It is almost July... hard to believe! This week, the first draft of the first paper will come in. We are working our way steadily toward it right now. I can see the students still need work on the concept of thesis, on the notion that one could create a coherent argument about two different works. Now that I was trying to come up with a thesis and plan for this comparison or contrast paper, which I had envisioned as rather simple, a gentle introduction to analysis, I found it to be not nearly as simple as I had thought. Of course, that is always the way with me. It is probably the way my mind works, a writerly tendency to complicate, to see the baroque underpinnings of a seemingly simple idea that everyone else simply accepts at face value.
I had an idea that I am now pursuing. I belong to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, and the last time I was unemployed, I thought longingly of working there, perhaps writing the Zoo's educational materials, their magazine, or other materials they put out on their website, perhaps. I could not really see myself as a keeper, though I spent much of my life hauling animal crap, cleaning cages and tanks, gentling creatures. I am just not very big or strong, and most of the keeper jobs require such strength, as well as manual dexterity, which I lack in spades. But I have always wanted to at least go on one of the Zoo's behind-the-scene tours or overnights. They are just so expensive that I could never afford to do it, except by going alone, and that wouldn't be nearly as much fun as going with R or J or both of them.
But now, as I said, I had an idea. I will volunteer to teach a workshop there, a poetry workshop for adults. We will have a tour and spend the night or perhaps just have a tour, feeding and getting up close to some animals that are usually far away, in their enclosures. Then I will do the workshop, reading works featuring animals to the class and giving them an exercise. That way, perhaps I will be written up or be on the news or both, and someone who needs someone just like me or realizes that s/he does after seeing me, will give me some sort of job. If not, it will still be fun, and I will get to go on one of those tours.