Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oedipus Rex With Vegetables

I'm finishing the typing of a biographical criticism of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and I couldn't resist sharing a super funny video (if you're familiar with Oedipus Rex, it's funny) my teacher showed in class last week.

Okay, back to typing.

Step 1

This morning was my first court date with Todd on our divorce.

As some of you are familiar with my divorce and some are not, some background.

He moved out last August and we weren't planning on filing for divorce until I finished school so I could stay on his insurance. He changed his mind because he didn't want to pay the premium and, quite frankly, it makes his girlfriend uncomfortable. I can understand both of these reasons, particularly in the interest of maintaining a certain level of amiability.

I was, as some of you may recall, a bit miffed at the loss of my health insurance, but I am an understanding and forgiving gal so I'm quite over it.

We didn't ultimately file until early March and the courts are backed up.

Today's case was step 1. It was to settle custody and child support. Apparently, once all of that is taken care of, they'll set a hearing to take care of everything else. At that time, he'll be able to rest easy as he'll no longer be an adulterer ; )

The referee hearing went smoothly and even the magistrate (or whatever she was) gave us kudos for giving her the smoothest hearing in a long time. It would seem that the general agreeability between Todd and myself is truly rare.

Ultimately, child support was set at an amount greater than we had anticipated when trying to apply the formula ourselves, but less than what he's been paying me since he left. I think he was a bit disturbed and had hoped to pay far less than he had been paying me on his own. He struggles because he wants to be a good guy, but he also can't really afford it. I struggle because I empathize with his situation, but I also need the money.

The magistrate explained what we had to sign and get copies of and if we wanted to do it at that time, she would be able to file everything after her next hearing which was to begin 15 minutes from when ours ended.

Todd wanted to get it all done and he was in good spirits so I tried to comply and started helping him fill out the forms. But as I thought about timing, to finish signing everything and get back there and wait for another hearing to get over with (which may or may not go as smoothly as ours), seemed too long. I have a paper to finish for class tonight. (And, yes, I feel guilty for side-tracking to write this blog, though it only takes me a couple of minutes.)

He got upset and said something under his breath that sounded a lot like "Everything always has to be about school!" With that, he began walking ahead of me like an angry parent as I tried to keep up because I hate it when it's obvious to the outside world that friction exists.

I tried to talk to him about it as he walked ahead and explain that it's not a big deal, we can turn the paperwork in tomorrow. He basically repeated that back to me, adding, "I just want this to be over with."

Now I feel badly. I just want it to be over with, too. I'm sure his school remark had quite a bit to do with the knowledge that if I weren't in school full time and had a job, he wouldn't have to pay so much.

It's really a tough position to be in. We try very hard to get along and agree. I try especially hard to be sympathetic to his situation. Best laid plans.

It isn't always smooth sailing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Help! A Martian Has Taken Over My Body!

Today, The Invisible Man and I had a brief exchange on matters such as collectibles, my new default picture, and permanently altering one's body. All trifles, but it felt like blog material, nonetheless.

I definitely hold Marvin the Martian above all other cartoon characters. This has been the case for the better part of twenty years. However, putting his handsome face on my profile, as well as the accompanying caption was mostly a symbolic move on my part. One of my readers (and quite possibly a second who happens to catch such cryptic things) will understand said symbolism.

Literally, it's quite true. I do still love my Marvin.

Now, I share with you some of my conversation with The Invisible Man along with some extra Marvin goodness.

When I first moved out of my mother's house at 18, I began collecting him. Christmas ornaments, ink pens, cookie jars, desk lamps, etc.

Then I decided it would be very cool to get a Marvin tattoo. I was working in a factory and was quite the oddball for not having a tattoo. Peer pressure. Ever erring on the side of caution, I decided to wait a year(ish) before getting him permanently attached to my body, just to make sure.

A year(ish) later, I was sure.

Now I'm not.

I pretty much hate the fact that there is a cartoon character on my body. It's embarrassing. It's on my lower back, a couple inches shy of having "tramp stamp" positioning. Also, I'm not sure that cartoon characters qualify for "tramp stamp" status.

It's funny what I've learned to live with and love about myself.

I used to be quite a bit heavier than I am now. I have stretch marks here and there. No matter how hard I work (and I do work hard), I have belly flab. The thighs, the butt, the boobs that have seen better days. I'm relatively comfortable in my skin as it were.

But I am so sensitive about the tattoo.

No matter how hot it is, I almost always have an extra "layering piece" beneath whatever shirt I'm wearing so I can have a shirt that's tucked in and, thus, conceals the tattoo when I bend over.

I hate getting in and out of cars as this is where my layering piece almost always comes untucked and I don't want him to show. Strange.

I'm always questioning if I'll have him removed someday if I can afford it or whether I should just accept his presence (like I have the stretch marks) on my body.

It's a good question.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Today when I woke up, I was thinking of my father. It was a bit odd as, sadly, I don't typically view Memorial Day as anything other than a day off where I'm supposed to attend or host a cookout.

But, today, I couldn't get my dad off of my mind.

I haven't planted flowers at his grave in probably 8 years and I felt guilty about that, quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Of course, I should feel guilty about that because it isn't a difficult task exactly. I live less than five minutes from the cemetary.

He died when I was in the eighth grade and I had planted flowers every year until about the time Jenna was born. I think I imagined a conversation in my head with a future Jenna and tried to imagine what I would tell her about her grandfather.

He was a pothead.

He was an alcoholic.

He would be in the middle of playing with me when I was little when his girlfriend would show up and then he would leave.

Most of the conversations I had with your grandpa were through letters as he was in and out of jail for most of my life.

He always had a lot to say in the letters. They were long and loving and hopeful. But when he was out of jail and I visited him, he barely had two words to say. I inherited those skills. I have a lot to say in writing, but little to say in conversation. Perhaps this is why I avoid socializing.

He had six children (that we know of) but I never met any of my brothers or my sister until he died because he did not communicate with them. He only communicated with me.

He did your Uncle Chris a huge disservice by being his father.

And so I stopped planting flowers.

But when I woke up today, I was inexplicably overcome with emotion and I knew that, after not "visiting" for 8 years, I had to go.

There are other things about my dad that I can tell my daughter.

He was charming, he made everyone around him feel special.

He was a good writer. I wish I had saved the letters he wrote me so you could see.

He loved me more than any other father would have.

He could fix anything.

He would do anything for anyone for free, just because he was a good man.

He would have been so proud to call you his granddaughter.

That's all she needs to know about her grandfather and that's all I need to know about my father. I'm sorry I couldn't be more mature about my feelings toward him earlier.

He's dead. He died drunk and stoned. But he's gone and it doesn't do me any good to remember anything but the best about him.

So I planted the flowers and I beat myself up a bit. Quite a bit. And I cried a lot.

But I recognized what I should on Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Interview With My Kid Sister

Tonight, my children were supposed to come home. However, they ended up with a desire to spend the night at their cousin's house and so they did not come home. As it was their weekend with their dad, I have not seen them since Friday afternoon. This is generally not a problem for me because I get a lot of homework done when they aren't here.

Still, babies, mommy gets lonely when you aren't here.

Therefore, I decided to go out for a late dinner and drinks with my sister. She just moved back home on Friday after living in Grand Rapids for 2 years.

While we were out, there was a recurring theme. She seems to be focusing quite a bit of energy on figuring out what drove her to move back to Port Huron.

As such, I told her that I would like to interview her for a blog I would write when I got home. She objected to this.

Jennifer: You can't blog about my life!

Melissa: Yes, I can.

And I am.

Grand Rapids population: 198,700

Port Huron population: 32,338

Melissa: You seem to be preoccupied with the motives behind your move home. What would you say is the thing you miss the most about Grand Rapids?

Jennifer: My social life.

Melissa: In Port Huron we have a beautiful lake, a border crossing to Canada, and freighters. Wouldn't you say that's better than a social life?

Jennifer: No.

Melissa: In Grand Rapids, you had a trail throughout your apartment complex that you could use to exercise anytime you wanted to. Here, we have a trail from Wadhams to Avoca that we have used 2/3 of the time since you've been home. Wouldn't you say that this is better than the amount of time you used your trail in Grand Rapids?

Jennifer: No, I would not. If you did not drive me to the Wadhams trail, I would not use it.

As you can see, I was getting nowhere in cracking Jennifer's ferocious negativity, so I abandoned the interview.

On the way home, we cranked The Tragically Hip. Because she's a good sister, she immersed herself in TTH so she could accompany me to a concert in February and have the ability to sing along. Turns out, she fell in love with them just as much as I did.

Jennifer: I'm going to need you to put on Bobcaygeon and fast forward it to the 1:55 mark and turn it up really loud.

So, I did. And we belted out the lyrics, but couldn't be heard over the volume of the music.

Melissa and Jennifer: That night in Toronto, with its checkerboard floors, riding on horseback and keeping order restored. Til the men they couldn't hang, stepped to the mike and sang and their voices rang with that Aryan twang...

After that part, I turned off the music.

Melissa: Jen, wouldn't you say that moment was far better than similar moments in Grand Rapids?

Jennifer: It was a good moment.

Melissa: But wouldn't you say that it was better?

Jennifer: Yes, I would.

Welcome home, little sister.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Such Language!

Today's Sex Blog Thursday index can be found here.

Words.  Powerful, sensual words. 

This is about how much I love words and, what's more, how big of a turn-on it is when someone (preferably a male someone) knows how to assemble words into intelligent sentences, intelligent sentences into powerful paragraphs.

Today, three men whose writing makes my stomach flutter have agreed to allow me to post a few of their sentences so I can objectify them for your reading pleasure. 

Disclaimer:  the sentences I post here are not erotic in nature.  However, they have the same effect on me as erotic stories do on some of you.  I'm a geek.  And I'm proud of it.

Before I share, ever mindful that I am a future English teacher, I have to give you a lesson on some rules of language that my man-victims have such excellent command of.  I'll be brief, but if it bores you, skip over it.  You've heard of this stuff before but perhaps you weren't aware of the fact that it just might get you laid someday.

3 Rules of Language

Semantics deal with meaning.  Semantics is about being mindful of a word's denotative and connotative meanings when choosing how to express thoughts and ideas.  This also extends to larger units, such as sentences.  Sentence meaning (again both denotative and connotative) can be dependent on how words are combined and arranged.  My favorite writers choose words and form sentences to evoke reaction.

Pragmatics govern sequence.  They inform us as to when it is necessary for us to respond to something, what type of response is necessary, and what type of response is appropriate.  The fine art of flirtation is all about pragmatics.  Tentative now, aggressive in a minute, when we flirt we are drawing upon our knowledge of pragmatics.

Syntax (saving the best for last)
Syntax is the grammar stuff.  I am a grammar freak.  Syntax is at work when we put words in a certain order so that they make sense and "sound right."  The best writers push syntax to the limit, toying with this position and that.  Good syntax in writing is the guiding force in leaving an impression on the reader.

Okay, enough of that.  Seriously, I get excited just talking about it.  Before I share my man-victims' work, I have to give thanks to those friends (and you know who you are) who correct my spelling and grammar when it falters.  This is also a big turn on.

In one of my favorite blogs, This one also has an unhappy ending, Part 1, by Dave used to be carsAndFence, there is positively no shortage of delicious language.  In fact, I had immense trouble picking my favorite sentence.  This man is a writer.  However, I had to choose one and the biggest reaction came from:
"The finger I place on Daisy Miller is part of a lie."

That Guy Duncan's blog is the first I ever subscribed to over a year ago.  It continues to be one of my absolute favorites because Duncan knows how to use his words.  One blog he wrote a while ago, Snow, spoke to me.  In fact, it tucked me in every night for a week.  Sorry, D, I can be obsessive.  You really have to read the whole thing, but I'm not sure you'll be able to as Duncan does a lot of "friends only" filtering.  Here's a sentence:
"The snow has kidnapped your voice, taken your sounds to a fortress of cotton and nothingness, leaving me without you."
Since I already have it up, I'll probably go ahead and read it before bed tonight ;)

Last, but not least, is Doctor Jones.  In his Random Rants blog, he dedicates a good portion of the tail end of the blog to his search for his ideal mate and what he'd like to do to and for her.  When I read it, I wanted to be that girl.  That's how powerful it was.  I immediately sent him a message that said something along the lines of "Here's my phone number.  Call me, I'd desperately like to have phone sex with you."  No, I didn't.  But I wanted to.  Again, hard to pick one sentence:
"I dream of watching all of the Academy Award best picture winners together and having vivid discussions that color the night and set our minds aflame."
Okay, reading that blog again in the middle of the day when my son is at home was a bad idea.

You all get it, I hope.  A big "thank you" to my man-victims for letting me put your words here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Insecurity- Formerly Greek to Me

I'm being attacked by insecurity.

I entered into a minor debate last night which was representative of a rather large core difference between myself and a good friend that I have a great deal of admiration for.

The admiration is important here. If I didn't possess the admiration, I wouldn't feel the insecurity.

The debate was suspended for now. Ultimately, I won't be able to "win" as my intellectual gifts are complementary to my friend's in that we both bring different things to the table. In other words, I can't match wits on the matter at hand as my strengths do not lie here. I'm not saying that I'm intellectually inferior overall but this would be the area where (I'm being diplomatic so as not to sound self-depracating) I'm a bit weak.

Prior to stating my difference of opinion, I was fully aware that I wouldn't win. I don't have the knowledge or skills to support my position even remotely as effectively as I knew my friend would.

I trudged forth anyway.

You see, it would have been very easy for me to just agree with this person that I admire so I wouldn't lose any points.

But I have a conviction or two (okay... possibly three) and, as such, I can't misrepresent myself. I have to be honest, knowing that said honesty may not acheive desired results. Namely, I would hate to have a friend that I tend to place upon a pedestal think less of me.

Two things about that:

1) I have to be proud of myself at the end of the day. I couldn't be proud of myself by downplaying the things that make me who I am just to ensure that someone has a high opinion of me. How empty would the friendship be if I didn't have opinions?

2) I have several admirable qualities of my very own. Is it not possible that I could be admired for those even if differences exist? (I suspect that it is, indeed, possible.)

In light of this confidence I have in myself, why do I feel so insecure?

Is it curiousity that, because I don't have the capability to articulate my point as effectively as my friend, I wonder if I might be "wrong"?

Or is it that when I place someone upon a pedestal, I am essentially setting myself up to feel beneath them?

You see, if I would have had the exact same conversation with someone whom I did not admire, I wouldn't have cared if I would ultimately be able to impress them by effectively articulating my point.

I wouldn't even dwell on the fact that, many times in cases like this, I simply can't articulate.

It wouldn't matter.

But it does.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Horse Races!

Last night was my annual trip to the horse races in Canada.

I love the horse races.  If you've never been, you don't even know.  I liken the trip to a pap smear.  I have to go every year.  Only it's more fun.  The races, not the pap smear.


There were supposed to be 9 of us.  3 had to drop out.  Mostly, the night was spent with my brother, his wife, and Todd's sisterSara and Mike were also there, but they sat indoors where the rest of us like to be track-side.

This is why:

I got a little tipsy.  It was intended to be so.  My brother drove.  He's very tall and even in my mid-sized SUV (yes, I know how evil that makes me), his head touched the roof.

I promise to get to how much money I lost but, first, I have to rave about my family. 

Over the past year, I've gone through some positive transformations.  I'm very happy and I know that I'm "on the right path."  Last night, in my somewhat alcohol-induced haze, I felt things.  Two things.

I'm happy knowing that, despite the divorce, I will always remain close with Dawn.  She will always be my family.

Second, Chris and Treasure no longer make me want to vomit.  Chris and Treasure really, truly have managed to be in love for the entire time they've been together (12 years?).  Normally, I would roll my eyes and be uncomfortable with their affection.  This probably is because I've lacked that level of intimacy in my own life.  I don't really feel like I lack it anymore.  Now, I just feel like it's something to aspire to.  I want that with another person.  Perhaps I won't shove my toes into his mouth in public, but they love each other and I'm officially okay with however they choose to behave.  This is a big step for me.

I was happy last night. 

I left the States with $50 USD and came home with $34.  I usually like to come home with the same amount that I left with, even after drinks, programs, and bridge fare.  I didn't do as well at the track as I usually do, but in that money that I "lost," I have to factor in the alcoholic beverages that I consumed.  Typically, I like for my modest (I'm quite a conservative better) earnings to cover my drinks.  Not the case last night.  However, afterward, I had $10 CDN and I needed to get rid of it, so I played the nickel slots as the racetrack also has slot machines.  After approximately $.50, I won $16.44 CDN.  I turned $10 into $26.44.  This pleased me greatly.  I would have stopped having won $5.  That's how conservative I am in these matters.

Bottom line:  horse races good, Melissa happy.

And my family is the best.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Once Upon a Tag

1) I am physically incapable of walking in a straight line.
I really have to concentrate to make it happen. My toes point outward like a duck. I'm constantly stubbing my toes.

2) I can only put 10 things in the washing machine at a time.
This includes socks, underwear, and wash cloths. Thus, I am perpetually "catching up" on laundry.

3) I have had the same best friend for almost 20 years.
We have always been close, she always gets me, and she'll always love me. It seems cheesy at my age to refer to someone as "my best friend," but it has been the most enduring, important relationship of my life, so I don't care.

4) Good grammar, vocabulary inventory, and diction are huge turn-ons for me.
Talk to me with big words and proper syntax, baby.

5) I've never done drugs.
I tried to smoke a joint in 7th grade, but it gave me a serious headache. I hate the smell. Also it reminds me of unpleasant childhood stuff.

6) My first car was a 1984 Cutlass Ciera.
When I was 17, my mom bought a new car and gave me her Cutlass under the condition that I pay the insurance myself. One day, the day after I brought home a report card with bad grades on it, I came home and my car was missing. She sold it to my aunt and uncle. Right out from under me, no warning. I'm still mad! You hear that, Mom? I'm still mad!

7) I've never had my heart broken (knock on wood).
I've only had 3 "major" relationships in my entire life and none of them ended in heartbreak for me. Is it okay to hope that I never have to worry about that? Do you think that's something that every person should go through?

8) Men with big muscles make me want to vomit.
I like some muscle on a man, but it absolutely cannot be bulky. Yuck. Stay the fuck away from me.

9) I love my life.
I'm a 31-year-old single mother, unemployed college student who carries anywhere between 20-26 credit hours all year long. Therefore, I'm poor, drained, and numb. But I know myself better than I ever have and, quite frankly, I'm awesome.

10) I would never, in a million years, be a stay-at-home mom.
I love my kids more than anything, truly. I'm so proud to be their mother. Yet, you couldn't pay me enough to stay home with them. I'm a person with a strong will to have an identity of my own outside of being a mother. I need to be productive.

11) I use a thesaurus no less than 10 times a day.
I have a good grasp on vocabulary, but I'm always looking for something better. Also, my favorite word in the entire English language is "ambiguous," I use it every chance I get, and I'd appreciate it if you did too.

12) I'm smitten with one of my MySpace friends.
He knows this about me, so I don't have to hide it. Poor kid.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This, That, and the Other

It's 85 degrees outside and I'm sitting at the computer blogging instead of kneeling outside gardening. Bad girl.

The thing is, I'm tired. I think I'm going to try to convince my son that a nap is in our best interest. After all, if I take a nap, I'll be fully prepared to stay up late again.

This week I started teaching a 10 day unit for school. The class I'm teaching is British Literature and the unit is focused on society and how much we put our celebrity "royalty" under a microscope and people in general have to have their fix of celebrity gossip but that their lives (and mistakes) aren't a whole lot different than "normal". I'm using Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" as the anchor for the unit.

It's a really light unit as it's the end of the year and the kids are checking out. The class I'm in is made up of seniors and juniors and I lose the seniors next week, a couple of days before I'll be done.

I don't know why I'm getting into all of this right now. The point is, today my lesson was evaluated by my instructor and filmed by my mother (we have to be filmed). I explained to the kids yesterday what was going to happen today. I planned a stimulating lesson and everything went off beautifully. I interacted famously with the kids. They're funny, they're cute, they're spontaneous. I really felt like I belonged there and it's incredible to possess the notion that I've made the right choices.

My mom said I cross my arms too much. I have to work on that.

When the class was over and my mom and I were driving home, my phone buzzed and she grabbed it. She said, "Oooh... you have a text message from _________." I blushed . I'm 31 years old and she still has to butt into my business and embarrass me. What's up with that? I love her. I have the best mom.

A friend brought up going to his daughter's soccer game in a blog and now I'm going to be a copycat- sort of.

Jenna has been playing for four years and she has all of the sports skills of, well, me. This equates to zero sports skills, for those who are unaware. She sucks at sports. I love her, but she's just not good.

Until this year.

Now, she's tearing it up out there. At her first game this season, Todd and I were speechless. We just kept looking at each other, puzzled, and saying, "Is that our daughter?" She's actually scoring goals. The problem with this is that she's only scoring during the Monday evening games (two goals last night) while I'm at school. I have yet to witness my daughter score a goal. I'm getting a complex.

The other
I was super tempted to put a survey in here, but I don't want to hinder my recovery. There is no "the other." Sorry to mislead.

Have a nice day, enjoy the weather- if yours is as lovely as mine.

I'm taking a damn nap now.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Diet Coke!

I take my Diet Coke very seriously.

My only addiction is Diet Coke.  I love it, I need it, it makes me whole.  I mean it.

They say it's the caffeine.  I can almost jump on board with that.  I've tried to quit several times because I hate that I have to have it and each time I get migraines that don't quit.  But if it was just the caffeine, coffee would make me feel better in the absence of Diet Coke and it does not.  I like coffee a great deal, but it's no substitute.

So, I'm perpetually guilt-ridden and weak in my crutch.

Until now.

Newsweek did a full 2 pages on the lure of Diet Coke in this week's issue.  Not diet soda, Diet Coke.  Seems I'm in good company.

Harvey Weinstein has to have a steady, ice cold supply at all times.
Bill Clinton, like me, loves his from McDonald's.
Jeffrey Katzenberg drinks it for breakfast.

Other people interviewed for the article drink dozens of ounces a day.  It's the number 3 selling soda in the country.

This made me feel a little better.  Still, it's bad for me, right?

Maybe not as bad as I thought.

Studies that indicate that it may cause bone loss are inconclusive and apply to all cola, not diet specifcally as I had previously thought.

The acid may erode tooth enamel, but not to the degree that it does in full strength sodas.

The sweetener has been thought to be detrimental to health, but testing has proven that it is not and a person would have to drink 18 cans every single day to reach the high end of the amount that the FDA has deemed acceptable.

So, Diet Coke drinkers unite!  Drink up, guilt free, you're in good company.

P.S.  My fix of fountain pop for the day costs between $1.20 (44 oz at Speedway) and $1.70 (32 oz at McDonalds, which tastes better) each day.  To be fair, that's just the fountain pop.  I usually have a 20 oz bottle of it sometime during the day. So, it can get expensive, but it makes me happy and it's alot cheaper than fixes of the illegal variety.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Helena Bonham Carter Has a Really Nice Rack

I tricked you with that title.  Helena Bonham Carter's cleavage is a very small part of what I'd like to discuss today.  And we won't be discussing it until the end of this blog.  I apologize for this deception.  (No, I don't.)

I had observations today and what I really want to talk about is the library.  Then I'll get to Helena Bonham Carter's cleavage, I swear.

The school I'm observing at is a small town school and the junior and senior high schools share a building, though they are separated within.  Resource rooms like the library and computer lab are centrally located as both schools share them.

Today the British Literature class I'm working with had a project in the library.

The library was larger than I expected it to be, given the size of the school.  When I got there, I did the obligatory dialogue with my supervising teacher and as she went off to answer questions, I decided to ignore the students and browse the library.  (To my credit, the assignment was simple and it was, after all, my last day as an observer.  Naturally, I should get the opportunity to explore the library.)

The library was sparsely stocked.  Bittersweet.  Each shelf was only half full.  Essentially, it had the inventory I would have expected spread across a space that was twice the size I expected.

I don't like to see lonely bookshelves.

As I was browsing, trying to familiarize myself with the resources so I would know what I have to work with when I begin my student teaching this winter, my belly began buzzing with excitement.

So many good resources.  Biblical atlases, volumes on classic literature and mythology- some of which I'd never heard of, periodicals, etc.  So many things that I want to learn about.

I found myself with a binder full of journal articles about problems in education.  I had the binder laid atop a bookcase. The little pouch that is my lower abdomen (the little pouch that I have grown to love) was pressed against the bookshelf as though I was going to melt into it and I was steadfastly reading- by choice.

I've been distressed that as much as I have always loved to read, the sheer volume of reading I am required to do for all of the classes I choose to load upon myself has really made me cringe at the thought of reading for pleasure.  I try to carve out time each day but I have no interest in reading.

Yet, there I was, choosing to read about something I have to read about every day and normally despise.  Just standing amongst all of those books, there were so many I wanted to grab, it was hard to choose. 

It made me think of what some education theorists contend is the only way to make learning in the classroom meaningful: teachers should let students choose what they want to learn about.  I can't agree fully with this as once I begin teaching, there will be curriculum that I have to follow if I want to keep my job.  But I have to be mindful and ensure that I'm taking detours to meet student interests.

Obviously, the biggest reason I can't wait to graduate is my craving to work, to be productive.  Also, I want my reading back.  I want to choose what I'm going to read.  I don't want piles of books on the dining room table containing chapters upon chapters of material that I have to cover by tomorrow.

We're running out of time and I promised cleavage. 

Back in the classroom, one of the classes was watching Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  I watched that movie as a senior in high school and hadn't seen it since.  Oddly, the thing that I remembered from it was Helena Bonham Carter's awesome cleavage. 

So, you can imagine my delight when my supervising teacher paused the movie and said, "Check out the cleavage in this next scene" to the class.  And they listened up and paid attention.  You may argue that this type of commentary is sending a bad message but I was just excited to see that my sense of humor will translate with this age group. 

Like my experience in the library, it can't be all curriculum, curriculum, curriculum.  Sometimes, I have to let the students loose to make their own discoveries and other times, I have to be human and acknowledge that I see the same things they do.

And now, you can see it too (I couldn't find any Frankenstein photos that did her rack justice):

Helena Bonham Carter's cleavage in In Fight Club:

The upcoming Harry Potter movie:

Also, she's an excellent actress.