Mary Anne Mohanraj

Journal

October 19 -- 9:00 AM

About six (?) months ago, Kat gifted me these birdie decals from IKEA. It is a testament to how rarely my mudroom is clean enough to photograph that it has taken me this long to post pics of them. They are v. cheery.

Now, I just have to find something to plant in those little white planters (also from IKEA). Ideally, something that will a) trail down, and b) require almost no watering, as I forget to water the herbs I've tried there before, and then they die, and are sad. And cheap would be nice too, since I have seven pots -- otherwise, I'd be tempted to hunt for trailing orchids. Thoughts welcome.

The real trick will be to not let the space fill up with boxes waiting to be recycled again. Those are my nemesis.

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October 19 -- 7:41 AM

I am having local desi artists over for a potluck @ 1 today, and I'm just bewildered, because I am not frantically cooking. I mean, I'm going to make two quiches (one broccoli-cheddar, one green chili-onion), and some curried mushrooms, but if we're eating @ 1, I don't need to start that until 11:30. There are strawberries, but I can clean those while the quiches are baking, and Kevin baked homemade bread last night, but all I need to do for that is remember to take the butter out. Mimosas require no prep in advance, ditto tea.

How can I be having people over and not be frantically cooking? Something is *wrong* here. I am deeply suspicious of this whole 'potluck' notion.

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October 17 -- 9:49 AM

Nice little write-up on Tuesday's DeKalb library event -- thanks for inviting me out, Lynne!

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October 17 -- 8:19 AM

Okay, so next Tuesday I'm teaching Whitman. This is the second time I've tried to teach Whitman, and I admit, the first time left me a bit scarred. I was an MFA student at Mills, TA-ing an American survey class, and the prof. asked me if I'd like to try to teach a class on my own, and I said sure, and he gave me Whitman, which was a bit unnerving because I hadn't actually read any Whitman at that point, and despite trying to prep for it, I totally bollixed up the entire class. It was an hour and a half class, and I ran out of things to say after thirty minutes, and there was some miserable silence, and then the prof had to come up and rescue me, and I sat down, humiliated and feeling stupid. He was very kind afterwards, and pointed out that one problem was that I'd asked a lot of questions with yes/no answers -- and the students had responded accordingly, so I hadn't managed to generate any discussion. I'm better about that now! But I'd still appreciate any tips for teaching Whitman that folks would care to share. :-)

P.S. I just realized that it was 1998 when I taught that class. SIXTEEN years ago, my god. Have I really been teaching for that long?

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October 16 -- 12:35 PM

Okay, my students did not so much love _Moby Dick_ (no surprise, admittedly, even though I think it's great), but "Bartleby, the Scrivener" went over much better. Apparently, they can empathize with the concept of a soul-deadening office job… Oh, humanity!

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