Archive for April, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

April 30, 2009
qwrrty via flickr, marriage equality rally in Boston, 2007

qwrrty via flickr, marriage equality rally in Boston, 2007

Don’t have a lot of time this morning, so without further ado, Things I Love Thursday:

  • Marriage equality in New Hampshire; the passage of the Matthew Shepherd Act; delicious dinner at the new hibachi grill in Amherst; raw milk; homemade turtles; making plans for graduating friends; playing matchmaker (Cait & I could totally have a reality show); consistently spring-like weather; plotting nerdy literary photoshoots (Sare is going to be Alice in Wonderland, she has no choice in the matter);  getting a student to admit “that’s so gay” is hurtful— this is a huge, huge breakthrough, believe it or not; fluffycat letting me brush her so she’s not full of dirt anymore; late-night Rao’s with A; getting our wedding ivitations printed!; my wedding dress (of course); and as always, my amazing & wonderful friends. Seriously. Hearts.

Waiting for the thunderstorms

April 28, 2009
filtered sunlight

Thunderstorms are on the way in, and I am relieved. It’s hard to stay connected (ie, obsess over my email) when the laptop increases your body temperature by twenty degrees.

In the heat of the last two days, it’s easy to fantasize about those amazing summer mornings where you get to lounge in bed, read, and nod off a bit if you feel the urge. I’m looking forward to spending long Saturday mornings in late June & July enjoying my soft comforter & far too much coffee to be reasonable. For the ultimate Saturday morning lay-in, I’d choose:

  1. A light-as-air pj & robe combo
  2. Glamorous complimentary accessories, like those peach beads & cute sandals. Oh, yes, I already own those sandals. Score!
  3. Copious amounts of coffee, preferably very strong & served in a monogrammed mug. Indeed.
  4. Dusty old copies of Jane Austen’s collected works, because I eat that stuff up.

Stay cool, friends.

Several “holy crap” items of today

April 28, 2009
jimalone via flickr

jimalone via flickr

What the heck happened in the world today? Is there some wonky planet alignment? Today started off sleepy and took a long while to wind up, but it ended up… Pretty freakin’ good.

I had two amazing & reaffirming conversations today, both at work– which, as I’d mentioned, I had been actively courting a bit of disillusionment about. The first was with a student, a whip-smart & mouthy sophomore who got the class engaged in a discussion on how to make school work (in a theoretical sense, not for him personally). I’m not going to lie, I hear a lot of banal, vapid conversation while wheeling through the halls on my mobile classroom (that’s fancy-talk for my cart) & hearing this type of depth and thought made me a very happy teacher indeed.

The second was with a faculty friend, whom I can now officially, today, name a friend. She’s awesome & I am lucky to have a professional connection with a woman of her ideals & resources. I left the conversation with no less than seven different lesson plans, a video, a bunch of articles & with my sense of purpose indescribably & undefinably confirmed.

Then I came home & saw this: Miley versus Jesus on marriage. I never thought I’d say it, but good for you, Miley Cyrus.

And also, Arlen Spector is now a Democrat. Seriously, it’s the Twilight Zone today.

But I’ll take it!

Literary Ladies #7: Francie Nolan

April 28, 2009

Literary Ladies is my weekly series where I nerd out for a bit & imagine my favorite literary heroines into the modern world. Email me your suggestions or leave a comment below!

It’s been since January that I’ve posted a new Literary Ladies column, so I figured it was about time to log into polyvore & get my nerd on.

While in New York, I got to thinking about how the world of Francie Nolan (from Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) intersects with the world of urban teenagers today. Her family lives paycheck to uncertain paycheck, her parents uneducated but hard-working, and her charismatic & unpredictable father is an oft-absent alcoholic. Francie places more emphasis on her education than her parents do; as a teacher, I think it’s unfortunately often in modern times that parents place more emphasis on education than the child. Francie could teach an important lesson, if used in the context of today’s economic & political situations. What is unique about Francie is her pre-feminist understanding that her education was not for education’s sake alone, but moreover for the collateral it provided her, & the chance to move beyond the Brooklyn tenement of a childhood spent dreaming of being more. These trials of life are timeless & classless, for wealthy children endure the same social and family hardships as poorer ones.

In 2009, Francie Nolan’s classic TGiB characteristics– fair-haired & skinned, sensitive, studious & extremely hardworking academically– casting a Disney pop princess to such a poignant character would be a bit disingenuous. She’s the type of girl clever enough to manoeuvre through the red tape of public school & acquire a spot in a better, more competitive one– so there’s no way you could convince me to cast anyone but Abigail Breslin in the role:

There is also no way you can convince me she’d be anything but dripping with personal style:

francie nolan

Being from the city, I picture whimsical, practical staples like dressy shorts and a fitted camisole, covered up with a handmade shawl. Walking (skating? should 2009 Francie use a skateboard?) everywhere means comfy shoes, so a pair of trendy, sturdy & inexpensive sneakers are a must. In the novel, Francie is constantly sketching, doodling, writing, dreaming, drawing in her journal– it’s only appropriate to keep her well-equipped with blank paper & a plethora of pencils. Francie in 2009 would be deep into the vintage jewelry market, adorning her skinny arms with acrylic & brass bangles, floral clips, and long silver chains. Her leather handbag would be overflowing with scraps of paper, receipts, an over-full wallet crammed with everything from a library card to an expired coupon for New York & Company– and with a two-pound lake of pennies pooling in the darkest recesses of the lining. Francie cleans her purse at CoinStar & writes poems on the backs of library book inserts, hoping she makes a sweet lonely boy fall in love with her marginalia.

Technical difficulties

April 27, 2009

Will be in good shape soon.