November 2003

Wednesday, November 26, 2003
The end of the semester cannot come too soon
Last night I dreamt about essays.
You know those dreams, as a student, in which you arrive in class to discover there’s a huge test on something you’re completely unfamiliar with? Well, teachers get ’em too.
I told one of my colleagues about the essay dream. Her recurring nightmare – she’s in a classroom, and the students are talking, throwing things, and generally being rowdy. At the top her lungs, she’s shouting for order; but her voice comes out in a tiny, inaudible whisper.
Monday, November 24, 2003
Better blogged than never
You know it’s a real phenomenon when it gets spoofed in The Onion.
Having said that, I was about to apologize for the recent inactivity when I realized that I’m not alone. Many of my fellow bloggers are behind the times, and mine is not the most out of date. So pppthtth.
My excuse is the same old tired one about being up to my eyeballs in correcting and planning. There are exactly 12 school days left before the end of the semester – and for my 101 class, that means only 5 classes. There is no way I’ll have time to teach them everything they need to know! In retrospect, I guess I should have started discussing poetry earlier in the semester, but in my defense, it sucks. Ah well, live and learn (or not, in the case of my students).
Not all poetry sucks, of course. I do like limericks. And the best part of being the teacher is I get to choose what we’re reading, so I can skip the namby-pamby Wordsworthian fluff and get right into the meatier Blake and Auden.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Saturday, November 15, 2003
What government funded research is doing these days:
Proving that Kansas is flatter than a pancake.
The philosophical implications alone are staggering.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
There’s something in the hair
First I was a brunette. Then a blonde. Then a brunette again.
And now for something completely different:
Hair 005.jpg
Monday, November 10, 2003
Still learning something new everyday
I’m once again up to my eyeballs in corrections. This week, it’s the final exam for my Prep students, including essays, and another essay for my 101 students.
Part of the final exam is reading comprehension, based on a short text by Timothy Findley in which a father commits suicide by jumping off a bridge while his son looks on. One of the exam questions is, essentially, why. One student wrote that the “father had good reasons and he wanted to commit suicide. It was not a one day pansy.”
I am assuming the student meant ‘a passing fancy.’ Nonetheless, I love it. I vote we adopt it into the language immediately.
Another dream that will never come true…
The Concorde’s last flight has come and gone. My dad forwarded some pix from the final flight.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
First the bad news:
It’s friggin snowing.
The good news: I have managed to get through all my corrections.
The bad news: Another in-class essay to correct today, for tomorrow. And another one will be written in-class on Thursday. And an exam, including an essay, will be written Friday.
The good news: It’s official – I will be teaching two courses next semester, both on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I will be able to leave home Tuesday morning, and go home Thursday afternoon. So, good to be working, and good to be home more often.