Last Words

It’s been a rougher end-of-semester than usual. Each paper I wrote fell far short of the mark I was trying to hit. But there comes a time where you’ve just got to let them go. I have a lot of plans for re-writes; maybe it can actually happen. But the real fact is, I have things that I’ve wanted to rewrite for the last three years that have not come back around. Then there is the matter of the book review I need to get to work on, and the conference paper that may end up in a collection. For now, I’ve got to think of last words, and of course enter final grades in for my students who mostly seemed to handle this semester better than I did.

I taught using the Daily Show and the Colbert Report a lot. The feedback was really positive—several students credited me with making them laugh during every class. That’s a tough chore in tech writing; it’s not exactly the most exciting class to teach. But I think I’ve hit my stride with it. I reinvent it every semester and it gets easier each time. I thought I’d be able to recycle parts of it, but I seldom do. Each time I get different ideas.

I was thinking of trying to write some words here before I hit the road in the next few days, but it seems hard to top this snip from Ulysses S. Grant, penned just before his death:

I do not sleep though I sometimes dose a little. If up I am talked to and in my efforts to answer cause pain. The fact is I think I am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; or to suffer. I signify all three.

My suffering is pretty slight. I mostly be and do.