This video of a Discovery Channel ad is pretty much how I feel all the time. But then along came this XKCD comic, which I ‘got’ instantly and happily. And both kind of parallel this video, called Where the Hell is Matt?. All of this kind of reminds me that it’s time for me to get back into making my podcast on ancient history, though. And maybe publish the one on the battle of Marathon, which has been “almost done” now for a while.
I have a feature at The Ship @ the Hotel Vernon in Worcester on Thursday. Come see me perform, even though I have no idea what, exactly, I’ll be performing yet. The Week in Poetry at The Poets’ Aslyum reports: Join the fun tonight at the Hotel Vernon (1 Millbury Street, Worcester) for The Spot. This weekly reading meets in the Kelly Square Yacht Club (that room in the back) and starts at 8:00 p.m. This week they have an open mic followed by a feature from Andrew Watt. No cover but bring money to buy a beverage and to support the feature. 21+
I ran a class on Teaching Teaching for the Boy Scouts yesterday. Tomorrow, I’ll be running the first of seven chapel services for the Scouts. For those of you who’ve attended, you know that they tend not to be what you might think of when you think, “religious service for the Boy Scouts”. It tends to celebrate their accomplishments and goal-setting, rather than the spiritual agenda of any one group. And it tends not to deal with nationalist issues at all. I’ll have to talk to Pat about exactly what he wants for this service, but I think the main goal is to make it fun.
I have NO idea at all what Ill be doing next fall in school. OK, that’s not entirely true. I have some idea. I know that twice a month, I’ll be saying morning prayer on Sunday mornings; I know I’ll be running a dormitory. But I don’t know if I’ll be running a weekday chapel service, or if I’ll be teaching any classes, or if I’ll be tutoring at all, or if I’ll be working as an administrator. I know I’ll have something to do with accreditation. I don’t even know if I’ll be coaching at all.
This summer, I’ve spent a fair amount of time (almost 20 hours so far) on writing material for my school’s upcoming Accreditation. This makes me an ‘expert’ on the NEASC guidelines for accrediting almost any school in the country, and I have to figure out how to work that into my resume for next year. What bothers me most about this time that I’ve invested into accreditation is that currently, no one seems to be able to tell me whether I’ll get paid for this time or not. Accreditation is one of those things that everyone ignores; no one really wants to do it, but everyone will catch hell if we fail some portion of it, or any/all of it. So asking for pay up front is awkward, but it’ll be impossible to get paid after the fact, either.
NENTS and CAIS Brain Conference
NENTS, which stands New England New Teachers Seminar, has once again asked me to be their middle school master teacher. I get to go hang out with a bunch of first year middle school teachers and advise them on developing a teaching style for a few days. It was fun last summer, and it will be fun this summer; and it ties in nicely with the program I did for the Scouts yesterday. I’m looking forward to it already, even though it’s in August.
Also in August, I’m introducing Dave Gray of XPLANE at the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools’ annual Learning and the Brain conference. In exchange for giving an appropriate introduction, I get to attend the conference. So I’m really happy about that.
Gaming & Freelance
Exalted: Dreams of the First Age finally came out, and I think I have one more project that I’m waiting on redlines for, but other than that I’ve got nothing in the pipeline. I attended a conversation after JiffyCon in central MA with a bunch of indie game designers and publishers, and I think I can work into that realm a little in the near future, but I’m not exactly holding my breath. On the other hand, I’ve now played D&D4e a few times, and I’m reasonably impressed with the play-style. It’s definitely moved into the realm of “fight monsters, take their stuff, and look cool doing it”, rather than trying to be a grab-bag of all possible gaming styles. But it feels good to be gaming again, rather than just writing about gaming.
Writing & Poetry
A friend of mine and former colleague is working on a young adult novel, and he’s inspired me to begin working on a new novel, which I began today using a modified form of the National Novel Writing Month novel guidelines. I realized that many of my favorite novels, including A Wizard of Earthsea and The Dark is Rising series, were actually YA novels, and it’s possible/likely that I have something to say in this genre.
I’m working to typeset my solar-lunar-feast day poems into something resembling an illuminated manuscript. I’m thinking that it won’t be available as a chapbook anytime soon, because it’s easily several hundred pages in the form that I envision it (it’s over a hundred pages just as straight typed text). It’s hard to think about cutting it up into smaller chapbooks, but that may be what has to happen.
I’m also working on a couple of new poems, with an eye to getting them out of editing by Thursday, or at least by July 29 at the latest. I’ve been out of the poetry-writing mode for so long, that it’s hard to get back into it. My improv’s have been pretty good, but I think that the point makes in several of his recent posts — that writing poetry should involve craft and care — has been bubbling up inside of me for a while. It’s time to go back to writing, and editing, poetry, rather than just spouting off nonsense when I get to the stage.
Being in a newly committed relationship is lovely. There’s some stuff to work through (isn’t there always), but it’s been great so far. Here’s to a great year coming up.
I think that’s it, at least for the moment.