Class Report: SPCH 275, 7 March 2019

For the first class meeting of the session, discussion gave a basic introduction to the course before reviewing the course syllabus and relevant policies. Class then turned to an aggregate activity: designing a rubric to apply to speeches. Reminders about upcoming work followed.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at 1800 in a co-sat session focused on Room 105 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster listed 34 students; eight attended on-site or live online. Student participation was reasonably good.

An online office hour was held at 1800 on Monday, 4 March 2019. No students attended. The next is scheduled for 1800 on Monday, 11 March 2019.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 10 March 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Course Introductions and Preparing for the Session
  • Communication Anxiety Report and Analysis (submit as an APA-formatted Word document)
  • Week 1 Pulse Check

A Rumination on Travel

There was a time in my life that I did a fair bit of traveling. I used to go back and forth across states, both for social and for professional reasons, visiting friends and giving conference papers at various scholarly gatherings. After moving back to Texas, however, I grew much more sedentary, staying at home more and going other places–both in town and out of town–less. This has been partly because my family has needed me to be home, but part has also been that I do not need to go places as much. I do not conference as I used to do, and the friends I used to go galavanting across states to see are too far away for me to visit often or at all.

A grey day while I was away. Photo is mine.

The recent trip to Raleigh reminded me of the change. My flights went well enough on the way up, though I was vaguely ill at ease with the now-unfamiliar motion of commercial aircraft, and my ears did not appreciate the descents from the heavens. I was able to sleep on one flight, though not the other, and it might’ve been nice to do so. I did do better at settling into my room than used to be the case for me, too, laying out what needed it before resting a little bit (and even then remaining active; writing soothes me).

Perhaps it is the years and the changes in my life that have made me better at this than I used to be. It’s certainly not recent practice; I’ve not traveled since last May (though I’ll be going again this May, too). But it is good to be reminded that I can do such things at need, and it might be better to know that I can actually enjoy myself a bit along the way.

A Rumination on Marriage

As this post emerges into that part of the internet where it is easily seen, I will be on my way to attend the wedding of my second-best friend from graduate school. (I attended the wedding of my best friend from graduate school several years ago now–sensibly, since it was also my wedding.) It’s been a while since I’ve been to a wedding, to be sure, and I find myself thinking about what such the institution marked by such ceremonies continue to mean. It seems a fitting thing to write about now.

Fairly typical image, this.
Image from Pinterest.

I don’t know how my friend’s marriage will go, although I expect it will go reasonably well or better. But I do know how mine has gone so far (“so far” because I am not done with it yet–and do not mean to be anytime soon), which is to say pretty well. My wife and I argue, certainly, and sometimes over stupid things. And there are times we get onto one another’s nerves, to be sure. I’ll not elucidate details; it suffices to note that there are such circumstances.

But though the annoyances and vexations are, they matter little against the many benefits I derive from being married. One of the chief among them is that, like our daughter, my wife inspires me to be a better person. I love her, so I want her to be happy and supported, and learning how to help her be happy and ensure she is supported has helped me to be less of the selfish git I have been too much conditioned to be. And I have taken specific, concrete steps to be a better source of happiness and support for her; if it is the case that my changes have not been speedy in all cases (though there have been a few that have been pretty quick), I can at least point to progress in them as I continue to try to make more of it. She deserves to have me at my best, after all, so it behooves me to be that best as much as I can.

I know that not all marriages are such. I see enough of them fragmenting or standing not stably but stultifyingly; my line of work being what it is shows me many such. I know that not all spouses support one another, that not all spouses look to one another partly as muses from whom to draw inspiration, as friends, as lovers, as confidants; I know that many look to marriage as exploitation. And there are ways in which it is and remains so, given the social structures from which the institution as typically expressed in the United States through the past several decades emerges and into which it feeds. Even mine, in which I work to give more to it than I take from it, has such overtones; I do not know how or if they can be fully escaped.

I know, though, that marriage can be a fulfilling thing, if it is made to be. I hope that my friend will find his own marriage such in the days, months, and years to come. And I look forward to the continued work of making my own marriage such a thing.

Wedding travel ain’t cheap; help support my bad writing habits so I can do more of it?