Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Note to self, if I ever become a teacher: Do not fill the classroom with dorky kitten and puppy slogan posters. Do have a permanent place to post date, goals, homework.

The automated system said the assignment would be middle school social studies: imagine my surprise when I noted “Math 7 & 8” on the door. Luckily, Mr. W. left fabulous directions and plans – and I understood the lesson on angles.

First curve ball: Cristopher is new in the class and does not speak English.
Second curve ball: a huge chorus of teen voices saying “we’ve never seen this stuff before.”
Third ball: Hey, they’re hittable from here on out! The other two classes get the lessons and are easily kept in order with the Don’t Mess With Me tone of voice I retained from the first class.

I had an interesting conversation with Stephen and his crowd about the movies Holes (which I want to see). Some of its premises immediately reminded me of God’s Little Acre (Erskine Caldwell).

The consignment shop on Lakeside Avenue has great 1950s and 60s metal porch furniture at a good price. Also, a pair of blonde end table ($95 for both).

While waiting for the Library strategic planning committee meeting, I read Nicholson Baker’s Double Fold. Baker is one of my top five favorite authors. In the book (so far), he asserts that the “newspapers disintegrate because of the acid content” argument so many libraries use as a reason to buy themselves more storage space has resulted in the loss of beautiful, full-color original documents and actual information since microfilms were often poorly shot and do degrade. And, it's not entirely true.

Two thoughts from Baker:
1) “Reading a paper is not the only way to understand the lost past life of a city, but no other way will enclose you so completely within on time-stratum’s universe of miscellaneous possibility.” (p. 39)
As I researched Sharon Indian School, I also kept an eye on the world news the West Point, Va., paper reported; what movies the DAW showed and how often they changed; what tone editorials took; what Capital City stores advertised; and of course all the youth group activities.

2) “Since the seventies, image-ergonomists have known of a kind of motion sickness that afflicts some microfilm users which seems to be caused by the difficulty of visually tracking the creep and lurch of passing text scapes.” (p. 40)
Thank goodness I am not alone in this weakness! An over-heated the room contributes, too.

I can't believe my nice neighbors are moving.

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