Well Said Weekend: G. K. Chesterton

Statues of male and female dragons holding a dragon egg at Varna seaside

Fairytales don’t tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.

G.K. Chesterton

Well Said Weekend- Mark Twain

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

— MARK TWAIN

Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor

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Well Said Weekend- Edith Wharton

Life is always either a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope.

 — EDITH WHARTON 

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Mindfulness Meditation

Buddha Time

Thoughts on Teaching

When I was looking at grad school, I specifically stayed away from schools that seemed to emphasize teaching. I didn’t see myself as a college professor, or even TA-ing. Although some of the biggest influences on my life have been teachers, and having worked as a teacher before (English teacher and tutor to adults, teenagers and children, teaching aide to two autistic boys) I couldn’t imagine myself in a classroom setting. I thought that someone should really want to be a teacher, not just pursue the career because it was there.

Did I mention my favorite game to play with my sister as children was teacher?

On a whim, I decided to apply for some of the teaching positions arranged through the college. And I was luckily placed in my top choice: co-running a drop in creative writing class for teens through a local city library.

And I love it.

I really do. When our lessons hit, they hit.

When we taught form, it was clerihews on Kanye West, and limericks crafted as a class. We challenged the students to write flash fiction, and they challenged themselves to write horror stories, 20 words or less.

Not that they hit all the time. Not that there isn’t (controlled?) chaos.

Last week was our last class for the fall (we’re hopefully teaching there in the spring!)– more kids than usual, with a lot of… teenage hormones and rambunctiousness. But I wouldn’t have changed it: that might mean not handing one girl Richard Siken’s Crush, and watching her copy poems through out the class. It might mean not talking about prose poems to a student who didn’t think she could write poetry. Or hearing a 5th grader share her poems in front of students almost twice her age. Or having a teenage boy shush his friends so that he could hear what was being read.

I can’t wait to dive in again next year.


My teaching idol, Rupert Giles

Well Said Weekend- Kurt Vonnegut

“What’s the point of being alive,” she said, “if you’re not going to communicate?”

—Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

Dinosaur Suit

Do you read Hyperbole and a Half? I’ve been thinking about her recent post Menace a lot lately (go ahead, read it. I’ll wait).

I can’t think of a childhood outfit that took me out of my body like that. Books, yes, but something I could wrap around myself? I loved my blankie, but even there, I don’t remember feeling more or less powerful with it around.

I’d like to find this thing, this dinosaur suit where I feel strong and powerful. Maybe it’s the right pair of jeans? Or an eyeshadow? I’ve said before that through running, and getting older, I’ve become more comfortable in my skin. But at the same time, there’s always my OCD.

I’ve always had a tightly wound brain. As a child I counted, and clicked. As an adult, I count and recite poetry. I can say now that some of the things that have haunted me from childhood also make me a good writer. You can’t obsess about sounds, and not develop a good ear, I suppose.

Is there something (an outfit, a pair of boots…) that made you feel powerful as a child? How about now?

Restarting

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for November.

After all, yesterday was the six month mark from my 25th birthday.

I’ve been feeling a bit off kilter lately. I suppose it’s normal, moving across the country (again), even for someone who (not necessarily made a point of it, but still does) moves every two years to some new city.

I don’t want a change per say (well. I did change my hair).

Red hair, to match the leaves

Red hair, to match the leaves



I think I just need to re-focus. In the spirit of Sarah’s Every Damn Day List, I wrote a Reset November list. Each is a goal for every day. They might sound simple, but it’s enough so I feel like I can fall asleep a little more soundly.

Ready?

1. Do something healthy for myself (even if just stretching)

I’ve fallen about of habit with running. I miss it. I might not miss the 8 mile or 10 mile time commitment, but an hour run? That was pretty perfect. Yesterday, I did 1.2 miles at a decent pace. It’s a start

2. Do something fun, for myself.

After yesterday’s run? Had a cup of coffee and a sugar donut for breakfast, while reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project as part of Book Club with Yoli. It was lovely.

3. Support or foster my creativity

Reading, writing, sketching– meaningfully. Not just doodling in the margins, or jotting down a line. Making a point of it. Heck, maybe posting more regularly?

4. Drink as much water as coffee

Don’t laugh, but this is surprisingly really hard for me. I don’t get thirsty- never have. But man, have I developed a love of drinking coffee.


5. Honor a commitment

This is a little hard to admit, but I can be terrible at honoring commitments. Mailing the letter I wrote to cheer up a friend? Responding to that email you sent and I read? Writing a review of a book that I promised (gulp) months ago? I’m not ruling out commitments to myself either– I definitely had to talk myself into leaving my warm bed for a run yesterday morning

Anything jump out at you?

Running, and Thoughts on Run 10, Feed 10

Last week was the day of the Yonkers Half Marathon. I didn’t run it.

Back in the spring, it sounded like an easy plan. Keep training, and welcome myself to my new city with a run.

Then the summer happened, and I found it harder and harder to commit to 8 mile runs, 9 mile runs– hell, 5 mile runs. I’ve been getting back into the habit, but I need to readjust my goals. Maybe it’s time to start focusing on time, or sprints. Or to re-consider why I’m running, what I’m signing up for.

I also have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I ran the Run 10, Feed 10 a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t completely to my liking. Maybe I’ve been spoiled with better organized starts, or kinder participants (instead of the men and women I heard loudly passing judgement on their fellow runners), or maybe, it was just the insistence that a ‘certain kind of woman’ was running. The one who wants hair care coupons, and a Special K bar.

And that’s not me.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t do another women-focused run. But maybe I need to start being more clear about which races I’ll do and why. Not just signing up for signing’s sake.

Do you compete? Why, or why not

Well Said

She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.

Michael Ondaatje

It’s a bit early for a well said weekend post, but this quote seems so appropriate today. I’m officially off at grad school (with my first! class just a few hours away), and have already begun to figure out how to go from part time to full. What can I say, I’m a nerd. A nerd who looks learning and words.

That doesn’t mean it’s not an anxious time, thinking about writing every day, stretching my syllables to go to new places, but exciting as well. We’ll see, we’ll see