Wednesday, January 31, 2007

hold on

Tell me I am not alone in fearing Iran. More specifically, I fear our involvement in Iran (whether willing or unwilling).

And for what it's worth, go hug a baby.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Wide awake with nothing to read. I'm listening to our heater click on and off and trying to forget about the photos I saw of Emmett Till. If it weren't so late, I'd wander outside.

Maybe this is why people garden: to plunge your hands into the dirt and coax something beautiful out into the world. As it is, I'll settle for peeking in on the sleeping family and hoping that the doors don't squeak.


Demand is outpacing supply. Even with the addition of rice cereal and sweet peas, the littlest one wants more than I can provide for him to eat. I had been hoping to hold out another four months, but the switch to formula is inevitable.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Obama meets Harper Lee

Once again, I find myself teaching good ol' To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout, Jem, and Dill are up to their usual capers. I worked up the courage to teach my students the benign definition of "hermaphrodite" (Ch. 8) if only because it meets California standard Reading 1.3: Identify Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology and use the knowledge to understand the origin and meaning of new words (e.g., the word narcissistic drawn from the myth of Narcissus and Echo). (Maybe it's not exactly what the good folks in Sacramento had in mind.)

Best of all, I'm heartened to teach this novel at a time when the second African-American candidate for President just announced his campaign. Let's leave the Scottsboro boys deep in the past.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cartoons aren't just for kids

A school for cartoonists--why not? A friend of mine writing his dissertation on comics claims that even though comic books are fairly well accepted now as viable "texts" and even "literature," there isn't the body of literary criticism on them as compared with film, for example. What better way to solve that problem than an entire college devoted to the art?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Freedom is I-10 at 4 pm on a weekday afternoon with the sun setting and windmills spinning in row after row.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

teaching tolerance

How can an educated man smoothly transition from plesantly conversing about Elie Wiesel's Night to irately declaring that we should "admit" that the war in Iraq is a Holy War. When he began pontificating about those people who believe in a religion of violence and whose minds can't be changed, I politely excused myself.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

back to the blog

Not sure what happened to the last few weeks, but here I am, back again. I've been watching lots of football, grading lots of papers, and trying not to blow over in the wind.

At the suggestion of my Californian-born husband, we packed up the kids in the car and drove into the mountains to see the snow. It was a beautiful, sunny day with lots of puddles and little ice. Despite the warnings about "chain conditions exist," we stayed at a low enough altitude that driving wasn't a problem. At a small car-camping turnoff, we pulled over and broke out the fleece layers for the kids. L is too little to want to hit people with snowballs (probably a good thing), so we were content to kick the snow with our feet, draw silly pictures with a stick (Harold Bloom style), and make a lump of snow we called a snowman. Oh yeah, lots and lots of staged photos. We weren't the only snow-tourists. I saw a woman with the shiniest, most fashionable orange snowboots I've ever seen, another in a full body fur coat, and kids with brand new scarves wrapped around their necks. One of the boys spotted a lone icicle on the fender of a car and managed to get all the other kids to crowd around him in awe while he oh-so-carefully broke it off at the stem.

I wonder if lowlander Southern Californians appreciate snow more than those of us who've seen it out our windows when we woke up. . . . Nah.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Xmas cookies video

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