June 30, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Where Did June Go?

OK, I’m apparently a slacker on my journal. I’m not going to beat myself up about it, but will get to it when I feel like communicating something. That, obviously, will not be everyday. What’s been happening?

I’m officially back in the English Department as of this fall. I think this is generally a good move. While I helped build the NMAC degree, writing and teaching several of its key courses since I came to Macon State College, the program is going in another direction—one that I have no wish, really, to follow. While this last statement is not entirely true from my perspective, it may be from the current dean’s. I really think the bottom line is this: she sees me as a roadblock for current Media and Communications Majors. They complain about me. The easiest solution: get rid of me. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. The MAC major (they insist on not using that acronym, but that’s what they renamed the program) is moving to a production-oriented major. This seems to mean less academic rigor and more practical training. Better that I go back to English.

That said: my redesigned WritDM course is going well this summer. I guess this is what irritates me about being fired from MGA. I worked very hard to build excellent classes which I’ll never be offered again, including NMAC 5108—a course I wrote for the graduate degree. My students are almost finished with their remediation of The Mailer Review volume 3, and they should be moving on to their Wikipedia articles.

Maybe I can create a track in English that emphasizes digital research and writing. I’ve had this idea for some time. Maybe if I can get a cohort of students from ENGL 1101, I can train them to be real digital researchers and life-long Wikipedians. I really do think this is an important endeavor—something that universities should support rather than eschew. We’ll see. I’m not sanguine about my chances of a digital writing/research track in English—even if it will lead students into MAC—with our current dean. Or, I’ll create it, it’ll be successful, and it’ll be taken away from me. Why bother? I should just teach my surveys and not have students touch a computer.

Speaking of which: the dean took away my scheduled sections of NMAC 3108 this fall, so Chip offered me a second-session British Literature II online. Cool. I’ll take it, but it’s going to be a lot of work. This’ll make the third from-scratch course in the last two years, including ENGL 3700 and ENGL 3900.