Posted by: L. E. Barnes | October 24, 2009

Staying Current

I’ve let too much time elapse since my last entry. I need to stay current, but alas, time management and efficiency have never been my strong points.

On the job front, I’ve been grading essays and getting my students ready for their third writing project, an advertisement analysis essay. Grading has never been an enjoyable experience for me. Not only is it tedious, but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, grading tends to be the primary source of any tension that arises between my students and me. As a whole, they’re getting higher scores than they got on their first writing assignment; nonetheless, some of them are still not faring too well. Often their low scores come from failing to follow the guidelines for the assignment. Sometimes an essay is pretty well written, yet it omits key aspects that the instructions called for. Hopefully I won’t encounter as much, er, negativity as I did when I handed back their graded papers last time.

I’ve also begun a correspondence writing course with Long Ridge Writers Group, which is based in Connecticut. A few years ago, when my interest in writing fiction was running hot, I sent for a free writing aptitude test from them. However, I never got around to actually completing the darn thing (see comments at top of this entry). Occasionally I would still receive letters and even additional copies of the writing test from them. During the summer, Long Ridge sent me another copy of the test with a letter claiming that they would finally drop me from their mailing list if I opted not to do the test and send it in by the end of July. I decided to go for it. What did I have to lose, after all? And besides, I knew that if I wanted to fulfill my aspirations to become a writer, I needed to “light a fire” under myself. (Frankly, I’ve found I tend to perform better when the pressure is on me, rather than when I have no deadlines or an excess of free time.) They found my writing samples acceptable and agreed to take me on as one of their correspondence students. I’m now paired up with a mentor who has published both fiction and magazine articles.

The first assignment involves writing a description of someone I know, and I’ve made some headway on it. But again, being a foot dragger, I haven’t even started a rough draft yet. Part of my problem is that there are too many distractions competing for my time and attention, especially the Internet and computer games. (The latter got me a tongue lashing back in college. My parents, realizing my grades were slipping because of all the time I was wasting on things such as PC games, chewed me out over the phone one day and threatened to pull the financial plug on my higher education if I didn’t get more serious with my studies.) I must keep in mind Christ’s admonition to “cut off” anything that “offends” (i.e., becomes a “stumbling block”).

Today I received a call from the SVD vocations director I met in Chicago. He was just checking up on me, and we chatted for only a couple of minutes or so. My pastor has talked to me a couple of times about getting me up to Pittsburg to meet with some of the Passionists working there. I haven’t heard anything lately from Glenmary Home Missions, the other group I’ve been looking into.  

It’s a quarter to nine on a Saturday night. Do you know where your children are?

Thankfully, I don’t have any kids to keep track of right now! So I’ll sign off and do some knitting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: