My first ever faculty symposium is coming up on Thursday. This whole professor thing stills seems unreal at times, being that I’m only 2 months into the job, but this presentation makes it feel believable.
My symposium will certainly be unlike other faculty symposiums, in that I’m not giving a lecture/talk or presenting research findings. I’m reading 5-6 poems and 2 stories. At this point, I’m not nervous about the event; excitement is the most overwhelming emotion right now. I can’t believe that I have a 45-minute slot to read my work before answering questions. I’ve given my share of conference presentations, but those, of course, are limited to 10-15 minutes.
Since the beginning of September I’ve been revising, tinkering, and polishing the longer of the two stories I plan to read. I’ll be glad when Thursday arrives so that I can set this story aside for a while, at least until my dissertation committee examines it. Although I’m looking forward to reading my work, I’m just as excited to answer questions about the poems and stories, as those questions will more than likely be related to issues of craft, content, and other writerly concerns. I’ve only given one reading (of a short story) where there was a Q&A session, and the audience members asked great questions that allowed me to look at my work from a more analytical perspective, allowing me to think more about some of my larger goals as a writer.
I’ve been promoting this event to my students in the hopes that some of them might show up. Faculty presence is great, but I’d love to see a couple of my students, especially those who are not involved in creative writing. Should be a fun time.