Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lit theory? Holy flaming potholders, Batman!


I dislike literary theory. Vigorously. Some of it is okay I guess, but really overall, what's the point? Why should I really care about structuralism? semiology? new criticism? At this point, I ineveitably question how it is helping me, thus I must leave it to the powers-that-be to decide what I should know (or at least have some better working knowledge of than, say, my dentist). So basically, I think this is going to be one of the more laborious semesters to make it through with the lit. theory intensivity of it. (I think that intensivity is a word...but I have been know to make them up on occasion to suit my needs, like right now.) Not only is my lit. theory class a hard 3 hours to sit through once a week, but my Brit. Modernism class has also been heavily laden with theory thus far (granted, 2 classes into the semester). And, it's not like Modernism is marshmallow reading (definitely not candy books)...I dare you to read Ulysses (Joyce) and find your way out of that morass whole and unscathed. There's a reason why it is taking a graduate level class an entire month of classes to get through it. 12 hours of class over nothing but Joyce/Ulysses.

I just finished my first venture into the at times mind-numbing literary narrative of D. H. Lawrence (I definitively understand why he was banned in the earlier 1900s!), not that it was a bad read, especially since it was completely refreshing to read that rather than lit. theory for a while. That really may be the longest 459-pager ever. On average, I read about a page a minute...this one was about 2 pages per minute through sheer depth in every sentence and paragraph. I cannot recall another text that I have read that just struck me as so full of pointed meaning in every minute detail...remarkable, yet discouraging in its colossal depth. I bet that even Ben (for all of his so-called symbolism inferiority) would have no issues with deciperhing the amount of recurring images.

Holy flaming potholders, Batman! There really is a point to this. I realize that thus far, this particular post is rather heavily weighted toward the literary, so for those of you who aren't really minded as such and may be reading this, here's my offer at levity. So Ben has this theory that I am the cause of all checkbook woes with him because he has never had an issue with balancing his checkbook until me. Not that I dispute this claim (it's not everyone who deposits their paycheck into someone else's bank account and then bounces three checks...). However, I have my own claim. Before Ben I never set anything on fire in the kitchen (melting a plastic container in an oven doesn't count obviously since there was no fire...and those brownies still tasted just fine). Since him... Tonight was my 2nd reason why I should really have a fire extinguisher stored in the kitchen. When we lived in the apartment, I maybe set the oven on fire once. Tonight, I managed the fire on top of the stove. Potholders make kind of a cool noise when they catch on fire, I discovered. Who knew.

An ode to Joyce and flaming potholders both:
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." James Joyce (1882-1941)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Unexpectedness

Imagine the scenario:

26 special needs students (learning disabled, emotionally disabled, autistic...some just lazy)
4 adults (teachers/aides)
1 school bus taking this rag-tag group to Indianapolis to watch what would be for most of the group a real, honest-to-goodness play (who knew that people acted in real life and not just in movies and on tv?!?)

Such was my workday. When I woke up with a headache (and who wakes up with a headache?? there's been no time in the day to accumulate enough headache fodder!), I was figuring that it was surely some sort of physical sign that taking this bunch of kids on a field trip was an exercise in futility.

Alas, the trip was a dream. The kids were a dream. My doubts were guiltily assuaged. I feel vindicated for my wanting to trust these kids, who many other teachers would never (justifiably) take beyond their classroom door. In fact!!! the kids beat 3 of the 4 chaperones (yes, including myself) back to the appointed meeting place. They were on time, I/we were five minutes late. How often does that happen when too many of these kids try to play beat-the-clock with the tardy bell before our class begins. As a sugary candy cherry on top of this deliciously relief-filled field trip, they even left our school bus in the same condition as when we got on (i.e. they left no trash on the bus that my previous groups of seniors have). How cool are they??? Bless them for overall being more nicely dressed than many other students in the theatre. Bless them for (overall) staying awake and drawn-in by their first ever stage production. Bless them for the joy of adventure that they exhibited as many of them visited the new, exciting territory of the Indianapolis mall (serious grandiosity in their eyes) for lunch. My optimism hath been restored.

Hope magazine: I have no website information beyond this...http://www.hopeforwomenmag.com/. I know that it's not much.

May the happy feelings associated with the smells of freshly baked bread wash over you. I'm sniffing some of that scent right now, just for you! The sacrifice is great.

Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.
Thomas Sowell

Saturday, January 5, 2008


No matter which way you look at it, 424-257 is a thorough domination in Scrabble. Luckily, I was on the higher end of the the score (guess who lost). This is the (only) time of year when you want me on your team. Quick, someone organize a game of Euchre so that I can win for once!

Check out Hope magazine for women, published out of Muncie, IN, especially if you're a woman since it's designed to reach out to this demograhic in particular. It seems like I will be working in some capacity for them proofing/editing. I believe that the website is going through an overhaul, but I was told this morning that my name will appear on the masthead as well. As if teaching and taking classes weren't enough already...!

"Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you."
Cyril Connolly