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Mar. 11th, 2010


The Enigma of Actually Reading This Whole Novel

Naipaul is like napalm to my exploding head, and not in the good sense.
Anyone have any suggestions for San Francisco/NYC destinations and or events I should take advantage of this week?

Mar. 10th, 2010


searched around the world, but...

"Paris, France to Michigan
London town and through Berlin
I cant believe this place I'm in
Everywhere and back again
Porcelain and China dolls
Give me one and Ive seen them all
Got my back against the wall
Wonder where I'll be tomorrow?"

Mar. 8th, 2010


Just watched Y tu mamá también...

...and that, following the Russell Brand I was watching last night, has not had the best of effects on my mental equilibrium...


note to self, for teaching future TA orientation sessions

"Central to Lemov’s argument is a belief that students can’t learn unless the teacher succeeds in capturing their attention and getting them to follow instructions. Educators refer to this art, sometimes derisively, as “classroom management.” The romantic objection to emphasizing it is that a class too focused on rules and order will only replicate the power structure; a more common view is that classroom management is essential but somewhat boring and certainly less interesting than creating lesson plans. While some education schools offer courses in classroom management, they often address only abstract ideas, like the importance of writing up systems of rules, rather than the rules themselves. Other education schools do not teach the subject at all. Lemov’s view is that getting students to pay attention is not only crucial but also a skill as specialized, intricate and learnable as playing guitar."
-- "Building a Better Teacher"

Mar. 4th, 2010


aggregate culpability

Long days and nights this week.
Today was chock full of the unexpected. I went to an informational meeting about teaching a pilot course next fall. I'm nervous to move away from teaching what I know and generally enjoy, but change is good, right?
I went to see the Iraqi Memorial presentation at one of the campus art galleries. Cue the intro to I <3 Huckabees; that building made no sense, and I was wandering around for quite awhile. The exhibit was as striking and depressing as you might imagine. Then I did work for an hour before attending the first half of the related symposium, in which the artists spoke of their work. It bordered on being uncomfortable. I couldn't make up my mind about one artist, who kept referring to the "famous" Lion Hunts of Nineveh, but I cannot find images of it anywhere.
I sat, sewed a patch in my jeans, then headed off to a philosophy department guest lecture. This building = more Huckabees. I have no idea what the architect had in mind. In the talk, the professor was seeking to use a revision of Kantian ethics to argue our duty to promote animal welfare. Some things I didn't like (this hierarchical privileging of rational will, perhaps even the denial that other species have it), but on the whole I found it encouraging, and probably more compelling than Singer's utilitarianism.
At this point, I was feeling quite overstimulated, so I went to the coffeeshop and had a peppermint soy mocha. Don't know where that silliness came from, but it gave me some time to decompress, insofar as reading an article about the state's atrocious budgetary affairs can be said to be decompressing (maybe just remove the "com"), and then to seminar. Here's a quote from a novel we didn't read:

"Touch of lip, touch of hand, touch of body to make a oneness with her, purging and purifying him to make him like a child again, not rediscovering but discovering a butterfly resting on a flower, a certain motion of leaf in wind, a particular note of purling water."
- Sam Selvon, Those Who Eat the Cascadura

I miss the water, but the atmosphere this morning had a chill and humidity and a watery luminosity reminiscent of my homeland, and that was something so nice I even relished my frozen fingers.
Okay, lesson planning and bedtime.

Feb. 23rd, 2010


I'm shiny and I know it

"Ecocriticism is, succinctly, the study of the manifold interrelationships between literature—a human expressive activity—and the natural world that provides the matrix in which that expressive activity occurs. It is concerned with showing how literature is embedded within and mutually symbiotic with the encompassing more-than-human world that enables, enriches, sustains, alters, and in turn is altered by it." —Thomas Lynch, Xerophilia, pg. 13

one of many definitions...
I went to an open mic tonight for the first time in ages.

Feb. 16th, 2010



telluric, a.2 - Of or belonging to the earth, terrestrial; pertaining to the earth as a planet; also, of or arising from the earth or soil. (oed.com)

Today's quote stockpile...Collapse )

Feb. 15th, 2010


stealin' hearts, kicking Red #40 to the curb, etc.

Valentine's Day CupcakesCollapse )!

--from BitterSweet Blog.

In other news, I'm really really loving Kings of Leon lately.

Feb. 9th, 2010


when I do it like that, I don't get sore

"The vampire story has altered over time from tales of individual stalkers to sagas of high-drama vampire societies that function like a combination of Renaissance courtiers, fraternities, and haute couture fashion models, to the point at which their goth World of Darkness has been parodied and metaparodied in movies and on television."
— K.S. Robisch,Wolves and the Wolf Myth in American Literature, pg. 367

Feb. 7th, 2010


quote-nabbing from Kari's journal

"The dream we must now seek to realize, the new human project, is not 'security,' which is impossible to achieve on the planet earth in the latter half of the 20th century. It is not 'happiness,' by which we generally mean nothing but giddy forgetfulness about the danger of all our lives together. It is not 'self-realization,' by which people usually mean a separate peace. There is no separate peace. . . The real project is to realize that technology has married us all to each other, has made us one people on one planet, and that until we are more courageous about this new marriage - ourselves all intertwined - there will be no peace and the destination of any of us will be unknown. How far can we go together . . . men and women, black, brown, yellow, white, young and old? We will go as far as we can because we must go wherever it is we can go together. There is no such thing as going alone. Given the dreams and doings of our psyches, given the nature of our world, there is no such thing as being alone. If you are the only one in the room it is still a crowded room. But we are all together of this planet, you, me, us: inner, outer, together, and we're called to affirm our marriage vows. Our project, the new human task, is to learn how to consummate, how to sustain, how to enjoy the most human marriage - all parts - all of us."
- Bill Moyers, On Democracy

This seems to fit with an ecocritical enterprise as well; I would just extend the sphere of consideration to include nonhuman life as well. And technology wasn't the first to marry us all; we must recover a visceral understanding of our mutual dependence on clean air, fresh water, and fertile land.

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