R. and I visited my mom's house in the Berkshires this past weekend and saw lots of creatures--some were where they belonged in nature and some gave me quite the surprise. Somehow, I was the one who kept finding them!
Snakey coming out from behind the fridge!
I first saw him on the rug when I went to get something from the fridge. Then, he got scared away when people tried to grab him. Finally, he reappeared.
Snakey right before R. swept him out of the house.
My last post sounds so productive, like I'm hard at work preparing for school to begin. Hah! My books were out on the table all day and I think I thought about opening them all of once. Instead, I read, ate popcorn, etc. I didn't even do any Latin or any Great Books reading. I justify it to myself by saying that I really worked hard at cleaning today, which I did, but it took longer than it needed to since I kept interrupting myself to read for a few minutes. I know it's a bad sign when it's 8 pm and I still need to sweep up the floors. I guess I'm just giving myself more work to do later. Oh well.
Ok, this is just a random note since I'm working on Stuart Little for my reading groups for the fall. I always liked the story as a kid, partly because it's fun to read things about small creatures trying to live like we do, using our things in strange ways. But I'd forgotten the part about how Stuart tries to have a date with this small girl. It kind of creeps me out. Maybe it's Garth Williams' illustration of the mouse swimming to show off for her. Or the picture where he's waiting for her to arrive, seated jauntily with his hands behind his head. A mouse acting like a guy--it doesn't quite work and it feels weird in a children's book. It also has a very ambivalent ending. What about returning to his family? Will he ever find the bird? I wonder how my students will react. Also, I wonder how many have seen the movie which definitely changes a lot of things.
These past few days I've felt like a chicken roasting in the oven. The school where I'm working has lousy airconditioning so that doesn't make things any better. The students are whiny because of the heat and I've gotten to the point where I just turn out the light in the room to try and make it cooler. Although I'm not sure how much that helps.
I'm usually not big on airconditioning but it's my new best friend. Even though it makes me sleep like a rock and makes getting up rather difficult.
Ok, so I'm not going to give a summary of what's been going on this summer, maybe because I haven't written about it much in my paper journal but also because my h. has been over it so many times on the phone or with friends in person that it just seems like a song I can't get out of my head.
Anyway, something I have been learning is that I need daily grace. I'm working at this test prep place where I worked last summer and I'm struggling like last summer not to give into how boring it is and how tough it is on the kids. Basically they spend from 8:30 to 2:30 every day working on multiple choice tests and the like and when I have them (from 11:30-2:30) they're expected to do that and read and write. What kid in their right mind is going to enjoy writing or reading/discussing a book after so much boring multiple choice? Especially when they have homework every night as well? So, that's where the daily grace comes in. I don't so much mind the long train ride out there but it's that moment when I enter the empty church building that smells of bad take out. That's when I remember how annoying some of the kids were yesterday or how much work I have to force them to do for the day. So, I've started praying for grace right then to do my job and to make it as interesting and useful as possible for the kids. I don't like to think that I'm helping them waste their summers. Although I guess they could be doing far worse things with their time. For the most part they're well behaved and they seem to be pretty well-motivated or at least their Asian parents are motivating them.
I can't spend too much time thinking about what I'd rather be doing with my time either. Although I'm not looking forward to answering the "how was your summer?" question from teacher friends and parents once I'm back at GS. Oh well, the Lord will surely give me grace to deal with that as well.
Ok, so I've read Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights but I'd never read anything by the third Bronte sister, Anne. And the other week I picked up this book called Agnes Grey by Anne B. I loved it--at first it's the story of this young girl who becomes a governess among spoiled bratty children. Her comments about the difficulties of teaching students who won't respect her and parents who won't back her up with discipline sounded like conversations I've had with teacher friends. I also liked her ideals about education.
Later on, it becomes a love story and it's all within a Christian perspective--very refreshing and dear.
This inspired me to reread the other Brontes as well as some things I haven't read such as Anne's second book, and Charlotte's three other novels aside from Jane Eyre. When I've read all of this, including poems by Emily & Anne, I plan to read Elizabeth Gaskell (a friend of Charlotte) on the Bronte sisters. There's also an interesting modern biography/criticism called the Bronte Myth that I want to end up with.
Of course, this reading only increases my desire to visit England. However, I'm not sure I want to go to modern England. I'm not sure it would live up to all the 19th century literature I've read! My sister's pictures of Scotland of course do not help with this Anglophilia of mine.
Since I've had Spring Break from school for the past two weeks, I've been meaning to get back into my blog. And I was finally forced to because I wanted to call my friend and tell her this story but then I realized she was on an airplane so why not blog.
Anyway, Ariel, my cat, can tell time. When I'm sleeping late, she always kind of nudges me to make sure I really want to do that. Also, when it's time to feed her (6:30) she starts yowling at me and every time I make a move from the couch, she goes galloping into the kitchen. Sometimes she'll start around 6, just to let me know it's almost time but she gets really serious when it's 6:30.
Side note: I used to feed her in the mornings after I showered but she was such a royal pain on days when I wanted to sleep in that I stopped that.
So, the funny thing is, recently she's been starting her feed me yowl around 5 or 5:30. I joked to my husband that she's ready for Daylight Savings Time, thinking it was a few weeks off. But then when she did it again today, I checked my calendar and it's this weekend. How does she know??
This bums me out a bit, though, because I have to go back to school on Monday which means I'll be getting up at 5 am rather than 6! And I've been so happy with 7:30-8 or later if I'm really sleepy.
So, my students caught me--I wrote 2005 on the board on Tuesday, our first day back. Does that ever stop happening to a person? I mean, I've seen enough new years in by now to not get thrown by changing the year. It's not like I forget to write the right month and that changes every 30-31 days. So why is a year so hard?
And, as my friend said, how can it be a new year in the middle of the school year, in the middle of winter. There really doesn't seem to be anything new now. Spring would be a much better time.
On the subject of years, I think I'll need to quit teaching before I have students who were born in this century. It's bad enough that my students now were born after I graduated from college. But I don't think I could handle eight year olds turning nine who were born in 2000. That would make me too much of a fossil. Ten year college reunion this spring is also bad enough.
Three this week, all in different locations. Why me??? My apartment is relatively clean, we don't leave food out and don't they hibernate or something? Ugh. My cat ate two of them. Or one and a half. I find that disgusting but it's better than me squishing them.
I've been thinking that I can never remember what my favorite book is, perhaps because I don't write down what I read. By favorite book, I probably mean favorite of the month because I have trouble narrowing down an all time favorite. So, why not post them here? I assume I can edit and add to the list as I go. If not, I'll have to come up with another scheme. And I'm going to skip the day and just include month & year.
various books in Gaslight Mystery Series by Victoria Thompson (10 & 11/05) Eragon by Christopher Paolini (11/05) Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (11/05) A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler (11/05) Girls in Pants by Anne Brasheres (11/05) Katherine by Anya Seton (12/05) Eldest by Christopher Paolini (12/05) Green Darkness by Anya Seton (12/05) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (1/06)