Friday, December 2, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
not a selfie, but so very much about
self, self-identity, choice. there's
a great story about my determined
choice to be photographed in THIS
What gets me is how we in Rhetoric and Composition (and in Writing Studies, Digital Media Studies, Digital Humanities, etc., etc.) are exploring and teaching curatorial practices as forms of sound rhetorical knowledge that we should possess, that we should be wise enough to obediently practice. I am interested in these helpful discourses even as I find many reasons to resist their pedagogical desire.
All of this is to mark the beginning of my work on the next book, C'est Mwah! I am referring to my book on selfies and the constellating images, films, screen moments, and discourses that help shape our investments in taking selfies, sharing selfies, and dissing selfies. Me? I'm pro-selfie, but it's complicated. More in the book.
*it was Diane Davis who finally helped clarify my thinking. Her work on rhetoricity has been generously instructive in ways words cannot describe.
Monday, May 30, 2016
I love conferences. I have always loved performing. People often say that they enjoy my performances, so I like to think it's time well spent, and, lucky me, getting to do this thing I love!
Also, I like people. I enjoy my professional relationships; however, I am a trained extrovert, so it doesn't always come easy. That's what this post is about.
Over the last 2 weeks, I've presented 3 times in 2 different cities. It was a lot of travel, bingewriting and freakout editing, and it was all jammed togeth in a tough schedule. These are not ideal conditions for anyone, but for a trained extrovert on the tail end of some difficult personal losses (both parents, both very recently) and in the midst of career uncertainty, it was extra tough.
I learned quite a bit during this tough time. Rather, I re-learned many things about who I am, how I am, and just what I think I'm doing as a social, professional being. Because this is about the learned/re-learned stuff, please know that these lessons have been a long time coming, have a long history, and may have nothing at all to do with these particular conferences and the lovely people in attendance; it's more about me in social/professional life, in general. So, what did I learn?
1.) I learned that I really, really care - a lot - about what I present, and how. I love live performances, and I want to move my audience. I read often the social media posts of colleagues who are "writing it on the plane," and my head explodes. I mean, that is really so nice for you if you can do that, but ME? Impossible. It's true that as a university professor (and actor), I can "think on my feet," but there are limits. Knowing my limits is good. So no shame. No shame if you can't dash off a brilliant performance script. Also, not everyone wants to hear about my process of composing. I too share on social media the nature and status of my projects, but, again, limits are good.
2.) I learned that I have some particularly awkward relationships. When in proximity with the person(s) with whom I experience strained co-existence, silence is my best friend. See, I'm a person who can't stand to think that I've wronged, annoyed, or upset you. I also want to be liked. This sometimes translates into MY DUMB VOICE filling a void between us that really, really, really just wants to be a void. I can do silence. It's not easy because of all that longing and, well, once a hairdresser (see "trained extrovert") ... But yeah, silence. More silence. Because, like weirdly gushing to a celebrity you happen to meet, this strange bleating is never well met. If it's weird, just zip it.
3.) I learned that if I am seemingly neglected in some group situation, I am still amazing. I enjoy a cocktail or a meal, even alone; I can step out of the flow (and demands) of embodied sociality for a bit. Chill. And if, in that moment of feeling/being so alone, someone or a small group invites me to their thing, I have learned to give it serious consideration. I may, in some momentary bout of sadness-distancing bravado think, "Sure! Yes! ... Let's do this!" and it may go well, but if I am very deeply troubled by the current state of affairs, I may end up whining rather than being my lovely and amazing self. So, be amazing, alone or with others; if I'm too troubled, solitude is the answer. Hopefully, I can go and be amazing (hint: I can*).
These are just a few of the things I've learned. I think that if I am able to internalize this learning, I will do better socially and professionally. Yes, I'm unhappy to have to re-learn this stuff at all, but when your life throws you around for a while and you're generally untethered due to chance operations that leave you not quite yourself, you will have to re-learn, as well. I'll be here.
I want to close with some hip, podcasty-slash-oldtimey radio voice of wisdom, to tell you that you will be okay. I hope I will. I hope you will. And remember:
1.) Limits are good.
2.) If it's gonna be weird, just zip it.
3.) You are amazing.
4.) i love Allie Brosh and hope she sees the essentially transformative nature of this post, that i'm not gaining financially (at all), that i'm using a tiny portion of the whole work, and that i've got a trackback link, below. she deserves all the lurv!
* originally drafted with an exclamation point but bonnie.