2/28: internet radio play

A student sent me a link to "A Drop in the Ocean," an Odyssey-inspired radio play taking place on a submarine, and it was great to listen to it today in my office.

2/27: two chapters

...of The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason, which I'm preparing to teach tomorrow.  I don't think I love the whole book (will need to spend more time with it), but I really like these two chapters--"A Night in the Woods" and "The Book of Winter"--and I hope the students will enjoy reading/thinking about them, too.

2/26: planning

...the upcoming assignments for the picturebook version of the Iliad we'll be reading next in the Trojan War class.

2/25: posted

Oh the Trollope commentary for The Three Clerks is finally complete and published!  I love Trollope, and I enjoyed reading and thinking about The Three Clerks a lot--but the work on this novel (which started in spring 2015!) got complicated because of some wrinkles with a student in summer 2015, and then there was a ripple-effect of delays, both practical and psychological.  But now it's done.

2/24: a company of three

...of us at quiet writing this afternoon.

And while I was writing I had a little (start of a) break-through connecting Twombly's Iliam series and Alice Oswald's Memorial.

2/23: complimented

...by a colleague on my use of my turn signal while exiting a roundabout!

2/22: revisiting the slow professor

I read The Slow Professor over the summer and discussed it with some colleagues in the fall.  Today I met with a different group of colleagues to talk about the book, and it was great to hear their thoughts and enjoy an hour of engaged conversation together.

2/21: working

...at home for an hour or so this morning before heading to school.

2/20: a little holiday

No classes today because of the national holiday, and I enjoyed...

...getting to sleep in.

...working on the porch a little with the cats for company.

...going into town for a hair-cut that was hard to schedule on a day when there was school.

...taking a few photographs of blooming things in the yard (and then ordering postcards of those pictures as well as yesterday's).

...reading my students' analysis sheets on passages from book 24 of the Iliad.  They used a format that I'm experimenting with this semester, and they did really nice work.

...finishing the Odyssey.  What a semester: one in which I get to read and teach both the Iliad and the Odyssey!  And reading the Odyssey reminds me of translating parts of it in graduate school with a fellow graduate student as we sat outside in the UCLA sculpture garden--that's as much as a landmark memory as the Iliad landmarks I mentioned last week.

2/19: in the air

Chris and I went flying this afternoon.

(notice the little bridge that doesn't meet one side)

2/18: a kind response

I flubbed something in an email to my students because my mind was in weekend-mode.  I apologized, and a student wrote back a super-kind response, mentioning a flub-up he had made earlier in the day out of tiredness/weekendness as well.

2/17: solo

My colleague couldn't join me for quiet writing in the library at the end of the day, but I went myself and it was good.

2/16: remembering reading

I finished reading the Iliad (in English) this evening, and book 24 is so, so good.  Not only have I enjoyed reading the Iliad again after a space of (too much) time, but I've also been glad to feel the layers of past readings.  Particularly keen are memories of translating some passages with my college Greek professor in 1988 (when my Greek was basically brand-new), of working my way through the whole Iliad in Greek during my second semester of graduate school in 1991, and of reading the text in English with my "Women in the Iliad" class at the University of Rochester in 2000.  Of course there have been other passes through the poem at other times, but these are landmarks for me, and it was good to acknowledge--and feel the resonance of--these fixed features of my reading landscape.

2/15: a question about bodies and the answers

I asked my students a question about the many (many!) descriptions of bodies becoming undone in battle in the Iliad.  Their answers were great.  I wrote them up on the board as they talked and then didn't want to erase (and lose) them all.  So I asked a student to take a picture with her cell phone and send it to me.

2/14: at the end of a long day

Every day this week I'll be coming home later than usual.  Which means coming home hungrier than usual.  Today when I arrived Chris had a plate of cheese and bread for me to graze on while I made my dinner.

2/13: preparing

...a Valentines Day activity for Latin class.  We'll be translating short friendly sayings into Latin and then writing them on little cut-out hearts.  It will be sweet!

2/12: more of many good things

More Iliad, including book 21--Achilles fighting the river!

More Iliad erasure.

More Wintersmith.

More Heron Tree.

I usually stick to the "less is more" mantra, but there's a place for "more is more" too.

2/11: formatting

I spent the day formatting the PDF that collects all of the poems in Heron Tree's Found in the Public Domain series. I wasn't able to add all the bells and whistles that I had imagined, but I did what I could, and it feels good to have pulled the volume together.  (You can view and download it here.)

2/10: quiet writing

...in the library at the end of day with a colleague. A good way to end the week.

2/9: reading the iliad

...and coming on great parts that I had forgotten--like when Athena puts nectar and ambrosia in Achilles' chest so he doesn't get hungry even though he's fasting in his grief.  Honestly, how did I forget that?  But I'm glad to have gotten the pleasure of (re)discovering it!

2/8: erasing the iliad

After I put together some materials this evening for an altered text/erasure/remixed poetry workshop I'm running tomorrow, I did a little erasure of my own on a page of the Iliad.  My challenge:  to make a battle passage not a battle passage.

2/7: translating

...the Dropkick Murphys' version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" into Latin this morning.

2/6: a supportive email

...from a colleague, and it was unexpected.  I felt like he understood and appreciated something I am trying to do.

2/5: time in the sun and water

Work-wise I didn't have time to spare to go out into the sun this afternoon, but I really needed to--and I did.  It had been over a month since I'd visited the creek at Woolly Hollow, so we went there:  Chris read while I waded with my camera.

2/3: bluebirds and a bid

I saw a bluebird at the same point on my drive to school for the third day in a row.  And I took myself out of consideration to be chair of my department next year, which is a real bid for sanity.

2/2: aunt florence

I logged into the blog this evening and found a comment from my Aunt Florence--what a wonderful surprise!  And what a wonderful person she is; I am lucky to know her!

2/1: pig & cake

I took one of my tiny pig statuettes to school with me today.  It travelled in my pocket and then kept me company on my desk.  Very comforting.

Also comforting:  little cakes after dinner.  We didn't have any, so Chris drove us to a nearby store to pick some up.