Lazy Fish

As far as blogging goes, I have been feeling deeply unmotivated. In my non-blogging life, I have been drifting with the current like a lazy little fish, though a fish who has a lot of papers to grade. I want to post something about the recent SLSA conference before it all becomes too hazy in my mind, but that's going to have to wait till tomorrow at least. The essays I've been reading from my freshmen have not been universally awful, but they have been pretty awful. This late in the semester, that makes me depressed. Obviously, I'm a failure as a teacher. On the other hand, the creative writing portfolios I've been reading are fascinating, though not always for the right reasons. It's a beginning class & the best students have been reluctant to present their best, most challenging work, preferring to workshop more superficial things. I take this as a reluctance to present oneself as intellectually or aesthetically ambitious. There are three or four students in the class who run counter to this trend & I'm grateful to them. They break the leaden weight of conformity & modesty. Most of the students are just lazy fish like me.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.