A Week in Review…

While I think it’s kind of silly to end the first full week of classes with a three day weekend, I’m not going to complain. The first week of classes was uneventful and that’s just the way I like it. My students seem relatively enthusiastic, and I have eighteen enrolled in my creative writing class. My online class had a few small hiccups early in the week, but they were resolved quickly.

I’ve continued with the working out and eating at home. Right now I’m making some bread for the week and some bread to freeze. I haven’t had a chance to fire up the bread machine since we moved into the new house, so today seemed like the perfect time. I also put the first coat of paint on the bookcase that’s going to go in the dining room. It’s definitely going to need two coats, but the painting itself went pretty fast, so I plan to have it in the dining room by next weekend.

I’m in the process of making plans to travel to Erie in February to see Michael Pollan at Allegheny. I’m pretty excited and it will give me something to look forward to that month. Sometimes the spring semester has a tendency to drag, so I’m constantly looking for things to break up the monotony.

Thursday night I went to Starbucks for about two hours to read before my night class. I left Ominovre’s Dilemma at home, so I pulled The House on Mango street off my shelves and read the whole book while I was at Starbucks.

I really like this book and it is a fast read. I was reminded at how the pacing and description are so prefect in how they fit the narrative. The section “Hair” is perfect when it comes to showing students how important sensory detail and image are in writing of all types:

But my mother’s hair, my mother’s hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly, and pretty because she pinned it in in pincurls all day, sweet to put you nose into when she is holding you, and holding you and you feel safe, it is the warm smell of bread before you bake it…

Also the section “Red Clowns” always disturbs me. Part of it is the subject matter and part of it is that I’ve always found something seedy and garish about the circus and don’t even get me started on clowns:

Why did you leave me all alone? I waited my whole life. You’re a liar. They all lied. All the books and magazines, everything that told it wrong. Only his dirty fingernails against my skin, only his sour smell again. The moon that watched. The tilt-a-whirl. The red clowns laughing their thick-tongued laugh.

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