Wednesday, November 14, 2007

6 things

  1. My classes this week have been really hard: it's the same material, same group of people but I had little control over my classroom today. I approach teaching adults with an air of WTF, but today I had to shush the room twice and I don't like it.
  2. In contrast to that experience while keeping to the same setting (and adding temporal context): Monday morning on my way to the plant, I spaced and missed my exit, negating the 30 minute-earliness I had going on, but as I rounded the off ramp, death metal rattling from my crappy car stereo, on Veteran's day, I witnessed a huge bald eagle in the middle of the road, ripping a raccoon carcass off the asphalt. The bird had to lean into it, rocking back and forth until it pried the thing loose. Then, he lumbered into the sky with the mess hanging from his beak, right over my car. Much like the America the bird represents, the metaphor is hazy, but the tableau it created was pretty awesome in its brutish way.
  3. Connected in transference from my day job to my work: Tomorrow night I head from the plant directly to New Orleans to see The Evens at some punk rock house, mostly to meet Ian MacKaye and discuss the phone interview I'm to do with him later this month. I'd like to do the interview right there and then, but he said in an email he wouldn't have time. We'll see bout that.
  4. Retracing back to my original subject, and projecting some holistic thinking into it: My mouth feels like it coated with metal by the end of the day teaching at the aluminum plant and, well, likely, it is.
  5. Tangentially connected by the subject of aluminum: I just emptied and then loaded the dishwasher and we, as a family, have almost no forks. We have a king' ransom in spoons, knives enough to butter a path to the moon but elves steal our forks. This is not a plea for forks, mind you. We can get more forks. But then the motherfucking elves will just get them, so why bother?
  6. Not connected to any of this (or is it?): I passed by the TV while the gloriously HD "America's Test Kitchen" was on and they were showing us how to use a chimney to light the barbecue, and I remarked that shows like this, with their nervous instruction and awkward demonstration of basic skills are a mark our generation's disconnect with our parents; no one showed us how to light a barbecue pit with a chimney. One can read the knitting fad as a backfill for those crafts that are supposed to be passed on, and that we have such an innate need for tribal knowledge and the passing thereof that we will generate it from sources elsewhere when there is no tribe. It's not like its anyone's fault, I guess, but it does feel like a broken system trying to mend itself. Look at AskMetaFilter: people ask asinine questions there all the time, what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you grade questions about basic skills and human interactions, which we like to mock ad nauseum around the hearth, but truthfully, who do you ask, then? My friend John showed me how to light a barbecue with a chimney. Just this summer.

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