Welcome to the OCC English Newsletter…I am glad we’re here.
For many of us, there’s nothing like curling up with a cup of joe– or whiskey, or wine, or pick your poison– to take us away from the frustrations that we experience in the day to day. For me, many of those frustrations have, of late, been about work. The job I once loved and celebrated and taunted my friends with has changed. Gone are the days when I felt valued and autonomous, the days when I confidently strode toward my classroom, knowing that what I was doing today mattered, and sense that I was part of a larger cause that mattered to just about everyone around me. Strong words, but it’s true. Things have not been feeling great at our institution.
We can talk about about what has caused this shift– and I’m sure many of us would agree about the cause…but what I believe we all feel is that this circular discussion is not getting us anywhere. People I run into at work these days are ready to talk about how they’re spending less time at work, more time with family, and just generally caring less about what happens at school. These acts of self-preservation in a negative climate are vital and represent many of our natural inclinations.
Even so, many of us also feel a loss because of the shift in our day-to-day experience of work, not a personal loss but a professional one. We don’t see our colleagues as much and we don’t have as many engaging conversations about teaching, learning, research. I know I am not alone when I say that I really miss that. I have a sneaking suspicion that our students must be missing that too. Excited and engaged teachers are the lifeblood of our institution. We must continue to work toward that ideal for our students.
Please join me here to expand upon and cultivate a shared professional life for our discipline. We are experts in our field, we are writers and readers, and these are the things that brought us to the classroom in the first place. Let’s come back to that place together, here.
The goal of our shared site will be to share ongoing research in our field, reflections from instructors at OCC, poetry, creative writing, art, thoughts from our students, and even the irreverent satire piece now and again. It is my hope that everyone will have something to contribute. We don’t see each other much, but I think we can connect with one another here in a different way that may be even more rewarding in that it is our space for our professional ideas and our lives. By reconnecting with what we’re really doing….what we’re really here for…I hope that we can form a closer community and support each other in the ongoing project we’re all in on- advocating for and making a difference in the lives of our students.
If you have a piece you’d like to submit, please be in touch with me at my OCC email address or through the “contact” form on our site.