October 2007 Archives

October 24, 2007

The Horror of Fairy Tales

I have been thinking a lot about the stories that I tell my students, especially today after one teacher told me that her son didn't like the movie ( Leo Lionni's Swimmy) I showed in class yesterday. You see, he apparently is a sensitive sort and (SPOILER ALERT!!1!) he was upset that Swimmy's family gets eaten by a mean tuna fish, even though he finds another family and they scare the tuna away in the end. 

That got me to thinking about these fables, why they are so violent, and I know it is because fables are really cautionary tales, stories told to children to teach morals. Folk tales, on the other hand, are told to pass down traditions and keep history/religion/families alive ... I literally translate Folk Tales as People Stories so my students will remember that.

Fairy tales, now they are another creature all together. Watching Criminal Minds tonight (excellent if extremely creepy episode, BTW) the epilogue contained the following quote ...

"Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."  ~ G. K. Chesterton

... and it struck me. The horrors of these fairy tales are truly horrible but good always wins which, for a child, might just be enough to give them confidence to at least stand up to the dragons.  

In a delightful bit of serendipity, I found this article in my feedreader tonight and was reminded how truly horrible Disney is for watering these delicious stories down.

Damn you, Walt. *shakes fist*

Don't have any fables/folk tales/fairy tales to entertain yourself and your chillens? Get thee to a library!! 398.2!!  The Brothers Grimm is a great place to start.

I iz a LOLcat

My favorite monkey sent this from our favorite timewaster ...


Think he's trying to tell me something?


There is a girl inside
by Lucille Clifton

There is a girl inside.
She is randy as a wolf.
She will not walk away and leave these bones
to an old woman.

She is a green tree in a forest of kindling.
She is a green girl in a used poet.

She has waited patient as a nun
for the second coming,
when she can break through gray hairs
into blossom

and her lovers will harvest
honey and thyme
and the woods will be wild
with the damn wonder of it.

October 21, 2007

Beyond comprehension

The boy ... I swear, if he makes it to 16, it will be a miracle. 

He went over a friend's house yesterday afternoon with the intention of sleeping overnight. No big deal, it was Saturday, he had done his chores. I had assumed he would be coming home this afternoon to prepare himself for school tomorrow and get a good night's sleep.

He called about 5 to tell me he was just waiting for his friend's mother to come and she would be giving him a ride home. And I thought he was being so responsible.

Just got off the phone. The mom still isn't home yet and he might have to stay over ... it's so late and he doesn't think she will want to drive him home ... and, he says, I know you don't want to come pick me up this late. Of course, all of his schoolbooks are here and he doesn't have clean clothes for school tomorrow OH, and he's not supposed to spend the night at anyone's house on a school night, but does he consider this? No. And when I bring up any of these minor points, I'M the bad guy.


Seems common sense and courtesy are not his strengths. Like father, like son. Makes me worry.

October 14, 2007

Hot wing haiku

Delicious hot wings
marry with ribs on the plate.
Who knew pigs could fly?
                    - written by me on a (clean) napkin at BW3
                      in response to T's off-the-cuff remark.

Yes, I am a word geek. I admit it.

Riding the lemons to lemonade roller coaster lately, trying to find a balance, a stopping point. Seems like it will never end.

Finishing up the media center and feeling proud then one of my windows broke and was replaced with unglazed glass. Have to find money to replace it myself now.

Finally get everything in place and the bookfair comes this week, not to mention the frequent disruption of meetings and staff training sessions (the recent pork barbeque lunch will be a whole other post, I fear). Seems I will never finish.

Terribly frustrated and unhappy with things I can not control yet some incendiary bright spots have emerged ... who knew I loved drag racing?

Preparing myself for yet another downward trip tonight, knowing the next hill is only 2 weeks away, hoping the sheer force of emotional kinesis can get me there.

Finished William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and found quite a bit of myself in the pages. Interesting insight, complex read.  I closed the book and returned to this world enlightened. Gotta love that.

 More later. Feeling cryptic and fragile, yet strangely energized.

October 1, 2007

Favorite poem...


Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn't expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring--

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.

-Louise Gluck

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