Shaping our Plans

I was thinking of you all yesterday evening, hoping you were ok and keeping safe during that torrential rain event. Although we knew there would be some significant rain, it was hard to anticipate the intensity of this storm and the havoc it wrecked. I sincerely hope you and your families are all ok.

It was genuinely so uplifting for me to see you finally in person. Once again, welcome back to campus, or just welcome to campus! Last nights conversation, spurned by the image gallery, was very meaningful to me. You are all at different places, with different perspectives, but it is clear to me that this thesis process will be an integral part of your growth this year. I want to state how truly how happy I am to have this chance to work with all of you in this capacity. This thesis journey we are on is the “heart and soul” of good work that matters to me. We have been so much together as a writing community – from virtual acclimation, and now face-to-face acclimation. All of it during a time of profound upheaval, collective and personal stress, and loss. I am glad we have each other as we weather through more of this.

Here are the slides from last class for your reference:

Some of you are just starting the process of discovery and invention for this thesis project. And some of you are well on your way, and have various elements “in the can.” Since you are each at various stages in the overall process will probably form different working groups in order to align the right pacing for you.. I would like those who will graduate at the close of this semester to take the early lead in the scheduling of these informal peer feedback/presentation sessions. More on this next week.

Remember, each of you can learn a great deal from considering each other’s proposal approach, no matter how nascent or evolved your proposal iteration might be. I look forward to “jump-starting” our collective work together.

For our Next Meeting

  1. Please send me the URL (web address) for your WordPress blog by filling this form out by Wednesday, Sept 8th.
  2. Please register for our library session next week with reference librarian Craig Anderson. Our plan for next class is to gather in our usual classroom (CAS 310) at 4:30pm, then walk over together to the library for Craig’s workshop on research.  Then afterwards, we will take a campus walk together and wrap up class in another campus locale.  Here is the link to the workshop registration: https://kean.libcal.com/event/8105600

See you then. Have a great Labor Day weekend,

Dr. Zamora

Sunlight in a Jar

I just can’t believe that come this May, I’ll actually have the word master follow my name into a name in terms of my education. It’s so surreal knowing you’re right at the brim of the end of something; on one hand, I’m more than ready to move on and finally get started on the next chapter of my life, my foray into adulthood, and pretty much figuring out who I’m going to be and everything I can become over the course of the rest of my life. This is my World Series, my Stanley and Isobel Cup, and above all else, a dream that so much of my life has been a build-up for. On the other hand, September might not mean the start of school for me after this, I might not stay in the same town, let alone state, and I might have to face my fear of “falling behind in the human race to hit all your major achievements by a certain age.” But, I’m committed to making the most of things, and moving beyond the “what-ifs” and worries of my mind! This is going to be a year of laughter, peace signs, and energetic leaps and bounds creatively; because yes, I will stumble and get a little scrambled here and there, but I’m going to do my best to stay sunny side up!

With all of that out of the way, I guess it’s time to kick around some of my thesis ideas since I know that right now, my XP bar is pretty low compared to my peers. For me, the best ideas come after naps, bike rides, and trying to decipher whatever cryptic advice my Dad or a song lyric I decided to hyper-fixate on having to offer. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how there seems to have been exponential growth in both positive and negative directions when it comes to attitudes regarding empathy, care, and equity in the community, for a variety of reasons. Every day, there’s something that shakes and realigns all of our worlds on both macro and micro scales, and we don’t have nearly enough time to sit down and digest what is going on in our fishbowls, let alone the ocean. But, we do communicate with others and construct dialogue and relationships. 

It’s easy to join in with the strangers in your vicinity and start complaining about the long wait times in the coffee line, or speak to a classmate solely in the classroom but never exchange so much as a wave outside of the classroom, but it’s also just as easy to smile and compliment someone’s outfit as they walk past, or maybe even just say “thank you” when a stranger holds a door open for you. Discourse theory and linguistics have proved this matters beyond just the push for “good manners!” 

Of course, a thesis isn’t written in a single night, so I’ll leave you with the song I’ve had on repeat for this entire blog post, cap this off by saying that I want to use discourse theory, explicate and explore this idea far more in depth than I can currently articulate, and use an interactive electronic literature piece to bring it to life! 

See ya on the other side!