August 1st, 2003

don't fear death

Friday Five

no, i didn't miss the last one...i just didn't feel like answering it.


1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings?
anytime between 6 and 9, usually 7:15 on the dot. i don't use an alarm clock. i like to wake when my body tells me to wake.

2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late?
same....every now and then i will go back to sleep if i wake before 8. i hate it when i do that because then i will sleep till 10 or 11. i feel terrible if i sleep half the day away.

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning?
brush my teeth. don't even look at me until i have brushed my teeth!

4. How long does it take to get ready for your day?
about 15 mins! i take longer drinking my breakfast than getting dressed and ready.

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast?
le panache, but only those 2 or 3 in the morning breakfasts. i don't do sunshine breakfasts. my tummy doesn't wake up until afternoon. i must have espresso and oj in the morning. honestly, you don't want to be anywhere around me if i don't.
don't fear death

life prints

i was thinking last night how much other people in our lives, throughout the past, affect who we have become. i haven't had many emotional relationships, but each one i have had has impacted what i have become. there are people who have left lingering touches upon my life.

-Kent, my first serious relationship, which i wrote about in my "first experience" post, left me knowing that i need a dominant man in my life if i am to be half way content in a relationship.
-my marriage confirmed this.
-Ben taught me that i have a heart and can love "controlled and uncontrollably". but it also taught me that i needed more than the two of us could have together.
-MS helped me to accept myself in all my darknesses....that my darkest fantasies could be shared and realized...
-and Chris....if Ben taught me that I could love, Chris showed me how fully I can surrender, but he also taught me that if things seem absolutely perfect, something under the surface is dreadfully wrong. i learned also the impact of my actions on others.
-my father probably makes up the most of what i have become....not only did i strive to make him proud of me and the things i have accomplished in my life, but i wanted to be like him.... strong, confident, successful and independent. though he has been gone for many years i always feel a great part of him living within me. he was an incredible man.
-one of my previous bosses whose habit of carrying around a fat little notebook i picked up and would now be lost without my notebook.
-they say SM is the gratitude, all your life for the one who brought you out. dimmie, wherever you may be, i thank you for bringing me out.
-briarroseno friendship survives dark tunnels and helps get to the light, even if it is the oncoming train
-Eric for proving to me that not all male friendships are contingent upon sex
-steveO for the same and showing me friendship also has no distance barriers! states or countries...
-all the people who have touched me in my work.....my tibetan friends who taught me no matter how rough things are there is always a place for a smile (and that are brains are like drunken monkeys!). my kids who teach me little lessons every day.
-Buddha and HH Dalai Lama, the dharma and the sangha....teaching me compassion, nonmaterialism, egolessness...the noble truths and the path. sometimes i think the dharma is my only grip on sanity!
-my mother....oh, shall i count the lessons?????
-friends from NOBLE and the WAPOM list who supported through the nastiness that happened after Chris died. few things in my life have touched me as deeply
-the one who started the nastiness....i've often believed all people are genuinely good....this person showed me that is so not true and i need to be more cautious than i've been
-cohen, though i surely don't know him, his words have inspired me to joy and tears and words of my own
-Mrs. W, my first really good university english professor, who, when she busted me for writing term papers for other people, gave me the option (if you could call it that) to change my major to english (or else)
-last, but most important, my son, who gave me strength and pride. who has grown into a compassionate, young man and who, through me, has many of the things i have become (and hopefully none of the bad parts)

of course there are others.....and when i stop and take a moment to think of the people in my life, i realize i am a lucky girl. thought my life has been sprinkled with negative people, it has been flooded with good hearts.
don't fear death

Sofies verden

i often use the book sophie's world as a teaching tool. has anyone read it? it is awesome. i was thinking about starting a livejournal discussion group about the book, the topics and the philosophers it covers. anyone interested?
don't fear death

an assignment

to my students for the weekend.....go ahead, try it

To use a baseball metaphor, each time you think you've got the bases covered with the English language, it steals home. Such is the case with the glorious array of collective animal nouns herein presented, which are perfect springing points for any type of poem--not just about an animal.

Choose one of these ten phrases, all of which are certifiably tested and true to connotate pluralities of animals:

A shrewdness of apes
A string of ponies
A mustering of storks
A parliament of owls
A knot of toads
A descent of woodpeckers
A crash of rhinos
A murmuration of starlings
A hover of trout
An ostentation of peacocks

Write this down at the top of the page. This is the title of your poem. Think of the weird metaphoric angles you can use in this poem, using this as your central imagistic conceit. (Hint: think not only of the animal, but the word used to describe the animal grouping; think of a knot and what it means to be knotty).
Write a poem that doesn't directly have to do with this specific animal; in other words, don't write a poem beginning: "I saw a parliament of owls last night!" This isn't transforming the image; it's only literalizing and flatlining it. Take a unique vantage point; twist the language to allow the descent and the woodpecker (as an example) co-inhabit.
Stipulations:
Make the poem no longer than a page.
Include three of the following five items: a household appliance, a food, the name of a country not in North America or Europe, a psychological disorder, a piece of dialogue, two endstopped lines in a row.
Include at the very least 2 similes and 2 metaphors and 1 alliteration.

and mine (for the kids...give me a break, i had about 5 minutes):

morning at the center of learning
a crash of rhinos are returning
kids like atoms gone psychotic
colliding and crashing, so chaotic

"can we pleeeze turn on the computer?"
"no, no, not yet, where is your tutor?"
these are the bright stars in my sky
the a la mode on my sweet apple pie

the little man whose mommy is in iraq
his sister, whose head is hard as a rock
little buzzing bees around the room
are little flowers soon to bloom.