So much coffee, so much news!!! I am listening to Siamese Dream in plein air. It's still awesome. College students are hearing back from colleges soon, and they are embarrassing themselves by freaking out online. There is a preventable disease in Ethiopia that is blinding lots of women. Your eyelashes feel like thorns raking across your cornea. It's hard to run against Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Venezuela has coastline on the Carribbean. The FBI didn't do so great a job of listening to warnings pre-9-11, Moussaoui trial reveals. The American freelance journalist who was kidnapped 3 weeks ago was released, and had kind words for her captors. It's Asia Week in NYC!! Chinese contemporary art is righteous. Basic Instict 2 is insanely bad. Liza Minelli is crazy with a Z. Key Lime Pie makes you fat. S. Korea's most popular movie right now is basically a 16th-century Korean Brokeback Mountain. I am out of grape nuts. I stole a slice of Richard's bread and slathered it with Peanut Butter. I am behind at work. I am wearing stonewashed jeans.
My undergraduates recently asked 4th graders to create slogans and design posters to address the problem of school bullying. Here are a few of my students' assessments of the 4th graders' work, along with my notes.
Nice assessment overall, if a tad brief. I appreciate your willingness to keep questions open. Don't be afraid of closure, though. For example: is there any doubting that Drake's large figure is a bully? No, not really. That is definitely a bully. Please remember to put your name on all assignments before handing them in.
What a cool picture, Selena. Congratulations on coaching Piper to this fantastic finale! Did you have a chance to ask her if she could name any other insects—besides butterflies—that don't bite? It might have been constructive (and instructive) to suggest a non-biting insect that isn't as well-known as the butterfly. Ladybugs and butterflies are nice, but does Piper understand that they aren't the only interesting and beautiful insects? (Rhetorical question.) Also: this is a minor issue, but be sure in these assessments to always pay attention to even the tiny details. (You refer to an "X" in Piper's drawing, but where is it?) Another thing I should say is that it's unclear how the image of a crossed-out VCR indicates "Don't Rewind." I think the logic is missing a step. (Maybe some "rewind" arrows on the TV screen would bridge the logic gap?) Having taken a few additional moments to think through your assessment and your work with Piper, I'm not as pleased as I thought I was at first. I wouldn't be so direct if I didn't feel comfortable with the rapport we've developed this semester. You've previously given me so much evidence of your brilliance, I just know you're capable of taking the next assignment way further than you chose to take this one. Do you agree?
I'd love to know what some of Laura's other ideas were. Cool work Rachelle.
What you've said you've said very clearly. I'm left wondering about the background colors. Is there a significance to the fact that we have two repeated backgrounds? Could the backgrounds be flags? Do quadrants 1 and 3 (and 2 and 4) share a non-narrative relationship? The bottom backgrounds are much more sad feeling, I think, than the vibrant rainbow-colored top backgrounds. In general, I challenge you to show evidence that you've thought as broadly as I know you have.
The (seeming) arbitrariness of the four ages isn't a problem. But out of curiosity, do you know if Julian had a reason for picking these ages? Did you share with him the "power of threes?" (His poster might be more compelling if it were limited to three examples.) Did you give him the idea for a "Joe's Beer Tavern" or did he name that himself? Saying that the poster "may imply" something is a bit of a copout, isn't it? "Imply" carries with it a certain useful degree of tentativeness. To make a tentative word even more tentative is, I dunno, a little weak. As a reader I lose some confidence. I don't want to give the wrong impression here, though. I'm very pleased with all your work, Elizabeth. You brought real energy to the classroom that day.
I find this tremendously affecting and timely. How does it make you feel? Has George challenged your worldview? If he hasn't, don't worry, but keep me up to speed. Thanks for playing that Parry Gripp song at the beginning of class—"Say Hello to Your Brand New Favorite Pizza"! The fun and energetic music helped us hit the ground running. (Have you checked out Eyeball Skeleton?) Please remember to put your name on all assignments.
AP Mar 29 1:32 PM US/Eastern Before the hearing, more than 260 people including rabbis, military officers and even a professional hockey referee wrote letters on the men's behalf asking the federal judge for leniency.
The letters, obtained by The Associated Press, put a new spin on the foibles and crimes of a man who became the face of Washington's latest corruption scandal.
"Jack is a good person, who in his quest to be successful, lost sight of the rules," National Hockey League referee Dave Jackson wrote, describing the time Abramoff brought 14 youngsters to his dressing room before a game.
What do you say when the school headmaster you just hired—after an exhaustive nationwide search and screening process—decides to quit after a mere seven months on the job?
ABOUT THIS POST:
My high-school alma mater is being awl evasive about the abrupt resignation of its new headmaster. In the past six weeks a school trustee has sent me three vague and overly optimistic emails regarding the resignation (firing?), none actually addressing why the guy left. The cumulative effect of the three "reassuring" emails is not reassurance. Insofar as I care about the situation, I am alarmed!
The first of the resignation-related emails assured me that "no student—indeed no person at all—was at risk or injured or subjected to mistreatment." Suddenly I'm thinking about injury and mistreatment. Mistreatment. Injury. Headmaster. Is the guy a jerk or something? If he's not a jerk, why hasn't the school vouched for his character? ("He didn't injure any students" doesn't count as an endorsement.)
There's an unofficial annual guidebook to NCAA women's field hockey. It's called BULLY.
"BULLY is THE collegiate guide to the game of Field Hockey in the United States. This publication is designed both for current College field hockey athletes and the 'futures' population, the athletes looking to join their ranks."
They sell ads, and the rates are comparable to Cabinet's. $2000 buys the entire full-color back cover of BULLY. If I were wealthy I would buy the back cover of BULLY 2006 for crude futures. Then I'd ask Steev and Andrew to each write 1000 words of copy for the ad (women's field-hockey inspired content preferable but optional), then I'd design and send the ad to BULLY's production team as a full-bleed, high-res PDF.
I just looked at my to-do list. Item number thirteen reads, simply, "Historical apology/typology". I haven't the foggiest naked clue in babyheaven what that means. I couldn't have written it earlier than, like, yesterday. What on smokin sam's sweet popinjay could that mean? Sometimes I think my brain is made out of marijuana, and a different part of my brain is smoking my brain, constantly. Scientists describe this process as "neurons firing."
I am having coffee (more likely herbal tea) with l'soccer mom ancienne this afternoon!! She's looking at grad schools out here. Wish me luck, ZEV
I sent steve a description of my dream last night this morning but he still hasn't emailed me back. I wonder if he's like ummmm busy!!!!!!!!
Here's a recent picture of my high-school Chemistry and Physics teacher. His mother-in-law lives a short distance from his house, literally over a river and through a woods. Just before Thanksgiving 1996 he took a moment to tell my Physics class that he climbs into the car each Thanksgiving and sings "Over The River And Through The Woods (to Grandmother's House We Go)" with his wife and kids to particularly satisfying effect.
My high school is having a "Western Roundup"-themed silent auction on May 12th and is soliciting donations in three categories: Trips, Dining, and Experiences. This is a fundraiser.
READERS: Please help me come up with an "experience" to donate to this auction.
Ten years have passed. Does Mr. M—'s family still sing "Over the River and Through the Woods" each Thanksgiving?
[Two men, or are they women, stand in an imaginative environment that sort of reminds you of a Candyland board come to life.]
PLAINTIVE GERRY: Blacksmith Jericho, where are my prawns?
BLACKSMITH JERICHO: Over yon, near where the brook describes a curlicue in the glen. At the center of that curly-cue there's a hypoallergenic sproul of bluegrass. Nestled among those fibers, you'll find your prawns.
PG: Me and the women are going camping next month. Would you like to come, Blacksmith Jericho?
BJ: Fucking Plaintive Jerry, I have too much shit to do. See all these [topical office humor reference]??? I don't even have half of them or whatever!!!
PG: Topical reference humor?? Are you feeling unwell? Here, let me use these gold earrings and ball-bearings to massage the sore parts of your musculature.
Plaintive Gerry, Plaintive Gerry,
go away and make ye merry.
Blend a berry with yoghurt clean,
and bite down hard on a small machine.
Plaintive Gerry, go from here, and
think about the food in beer.
PG: Do you mean 'think about beer's nutritional content,' or are you asking me to visualize rice and beans suspended in a pint of Racer 5?
BJ: The latter.
PG: What kind of food? Not my praw------
[Gerry is interrupted by Jericho's paw against his mouth. "Hush," Jericho's furrowed but wry face seems to say. "Admonishment," his furrowed gaze communicates. "Next time," is another unspoken phrase I'd like you, as the producer/director of this scene, to somehow get into the tongue/minds of the audience. ]
BJ: The army is stopping by tomorrow.
PG: Are we going to have to give them hausing?
BJ: Yeah. Sucks.
PG: I know. I don't have a separate room and sometimes I have trouble sleeping even if the other person is being totally quiet and unobtrusive. Something about the presence of another... "consciousness." [as Gerry says this last word, over the theater's p.a. is broadcast the voice of R.L. Stine saying the same word. They say it in unison, and look at each other, astonished/frightened. Yeah, I mean RL Stine and Gerry look at each other, you fucking moron.]
[The stage directions are hushed, admonishingly, by a cool, authentic cartoon bear paw. Big gay cartoon bear pushes his sexy paw into the stage directions' face, angrily but affectionately silencing them.]
[From below the stage, two huge pint glasses filled with beer rise up slowly. Gerry and Jericho both produce foil-wrapped burritos from their coveralls. They unwrap the first third or so, take bites, and then pour the contents of the burritos (ev. but the foil and tortilla) into the giant pint glasses. They crumple/ball up the remaining foil and tortillas and replace them in their coveralls.]
BJ: Samonthrace. Let's work out.
PG: I'm tired of working out. Let's just talk.
BJ: Did you play when you were a child?
PG: I am still a child.
BJ: I know. I think you were supposed to ask me that.
PG: Well, did you play as a child?
BJ: No, but I attended the theater, and took great vicarious delight in the players upon the stage. And have long wished to be a player myself, someday, and someday to play, to play!
PG: That's wonderful. What happened?
BJ: Another time, my boy. That's a story for another time.
in a pub on Edinburgh's Grassmarket, waitress Kathy Eager was impressed. "I'm loving it. Normally I'd have to go home and scrub the smoke out of my skin," she said.
...Not everyone, however, was so thrilled. Artist David ["you destroy bohemia"] Hockney told Sunday AM: "This is a very, very mean-spirited act by people who I think don't know what they're doing. Pubs aren't health clubs. I've smoked for 50 years and now I'm told I can't be social anywhere at all. I'm fed up with the prigs."
a neat lil' Guardian piece about castrati! we don't know exactly what castrati sounded like. there's some London-based museum show about Handel and castrati and such! this article just BARELY touches on this idea...but it seems like there is a reality show-to-be had if we can close this mysteriously intriguing triangle: American Idol, castrati, The Swan.right!?:
For every superstar castrato who graced Europe's opera houses between about 1600 and 1828 (when Giovanni Battista Velluti became the last eunuch to appear on stage, in a crusader epic by Meyerbeer), there were hundreds whose ordinariness or unpleasantness of voice condemned them to a life in B-grade church choirs, or on the streets as beggars or prostitutes.
i don't work in publishing or the longformbookreview business, but, hey!, i get as stoked as the next man when the new issue of BOOKFORUM smacks down onto the front porch of the library! WOAH! a cursory, mid-blogging glance at the TOC reveals that crude futures frere d'armsGL-K has got his well-manicured thumb up in this pie! stakes raised, brothers! but wait yr turn, Gideon! i'm gonna have to check out what Dedrick from the feve has to say about Simon Reynolds first!!!
i watched a lotta soccer this weekend. Liverpool 3-1 Everton: ok-enough craic. my time's not too valuable. Luis Garcia is, admittedly, a bit aggravating. took my sunday morning calcio ablutions, como siempre. Messina 1-1 Udinese. meh. both goals were impressive. are Italian dudes for real?