Higher Education Webinars

The Education of Oronte Churm

Oronte Churm is the pen name of John Griswold, who teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, proudly nestled in Cajun country on the Louisiana Gulf.

March 22, 2007 - 9:41am
On campuses everywhere, the entire week before any break should be set aside for these kinds of colloquies:
March 20, 2007 - 1:24am
That’s the headline of the world’s most successful advertisement, regardless of product—or would be, if someone had the courage to use it, said one of my former roommates, the director of a corporate art department. Well, now it’s been done.
March 16, 2007 - 8:25am
If you read my stuff, you know I’m a delicate flower—exquisitely sensitive—and a lover, not a fighter. But a self-reflective teacher has to be aware of his or her vibe in the classroom.
March 11, 2007 - 10:25pm
Is burnout a big force, like depression or exhaustion? Or is it an “incremental perturbation,” as John Barth calls drama, the accumulation of minor irritations and petty indignities until one day the thermostat clicks and the furnace of grievance fires up? Maybe burnout is something more mysterious and ineffable. Maybe jobs have hidden life-cycles based on natural laws, and human animals can sense their impending deaths, even when our conscious minds insist everything’s great: “Dave’s got a birthday, and we’re all going out to that Mexican place!” “Ooh! Margaritas!”
March 9, 2007 - 1:54am
My cohort in the Miami MFA was a bit older and more diverse than others. We had among us a Barbadian schoolteacher, a South African whose ancestor was head of the Voortrekkers and was killed by Zulus, two women from local Cuban families, and a California poet who rode his K-Mart bicycle in heavy Miami traffic—knees up around his ears, ponytail streaming in the wind—and stopped to nibble hallucinogenic flowers from people’s shrubs.
March 5, 2007 - 2:26pm
I’ve always been interested in how we know where to go before we know why.
March 4, 2007 - 8:55am
1.    Cluelessness2.    Terror3.    Hope4.    Competence5.    Hubris6.    Comeuppance7.    SabbaticalNote: Adjuncts should omit Age 7 and carry on with Age 6, ad infinitum.
February 28, 2007 - 8:17am
It was a fair start, for an ironical life, to be born American in Saigon, Vietnam, on Ho Chi Minh’s birthday. I’m told the Vietnamese nurses at my delivery giggled furiously.
February 26, 2007 - 7:11pm
A student pouted at me in conference today and said she doesn’t care about writing or reading well. She wants a good grade, and to finish her biology degree, and to get a high-paying job in quality control at her favorite meatpacking plant.
February 22, 2007 - 10:26am
My wife makes more money as an internationalization coordinator than I have ever made, even as a corporate writer.

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