Thursday, May 31, 2007

emergency flight

My other half caught an emergency flight to Atlanta this afternoon. I got one of those phone calls that begins, "Call me immediately. X is in the hospital..." The kind I dread. I spent fourth period talking to the United Airlines rep on the phone while my students asked me to sign all kinds of passes I never read. I had no idea there are such things as emergency ticket rates.

His step-father, the man he grew up with, had a cerebral hemorrhage this morning. Last I heard they were waiting for the neurosurgeon. A surgery may be necessary in the morning.

The only thing I know about cerebral hemorrhages is that they sometimes cause strokes and are related to aneurysms. An aneurysm killed a girl named Vanessa on my soccer team when I was in 5th grade. She had a headache, took a nap, and then we were all singing "Amazing Grace" in a strange, beautiful, white church.

I'm scared, worried, and selfishly lonely.

in memoriam

Tears of the widower, when he sees
      A late-lost form that sleep reveals,
      And moves his doubtful arms, and feels
Her place is empty, fall like these;

Which weep a loss for ever new,
      A void where heart on heart reposed;
      And, where warm hands have prest and closed,
Silence, till I be silent too.

Which weeps the comrade of my choice,
      An awful thought, a life removed,
      The human-hearted man I loved,
A Spirit, not a breathing voice.

Come Time, and teach me, many years,
      I do not suffer in a dream;
      For now so strange do these things seem,
Mine eyes have leisure for their tears;

My fancies time to rise on wing,
      And glance about the approaching sails,
      As tho’ they brought but merchants’ bales,
And not the burthen that they bring.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


As I teach Greek Mythology Light, I learn that everything my students know about mythology comes from:
  • The Simpsons
  • Brad Pitt
  • Hercules cartoons
  • Saw (or was it Saw II?)
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • X-Men
  • God of War

    Though I'd never heard of it before, I picked up God of War over Memorial Day weekend and spent the better part of Saturday trying to kill a hydra. The game is gratuitously violent, unsuitable for kids under 17, and terribly fun.

    For that matter, so is Homer. I tried to explain to my students why it's still worth reading when you already know the story. The best I could do was to liken his language to the special effects in a movie. It's not enough to know that the car explodes; you want to see the gritty details of the fire and watch the shards of glass flying through the air. After all, there's a poetry in it. In the fifth reading of the story of the Cyclops, I still caught a new detail: When Polyphemus passes out drunk, he drools little bits of men that he has just eaten.

  • Sunday, May 13, 2007

    comes with the territory

    It's not even 5:30 yet, and I've already stepped on a Lego.

    Sunday, May 06, 2007


    I'll use the first person plural to protect the guilty parties involved.

    Saturday we broke the downstairs bathroom door--punched a neat little hole halfway through. Instead of leaving it there in the interim of its replacement, we decided it would be fun to punch a bigger hole all the way through it. Now it's in our garage, a sorry excuse for door-heaven. We measured for the new door. We rented a truck from Home Depot and purchased a new slab door to replace it. Now we discover that the measurements were a bit off-- 3 inches too wide. Door-heaven just got a little smaller.