Just poking my head in the door here to reassure everybody that I'm not dead.
No, it's merely the week before the last week of the semester, so I'm up to my eyeballs in the penultimate paper-grading frenzy. Then the REAL crunch will begin when students turn in their final essays and write their exams.
Meanwhile, I finally got around to having some dental work done that's been begging to be done for some time now--namely, to dig out an ancient filling that was sloppily done in the late 1980s to begin with and has been driving me crazy over the years because it tends to trap food. So yesterday my dentist dug out the old filling (which was basically holding the tooth together), filed the remainder of the tooth down, and stuck a temporary cap on it. (The porcelain crown goes on in two weeks.) In the meantime, no gum chewing, no caramels, no sticky-anything, and frankly, my jaw hurts today. In fact, my right eyeball hurts, along with my right temple. If I open my mouth wide, my right ear hurts.
I suppose you won't be surprised to learn the tooth was on the right.
In other news, I hear Bodemeister is training well at Pimlico and the plan is to outrun I'll Have Another this time in the Preakness. It's quite possible--he'll probably go off as the favorite.
Oh, another piece of news: I have been picked by my college to be one of five faculty members on a panel discussion in the fall in which we will be discussing our writing process. I really have no idea how we were picked--we just volunteered to do it and listed our publications and mentioned what we would be likely to talk about, and for all I know, the five of us were the only ones who offered. Still, it'll be the last presentation of our President's Lecture Series (I guess the funding has run out; there has been no mention of a stipend), and the College wanted to acknowledge the writers on its own faculty. So, in a way it's an honor. I'm glad I have all summer to give some thought to how to articulate what is largely an instinctual process for me. I want to give practical advice to budding writers in the audience, not fluffy ideas about muses, inspiration, and channeling.
And that's it for now. I'm off to our Writing Center to tutor students for a while, then off to class, and by then I hope the ibuprofen has kicked in.