2004-03-02 - 9:40 a.m.
I am feeling more than usually bleary-eyed this morning. I was up until one this morning helping Nora with an enormous assignment about To kill a mockingbird. First of all, what a great book. Second of all, it was a huge assignment -- it was a scrapbook and included really about 8 or 9 separate papers, all of which involved a lot of thought. I'm really glad she did it. I appreciate the fact that she should surely have been working on it regularly for quite a while now, but I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have it due over time? On the other hand, it was quite a thing when it was finally assembled.
Nora was complaining that this teacher never hands stuff back. That's very bad. In my next life, when I teach literature to kids, I'm going to hand papers back right away.
What else is new -- Maddy is working on a research paper on Hawaii. I'm beginning to wish she'd picked a different topic -- it seems like there isn't all that much to say about Hawaii. Maybe I'm wrong. But what does anyone really know about those ancient Marquessans and Tahitians who came to Hawaii and had nice bowls and feathery capes.
I don't know -- maybe it is interesting. It's a little dry when it's all dissected on notecards, though.
My bookgroup had an interesting discussion about Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo. One of us is married to a mexican-american, and her take on it was that it was really accurate. According to her, there's this cultural penchant for sort of hiding private matters behind a thicket of lies, or stories, to be more polite about it. Like, you wouldn't reveal real personal details. You'd make up better stories instead. It makes a certain amount of sense, if you apply that to the little mexican literature I've read. It's also so completely foreign to our culture, I think, and probably explains a lot of why I found the book so tiresome. In our culture, you want to get down to what's real, what's the truth, what's the fact. In fact, to have somebody tell you a story is a little insulting, actually. What, you think I want this fake thing? I want the real story!
I think we think there is a real story, and maybe they don't.
Okay. I think I'm going to crawl under my desk and take a nap, now. It's really too hard to remain upright any more.
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