Tuesday, November 23, 2004

black birds verses song birds...

I woke up in a blanket of books. I don't even know what time I fell asleep. All I know is that it is almost 1am and I woke up feeling ready to go to the coffee shop and (surprise) do more reading. I haven't been dreaming lately. I wonder what that means. Usually I'm a very vivid dreamer. Nothing but cold and wind tonight. My dog just stole my spot in bed. I wonder what it was in the last book I picked up that put me to sleep. My head is swimming in a swirling tide of evaluating verses grading, authority verses anti-authority, creative uncontrolled free-writing verses critical controlled writing...oh yeah, that is what I was reading-- about someone who didn't agree with anything. Maybe that's why I chose to sleep.

One thing that I am realizing is that Peter Elbow was very fortunate to have taught in Universities that were very supportive of new approaches in teaching. What was it like to be surrounded by such open-mindedness? Well, academics have come a long way since then. But I think my Catholic school upbringing is finally starting to get the best of me. Yes, I have issues. I feel defensive. I feel like an outsider. I'm feeling anti-academic (ee-gads, don't tell anyone). If academics are so open minded why do I feel like this? I wish I never would have found those old grade school report cards. They are reeking havoc on my insecurities. ok... maybe I just need more sleep... and to get something done. Mental rest verses productivity. I'm experiencing discontinuity. I get excited about a concept in teaching and then realize that I will most likely have to argue my point. Maybe I'm paranoid.

But here... on another note:
"I think, to a poet, the human community is like the community of birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of the language itself, love of sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds" ~S. Olds.

And yes, even crows argue. Maybe just because they like the sound of their own voices. But these days, I would like to be in the presence of song birds... small and quiet, except when inspired to sing.

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