"Lies will flow from my lips, but there may perhaps be some truth mixed up with them; it is for you to seek out this truth and to decide whether any part of it is worth keeping." --Virginia Woolf A Room of One's Own

I've changed my name

The name of this site, somewhat. I've decided to drop the subtitle. I'm not sure that it matters much. I think I felt constricted about what I could write about, even though "musing about teaching, writing and life" provided quite a bit of leeway when it came to subject matter. But I've decided that this blog can be just about me, which will include my teaching, writing, bicycling and whatever else, such as vacationing, sleeping, politicking, or whatever. Part of the reason I've decided to do this is based on my reading of Bold Spirit, the story of a late Victorian-era woman, Helga Estby and her daughter, who walked from Spokane, Washington to New York, New York in the 1890's. She made the walk with the hopes of winning $10,000 to save the family farm from foreclosure. The people who put up the money backed out once the Helga and Clara reached New York, but the author of the book wrote about how we need to pay attention to the regular people of the world, and I"m certainly a regular person. Not that I'm going to be historically significant, but how can we know who amongst us will be? So, if this blog gets read somewhere in the future, in paper or electronically, I hope it provides some insight to life in the early 21st century America. That's it. As Walt Whitman writes "I celebrate myself, and sing myself, /and what I assume you shall assume, / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

SE Boulevard Bike Lane Opening!

me on the loaner for life tandem, slogging up SE BlvdThe adjoining picture is me on the front of my "loaner for life" tandem, actually owned by John Speare, who took this photo. I wish you could see Tobias behind me, stoking away. Rachel had already passed us by this point, even though we were the first riders to set off. Set off on what you ask?

This Sunday we, the Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board held a semi-official opening for the bike lanes put in as part of the SE Boulevard renovation that occurred over the summer. It was only a semi-official opening because the mayor held the grand opening ceremony a few days prior, but a mix-up on the time, with some press releases saying 10:30 a.m. and others saying 2:00 p.m., cut into the number of participants that day.

Peter Elbow, Mike Edwards, Vitia, the Internet, and my teaching

While many decry it, the internet has show itself to be something of an equalizer in my life once again. It ends up happening in a rather vicarious way, perhaps, but that's often good enough for me. This instance showing the greatness of the internet and its influence on my teaching comes from a post I read at Mike Edward's Vitia blog. Mike teaches at West Point, the United States Military Academy, the name of which I may not have quite right. You'd think the name of such a place would be within the reach of every memory, but it's not. Most people say "West Point" and that's what it's called. The post in question concerns a recent conference Mike attended.

TYCA PNW Session four: That's so gay!

I attended the first half of this workshop last spring on campus I think but I missed the second half then, but get to go through it now, which I'm happy to hear. Law requires us in the state of Washington to provide a safe learning environment and sexuality and sexuality identity is a core part of this, especially when values clash. What is it that we can do to minimalize any marginalization that students may experience?

TYCA-PNW Session 3: Race, Class, Privilege and the Composition Classroom

Suzy Lepeintre and Robin Bailey from Bellevue CC; Kim Pollock didn't make it because of a prior commitment.

TYCA-PNW Keynote: Victor Villaneuva

Victor is on the faculty at Washington State University, the Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts

Victor gave the keynote at TYCA-PNW several years back at Whatcom CC in Bellingham. That talk was also part of a College English symposium issue, almost more of a scripted performance than a "talk" in a traditional sense, but both engaging and informative. I'm expecting and hoping for something equally engaging and informative this morning as Victor talks about "When Racism Enters Writing."

the year of the cat

Like Mike Edwards over at Vitia, I like cats. I've pretty much always liked cats. Growing up we always had a cat, sometimes two. Since my marriage to Rachel, we've always had more than two cats. We started with Dashiell (named after Hammett), then we found Elvis on the streets of White Salmon near the Columbia River Gorge, then we bought Eban, our first pure-bred. Late came Ida, a still semi-feral, but loving cat. Then came Willie, another literarily named cat (Robert Burns' "Holy Willie"), then Hope and finally Ash, our most recent addition. We lost Eban quite some years ago and we lost Willie last spring. This morning, we lost Dashiell.

TYCA PNW Session Two: The Shape of Things to Come

Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century, Paul Bodmer, NCTE Senior Program Officer.

TYCA-PNW Session One: Citizenship in the Classroom and the Community College

Subtitle, "The Politics of Responsibility." Rise Quay from Central Oregon CC in Bend, OR. If you've never been to Bend and want a reason to visit Central Oregon, Bend is reason enough. There's skiing in the winter, biking, hiking and other high dessert fun stuff in the summer.

I'm coming out on National Coming Out Day!

For those who don't know, National Coming Out Day, as the link to wikipedia will tell you, an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and speaking out about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. Some, however, would have us take this day further, and have everyone come out, not just gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, queer, questioning, but straights as well. So I'm coming out.

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