You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 10, 2009.

I’ve decided that I’m probably going to blog no more than five stories a week as a general practice.  On weekends, or on whatever part of the week my in-between days fall, I’ll just post reflections, tidbits, and random thoughts related to Welty and/or my project of blogging her.


That brings me to an attempt to explain why I am doing this.  I’m still constantly explaining it to myself so that I won’t abandon the effort altogether.  This requires time and effort, and as far as I can see has no pay off other than personal fulfillment.  Maybe one day I can turn it into professional reward by writing articles to publish as a result of my random writings here.  That’s months away at the least, however, and I wouldn’t have to spend this kind of time building up to it if I wanted to just write articles about Welty.  I’d have to read all of the same work, but I wouldn’t have to read it slowly and deliberately like this (at least not quite like this).


And therein is the key to the blog’s worth. 


I read constantly.  I read maybe four or five books a week, give or take.  I read on the treadmill and in the bathtub.  I read while I’m watching the news.  Lately, I’ve been reading while watching Emeril Green, a show I’ve developed an odd fascination for.  I listen to books on CD in the car.  I listen to them in the house while I’m cleaning or puttering around.  And on top of all this, I read all day at work—student essays, emails, discussion board postings, committee reports, academic articles, etc, etc.  I wear my eyes and my head out with reading.


Yet most of this reading is quick and cursory.  Rarely do I give it my full attention.  It’s just part of the landscape of what I’m doing at the time.  This is not to say I don’t pay attention, rather that only parts of what I read stick with me in the long run.


So here I am attempting to discipline myself toward a slower, more deliberate relationship with books.  This is student writing.  This blog makes me not just a reader of Welty, but her student, her apprentice of a sort.  Some days I read a story two or three times in a row before I decide what I want to say.  Some I’ve read at night, put aside, and read again the next morning before blogging.  Some I’ve picked up and read again to double-check facts after I’ve started writing. 


The daily writing forces me, not only to pace myself, looking at only one story at a time, but also to read far more carefully than I otherwise might.  I leave each posting thinking I could have said so much more.  I believe there would be value in continuing the blog long enough to cycle through all of her work several times.  By the third or fourth pass, a person might really know Welty.  That’s something I aspire to.


In this her centennial year, I want to get to know this gentlewoman and scholar of my home state.  I want to give her more than simply reading her collected stories, talking about them a little with my friends, and moving on.  I want to leave this year having become intimate friends with these books.


There is that, and there is the fact that for a teacher there is always value in remembering what it means to be a student.


For these reasons and more, I blog.