Reese and another kid at the playground were commiserating about siblings when I caught this lovely exchange:
Other Kid: "My sister is a . . . " Pause. "You swear, right?"
Reese: "Oh yeah, I swear all the time."
Other Kid: "My sister is a bitch."
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Reese had to write about a family member the other day, and he chose me:
Friday, September 11, 2009
A teacher read this essay today for the high school students, in remembrance of September 11. And though posting essays/poetry/etc. is not usually my "thing," I found it very moving. So I thought I'd share it.
A couple leaped from the south tower, hand in hand. They reached for each other and their hands met and they jumped.
Jennifer Brickhouse saw them falling, hand in hand.
Many people jumped. Perhaps hundreds. No one knows. They struck the pavement with such force that there was a pink mist in the air.
The mayor reported the mist.
A kindergarten boy who saw people falling in flames told his teacher that the birds were on fire. She ran with him on her shoulders out of the ashes.
Tiffany Keeling saw fireballs falling that she later realized were people. Jennifer Griffin saw people falling and wept as she told the story. Niko Winstral saw people free-falling backwards with their hands out, like they were parachuting. Joe Duncan on his roof on Duane Street looked up and saw people jumping. Henry Weintraub saw people "leaping as they flew out." John Carson saw six people fall, "falling over themselves, falling, they were somersaulting." Steve Miller saw people jumping from a thousand feet in the air. Kirk Kjeldsen saw people flailing on the way down, people lining up and jumping, "too many people falling." Jane Tedder saw people leaping and the sight haunts her at night. Steve Tamas counted fourteen people jumping and then he stopped counting. Stuart DeHann saw one woman's dress billowing as she fell, and he saw a shirtless man falling end over end, and he too saw the couple leaping hand in hand.
Several pedestrians were killed by people falling from the sky. A fireman was killed by a body falling from the sky.
But he reached for her hand and she reached for his hand and they leaped out the window holding hands.
I try to whisper prayers for the sudden dead and the harrowed families of the dead and the screaming souls of the murderers but I keep coming back to his hand and her hand nestled in each other with such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.
Their hands reaching and joining are the most powerful prayer I can imagine, the most eloquent, the most graceful. It is everything that we are capable of against horror and loss and death. It is what makes me believe that we are not craven fools and charlatans to believe in God, to believe that human beings have greatness and holiness within them like seeds that open only under great fires, to believe that some unimaginable essence of who we are persists past the dissolution of what we were, to believe against such evil hourly evidence that love is why we are here.
No one knows who they were: husband and wife, lovers, dear friends, colleagues, strangers thrown together at the window there at the lip of hell. Maybe they didn't even reach for each other consciously, maybe it was instinctive, a reflex, as they both decided at the same time to take two running steps and jump out the shattered window, but they did reach for each other, and they held on tight, and leaped, and fell endlessly into the smoking canyon, at two hundred miles an hour, falling so far and so fast that they would have blacked out before they hit the pavement near Liberty Street so hard that there was a pink mist in the air.
Jennifer Brickhouse saw them holding hands, and Stuart DeHann saw them holding hands, and I hold onto that.
Posted by jenfromRI at 4:25 PM
Sunday, August 30, 2009
And I was so looking forward to lots of yummy tomatoes. Tomatoes in salads, tomato sandwiches, tomato sauce . . . I'm glad my neighbor's tomatoes did well.
- Give the squash enough room.
- Flowers? Screw the flowers - we need the room for the vegetables (see the first lesson). Except for sunflowers.
- Herbs do very well. I didn't show you the oregano, but it got so big it looks like a shrub. And cilantro is a twofer - the seeds are coriander.
- No more lettuce.
- Definitely cucumbers and chili peppers. Both were low-maintenance and super productive.
- The Topsy-Turvy sucks.
Posted by jenfromRI at 6:56 PM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
With any sort of luck, this will be my last post about starting a new job.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Posted by jenfromRI at 4:03 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
- I burned my toast, spectacularly. So spectacularly that Sam went to camp and told his friends about the flaming toast, and J went to work and told his friends about the flaming toast, and everybody had a good laugh at my expense.
- The toilet broke.
- In the car on the way to work, I spilled coffee on my pants.
- I had the life scared out of me at midnight by a ginormous moth in the bathroom, not once but twice. That sucker put up a fight, I tell you.
- Jane wet the bed and ended up sleeping with J and me. For a very small person, she takes up a lot of space.
Posted by jenfromRI at 9:27 AM
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Alternate title: The Blog Posts I Mean to Write Will Take More Time than I Actually Have
That about sums it up, I think. There will be an arts festival recap, a cupcake pattern, and something about the RI Great Outdoors Pursuit soon. Well, eventually.
But in the meantime, I have to admit, I love getting tagged for memes. So here goes:
What Is Your Current Obsession?
Finding a job for next year! And knitting for myself, after months of craft-fair projects.
What Are You Wearing Today?
Well, I'm at work, and I have a job interview today (!), so I'm wearing Real Grownup Person Clothes. Khaki pants, a blue wrap sweater. I wish I could say a handknit one, but no.
What's for dinner?
I actually remembered to defrost some drumsticks this morning! My husband, with his fabulous cooking creativity, will figure out something to do with it. If it's sunny, that will probably involve charcoal.
What Would You Eat for Your Last Meal?
Indian food. Samosas, and that potato-and-spinach thing I don't know the name of.
What's the Last Thing You Bought?
Sunscreen. Because I am an optimist.
What Are You Listening To Right Now?
Absolutely nothing. It's very quiet here.
If you could go anywhere in the world in the next hour, where would you go?
Hmm. Well, at last night's knitting guild meeting, our speaker was a woman who works in textiles at Old Sturbridge Village. So now I kind of want to go back there.
Which language do you want to learn?
Arabic; some of the older members of my family still speak it. Also it looks beautiful when written.
What do you love most about where you currently live?
The history. Can you tell I've been visiting Slater Mill a lot lately?
What is your favourite colour?
Yellow, and orange.
What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
Probably my jeans.
What were you doing ten years ago?
I had just finished my sophomore year of college. J had just graduated, and we were planning our wedding. Sam was a little over a year old. He may have been sleeping through the night by then, but probably not. We were living in a 3rd-floor apartment near my mom's house, and thank goodness it had air conditioning.
Describe your personal style.
Comfortable? Not as crazy as it used to be? (Jess, no comments from the peanut gallery.)
If you had $300 right now what would you spend it on?
Books for everybody. Games for this kids - they've become obsessed with cribbage and high-low jack recently.
What are you going to do after this?
Get back to work. :)
What inspires you?
Colors, textures. The speaker from last night's guild meeting! (I'll link to her website when I get home.)
What are your favourite films?
I am a big
nerd fan of Lord of the Rings. I know there are others, but I just don't watch that many movies. Hmmm . . . we rented The Assassination of Jesse James recently and that was very good. Visually stunning, and with more of an emotional wallop than I expected.
Whose work/designs are you inspired by?
Oh, wow, I don't think I could narrow that down. Norah Gaughan's designs are consistently surprising, beautiful, and interesting. There are others, but I'm drawing a blank here.
Your favourite books?
I like the warmth and humor of James Herriot's books. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Of course, Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien's other books, too.
Do You Collect Anything?
Not really. I have a good bit of yarn and fiber, but those are raw materials more than they are a collection; I certainly don't plan to display them and keep them forever.
What makes you follow a blog?
Well, if it's written by someone I know. :) Also, good writing, humor, and feeling like I have seomthing in common with the writer. Beautiful, inspirational photos, especially in knitting blogs.
What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Hopefully I haven't done it yet. The good stuff usually comes later in the day, when everybody's home. But so far - drinking my coffee.
What's one thing you dream of doing?
Hitting the lottery and staying home with the kids. And some sheep.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I started blogging about the same time I started the process of going back to work after Jane was born. While this wasn't intentional, it probably wasn't quite a coincidence either. It's not an easy process - especially when you, frankly, don't want to do it - and the chronicling of it has been a help.
For those keeping track, I have had three different jobs in 2.5 years of blogging. I taught a couple of physics classes at Moses Brown (a fantastic place, btw, I'll totally send the kids there when I become independently wealthy), I taught some SAT prep classes for Kaplan, and I've worked here at Sylvan, first full-time, then dialing it back to part-time. And now, I'm looking again.
No, I haven't lost my job or anything, but it turns out that working part-time here just isn't enough. I could switch back to full-time, no problem, but that was the evening schedule that did not let me have enough time with the family - not an option.
I've been sort-of looking for a little while, at lab-based jobs or something like that, but I had been shying away from the idea of going back to the classroom full-time. For one thing, my RI certification has expired, and getting it back would require taking some courses, and I can't really do that right now. But also, the last year I taught high school was very hard. And I know, intellectually at least, that there were other things going on at that time that are resolved now, but that really does little to make the idea less scary. I started thinking about it, though, when J (casually - he's a wonderful husband; he doesn't push) showed me an ad for a local Catholic high school looking for a physics teacher.
And I applied. They turned me down because I am not affiliated with a church. As an aside - WTF?? Not to paint all religious school with a common brush or anything, but seriously? My lack of professional certification is a-okay, but my lack of religion - that's a dealbreaker. And they wonder why they are rapidly losing enrollment. All right, rant over.
That seemed to break the stalemate, if you will, and I started looking into it. I found that I can get certified in MA by passing the MTEL exams, since I had already held certification elsewhere. I signed up for those - I'll be taking them in July - and I started sending out resumes.
So far I've heard back from a couple of schools, and I had an interview last week. My timing, as it turns out, sucks. I started looking into this just in time to miss the April job fairs, and I won't get my MTEL results (and hopefully certification) until August. The interview on Friday went really well, and she said she'd like to hire me, but nothing can go forward until I have certification. She is looking to fill four science jobs, though (which is not easy - luckily for me), so she told me to let her know as soon as I get my results. Good news, I guess, but also an ominous harbinger of things to come. I expect a nervous summer capped by a busy August.
And in September, maybe a whole new adventure.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I'm so excited, because this is the year we finally planted a nice garden!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I think I've got a banner I'm happy with. Why, oh why, did the other ones I made keep coming out so frickin' huge??
Posted by jenfromRI at 9:55 PM
Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. It is a day to share poetry with others, maybe those who would not ordinarily read it, in a variety of ways - not just poems in one's pockets (though I find that concept thoroughly charming).
I have to confess - I fall into that category of people who would not ordinarily read poetry. I certainly have read poetry, and I recognize its value, but for the most part . . . it isn't what speaks to me.
So what does speak to me? Don't worry; I am not going to rhapsodize about a perfectly elegant geometric proof or a deviously, deceptively simple physics problem - though those things have their charms as well. I think I am just more attracted to the visual. Color speaks to me, and form speaks to me - it's a big part of why I love knitting so much. I could have stayed at the Peabody Essex Museum for weeks when J and I went last November. During the fall I am simply a hazard on the road: a brilliant yellow tree against an equally brilliant blue sky and I kind of forget where I am.
So, in order to share a poem today, I am posting some of my favorite song lyrics. I like song lyrics a lot - perhaps the poems themselves do not readily give up their rhythms to me, but if you show me those rhythms, I can get it. Even now, the words look a little flat on the page to me, if I'm being honest. But I will share them, and I hope the rhythms come through for you. This song is called "The Dumps," and it's by my current obsession, Elvis Perkins.
And yes, I realize sharing song lyrics would be so much more authentic if I passed them to you in a note in French class, but I'll work with what I've got. :)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Oh, and one last thing! I have somehow ended up with two copies of At Knit's End by the esteemed Yarn Harlot. If there is any knitter left who does not have a copy of this book (!), leave a comment and it could be yours!
Friday, April 24, 2009
J, aged about 14, is riding his bike down the street. He sees a friend from school, waves, and . . . rides his bike into a parked car.
Sam, aged 11, is riding his bike down the street. He aims for the driveway, misses, and . . . rides his bike into the neighbor's hedge.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I must have done something good. That's the only explanation, really, for the shower of good fortune that came my way this week.
With a note. :)