16 March 2007

resetting my bloggy world; a post in portions.

Since my ailment of a week or so ago, it's been a slow climb back up, or so some might think, but really i've been secretly squirrelling away bloggy things that I will now take this opportunity to unleash in a most frivolous manner.

I. my new arm.


One knows one's tattooist is Exemplary when he, mid-tattooing, pauses momentarily to bless a sneezer in the next room. Twice.
(In a non-denominational way, of course.)
THATANDMYARMLOOKINGSOUNBELIEVABLYBLOODYAMAZINGANDINCREDIBLEIT'SADDEDYEARSONTOMYLIFE.
(font size 72)

Bobby Five, ladies and gentlemen.

I will be posting Copious pictures of my bare skin on the internet for your gratification, imminently.

'Coz i'm just that kind of gal.

II. stones and ghosts.


Imagine receiving this little package of love in your mailbox. It is a Good Good Life.

III. is So Amazing.


My new tattoo is So amazing.
More amazing than my bike tires.
(only slightly more amazing than my bike tires.)
(but More amazing nonetheless.)

IV. on the nature of teaching.


As this book-making workshop I'm involved with unfolds, I find myself pondering principles and styles of teaching, all of which is kind of new to me, and makes me realize how much I'm a product of when I was 10. I went to a Montessori school for 9 years, and as a result have a particular take (who knew?!?) on how I relate to kids I'm showing stuff to.
Discussing this with teaching guru SG tonight over amaretto sours (which I've never had before and are Amazing, incidentally.)
(although not Quite as amazing as my new tattoo),
she coined her teaching philosophy in a way I thought was perfect. (I'm paraphrasing the following, hopefully accurately:)

[The ideal scenario as a teacher is to render yourself irrelevant.]

THAT IS. If kids can walk away knowing they have figured something out, knowing they have accomplished something on their own, having learnt something they can claim as theirs, that means they have been taught well. What they think of the teacher as a person is not the object of the class, nor is it the purpose of education.

I was awed and humbled, all at the same time.

V. My underpaid back.


Had another "publishing is built on the backs of underpaid women" conversation last week. I've had alot of these in the last year. The question is whether these jobs truly are irrevocable labours of love or whether that is a collective ruse all us girls gather under to accept the fact that we're doing nothing about being paid quite badly for doing good work.

Of course, these conversations are always followed in my brain by "That's it! I quit!", which is then followed by "It's far too late for me to join the Tour De France, my math/science skills are hopeless, and I burn way too much toast to ever be a chef, etc. etc. etc."
(sigh) And I love books. I do. I love making them, in whatever capacity.
So. What to do?

VI. sigh.


It's Fun being shallow and caring about things like my NewAmazingTattooThatICan'tHelpButThinkHasChangedMyLifeIrrevocably.

VII. something i most obviously could never live without.


I saw a blurb for this in this week's Now, which convinces me that I must go out and get a better-paying job IMMEDIATELY.
What was I ever thinking, and how will I ever be the same without it?

VIII. disclaimer.


The interest expressed in section VII is not to be confused with the genuine interests of stef lenk, who, marked devotion to new tattoos notwithstanding, will never ever EVER condone the acquiring of such FUCKING RIDICULOUS items as a "Clocky".

1 comment:

bobsyblog said...

re: "My underpaid back"

Of course it's a "collective ruse" but it has much more to do with the pseudo-capitalist oligarchy we live under than publishing in particular.

Perhaps one way of imagining it is to consider places like coach house etc. as the modern equivalent of the Irish monasteries that preserved so much of classical culture during the dark ages...

re: "It's far too late..."

Hmm. I was just over 40 the first time I climbed up on stilts, and I'm now a professional stilt performer and running (in partnership) my own performing arts company.

I don't know if you attended a conventional high school, but this was my experience... it was traumatic...

Being forced to sit in a classroom at that particularly difficult age and having stuff crammed down my throat, being forced to compete with others at an age where any failure was shaming, not being allowed or taught how to direct my own learning, reinforced the idea that I shouldn't take risks, and that I had to stay within my own safety zone. When I was in high school I learned that 1) I was not athletic 2) I was terrible at math and 3) I was a follower, not a leader. It took me far too many years to get over this.

Stilts taught me that I'm physically strong and have great endurance. An accounting course that I took when unemployed taught me that my math problems had much more to do with incentive and proper teaching than natural ability ( C- and D in high school, A and B + in accounting, including business math). Working as an executive chef and as a manager, and as a teacher, taught me that I have natural ability as a leader.

The key to achieving new, and seemingly improbable goals, I've learned, is confidence, intelligence, hard work and, most of all, the ability to deal with the learning curve, ie. the fact that it takes time to get good at something.

Re: "The ideal scenario as a teacher is to render yourself irrelevant."

"THAT IS. If kids can walk away knowing they have figured something out, knowing they have accomplished something on their own, having learnt something they can claim as theirs, that means they have been taught well. What they think of the teacher as a person is not the object of the class, nor is it the purpose of education."

Damn Straight. And it feels AMAZING when you achieve that - and watch them walk away - with their back straighter - and a confident look on their face - . Or, perhaps, carrying away a Really Cool Book they Made Themselves...