Already published

Odor and gaze
Lost from view (Without a trace)
Oh fury…
Scandalous life…
Various lions…


Camino de tierra…
Mundo ilustrado…
El humo se disipa…
Vienes en la noche…
Leve pisada…
El fuego la poesía…

MY SLOT is 15-20 minutes so I will try for 14. This is seven poems and the last is in six parts, so it is like twelve.


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E-mail too dry to send

This weekend in Large City I saw a friend who is the language coordinator at R1. For exit interviews from the BA, departmental goal is to have 40% of graduates at ACTFL Advanced Mid, and the other 60% at Advanced High.

I am looking right now at examples of Distinguished, Superior, Advanced and Intermediate readings. It is revealing. There isn’t an undergraduate curriculum that doesn’t include Superior readings, and many include Distinguished ones.

​Oregon high schools aim for Intermediate-mid or Intermediate-high proficiency after 4 years of study (720 hours). 14% of their students actually attain this. Our major has 1,660 hours in it, starting with 102. In that time we should be able to get people to Advanced.

People not at Superior are not in fact ready for graduate school, and you have to be at a Distinguished level to really function professionally, as a Hispanist. The students we have had struggle in graduate programs have been Advanced.

This is why Advanced should be a minimum goal for graduation, and we should insist on Superior-level readings. In some of my courses, though, I may need to recognize that readings are unrealistically difficult.


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Koritha Mitchell

Here is someone worth knowing about.

I feel really alienated from work and really sad. But it is important to recognize, as Mitchell points out, that aggression is one reaction people can have to others’ achievement. I never understood this. I believed it when told I had done them wrong, and tried to disable myself so as not to hurt them again.


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Some things I will need

A tent is one. The one I have part of is an REI half-dome. That’s a fairly large tent and it weighs 5.5 pounds. I would like a small one.

A footprint for the tent. Do I have one?

A stuff sack for my sleeping back and something to sleep on. Do I have anything, or do I need to buy? Where is my camping pillow?

Packs, I think. I have this day-and-a-half pack but ideally I would have a pack with a frame and a day pack.

Water bottles, utensils, things like this. Tarps, rope, knife. I have to go through my shed.

BOOTS. Anything I do not have I can buy in California, even at the last minute, but I need to work on the boot issue now.

So here go a thousand dollars, and I am not doing any more to the house this year. But I will be outfitted as a mountaineer again. And I will have my identity in that way.


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Habits of mind

The automated university-as-a-business that Schumpeter desires fails to valorize the qualities of mind that follow from regular writing practices. A good writer of prose is also a good teacher, and can easily detect good ideas in well-written prose. The regular writer, then, does not need to spend as much time “teaching”. The student and the teacher are prepared by their respective efforts to prose the material. A quick bit of interaction. Some simple comments. Even something as a simple as a grade. That’s all it takes to move the student in the right direction. There’s the source.

And yes, that is what I would like back. I gave it up to Reeducation and then to harassment, and to my extreme sense of responsibility.


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I want to e-mail this but should not. I have to get it out of me.

The narrative of the beginning of all of this I got from X, with difficulty, during the summer, was:

1. Y had been coaching student practice many hours a semester, for honorarium of $100.
2. The importance of the $100 was that it defined this work as something separate from regular workload. Y did not need to do this work to comply with regular duties.
3. When the $100 was withdrawn Y was offered the possibility of claiming this work as part of service and/or research, or of not doing it — this latter being difficult because it is necessary work to hold the program together, cannot be left undone, X said.
4. The alternative would be for department to find another way to get coaching for the students; other departments have students pay, for instance. But there was pressure, for program integrity, on this instructor to coach for free, X implied.
5. This redefinition of workload, said X, had implications for everyone. What more extra work could the university assign, and tell people to account for it as part of regular workload?
6. Y, however, did not wish to complain and according to X the reason was fear of dismissal. Again, X was concerned about implications for others. Saying this work could now be counted as service or research changed job descriptions, definitions of research and service, and took the descriptions of these things away from faculty, said X.
7. So X decided to go on a campaign, which led to everything else that has happened.

My questions:

a/ Did Y really feel threatened or coerced?
b/ Was program integrity really threatened if the coaching was not done?
c/ Did the department consider any other way to get the coaching done?
​d/ Are other faculty concerned about the disappearance of coaching?

e/ Are there other faculty doing excessive service?

I never got answers to these practical questions. What X has done seems overwrought for what had been in essence a practical problem: students apparently need coaching and if the university provides it, and it is not included in tuition, there needs to be some kind of lab fee to pay for it.

It took me a long time to try to make sense of X’s initial complaints. I don’t know how accurate this narrative is, but I tried to come up with something rational, as opposed to faux rational, and ended up in this game with X where X appeared to be  trying to turn me into an instrument for co-creation of psychodrama. It then turned out that X was engaged in similar games with many others.

I have delegated this and must stay out, rise above the poison.


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Cecilia Simulacrum

Cecilia simulacrum
evoke and elide
appropriate and evade [or bury]

The machine to produce similarities: slavery, contact and mimesis in the Cuban novel Cecilia Valdés … Rev. Ib. XXXIV: 262 (ene.-mar. 2018): 221-233.

[What I found in my notes was completely different: being treated “as a servant” is what irritates me the most — I seem to define this as bald-faced attempts to manipulate; note how it involves not wanting to say no (to someone else) or yes (to what I want), staying on some kind of threshold.]

Kafka story: ape who has to imitate men to survive. He has to suppress own identity (his difference) to be like the Other. This is mimesis and it has to do with the master-slave relation as well as with insanity (seeing oneself as other, being aliené).

DARWIN emphasized difference between savage and civilized man, and the savage’s talent for mimicry. And Adorno-Horkheimer say that the modern subject is created when autonomy is imagined and imitation / mimicry left behind.

P. 224: If mimesis menaces the fixity of identities and differences, defying the classifying eye, we can understand the mixture of terror and fascination it could provoke in the lettered Latin American city (Rama), preoccupied with the rationalization of social space, the identification of deviants, and the meticulous discrimination among races, classes, and types in general; so narratives are about making the encounter with alterity palpable.

*This is what I have always noticed: fear of difference / denial of difference.


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