful all at the same time.  When the girl got up to start the reading she mentioned how good of a crowd we had.  Hooray for good friends from all sorts of places.  I am truly grateful that so many people showed up to support me.  I asked to go late in the program and they let me go last.  My introduction (see the website ^) made everybody laugh, so I felt at ease once I got up to read.  I read "Love Poem," "Blackbeard," "Mrs. Elisabetta," "Whitewater," and "Self Portrait."  It went perfectly and I enjoyed every second of it.  I freaking love poetry.

Last Tuesday we had our first workshop with Louise.  I was a bit late for class, but so was Dan, and she didn't really seem to mind.  We were all a bit on edge because we don't really know what to expect other than that she'll be a great teacher and an amazing poet.  She seemed very nice, though somewhat closed off, and I can't wait to have her shred my poetry in front of all my poetry mates.  Not really sure what to expect, but I think she'll be a great asset.  Today we finally got back in the saddle with Robert.  He still has the hand turkey that I made him for Thanksgiving in his folder, and he was sure to notice how cool all of our shoes were (I barely beat out Binh; hooray for somewhat-girly multi-colored pastel nikes).  I was wearing my light jeans and my baby-blue striped sweater, so TJ asked me if NC was playing or something.  Robert made some remark and I looked at my sweater and said, "You know what...this is what I was wearing the day that I met Robert."  It was pretty funny and got a rouse out of everybody, and then Robert looked at me and said, "Don't listen to them Calvin; we'll always have London."  It was fantastic.  Hooray for Robert Pinsky and the good times we have in his workshop.

So, yeah, that's the latest.  Turned in my study abroad application and now I'm just praying I get to go hang out on the Iberian Peninsula for ten weeks.  Other than that it's a lot of homework and some sleep.  Welp, see ya later!