Location: St. Vincent & Grenadines

You were driving home in the dark on one glass-slippered heel, window sliced open and bathing in the snowliquor of the night air. We heard you singing, and couldn't bear to wake you.

24 April 2007

OK. If I don't post sometime in the next hour or so, I will have officially neglected this Algonquin-Round-Table-of-One for more than a month. And that Just Won't Do.

Why have I been away? Combo platter. Hardcore teaching entrée with heaping sides of stupid goddamned depression, exhaustion, lack of inspiration and reprioritization of "free time". And the few times I've sat down to write something, all I can think of is that combo platter, so then I think better of it and go read the latest XKCD.

Anyway: for those of you who have not yet heard the Exciting News...

...come early October, Genevieve is going to become a big sister.

It's official: Marla is pregnant. We got the ultrasound photos today, but the real proof came a couple of weeks ago when she felt compelled to drink sauerkraut juice straight from the jar. You just can't fake that kind of thing.

So yeah, Baby #2 is on the way, which is cool and exciting and scary. I'm looking for a teaching job for next year, and I will get one because I'm good enough and smart enough and, um, the tip jar at Open Mic Night won't quite cut it with TWO KIDS to support. Woo hoo! If love itself were both edible and capable of generating electricity, I'd already be set. Such is, regrettably, not the case.

I'm pretty sure we're going to determine gender in advance this time, simply because this is the last kid either of us wants to have and there's something to be said for variety of experience. We already know what it's like to be surprised on Birth Day; now we can find out what it's like to know in advance. We'll keep it a secret from the rest of the world, though, so that we don't get inundated with pink or blue.

So there's that.

It's the fourth quarter; I have five weeks left of classes, and then a four-day whitewater rafting trip with my eighth grade students, and then graduation. It's poetry season. I know what I'm doing, I'm totally into it, and bizarrely, so are my students. I gave them the customary spiel: "How many of you really love poetry? Raise your hand if you read poetry on your own, not for a school assignment but because you really love it. Okay, a few of you. Now raise your hand if you listen to music. Keep it raised if the music has words. Keep it raised if this music is important to you. Guess what? You really love poetry."

Then we made a list of our favorite poets on the board. Here's what the 11-14 year olds in my neck of the woods are listening to these days:

The Dead Milkmen
The Dead Kennedys
The Sex Pistols
Joni Mitchell
Jimi Hendrix
Guns 'n' Roses
Cheap Trick
Snow Patrol
Linkin Park
Snoop Dogg
Tori Amos
Blue October
The Arctic Monkeys
10,000 Maniacs
Sheryl Crow
Maroon 5
The Rolling Stones
Green Day
Christina Aguilera
The Hush Sound
Bob Marley
Elton John
Pink Floyd
Jimmy Buffett
Bob Dylan
Jack Johnson
The Who
Suzanne Vega
The Jackson 5
The Police
Breaking Benjamin
Death Cab For Cutie
The Postal Service
Billy Talent
Operation Ivy
Nerve Agents
Smashing Pumpkins
Tom Waits (OK, this one's mine)
The Beatles
Tupac Shakur
Gwen Stefani
Hello Goodbye
Presidents of the United States of America
Amy Winehouse
Counting Crows
Biggie Smalls
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Reel Big Fish
The Alec-tric 5
The Ramones
The Pixies
The Sofa Kings
Modest Mouse
Nelly Furtado
Led Zeppelin
The Alan Parsons Project

Nicely eclectic, I'd say. Fairly good taste all round, although Linkin Park...well, I'll say no more. But yeah, not too bad for tweens. So now everyone's getting a turn to bring in a favorite song and play it in class while we all look at the lyrics; then we deconstruct it. Assonance, consonance, metaphor, internal rhyme, meter, imagery, theme, thesis. Good stuff. I kicked things off with Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem "Richard Cory", followed by the updated version written and performed by Paul Simon with Art Garfunkel.

For a further update, check out the super-hi-tech Richard Cory Interactive Adventure.

And then there's the Bertolt Brecht RPG, which is perfect for kids' parties.

While we're being like that, "that" being a degeneration into disturbing linkage as a form of anticlimactic denouement, it may be comforting to know that God is A-OK with buggery.

He's probably not OK with Nazi leprechauns, though. At least, I really hope he's not.

Um, I can't think of a good segue into this one. Which, if you're cool enough to appreciate it, is itself a really hip segue. And now, all things squid.


Anonymous Laura said...

What a wonderful way to teach poetry to kids that age; I would have loved something like that in junior high.

My god, they're listening to good stuff. And the funny part of it is that most of it hasn't changed from the stuff I was listening to back in the day, other than the stuff that wasn't around then because the artists were still 11- to 14-year-olds themselves.

I have to start playing more music around the house on weekends so my 14-year-old stepson might start listening to something other that video-game soundtrack music. These kids are giving me hope.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anh said...

Okay, First of all: Congrats! Mazel Tov! Yay Baby!
Second of all: Good to have you update us all on your life. Please do it more often. :D
3rd: Hey Yosha Bourgea is not on that list! Neither are the Pet Shop Boys! What do they know...
Fourth: Sauerkraut is really good with kielbasa. and potatoes, and apples and some cannelini beans.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey! Congratulations on kidlet #2!

What I love about that list is that it's got some new bands, but it's also got a lot of the same bands that kids in our neck of the woods were listening to when WE were in high school. I sometimes think that West County is a weird little subregion that never really changes ...

5:55 PM  
Anonymous frederika said...

Do you have a preference this time for a boy or a girl?

5:28 PM  
Blogger Das Person said...

Following the advice I read in "The Secret," I am thinking very strongly about you writing another post here soon!

5:58 PM  

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