Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Fall October 8, 2013

Filed under: Academic,Teaching — leighj @ 10:32 am

It finally feels like fall: I’m way behind in my work, the weather is cool in the morning, the leaves are falling off the tree in the front yard, and potato soup sounds good every day. Furthermore, I’m seeing a lot of pictures from Balloon Fiesta in my Facebook feed, and it makes me miss those New Mexico mornings.

I had my students do a public speaking workshop in class yesterday. It was fantastic! Two of them reported loving public speaking, two hated it, and all the rest are not crazy about it, but will do it if they have to. But they took turns working with a partner on skills like tone, fluency, posture, gestures, and eye contact.

The boys went to a birthday party over the weekend, and we had some friends over to bounce in the bounce house. Mostly it was low-key, but we did quite a bit of cooking. Patrick and I managed to drift off to the store called the Treasure Shop while the boys were at their Language Class. It was hilarious. Kind of like being in a person’s home who liked art, china, and weird contraptions from the late 1970s.

I don’t really have any deep thoughts today. I finished commenting on student drafts, and I’ve been talking to the students in this writing intensive class about process versus product. It makes me feel better to emphasize that they have to keep writing and thinking, even if it doesn’t make them feel better.

I said goodbye to my six-week friend.

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2 Responses to “Fall”

  1. George Hardy Says:

    Public speaking is very important. Not
    reading a prepared talk, but just “standing
    on your hind legs” and talking about what
    you know.

    GFH

  2. Linda St Clair Says:

    I’ve been thinking more about your “six week” friend. When I get involved with a new play there are usually 6-8 weeks of rehearsals and then 2-3 weeks of performance. Frequently I don’t really get to know a new person until we tighten up the rehearsal schedule and start to “run the show” — suddenly everyone is on the call schedule so the whole cast is finally together — then there’s the time in the greenroom during tech week and run of the show — so it adds up to maybe 6 weeks of togetherness and then the show is over and might I never see some of those new theatre friends again. Or maybe it will be years till I’m in a show with them again. I would consider it very odd (and a bit rude) if I didn’t bother with these new people just because our time together might be limited to a few weeks. Is your experience of being mothers together on the playground or school year that much difference from my theatre experience? A situation has thrown you together and maybe the time is limited, but you’re “in the trenches” together for the present moment and I think forming a friendly relationship in that situation is just part of being human. And speaking of “in the trenches together”; that’s a saying because it’s literally true for some people. Listen to WWII vets talk about their battlefield buddies — maybe they were together for just a few weeks, but there’s a bond there that lasted a lifetime (even if one them never came back home from those trenches). So I say, good for you for taking the risk of making a “six week friend”.


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