Lately, reminders have popped up here and there, drawing my attention back to the fact that I do like rhetoric and composition. I liked talking about them. I liked teaching them. I choose not to continue my work in that area, though.
I just came from a meeting with faculty who will be teaching our seminar for first-year students in the fall. This was their training day, and I was there to talk about working with students with disabilities. Before me, the director of our writing center (a faculty in our education department) spoke about what those folks at the writing center can do for the first-year students. I don't necessarily miss the writing center work I've done. I still get to do a little one-on-one writing instruction now (thanks, H!).
What struck me when the WC director was speaking was her bit on students who will be funneled into English 100, our writing fundamental course. (FYI, not all students are required to take the course. It depends on a lot of factors, mostly determined by the application materials.) She talked about her process for deciding who would be placed in English 100, and she talked about other writing support would be in place courtesy of the WC. She also spoke about how the faculty should be teaching writing in their seminars--how to model writing, considering it when creating assignments, etc.
I got this twinge of jealous during her presentation. I can feel it in my chest now as I write this. I'm jealous of her, the person who gets to talk to the faculty about teaching writing. She even admitted she's not a compositionist but is instead someone who's done a lot of work with composition and teaching writing; I used to be a compositionist. And today, I miss it.
And in New Orleans, surrounded by a sea of writing instructors, I missed it.
When I working with a student on writing issues, I feel that I miss it.
I consciously chose to not go on in graduate school. I was unfocused and tired. What would I possible work on in a PhD program in English? Granted, I'm still all over the map in what I'm interested in. Maybe it's just that composition is something I know and that I find comfort in that. Maybe it's where my interests are lately. Maybe it's something I'll one day go back to. I don't know.
Today, though, I know I miss it.