Recant Reviling Love

I am going to have to say the appeal of the metaphor for love and rhetoric is quite effective for drawing in the audience. Perhaps it is unprofessional to say about the reflections on my personal life as pertains to Plato’s writings – but then I think the Greeks had an altogether different view of what professionalism might be. Suffice to say, this is the most I have laughed reading for classical rhetoric so far.

Phaedrus’ recounting of Lysias’ speech says lovers without love are better because Love gets exhausted, keeps score of the wrongs over the years, is irrational, jealous limiting and not a friend – a friend would point out flaws but Love does not. So, speaking of professionalism, the case is that sex for pleasure versus love turns out better. I can get on board with this metaphor for rhetoric and writing. It is subjective – there’s not one right way – it’s limiting, there are many ways to communicate, why writing? And it definitely can be exhausting.

However, sex without love also cannot ultimately satisfy and so – recant! Socrates recants after all agreeing with Phaedrus (except that he didn’t argue it well and that Socrates could do it better). The two discourses, he says, were lacking in delicacy: “Would not anyone who was himself of a noble and gentle nature, and who loved or ever had loved a nature like his own, when we tell of the petty causes of lovers’ jealousies, and of their exceeding animosities, and of the injuries which they do to their beloved, have imagined that our ideas of love were taken from some haunt of sailors to which good manners were unknown – he would certainly never have admitted the justice of our censure?” (243 c-d).  Indeed. Bias wrecks the rhetoric, just as love gone wrong wrecks the ways we love ever after. It’s like the misuse of rhetoric has wounded rhetoricians like Plato and Quintilian deeply – and maybe this is why there is so much talk about a rhetorician/orator needed to be morally good.

It feels a lot like the case I make to my students: I know writing has hurt you before, been painful, made you feel dumb or frustrated – but it has it’s uses! There can be good writing experiences! In the love metaphor, just because there was cheating and insults and they kicked you out of the house before you had a place to stay, does not mean that’s going to happen again. As teachers in college we have to address the wounded and make a safe place for students to make all the blunders of new love without criticism.

Mis Tareas

Mi Cuarto Día en San Pedro

Estar exacto, puedo decir mi quinto día pero mi primer día viajé y no yo podría ver la ciudad de San Pedro. Entonces, digo mi cuarto día. La primera cosa, en la mañana este es un temblor. Después duermo mas pero creo demasiado porque necesité mas tiempo para comer y vestir. ¡No recuerdo mi ropa íntima sucio en el baño! ¡Soy muy muy avergonzada! Un reloj dice son las nueve y cinco cuando yo llegaba a mi escuela, Casa Rosario. Después mi clase, es la una en punto, yo no nado o usar el cayuco porque el lago tiene las olas. Tomo café en el café de Atitlán. Escribo en mi computadora con mi novio y amigos. Después almuerzo caminé dos horas en las calles de San Pedro porque me gustaría encontrar un café especifico. También me gusta caminar y yo puedo aprender cuando hacer. Es necesario yo podría aprender los calles de San Pedro. Antes yo podría regresar a la casa de mi familia la lluvia comienza. ¡Hay mucho mucho lluvia! Esta bien porque me gustaría pagar un paragua y usar mi español. No puedo negociar pero pago a la treinta y cinco quetzales. Pagué una bebida de fruta la manzana tambien. No puedo decir el tiempo exacto cuando regrasaba pero creo son las seis menos cuarto.

Mi Primer Fin de Semana

El sábado tengo clase porqué no tengo clase el lunes antes porque viajé todo el día. Después yo voy en el cayuco. Yo voy dentro de la casa viejo en el lago de Atitlán. El domingo en la mañana camine´a la oficina de voluntario pero no miro las personas. Entonces caminé al Café atitlán para mi desayuno. Yo tengo desayuno de frutas con papayas, bananos, y sandía. También bebo café americano. Escribí en mi computadora, especifico, escribí correo electrónico a Rising Minds hacer una cita. Después regresando a mi casa. Toco mi guitarra y canto con Pablito. Un desfile ir por mi casa. Elena, Pablito y yo miramos. Son las doce mediodía mi maestra Ester visitar y hablamos por un rato. Después hablé mucho con mi novio usando skype de Café Chuayisina. Después caminé las calles de San Pedro mas. Buscando tienda de Beatríz y hacer una cita para corter mi cabello el próximo día son las cinco y media. Regresando a mi casa vestirme para la iglesia. Yo voy a la iglesia Bethel. Iglesia Bethel es la iglesia de mi familia en San Pedro. La iglesia es muy interesante. Creo ir otra ves en el futuro.

Soul Splits

January 27, 2014 10:52 am PST

I receive an email with subject: CONGRATULATIONS. I don’t know it yet. I’m teaching my second section of English 101 in my second semester of my MA program but my first time as a regular teacher.

I’m using a new online learning software that my partner worked on and works on as part of his phd work. It’s going great. Teaching is going great (I think).

I see the email and suspect what it is but don’t dare hope. They said I would hear back by the 25th of January so when I didn’t I just assumed I didn’t get it. I’m in my History of Language class which I’m nerding out on as one of my earlier discovered loves; the discovery a success out of the failure of my first semester of college ten years ago. I resist opening the email.

When I do I know I received funding to go to my first CCCCs conference without acquiring new debt. High on this I write a scholar/author/teaching on the east coast that I’ve been research-stalking for months. He writes me back. It’s wonderful. Everything is so stinking good that I have the thought that I’d better prepare for the fallout. But I don’t dwell on it.

I’ve come to feel I’ve got to enjoy these spots of time because they will not be permanent or lasting except in inaccurate memory. I’ve come to be a little more accepting of the imperfect and sad and fumbles because they heighten the highs.

And indeed, exciting for my first peer review with the online software I got to class even earlier than usual. I didn’t have a defined backup plan, just ideas and interests to pull from when the peer annotation system completely failed and after fifteen minutes on the phone plus some emails, neither my partner nor his chair who author the software knew why it wasn’t working. It wouldn’t be fixed for my second section either.

I assign something different and am being a bit ‘naughty’ in Professional Development Colloquium or PDC as I try to work on some things for the student and my plan B lesson on my laptop. I get another email.

January 29, 12:37 pm PST

Sometime when I was sleeping perhaps, or excitedly getting ready to teach, or maybe while all of my teaching plans were going wrong, Linda died. Professor Linda Kittell died. And there is nothing I can do. And I cannot cry because I’m in a PDC. And then I cannot cry because I’m in History of Language and I split it two in a way that I know intimately but will not share here because it is a public space and while typos and developing writing are okay to have attached to your professional name, there are things, many things, that I can only say under my penname and remain “hireable”.

I used to split in two on a regular basis. I did it for Linda’s class four years ago, spring semester 2010. I regularly explained this to my professors in detached and clinical terms so I wouldn’t feel so vulnerable and so foolish but also so that they would understand what was happening with me as an older-than-usual, struggling college student. Professors were always extremely support and understanding. But Linda did not just support and understand she had lived experience, a term retaught to me by a wonderful woman and colleague of the TRiO community we share as first-generation college students.

Linda knew splitting in two. She wouldn’t let me off the hook for it. But somehow, was so completely empathetic too. I got a ‘C’ in her class. I didn’t agree with her teaching style though I didn’t really think I deserved better than a ‘C’ either. I didn’t see her much after that. I split in two again. I would think about her a lot and always felt conflicted about her.

She remembered me, but I don’t think she fretted like I did. She had bigger fish to fry. She was writing. But then, she got sick. And then I never saw her until she finished her book of poems. She remembered me, but she didn’t fret. I remember how changed she looked from her battle of cancer. But her laugh, the way she read aloud, it was just like in the classroom. I bought her new book and her old one and she signed them for me. I think I will always feel split in two about Linda. Grieving is a selfish, self-absorbed process so much of the time and I think now is no exception.

Could I have tried harder in her course even while split in two? Is she watching me struggle with theory now and laughing, “I told you so.” Is she cheering me on?  The answer is neither. Why the hell would she care? It’s not that she didn’t care about her students, she just has bigger fish to fry. Baseball to watch and play. Peace and release from pain. Who gives a fuck, about a ‘C’ four years ago?


My eyes burn but I don’t cry. I go about my day. I keep my vaccination appointment for my travel this summer that will fill my MA’s language requirement and in a way that isn’t grade-driven and is soul-filling instead of flattening. I go to my graduate seminar. I split in two. I answer emails about the fiasco technology fail in class this morning alone in my closet-made-office while I eat my leftovers heated up dinner. My eyes burn but I don’t cry.

I go to Dr.Dyson’s speech as planned. I reconnect with very important people to me, that TRiO colleague I mentioned, and another TRiO colleague I haven’t. We talk about my upcoming trip to Guatemala because my arm is sore from all the vaccination shots and the newly mentioned college has some ties in Guatemala. And we talk about community and plans we have and race, class and gender issues and what I am learning about the earmarked ‘working class’ community in the field of English (most of us TRiO folk/alumni are working class and first-generation college students and often categorized ‘low-income’ and ‘high-risk’ for dropping out of college). It’s very fulfilling; it’s very important to me.

Part of the walk home is talking with one of these wonderful women. The other part listening to a podcast so I don’t have to be alone with my thoughts. My eyes burn.

I get home to good news! The technology, the peer annotation software is fixed and working. It’s would be so wonderful. It will be so wonderful.


But first I shut myself in my home office which is chaotic and roomy and me, not like my graduate school closet (right of passage, I understand). I bring out Linda’s books. I take pictures to avoid reading them. I will reread them; they are good poems, but I just can’t. Not just yet.

And I feel compelled to sit down and write this to you now. Because for a long time writing is where I don’t feel split in two; even when I lie to myself or try to talk myself into believing a certain ideology in my writing, or convince someone else that I believe a certain something, or that I’m totally and completely of the academic mind, even all these things, when I write I am whole. When I write I am not split in two. When I write I can cry.

I pretty sure Linda got that.


My Runner Bio

First interest: encouragement from my PE teacher after running a sub-six minute mile in 6th grade coupled with my big sister running cross country that same school year, 1996-97

First 5k Smithfield City’s Celebration: Health Days Saturday 5k fun run 1997
Ran xcountry and track all four years of high school; track events 800m, medley relay, 1600m and 3200m 1999-2003

My very brief time as a collegiate runner


One xcountry season in college, 2003,  NAIA division
(Click records)

Volunteer coached track and field distance events for SLC, UT ‘s West High School, 2005 and 2006 seasons

Marathons: 2, Top of Utah 2005 and Salmon, ID 2010

I paid for this?
This is what hitting the wall looks like. Pretty sexy. Despite vastly different training schedules, it came at the same spot for both marathons: somewhere between mile 20 & 21.

½ Marathons: 5, Top of Utah, Great Salt Lake ½, Snake River Half, Oktoberfest Leavenworth Half 2011 & 2012

5Ks: ha just kidding. No idea. A LOT multiple every year, years 1997- 2003, less frequent 2004 – present

10ks: probably approximately half as many as however many 5ks I’ve run

1 sprint triathalon

4 Wasatch Back Relays (Ragnar): 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008

Bloomsday Runs: 1, first time in 2012!

Personal Records
100 meters – 15 seconds HS track practice time trials 2003
200 meters – 31 seconds HS track practice time trials 2003
300 meter hurdles – raced it in a track meet once, either 2002 or 2003 season…been trying to track down the results just for funsies
400 meters – 66 seconds Spring 2003
800 meters – 2:32 Spring of 2001
1600 meters indoor – 5:54 February 2003
1600 meters outdoor – 5:30 Spring of 2001
Beer Mile – 24:13 August 2012
3200 meters 11:49 spring of 2001 ~ possible still holds as Sky View HS’s women’s record, but I couldn’t be sure and haven’t looked into it.
Kamiak loop 2.25 miles:
clockwise 21:24 summer 2012
Counter clockwise – 22:22 summer 2012
5k – 19:41 Fall of 2002
6k 25:30 Fall of 2003
10K – 41:03 Fall of 2002
½ marathon – 1 hour 35 minutes TOU/2 September 2005
Marathon – 3 hours 50 minutes Salmon, ID marathon 2010

It has just occurred to me that I could probably track down links for results to a lot of these. Mmmh.

Renovation Resume

And that’s a command, as in, “Renovation, resume!” As opposed to the resume and cover letters that I have been remodeling, renovating, updating, rewriting, revising, modifying, and generally trying – breathe – to get a bleepin’ job.

I have not gotten a job yet, and am not likely too very soon because before the economic ‘recession’ it would take a new college graduate an average of a year to find a job. Now, as NPR reminds me nearly every weekend while I open the gas station, I’m looking at at least a year, or never, or when we fix the economy or the economy fixes itself…

Anyway, the point is, I’ve been prioritizing job hunting for all my free time, which is pretty limited because between four jobs, I work at least six hours a day, seven days a week. (And yes, I am complaining.) During the never-ending job hunt I had decided this website and my writing in general wasn’t as important of a way to spend my time. And maybe it’s not, but remember the ‘never ending’ part?

I still won’t be doing as much as I’d like because I’m not stopping the job search, but all this is to say, I’m back! Incidentally, it’s the position I’m applying for that helped me come to this realization. Some of the responsibilities the position requires are website upkeep and editing.

I thought, “Hell yes I got that!” And then, “Ah, man. I miss writing.”

So I’m back! –back to rebuilding and renovating this site. I’m not easing up on my diligence for the hunt for a singular job but I am re-budgeting my time. Potentially I’m going to re-budget and tighten the belt as well; I need to write. It is my passion. I don’t know what I was thinking sidelining it for so long.

Actually, I do know what I was thinking; job, bills, student loans coming due and more! But I know how to live poor really well now so everyone should check back soon for new content. If there isn’t any, punch me in the face.

Continue reading Renovation Resume


Dear Everyone,

“Please excuse the dust.”  Since I started this website it’s been really inconsistent in content and theme.  I’m working on revamping all of that.  So if you’ve been here before you might notice revisions and/or posts missing.  If you really miss them and posts like them, email me and I’ll let you know how to keep up with the more random and disorganized blog postings. Otherwise, enjoy!  It’s just going to keep getting better and better!


Oh shit, and other Mountain-life lessons

The mountain helps you realize that no one really cares about what you are doing.  Even when you are being watched and laughed at from the chair lift above.

“You’re turns are looking really nice,” I tell my friend ‘S’.  We are standing in the snow half way up Silver Mountain.  Well, we are really standing in ski boots, which are bound to fiberglass popsicle sticks with a sliding slick underbelly designed to induce near death visions.

“Oh yah? I kinda don’t feel like I’m doing that well,” she tells me. We’ve stopped to let the internal muscular burn of lactic acid production fade a bit before skiing the rest of the way down to the designated ski lift.

“Ya, when I went skiing with my dad he told me I was looking pretty good on the moguls and I was like, ‘really?  I feel like I’m in control, maybe, half the time.’”

“Ya, that’s how I feel too!” ‘S’ laughs and produces one of her elfin smiles, the kind you have to smile back at no matter what.

We go quiet so we can just breathe.  It isn’t the first ski of the season for either of us, but we can’t make it quite often enough to stay in shape for our near death experiences that for the same and different reasons, we both love.  We didn’t think the rain was going to turn into snow but kept the faith and about half way up the Gandola ride, much to our relief, snow.  We’ve skied for four or five hours now and I don’t know about ‘S’ for certain, but my burning quadriceps are starting to accrue a strange sort of squishy feel.

“Well,” I say after a few moments thought, “I guess that’s the secret, everybody’s just pretending, faking it.  They really aren’t in control half the time either.  “ ‘Hey dude’ “ I change my voice and act out,” ‘that was so awesome!’ ‘Yeah man, it’s cool, no big deal but uh, I got to go to the bathroom now cause I shit my pants.’ “

We laugh about this for a while before skiing the rest of the way down the mountain.  It’s the call back joke for the rest of the day, because I guess poop is just funny.  Thinking of the oh-so-cool trick snowboarders shitting there pants, is just a satisfying, goofy thought.

But I’ve discovered that this assessment of my fellow sliding-down-snow-lovers applies very well to the big picture, life, being an adult.  All adults and grown ups, (and this includes me now, much to my shock and awe) are faking it.  They’re pretending.  They’re scared shitless.  Which is the only reason why they don’t actually shit themselves until the effects of the bran muffin that is Time kicks in after retirement.

So I laugh at my dorky crashes and awkward pole versus skis moments and don’t care what people think because I love skiing, period.  Why can’t I do the same with life?  Mmh. Well, shit.