Welcome from Amy D. Unsworth

Language, Literature, Learning & Life.

Not amusing

With having to give up teaching this semester, I've also lost my access to the library resources and databases. No more OED, no more MLA research, no more reading journals stored electronically. And perhaps, most disappointing, no more inter library loan. Of course, I can go sign up for a community user card and use the library itself and my hope is that some of these resources will be available then. I've also lost the hours of work I'd put into my "online" sites for each of the classes I've taught. Yes, I backed up the documents that were vital. But it still takes hours to upload and tidy and tweak those sites.

On a more amusing note, I recently finished Teacher Man. It was quite an enjoyable read. I especially liked this bit:

They (students) don't like it when Mr. McCourt says, Why was Hamlet mean to
his mother, or why didn't he kill the king when he had the chance.
It's all right to spend the rest of the period going round and round
discussing this, but you'd like to know the answer before the goddam bell
rings. Not with McCourt, man. He's asking questions, throwing out
suggestions, causing confusion,and you know the warning bell is about to
ring and and you get this feeling in your gut. Come on, come on, what's the
answer? and he keeps saying What do you think? What do you

--From Teacher Man by Frank McCourt

I think that next time I step in front of a literature class I'm going to hand them this quote and spend the first day of the semester discussing it. Literature is no fun when other people make the discoveries. I hate cliff notes for this very reason. I like to puzzle it out on my own; I like to leave the class thinking about why.

With treatments every other week, I'm starting to understand a bit what it might be like to be manic-depressive. Last week, I was incredibly depressed and couldn't see my way to this week. This week, I'm wondering how the hell I even had half of the thoughts that went through my brain last week. It's going to get worse before it gets better, but I have to remember that the bad weeks will too pass.

Spring is arriving. The robins are flapping around in huge groups. I'm on the lookout for the pair that nests in the ceder tree.

Be well.


There is a very readable interview with Gary Snyder at the Poetry Foundation with links to a nice selection of his work. I've always been fond of his "Axe Handles" even though I'm not as certain who's work is shaping me. Pound, yes. Snyder, perhaps. So many that it's impossible to choose. Auden for certain.

I like "The Bath" as well. I like how these poems show a sense of connection between the generations. There's a hope there that I find intensely reassuring.

Settling Back

After the past 8 weeks of chaos, I'm finally settling into a routine that allows time to dedicate to writing and reading. It's strange how the most terrifying news can be eventually absorbed by your life and your thoughts. A few weeks ago, while recovering from the surgery, I was an emotional wreck. But now, I've come to accept this new "normal."

We went to a concert tonight. My son was dressed in the standard black and white. It's amazing to think he's in highschool. I can't imagine how that has happened. It doesn't feel so long ago since it was my highschool band up on the stage. The music was a joy.

tick tock.

Don't blink.