I found it recently,
And it was tarnished
Just like I have been.
I found it recently,
Ta-da! A new poem.
I have a crease,
And it’s threatening to tear
From being folded
Far too many times.
Everything is the texture of construction paper
And anyone who speaks rambles on
Like a Whitman poem. I’m
Sure it wouldn’t bother me any other day
But I think I just saw my legs walk away.
I can see the sad fibers in the tear,
And maybe with the sexy sound of scissors
I can fix it for a bit—
At least until I’m whole, I’m fixed.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have back problems. I’m a 21 year old with a seriously fucked up back; but hey, what can you do about genetics? Apparently stick a five inch needle into your spine and release steroids, at least that’s my understanding of what just happened. I have to take it easy for a few days, and can’t shower until Sunday because the injection site must stay dry or it might become infected. It really wasn’t that bad though, I’m just a little sore, and the numbing process was the only part that really hurt.
Still, it’s strange to think that I’ve had something in my spine. My spine! And this probably won’t be the only time, it’s usually done in sets of three. As I was informed, this first time should reduce the leg pain a good deal, the second time should practically get rid of it, and the last one takes care of the back pain. Yeah, I think I’ll be going back for those other two. Especially as my mom saw an old woman come out before I did, who had just received her last shot, put her walker aside and start dancing.
In other news, I now have a wonderful excuse to be lazy this weekend, ain’t it grand?
Here is an experiment of sorts, call it what you will:
The darkness coiled outside, long thick ropes continually surrounding the house, and when there was almost nothing else it began to condense. It was no longer a normal night, the evening hadn’t faded naturally, there was no starlight or moonlight to be had, and what light emanated from the house stopped dead when it touched the darkness. And the event horizon just kept sliding closer and closer. The blackness so thick that the windows and vinyl on the sides of the house creaked as it pressed against it, and in time it even broke though the windows and the walls, spilling into the house. The fluorescent lights in the foyer somehow making it seem darker with their blue tinge. Before long the singularity is complete in its collection of the house and its inhabitants: they sleep soundly, unaware of the absence that embraces them. It sucks away their dreams, still claiming what is its.
In the morning they will wake, unaware of the tragedy of the night. And the fluorescent foyer bulb, again in possession of its light, will do little but elicit the deja vu of dreams that never were.
I’ve been on a long sci-fi kick for a while, in this case that means a few years. This is in reference to what I’m reading. Normally I change things up, but for at least the past two years I’ve done nothing but read one science fiction or fantasy book after the other. This is by no means a bad thing, but when you get to the point where you’re content to read through a 20+ book Star Wars series without interlude, you really need an interlude.
That’s what I’ve finally done. I’ve even gone so far as to pick up two books that some may consider literary. I recently finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and am now reading A Friend of the Earth by T.C. Boyle. Okay, the first one I suppose a lot of people wouldn’t classify as Literary fiction; personally I classify it as damn good and pleasing to both the book and tech nerds in me. It is really an immensely entertaining book, and it examines the clashing of the old print industry with the new digital print industry, but in a very original way. Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that uses the word googlers so often without being related to Google in some way. I read it on my Kindle, which I loved because considering the subject matter of the book and the way certain characters therein feel about bound books, it made my method of consumption a bit ironic. As for the T.C. Boyle novel, I’ve only just begun, but hey, it’s Boyle so it’s safe to assume it goes in the literature category. I do love his use of language, it can be dense and almost poetic at times and yet still fit the character for whom it is written no matter their pov.
School has dictated I read plenty of short stories and poems which I don’t feel like enumerating at the moment, except for one I particularly liked. “The Storm” by Kate Chopin has thus far been my favorite selection in my American Literature class. Knowing when it was written makes it even better: a woman writing a story about marital infidelity around the 1890s, and the story ends on a high note. Obviously Chopin was ahead of her time; beyond that, she had a masterful way of using symbolism, structure, and dialect. It just all adds up to a wonderfully written short story.
As much as I love science fiction (I really do) sometimes it’s nice to take break from it…at least when it comes to books. Most of my other media, well…
It’s always interesting starting a new semester, and a bit aggravating. I generally look forward to my new classes, I don’t, however, look forward to buying textbooks and having to arrive an hour before class just to get a decent parking space. Alas, this is the way things are when each semester starts; soon the herd will thin. Mostly though, aggravations and sleep deprivation aside, I like the start of the semester. It doesn’t take me long to figure out which classes (if any) will be challenging, which teachers are good, and which classes I’m going to daydream through for the next few months. Luckily, it seems, all of my classes are pretty good this semester, and all of the teachers especially so.
I hate teachers who just lecture, who just expect you to copy notes and not much else. Maybe they expect the errant question here and there, but overall they keep going. There’s this assumption that once a student reaches the college level it is no longer the teacher’s responsibility to try hard to reach them. If the student obviously has no interest in his course, then fuck him; but most students are often unsure what it is they need to ask. Our public education system left them with a need for guidance, and if they enter a class where the teacher only lectures and briefly answers a few questions they will not do well, it’s inevitable. Any good teacher should know that it’s never enough to just throw facts around. Students need to be asked questions constantly and be expected to give an answer of some kind. This isn’t some new radical method, in fact it’s very ancient: the Socratic method. If a person’s critical faculties are involved during class, if he is kept on his toes, kept active, the chances of success are much higher.
My American Government class is a perfect example of this. Our instructor did not simply give us definitions, but asked us to define things. She made us design our own government within the first day of class as a homework. This was not to be graded on the governments merits; no, it was to get the class thinking about government in general. It’s teachers like this who make school worthwhile.
I’ve also had the opposite experience ( won’t mention the class) where all the instructor did was lecture. He was open to questions of course, but the material was so dense that even when people asked questions they weren’t necessarily asking the right ones. There wasn’t any real guidance, no discussion, no back and forth; there was just a lecture and then time for questions.
I’ve gotten lucky this semester, in that my American Government instructor isn’t the only one I have who understands the benefits of real interaction, critical thinking. I remember reading an article this past fall in Time Magazine, it was about college classrooms and the transformation to internet classes. They found that the more successful classes were those where the students where required to answer a question every 10-20 minutes (I’m guessing on the numbers here, it’s been a while since I read the article and I’m too lazy to look it up). Does this mean we all have ADHD or ADD: no. It simply means what any TV or movie executive could tell you: if the audience isn’t engaged in what’s going on then they’re going to tune out.
Probably the best teacher I’ve ever had was my psychology teacher my first semester on the college I currently attend. His style mixed different kinds: it was interactive, Socratic (for a grade too sometimes), visual, and more than I probably know. The man understood that he had to appeal to the entire class, that he had to grab their attention and continue to do so. He did no do everything for us of course, no teacher ever should. But, any student who performed badly in his class could not blame him. My grade sagged in the beginning from not doing homework which he mentioned to me, and the second I started doing ti regularly I maintained an A.
One day, years and years from now, I will be teaching college classes and these are the things I will keep in mind as I do so.
I’m a little unsure about this one’s title and the last line, so please give me some feedback (not restricted to those items of course).
“When maturation sings”
Until you grow.
Molt until you know
The white inside
And the lament
As it subsides.
Until the ashes bloom
Full of milk and hope.