One of my favorite blog posts has been Balance, in which I made erasure poems from my students’ final projects at the end of last spring semester. I found myself thinking about it a lot last week, at the end of a rigorous fall semester and in the thick of grading final papers. I was itching to erase!
Grading can be so serious, and this has felt especially true the last few weeks. Taking these pieces of writing that have been wrapped up in layers of bullet-pointed requirements, comment bubbles of feedback, and ppt slides of prompts and pitfalls, and cutting through it all with a laser beam focus on a few words and phrases, playing with it all in the face of so much seriousness–this is more than some fun preoccupation, this is
Oh gosh, what is it? Do I really have to think this hard right now? Ok, ok. An act of rebellion, maybe? A necessary measure to preserve sanity? A rescue mission?
Whatever it is, I confess it felt more urgent last week when I was still grading–maybe because of the seriousness of grading or maybe out of a desire to procrastinate. And maybe those things aren’t so separate. At any rate, I did finally get around to these after the grades were in, which seems somehow less than satisfactory. I wonder what I would have come up with if I’d thrown on the brakes in the middle of all that work to erase. Then again, maybe the promise of erasure helped me get through my work.
These strike me as wintry and peaceful, as calm in their uniqueness as snowflakes.
Do any of you teachers and students out there want to join me? Is there anyone out there, regardless of jobish label, who wants to take the texts in their lives back from all seriousness? Send me your photos or poems, and I will publish them on this blog of mine.