Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for June 2004

The Tortilla Curtain

with 3 comments

Yesterday I finished The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle. It has been a long time since I read for 8 hours straight. I’m not sure what I thought of the book. It was well written but it was also harsh and angry and dirty and antiseptic throughout.

I was hoping for some redemption by the end but there was little. The book follows a rich, white, “liberal humanist” couple from California who are consumed with their petty comforts and troubles and parallels their story with that of an immigrant couple from Mexico.

Each of the four main characters moves throughout the book but each is equally unchanged and un-elucidated except about his/her ugliness. It has left a bitter taste in my mouth as I enjoyed parts of it and it was gripping . . . but it was un-redemptive. This has me wondering what makes for good literature.

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Written by furthermusings

June 29, 2004 at 7:40 pm

Posted in Reviews

Eats, Shoots and Leaves

with 6 comments

Yesterday afternoon I accompanied my sister, Katie, to the emergency room in Winston-Salem in an attempt to re-hydrate her and ease her considerable abdominal pain. Once we were admitted I began to read to her from humorous book on grammar titled Eats, Shoots and Leaves in an attempt to distract her from her pain and the pain of others. That this was somewhat successful testifies to how well Katie and I fit in at nerd camp.

Besides reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves for amusement (and it is quite amusing in spots) I was also reading it in an attempt to improve my grammar. I may have to pick up a copy for reference in the future but Ill wait for the paperback version to buy. If you want grammar humor and relatively painless grammar instruction this book will fit the bill.

Written by furthermusings

June 27, 2004 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Reviews

Are my students cool or what?

On the first day of class, a week and a half ago, our social science students went around and introduced themselves by stating their names and a hidden talent. One student introduced him self as �Kevin Ferris; like the wheel.� Another student with a Hispanic last name asked to be called James instead of Louis. I marked it off as no big deal and have known James as James ever since.

Yesterday another student informed me that Louis has never been called James before 12 days ago. Upon arrival this summer he decided to be called James just incase he has to consider naming one of his future offspring James. Apparently he thought that he should try it out for a few weeks before giving it to a child for the rest of his life! That cracks me up.

Written by furthermusings

June 25, 2004 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Laughter, On the Job

One Train

with 4 comments

On the opening night of Governor’s School one of the faculty read this poem titled “One Train May Hide Another”. I thought about posting the text, but due to copyright concerns I will let you read it via another website. Alternatively, you can here it read by the author, Kenneth Koch.

Written by furthermusings

June 22, 2004 at 8:37 am

Posted in On the Job

Looking for a Good Book

with 15 comments

Lately I’ve been thinking about how little concentration I seem to be able to muster. I’ve decided that a part of what is missing is a lifestyle of book reading, a lifestyle where I regularly leave this world of mine and live somewhere else for hours at a time, consumed in another’s world.

I’m looking for a book (preferably fiction) that when it comes to be 2am will have me promising “just one more chapter and I’ll go to bed.”

Any suggestions from blogland?

Written by furthermusings

June 18, 2004 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Reflections

Rather than be a vegetarian . . .

with 15 comments

The North Carolina Governor’s School where I am currently teaching has a reputation for being a fairly liberal place with an ideologically minded faculty. When this came up in a faculty meeting the director recounted a statement from a student several years ago.

“Governor’s School will either make you a socialist, a feminist, an atheist, or a vegetarian. Pray to God that you will become an atheist!”

Written by furthermusings

June 17, 2004 at 6:49 pm

Posted in On the Job

One evening in New York

with 6 comments

On Saturday one of my college friends, Cullen, married a Clemson girl in New Platz, NY. Upon arriving I was bumped up from usher to groomsman. During the wedding only one bridesmaid fainted, which is a great improvement from the last wedding I was in. It was a bad feeling to know that she was going to go down but not know how to appropriately intervene. Do you cross the entire wedding party in front 100 people to her rescue before she falls? But in the end, given the happy marriage, it was a good day.

When the wedding party was introduced at the reception there was some question with what to do since we had an extra groomsman. I volunteered to walk in alone. Instead, a different suggestion was given, and I escorted a cute twelve-year-old female, named Patience, into the reception tent.

Patience needed a good bit of coaxing to accompany me. I was glad not to enter by myself but I�m not sure what her reluctance communicated about me as a person. When a 12-year-old dog is reluctant to let you escort her, what does that mean?

Written by furthermusings

June 13, 2004 at 3:21 pm

Posted in General