heroes and intention

Wow. I've been away from the blog a while, now. So much has been happening it's been difficult to process, to find ways to say and make sense of all of the changes I'm experiencing from graduate student to professional. Mostly, I've spent as much time as possible playing WoW and watching Heroes. (Thanks Joe for turning me on to it.) I've discovered that where I once did not have the time/mental space to deal with a show like Heroes or Dexter , I am enjoying both immensely. I'd tried watching Dexter several times, when it first came out and a few months ago, but it never took. And then I watched the whole season 1 in a few days.

What I'll say about Heroes, and I'm only in Season One right now, is that from the point of a view of a writer I think it's amazing. The storylines, most of them, are incredibly complex with a lot of threads and I am impressed that, for the most part, the plots are surprising, and do a good job of carrying through from one story to the next. Of course, it might help that I'm watching them one right after another.

I've also been working on syllabi for my classes which has taken way more time than I expected it to, though I've always found syllabi building time-consuming, particularly when accompanied by design challenges. I usually build my syllabi as part of a course website. Millikin uses Moodle as a CMS and created pages for us if we want to use them. So now, I'm building pdf's in InDesign which presents its own unique issues. Orientation was last week and I met some cool new faculty from other departments during the first few days. One I'll be working with closely as we are part of a first-year component sequence where students in his University Seminars are in my Critical Writing Reading and Rhetoric courses (CWRR, known affectionately as critter). We plan to collaborate and share ideas on how to forge connections between the classes.

I'm overwhelmed and excited. I love this part of a new beginning where the possibilities seem endless. I was talking to someone, also a new faculty member, during orientation about my ideas (I have a lot of them) and she said, "Wow. You're ambitious." I was taken aback because most of my connotations of ambition are negative ones. But then today during a phone conversation with my grandmother I remarked that I have a lot of expectations of myself and that I'm trying to be realistic and prioritize things. And she said, "You have to have those expectations to move forward. Otherwise, you just go to work and do your job and come home. You want more than that." I thought, okay, maybe that kind of ambition isn't so bad. I have to admit and plenty of people have told me that I'm driven, often single-mindedly so. I do want to accomplish a lot in my career. I want to excel and succeed. But I'm wary of embracing ambition wholeheartedly because I want to remain grateful, and ethical and conscious of my actions. I want to be intentional.

Maybe, I've been watching too much Heroes.

Meetings and Convocation begin tomorrow. Classes start Tuesday.