Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dante and Leda

So, we've been reading Dante's Inferno in my World Lit class... I always feared reading it because I was worried I would be so opinionated about things like this... I worried that I could not appreciate some literary works like this because I was a Christian... but what's interesting is that over the past 3 years, works like Dante and writing papers about things like gay marriage and what not have made me shake in my boots... I used to hate having to engage with anything like that. Since then, I've realized that not only can I seperate myself from these topics in a way that I can appreciate some view different than my own, I can focus on the way things are written and the why aspect too... not to mention the fact that sometimes writing about or reading about things that are controversial help me flesh out my own view and get my own opinion straight.
That being said, I remember one time my friend living down the hall when I was in the dorms had me read her paper on Dante's Inferno.... She was an English major and taking this class, ENGL 208, her very first semester... I read it and was totally intimidated by the content of the paper and the meanings of the tale... it was down right creepy. So, I've spent a few years dreading this work, thinking of it as gorey, blasphemous, and spooky, but SURPRISE... I reallllllly have enjoyed it. The way Dante introduces Christianity to a pagan world is brilliant, it reads like a movie, but it's dark enough to creep people out and get them thinking about the real reality of Hell.

I like having those "I like this!" moments.
I hold onto them.
I did the same thing with Leda and the Swan when I first read it my freshman year in ENGL 208 (British Lit).... I was awestruck by how something so vile and so disturbing, could be so elegant, so beautifully written....

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

This is the power that lies in literature... and something I hope I can explain to my students one day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This is getting to be a problem.

Thanks to our new Canon Rebel XSi that we bought earlier this fall, I have become obsessed with photography. It's so easy when you have a nice camera! Plus, my discovery of Picnik, a free photo editing website, and Paint.NET (it's just like PSP but FREE)... so I now have hundreds of new GREAT photos and tons of cool ways to edit & play with them.

So what's the problem....


I need to be hunting for my grammar book.... I need to be studying... researching... writing.

I am in slacker mode.
Someone help!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Currently weighing on my heart...

Okay, so I have been slightly overwhelmed with school, halloween, my best friend's wedding, and life the past few weeks so here is a crash course on what I've been pondering...
1. President Elect Obama.
No, I did not vote for him.
No, I didn't really like McCain either. Actually, not at all...
I had planned not to vote originally, because was a vote for some random libertarian guy or Ralph Nador really even worth the gas to drive to the polling place, honestly?
I believe you should not vote based purely on moral, religious, or personal values, nor do I believe you should EVER do a straight-party ticket.... it's stupid to assume everyone who is a democrat (or republican) is the most qualified candidate based only on party affiliation...
But, I also am a Christian who wants my president to reflect certain values that I hold precious. So, morally and ethically, I wanted to vote for McCain.
Based on policy, I was more incline to agree with Obama, especially in regards to the war and the fact that as a teacher, I found McCain (and Bush's) plan for education atrocious...
So there was my dilemma. Neither candidate deserved my vote. Both presented platforms that fundamentally went agains beliefs that I hold dear.
In the end, McCain won out. I saw a church sign on my way to vote (I had planned to figure it out when I got there...) that said "we are Christians first, then Americans." As an American, I wanted more of Obama's policies, but I hold the moral beliefs (particularly on gay marriage and even more so abortion) of McCain higher. So that's what I did.

As we know now, Obama won anyways, even though SC went to McCain, so needless to say, my vote didn't make much of any difference. Many Christians I know are talking about the world ending, the nation being condemmed and whatnot, but I have some problems with this, too... so what now??? I read often and that man said it best... we must PRAY for OBAMA as our leader. God has this whole thing under His control, and if He brings our nation to it, He'll bring our nation through it. As Christians we are called to LOVE and PRAY for all, and we are specifically told to pray for our leaders, which I plan on doing specifically. If this is part of some plan of God's that marks the end, not that I personally believe it is... then, well, nothing I can do can change that, and the only thing that matters is that I am a child of God, saved and born again , and will be taken care of.
Despite my fundamental relgious and moral differences with Obama and many of my friends and fellow Americans, I am going to be optimistic, prayerful, and patriotic. I am going to honor my Lord first, but I will not turn my back on my country or my president. And I do want change. For now, all I can do is pray that Obama's changes will be for the positive, and that God will keep our nation in his will, regardless of who is sitting in the Oval office.

2.The next thing I've been wanting to blog about is teaching.
WOW, am I on fire right now about my future as a teacher. Never have I ever been more thankful to be a teaching fellow than now. As apart of my teaching fellows service requirement, I am working with a 7th grade ESL student from Mexico who has came to the US knowing ZERO English, that's right. ZIP... NADA. She couldn't even ask to go to the bathroom. In the few weeks, I've been working with her, she's made HUGE strides. Just yesterday she said to me, "I'm fine, thanks. How are you, Mrs. Wilson?" I was like WHOA! AMAZING! Her confidance is building and she is a really bright girl. She wants to be a scientist. :) I am so proud. I know if she gets over this language barrier she will THRIVE. And it's not just her. So many of these ESL kids have such a THIRST to learn and a desire to go far, that it astounds me how some teachers ignore and undercut these kids. Just because you don't speak Spanish doesn't mean you shouldn't work your tail off to provide accomodations and modifications so that they can learn and get past the language issue. I can't wait to get in the classroom and do it my way.

3. Also, I am more and more in love with the idea of family websites, especially those of SAHMs who post pics, journal, receipes, interesting sites, parenting, and other interesting things like that...and professors and other professionals, especially in the world of education, who post their ideas, activities, and such. I want to make my own website, devoted to the needs of a wife, mother, and teacher. I can see it now... tabs for food, house, school, family, photography ( newest hobby), family, pictures, and journal. Anything like receipes and nutrition under food, home decorating and family economics under house, everything from teaching strategies to links to standards and everything a teacher would have to say under school, all about kids, family, and relationships under family, and lastly tabs to put my random blogs and pics under. The only flaw in this goal is that my knowledge of CSS/HTML/Java and all that stuff is limited to what little bit I learned by messing with myspace codes I copied and pasted. And, being an effective teacher (or in my current situation, full time student) in addition to being a good wife and mother in while managing a website as interactive, up to date, and useful as what I want mine to be would require me to be Superwoman. Just not enough time. Well... it's an idea.

Other little nuggets of knowledge about things that are on my mind:
- My husband is a phenomenal teacher and a great inspiration to me... just throwing that out there.
- I am looking more and more at getting my degree and teaching a few years, then working part time or volunteering more and being a SAHM. I want to do so many things that teaching doesn't allow the time for, but with my teaching background, I could do even more as a volunteer or something... just a current thought.

Lastly, today would have been my Granny's birthday. She would have been 83 years old today. Granny died when I was 9 years old. I held her hand when they took her off life support and rested my head on her chest as her heart made its last beat. She was my world, my hero, my support. She was the brightest woman I ever met, teaching herself how to speak Spanish, pouring through books of British literature, American history, and local geneology books, searching for our family history. She was amazing. An uneducated (formally speaking), devoted housewife and mother, but a thirst to KNOW and LEARN, and GROW as a person. She gave me my desire to laugh, love, and learn, which has kinda became my own personal motto... she's the woman who I want to be... to be a seeker of knowledge and never stop learning... and to be remembered for my dedication to my family.

Happy Birthday, Granny. I know you are apart of me, watching over me... I know you are proud of me. I know you love me. And I know you know so much of what I do, I do it with you in my heart...I love you and miss you every single day.

ah, tears... okay . I think that's all for today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I figured out how to put a layout in blogger...

and discovered that my HUBBY has a blog... go figure.

And, I'll be posting comments on President-Elect Obama when I get a change.

School is talking over my life!