Thursday, June 21, 2018

"a great navigator..."

21 June 2018: “She should have been a man—a great navigator…her strong, impervious will would never have been doubted by opposition or difficulty” –Constantin Heger (who was her tutor in Belgium) on Emily Brontë.

Spent some time today thinking about Brontë and preparing for my seminar in the fall. Endlessly fascinated by how often nineteenth-century folks wish out loud that talented women were men.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer 2018 Grading: DONE!

Just clicked "submit" on final grades. Feels good, but a bit more mellow than during the regular semester. So cue mellow chair-dancing.


20 June 2018:

I haven't been able to stop thinking about those babies crying for their parents. I saw this image on Facebook and it really spoke to me, especially as someone who regularly teaches abolitionist texts and wonders what I would have done back in those days.

So I contacted my senators and congressman today. And I will keep doing it. And I want to do more. We must do more.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Don't look away...

18 June 2018: I just forced myself to listen to this entire recording. It is excruciating and I found myself sobbing out loud. This policy is evil. What else is there to say?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A summer story...

17 June 2018: A summer story in five pictures...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sleepy pep talk...

16 June 2018: Saturday syllabizing with some encouragement from my biggest fan. He's like, "you got this, but I need a nap."

Friday, June 15, 2018

More on A Tale for the Time Being

15 June 2018: This book is dominating my posts this week. One reason is obvious, as we are moving through it in my summer class. But it is also resonating as we move through yet another horrific week for our country...children ripped from parents, put in's too much. So these words from one of Ozeki's characters, who is struck by the power of literature, move me yet again:

“I find myself drawn to literature more now than in the past; not the individual works as much as the idea of literature—the heroic effort and nobility of our human desire to make beauty of our minds, which moves me to tears, and I have to brush them away quickly, before anyone notices” (257).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sounds good...

14 June 2018: "Let's all just write letters in longhand and love each other." -- a student in my class today, with some thoughts about how to make life (and the world) better.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Birthday boy...

13 June 2018:

Here's one of my favorite silly pictures of my big brother, Christian, who is celebrating a birthday today. This was on Thanksgiving back in 2011 (as if the turkey wasn't enough of a clue). He's a pretty cool dude (and an excellent cook--again, see turkey) and always up for something fun. I love him a lot. Happy birthday, buddy! Hope you have the great day/month/year you deserve.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Back to A Tale for the Time Being

12 June 2018: Re-reading this wonderful book, this time because I am teaching it (for the first time!) in my summer class. Since I read it this morning, this passage where Nao is explaining her complicated interactions with her father, has been on my mind:

“The important thing was that we were being polite and not saying all the things that were making us unhappy, which was the only way we knew how to love each other.”

How often do we act this way with each other, I wonder?

Monday, June 11, 2018

"The Things That Count"

11 June 2018: Though it's been a good day for the most part, I am feeling a bit melancholy this evening, a mixture of worrying about the world (another depressing and anxiety-inducing news day) and stewing over my own "stuff." This poem, from the poem-a-day email, has been sitting in my inbox for over a week, but I am glad that I looked at it today.

Here's the opening:
Now, dear, it isn’t the bold things,
Great deeds of valour and might,
That count the most in the summing up of life at the end of the day.
But it is the doing of old things,
Small acts that are just and right;
And doing them over and over again, no matter what others say...

Give the whole thing a read.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

First of the season...

10 June 2018: A bit late in coming, but I had my first ice-cream cone (from an actual ice-cream shop) of the season today. It was melty and messy and delicious and a sure sign of summer (even if it was a cloudy, rainy day).

Saturday, June 9, 2018

"The Third and Final Continent"

9 June 2018: Finished re-reading Interpreter of Maladies again for my summer class. (We're discussing it this upcoming week.) I just went back through the blog and found all the times I have already written about her work, particularly this text. What pleasure and reward her work has brought me over the years!

Today I found myself moved by an few lines from the closing story, "The Third and Final Continent," in which a man looks ahead (while he, as a narrator is actually looking back) and sees his future with his new wife: "Like me, Mala had traveled far from home, not knowing where she was going, or what she would find, for no reason other than to be my wife. As strange as it seemed, I knew in my heart that one day her death would affect me, and stranger still, that mine would affect her." It's such a cool moment, underplayed and realistic, profound and quiet.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Three years old...

8 June 2018: When the month started, I resolved to finally pick a date to celebrate BabyCat/Veronica's birthday. When my holiday-a-day calendar told me today was "Best Friends Day," I thought she would appreciate the sarcasm. Oh well...happy 3rd birthday to this beautiful and hard-to-crack nut.