Friday, March 6, 2009

Hercules Takes on the Writing Life

Here's how it works. I get to sleep properly and go to a neighboring state for Spring Break in another week, after I have successfully completed the Herculean academic/writing tasks in front of me in all my classes. These include (on top of my week-as-usual of stacks of reading and assistantship work, etc.):
  • doing a field observation and attending a meeting for my anthropology field project
  • writing a 4-5 page paper for my "Culture and Society" class drawing on things we've been reading about how to study globalization
  • preparing a 20-minute presentation on the last section of Kenneth Burke's The Rhetoric of Motives (big text about the study of rhetoric and persuasion) for another class
  • taking a mid-term about narrative theory, etc.
  • plowing through piles and piles of grading
Oh yeah, and I'm also writing an article for catapult for this Monday because the issue's topic is so good.

It's no finals week list, I grant you, but still...sheesh. I've often thought that we writers and academics should have our own superheroes whose examples we could follow.

Our Hercules figures would be a little crazy but not so unreasonable that we couldn't hope to be like them. Writing Man and Writing Woman would be able to, for instance, plow out a 30 page papers in a single sitting, grade 20 papers with lots of feedback in a single hour, write a really polished novel in a day or two, and so on. (Oh, and I'm taking suggestions on better names for said superheroes.)

I sometimes wonder if things like grad school, the 3-day novel contest, and NaNoWriMo are attempts to set us Herculean tasks to get us to rise to the challenge of following in the footsteps of these imaginary superheroes.

Will I manage this particular Herculean week? Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...

No comments: