Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Four things and the need for sleep

I've been taking hard stock of life and priorities, and after discussing problems through with my husband conclusions were met.

(1) If I'm going to finish my BA without incurring a nasty heft of debt it's time to cut back on my wandering interests. I dropped the Philosophy minor, because with my husband's philosophic library, who wouldn't? I've seen Good Will Hunting. I can read. This subtracts almost 15 needed credits from my tally sheet. I'm down to maybe two semesters if I can squeeze my final math class out of the summer.

(2) I may have passed Advanced Poetry last Spring with a steady A, published all the poems I submitted after the completion of that course, and crafted a few sure pieces since with little mentoring input, but I'm not done studying poetry. It's my genre. Living without study of the craft makes living difficult. I approached the same professor (since Laura is on sabbatical and I'd milked that feedback market until she said I'd surpassed her tutelage) and hit him up for a second run at the course; at first as TA, and then, when we both realized he's enough of a lone wolf that I'd only end up under foot, he agree to allow a directed reading course of my own tailoring, specific to my poetic needs. It will earn (3) credits, but I may have given myself enough work for (4). By the end of Spring semester I aim to have studied Hass, Strand, Gluck, Li, Simic, and Merwin for two weeks each. I will have written two poems a week, for (28) completed pieces by late April. I will submit to no less than (8) journals, and will complete a written evaluation of what I've learned from each poet and my incorporation of these skills in my own work. It's an endeavor. My professor, Rob, signed off on it with no questions asked.

(3) I don't like "trying" to get pregnant. I may very well be too old, and peeing on sticks stresses me out. Tracking my ovulation has been informative, and I'm more in tune with how my body responds to hormonal changes through the month, but sex has lost its spontaneity and thrill. Sometimes I feel resigned rather than resolute. In fact, Mr. PNU and I aren't always 100% sure that this is what we want anymore, even if he feels like we should, even if I felt an irrepressible urge to have a child throughout my third marriage. What is revelatory is that I can live for three months, med-free and happy even under stress. But there is the goal of an MFA, working as an adjunct, continuing the writing life. A 13-credit semester of undergrad work is hard enough with five kids; I have no idea how I'd do grad school with a baby. And the five kids we have are great kids. So we haven't ruled out having a child together. We're not thinking contraception, but we're at the point where conceiving is not a pressing priority.

(4) I'm taking my last semester of Greek, and I have to take it very seriously. I realized today, intimated that I'm no more than an infant in this language. Syntax is my downfall. Sure, I can read the New Testament. Plato slaughters me. His poetic use of extra words for the sake of meter and assonance is daunting in a way few things described as daunting ever truly are. I'm in my second semester of Creative Non-Fiction, which means I'm going to be hacking out around (60) pages of narrative over the next few months. I've already planned out my topics: mental illness, revelation, the Mormon experience, Abraham, Kierkegaard, and reconciliation with faith. Mr. PNU seems hopeful of the final product, and throws out suggestions often, even though I'm uncertain exactly what that will look like. I'm also picking up a Brit Lit section from a soft-spoken darling of a professor, falling in love with Mary Wollstonecraft, and taking up "Pride and Prejudice" for a second go. Basically, I'm a workhorse till May. I'll probably answer this by either breaking down, going nuts, getting pregnant, or writing more than anyone will care to read. Funny how this writing friend stays constant. Funny how I'm writing this when my husband is laying alone in our bed and he is my best friend of them all.

Good night.

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