Wednesday, February 21, 2007

tiny hopes and other wastelands

What a day for news. Britain is reducing troops in Iraq, Italy's prime minister resigned because of his support of the expansion of a US Air Base in Vicenza, and Britney Spears checked out of rehab again!
Not a good day for the US at all - but I have to say that I am pleased. Other nations should continue to stand up against our militarily-based foreign policy - since we seem unable to do it ourselves, anyway.
that's enough of my political commentary -- it is not my forte, and I'll leave it to the other bloggers to take these issues up.

Meanwhile - on the teaching front...
Class went over ok on Tuesday. The material was great, but the participation and enthusiasm were somewhat lacking. I generally don't call on students in class, just a general policy I have, however, I have informed them that this is changing starting tomorrow because we really need people to contribute to the discussion. I would say that I have 4 - 5 students that I can rely on to always contribute, but I'd really like to get everyone else involved as well.

on another front...
I have also been working on two very similar writing projects. First, a cover letter for an important job application at UCSD. The job cover letter is ultimately most perplexing.
I don't want to sound braggy but I do want to sound confident, assertive, and qualified. What to focus on? Teaching? Research? University Service? In the job posting (it is for a part-time lecturer position in the Visual Arts Department) they state that they are looking for lecturers with PhD preferred (but will consider ABD, but already I'm down a point) and that they want someone who has a great teaching record, and is active in academic community (code: published).
I tried to cover all bases in a short letter - where and what I have taught, what I am qualified to teach, and my dedication to teaching the arts... and then try to play up my two little publications so far. i also mention my work as Managing Editor for Octopus because I have been told that it looks really good to found and manage a journal.
Anyhow, i hate writing these things - I am never satisfied that my true self comes forward.

the second project I am working on is a grant proposal for Octopus to submit to the Andy Warhol Foundation. This is a foundation that gives away millions of dollars a year to programs in art. We would like to get a little slice of the pie. However, of course we have to convince them - that we are a worthwhile investment. I have received some individual grants over the years, but nothing huge .. yet. and writing for a group is very different. it is all about finding the right voice - like i said at the beginning - confident, assertive, intelligent - but not braggy.

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