Thursday, April 21, 2005


Too much happening at once. Teaching Chaucer and taking Thai massage and coming up to the whip-crack end of this damned project at work. My Mom's in the hospital again -- visited today, she was looking pretty good, though still on oxygen; the docs are saying they think her heart looks okay, they think it's only a bad flare-up of asthma. I got to watch the technician, a young man with a wonderful bedside manner, do the encardiogram -- he played the machine very like a video-game, enlarging things and stopping the action, and outlining bits of graphs, twiddling dials that suddenly enabled the sound (a sound exactly like the sounds arcade games make when you shoot at an alien spaceship). Unnerving to watch my mother's heart pumping on a television screen -- & knowing that the main valve there was once a cow's made it just a little more hallucinatory. & then there's this class on the Eight Collections of Consciousness, and a meeting of the ad hoc sangha database committee this weekend, which will roll right into being omze. (I'll have to remember to eat something that afternoon.)

So, having all this on my plate, I just need to prioritize and do first things first. Et voici, blogging.

I loved reading Chaucer aloud. Spent over half the class-time doing it, reading a few lines, explaining a few things, reading a few more lines, translating the hard bits every once in a while. The lovely lovely thing about that school is that the kids and the teacher are on the same side. Hit a teaching problem, I can just consult with them about it. Should we memorize bits, or spend that time reading and getting some purchase on the vocabulary, instead? I can just ask, we can bat the ideas around; no one's trying to put anything over on anyone, no one's being forced to do anything. If they didn't want to be in a Chaucer class, they'd be somewhere else. End of story. So different from the hell of teaching Chaucer at Bridgeport University (the experience that decisively ended any interest I had in a teaching career. Remind me to tell you about it sometime.)

Massage class tonight. I leave for it in twenty minutes. I've been learning the names of bones and muscles -- I love learning the names of things -- so tonight if anyone talks sternocleido-mastoideus I'll be right there with them. (They're those rope-like neck muscles that run from the breastbone to below the ears.)

(I wonder what it means that so many of my paragraphs end in parenthetical statements?)

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