Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“most of the important changes in american speech are not happening at the level of grammar or language—which used to be the case—but at the level of sound itself.” - william labov

what if all british nannies were actually old david attenboroughs who whisper-narrated at their charges in the third person, instead of speaking to them like the good ol' homegrown american nannies we all know?

this nursery may seem calm, but there is life here. here we can see a three month old child in its natural habitat. though other mammals by this stage have already learned to hunt and fend for themselves in the wild, this one still has motor skills that are primitive at best, and remains totally dependent on its caretaker. watch now as the caretaker moves in to change its diaper.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

long bike ride saturday.


i suspect that part of the reason i am reluctant to make the recording for graduate school applications is that i am also reluctant to grow up and acknowledge my impending adulthood.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

i think i will always associate the smell of instant coffee with saturday mornings. and hangovers. except -- this time -- i'm not hungover. just stayed up all night reading the riddlemaster trilogy. go team. i'm glad my students dont know anything about me. respect levels would probably plummet.

on thursday, my cousin got hit by cars and on friday, passed away; we're not totally sure how he managed to be hit by multiple cars, but at this point it doesn't really matter. family is family. i'll be driving down tomorrow. it'll be good to be home.

and i'm gonna get my hurr cut off.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

this week on "things i do not want to eat"


Monday, September 21, 2009

indian summer


Saturday, September 19, 2009

this morning, i was the piano teacher with a champagne hangover. i made one of my students, a seven year old girl, cry over half notes. i spoke with her father about this afterwards, and he smiled. "dont worry about it; she's had a long week," he said. "yesterday, she burst into tears when she found out that the butter we were using wasn't organic."

i dont feel bad about that anymore.

hangover cure at the fair: ten dollars for a palm-reading and five dollars for a soydog with extra sauerkraut. this is the best of humboldt for fifteen bucks.

the woman who read my palm hadn't shaved her arms in a couple of days and told me i'd have three children, two girls, one boy, one marriage, a smart upcoming career change, a lot of writing and school in my future, that i would move to the midwest and then back with my family "in the south" and in three or four years time, meet my soul mate, whom i would know immediately upon seeing, and that my life would be healthy and extend into my 90's. i spent a lot of the time not staring at her beard.

some years ago, "in the south," i had my cards read. the woman, russian this time, also imparted the tri-child prophecy. i dont recall her having a beard.

this doesnt mean i'm giving either of them credit.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

today, one of my students expressed surprise that i have a teacher.

"and my teacher has a teacher. well, many teachers, actually. everybody has a teacher." i let that sink in. "except the untaught, of course," i added.

man do i have a teacher. she was so excited to move to california that she announced in one of the group keyboard classes that she "bought two svimsoots."

but humboldt is as humboldt does; she asked one of her students "vy she did not practice, and she said she lives on the beach."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

i have wonderful roommates :D


Sunday, September 6, 2009

your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger

When we listen primarily for what we "ought" to be doing with our lives, we may find ourselves hounded by external expectations that can distort our identity and integrity. There is much that I ought to be doing by some abstract moral calculus. But is it my vocation? Am I gifted and called to do it? Is this particular ought a place of intersection between my inner self and the outer world, or is it someone else's image of how my life should look?

When I follow only the oughts, I may find myself doing work that is ethically laudable but not mine to do. A vocation that is not mine, no matter how externally valued, does violence to the self—in the precise sense that it violates my identity and integrity on behalf of some abstract norm. When I violate myself, I invariably end up violating the people I work with. How many teachers inflict their own pain on heir students, the pain that comes from doing what never was, or no longer is, their true work?

In contrast to the strained and even violent concept of vocation as an ought, Frederick Buechner offers a more generous and humane image of vocation as "the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

In a culture that sometimes equates work with suffering, it is revolutionary to suggest that the best inward sign of vocation is deep gladness—revolutionary but true. If a work is mine to do, it will make me glad over the long haul, despite the difficult days, Even the difficult days will ultimately gladden me, because they pose the kinds of problems that can help me grow in a work if it is truly mine.

If a work does not gladden me in these ways, I need to consider laying it down. When I devote myself to something that does not flow from my identity, that is not integral to my nature, I am most likely deepening the world's hunger rather than helping to alleviate it.


from: The Heart of a Teacher

Identity and Integrity in Teaching

by parker j palmer

thanks to katie for passing this along to me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

i ran 95 miles during the month of august! i'm fucking proud of myself! the knees are feeling it, though. for september: less running. more swimming. by the end of the semester i'm gonna look like this:

or not.

i want to be a sociolinguistic historian alpinist photographer world-traveler chef commedian triathalete warrior woman fluent in old english and the prepared piano music of john cage.

"does switzerland sing the song of your heart?" he asked.

"no," i told him. i think that was a lie?