Tuesday, February 13, 2007


B. Franklin left it at death and taxes, right? As I teach SU's research-based second semester writing course to seniors (and only seniors), I'm feeling the weight of the death-n-taxes counterpart in academic writing: length limits and deadlines. Two unavoidable encumbrances. Give either of them a liberatory shrug--whatever--and what happens? So we need, instead, to declare two-thousand words by Friday, and so on, arbitrary though it might seem. What, besides length limits and deadlines, structures the writing activity one does for academic credit? Sure, there are sentences and paragraphs (utterances, gestures, etc.), but I'm not talking about language forms. Length limits and deadlines certify the institutionality of the writing. Institution-free, the writing need not adhere to either staple, right? With blogging, for instance, what of deadlines? What of length limits? But figure blogs into a course, what will happen if matters of length limits and deadlines or frequency, even if left to such vagarisms as "flexible" or "open," are not otherwise determined? Just a few thoughts...

I did the annual income taxes this morning, filed them electronically, and then realized I had Is.'s SS# wrong. But the fast-acting S.S. Administration databases couldn't match the number with any person they'd heard of, so the flub was caught and corrected and the forms re-submitted. I was able to move on with the day, tax-collectedly ever after.

About the certainties in my own work of late as it relates to the counterparts deadlines/death and limits/taxes: for the past two weeks I'd probably fall in the category of Willie Nelson* at the slot machines in the lounge of a Cryonics laboratory*, which is to say, avoiding the so-called certainties or producing at a rate not so much frozen as vitric.

*Neither an endorsement of Nelson's habits of interaction with the IRS, nor any acknowledgment of a belief that cryonics legitimately extends human life (what if?).

Bookmark and Share Posted by at February 13, 2007 2:40 PM to Dry Ogre Chalking