November 29th, 2006

So, just two more days of blogging to finish NaBloPoMo. I may yet make it.

Bear Seal NaBloPoMo

Tonight the weather is supposed to change, to go back to winter norms from the freakish (but most pleasant) warm spell we’ve been enjoying. Everyone is intimidated by the forecast of heavy sleet, frozen rain and ice accumulation. It is my goal not to be rushed out the door in the morning, and to have an extra ten minutes to get to school, just in case.

We’re reading Alice in Wonderland to my daughter. Kurt read the first three chapters and I read the fourth one tonight. Just now, Kurt came in to kiss Sophia goodnight and she had to catch him up on everything that had happened. I could hear her telling him about Alice playing with the gigantic puppy and it just made me smile. Her reading comprehension improves all the time, both in what we read to her and what she reads to herself. I’ve been remiss, it’s been almost a year since she started reading on her own, and I wanted to be a better documenter of the process. For now I’ll tell you that she still needs to read aloud. When I tell her to read to herself, she whispers the words.

So here’s the thing I wish would happen. I wish Gene Wolfe would write a short story with a female protagonist and from a female point of view. To the best of my knowledge, he’s never done this. If you’ve read Pandora (which I don’t think counts) the protag/narrator is less female than ingenue. Some people think that Wolfe tends toward the misogynistic, and I can kind of see where they’re coming from. Personally, I wouldn’t go that far, but you won’t catch me arguing with any certainty that he’s not either. I think if he just walked a mile in girl heels, so to speak, a lot of that suspicion might be put to rest. On the other hand, it might be reinforced. At any rate, I think it would clear some things up. I want to read what he can do with it. Also, he’s a genius, you can’t tell me he’s not capable of it.

Shortly after I read Seven American Nights, I trawled the archives of the Gene Wolfe mailing list looking for answers to my question, which is: what is the treasure that the main character seeks to recover? I didn’t find any satisfactory answer. In fact, hardly any material even dealt with that question directly. Everyone else was absorbed in the question of the missing day. If you read it, and you have ideas about the treasure, I would love to hear them.

By the way, it’s not too late to cast your vote in the reading vacation quiz! You can make the difference in whether or not I read Infinite Jest. Actually, I lied. I’m not reading Infinite Jest no matter what but there are plenty of other choices.

I got paid today. For the first time in two years I have a paycheck. When I did Spanish classes for the primary, I more or less did it out of love, and it was once a week, half hour, no big deal. This year I’ve added the elementary, and that eats up a whole afternoon, not counting prep. So when I started that in September, the school offered to pay me hourly. I felt that was fair, and accepted, and turned in my hours for the semester (so far) today and got paid. It’s a pittance, of course, but it’s money which I earned, doing something that was largely very rewarding and which I seem to have a pretty good knack for. I don’t want to get into a debate about inborn ability versus training here, but if you simply go by pedigree, I ought to be a teacher. My father and brother are both teachers, my maternal grandmother was a teacher and if you go back to my great grandrelatives, you’ll find an assortment of buildings on small Southern college campuses named after them. Being in a classroom feels natural to me. I wing it, and sometimes I really crash and burn, but what’s surprising is how often I don’t. And by winging it, I don’t mean that I don’t prepare things in advance, I mean that I just make lessons up out of my head. There’s no book, no lesson plan, no guidelines or overarching order I’m following. Perhaps that’s not something I should own up to. Hey! Look at me! Flying by the seat of my pants!

Then again, it’s not like writing isn’t that every single day. And as of yet no one’s paid me for that. Not even a pittance.

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