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.


Dick said...

Thanks for this extract. I paused by the Frank McCourt in the bookshop the other day & moved on. Now I shall buy it.

Amy Unsworth said...

Hi Dick,

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed "Teacher Man" a great deal and found myself nodding along quite often. I've never had to teach highschoolers, but first year college students are similiar. Since you're with this age group you probably will commiserate more than I did.
It's an entertaining read.