Saturday, April 06, 2002

Thoreau and his ilk

One of the really nice things about living in this region, so close to Boston, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine... is the history, not just the history history, but the literary history. The traditions run as strong and healthy as the Merrimack River... I was an English major in college, so this is the heart of country for such poets and prose-penners as Thoreau, Alcott, Emerson and their ilk. While some of the writing I disagree with (ie: Emerson is pretty much a pantheist, a "spiritualist," but many people view him as a "Christian" writer. He isn't a good Christian but he is a good writer, so I appreciate his writing) I still loved reading the novels and poetry of the 19th Century which were set right in our own back yard.

That back yard is awfully populated these days, or so it seems.

Concord is kind of a pain in the backside to get to. For all the literary history of beautiful landscapes and pastoral homes, the highways and the backroads of this region are clogged morning noon and night with motorists. Not that I'm complaining about the advances in technology or anything. I'm just complaining that it's a pain to go see interesting, historical stuff.

But, no matter. Today we're planning a trek down that way... to the heart of Concord, Minuteman Park, Walden Pond, the Lexington Battle fields, the heart of Massachusetts rebellion. It's kind of funny that today someone who behaves as Thoreau once did may be considered some sort of seperatist Unabomber type, but then, he was just an eccentric poet who enjoyed canoe trips down the Merrimack, and living in a cabin by a lake.

And most of us would give eye teeth for a simple cabin by a lake these days.

So we're off in just a few.

A quick update of the last few days...

I substitute taught on Wednesday and Thursday. The kids on Wednesday were awesome... Thursday's class left a little to be desired.

Well, a lot.

On the whole there were some kids in there that I absolutely loved and were the best kids I've ever had to deal with. But two or three of them ruined my opinion of this class as a whole. One girl got into an argument with another kid and called him a "Pillow-biting buttmunch gaywad."

I had the assistant principal remove her from class. I guess she hears a lot of words and phrases at home, perhaps not knowing the significance of the terms, but that is no excuse for saying that in class.

She also accused another kid of kissing my ass... One of the kids in her group "narked" on her, and I said there was no such way this person could be guilty of that or he'd be in less trouble than you all are, and you've got indoor recess tomorrow according to the assistant principal.

Sorry Logan... you were kissing my butt, but I can't allow the rest of the class to see you getting un-punished for the sins of the many... you'll be eaten alive.

This girl was a reapl problem from the minute she walked in the class and saw they had a substitute. Satan was waiting by the coatrack for these kids, and picked her to possess. I have a feeling there was no internal struggle on her part.

Usually it's a boy... but man. This girl had her issues and wasn't going to stop.

The third graders the day before that were interesting. There was a girl who was obviously a ringleader and they would gang up on one girl. A rumor was started about one of the girls, that she had lice, and we ended up needing the school "feelings teacher" to come in and talk to the girls about rumors, lies and feelings.

Funny thing was, at the beginning of the day four boys presented me with little booklets that they have to bring home every single day outlining their behavior status for the day... did he listen, did he follow adult direction, did he get along with the other kids...

Only one boy presented me with any difficulty, and it was because he obviously has problems focusing his mind, and is easily distracted. The boys weren't the problem in that class.

On Seinfeld in a recent re-run, Jerry was informed he had an overdue library book, so he flashes back to junior high when he and George were in the locker room and Jerry gives George the book. They get into a whole discussion about how cruel boys were. There was the wedgie, then there was the Atomic Wedgie... Elaine found it rather cruel and brutal, so they asked her what girls did to each other "Oh, we'd just pick on a girl until she developed an eating disorder. That's all."

And girls are just that way.

Anyway... Friday was a veritable orgy of web design, I sat here for about 9 hours cranking away on the sites I'm working on. Geoff's school had a chapel presentation concert at 6:30, which went wonderfully, and then we went out for ice cream afterwards at a Friendly's.

Okay, I've been informed we're going. More later, as usual.

No comments:

Post a Comment