Saturday, January 31, 2009
This list was inspired by a Facebook status discussion (Thanks Marybeth). Here is my list of the 12 Great American Novels: the novels which have stood the test of time and define my American Experience.
Order of greatness determined how I feel at this exact moment (if I thought more about this the list would change continuously) - Title - Author's last name - 6 words of why it is great. (Because I need to get some breakfast going!)
1) The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald - Eyes, The American Dream and Narration
2) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Twain - Humorous, Thoughtful Journey Down the River
3) Moby Dick – Melville - Sea of Complex Metaphors of Extremes
4) Catcher in the Rye – Salinger - America's vulgar, lying, phony-spotting, troubled teenager
5) The Sound and the Fury – Faulkner - Stream of consciousness of American mind
6) The Jungle – Sinclair - What we lost through our industrialization
7) To Kill a Mockingbird – Lee - Why our extreme litigiousness sometimes rocks
8) Grapes of Wrath – Steinbeck - Manifest destiny as tragic family tale
9) The Maltese Falcon – Hammett - Hard-boiled American justice of the individual
10) Confederacy of Dunces – Toole - Jester of immense intelligence and size
11) Fahrenheit 451 – Bradbury - Calling out of America's vacant intellect
12) Scarlet Letter – Hawthorne - Struggle between forward-thinking freedom and puritanism
Saturday, January 24, 2009
First, it started off so incredibly wonderfully beautifully spectacular. I got to see some of my favorite people. I flew to Chicago for a long weekend with Eric, Sarah, Avery, Ian and my mom. It was SO, SO nice seeing everyone again. Unfortunately, the trip was like drinking straight soda syrup - too condensed. But thank you mom for coming out and the yummy lamb shanks. See you in 2010 for the 100th birthday? Thank you Eric and Sarah for opening your home to me. Thank you Ian and Avery for ALL the playtime: the bike racing, the Jack in the box surprises, the SUPER-jumps and the "I'm gonna getcha" chasing. The memory of your smiles and laughs will always warm my heart.
Anyway, here are some pics on Flickr.
Next, well ... I'm back at the Academy as the Associate Director of Account Planning. It's a long story that happened in a short amount of time and not all necessarily needed to be shared in an open and transparent forum.
However, I will say these few things. Dial House rocked. I really enjoyed my short time there and enthusiastically believe in the people there and the work they are doing. They recognize things that so many shops fail to comprehend. I made some wonderful friends there and look forward to continued play with them all. Thank you Dial House.
Academy. Wow. I am really excited to be back, especially on my own terms. When I took over last semester, it was sort of as the default Charlie replacement. Many people were disappointed about Charlie leaving (none more than yours truly) and it was the cloud over me. I also was not prepared; I was über-focused on finally having the teaching experience to design my classes. Suddenly, I was distracted by all the departmental/student needs outside of the classroom. I started off the year a la Lucy and the chocolate conveyor belt. While this year will also start with a rush (started on Thursday; first class on Monday), I am significantly more equipped for the challenges. I have such a strong classroom, department, school, industry, student vision that it is freaking me out a bit. Despite the hurried atmosphere, I am quite at peace with what will happen.
To the students. Thank you. Many of you spoke up regarding getting me back. Your words had an impact, a great impact. If you are a student/alumn who is glad to have me back, I would greatly appreciate it if you let Melinda and Elisa know, because they stepped-up to get me back. They made it possible and exciting. So, go ahead. Stop whatever you are doing and write a quick e-mail to them both saying thanks (or "WTF were you thinking, hiring back THAT buffoon?" ... whatever you think is appropriate), if you don't mind.
Here, I'll stop writing so you don't forget. See you all soon.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Last week, I started the Dial House gig. It is off to a nice start. I like the plan, the work and the people rock. There is a lot that needs to be/can be done there right now ... in a remarkably positive DIY kind of way. More on that later.
Mary, Sam and I are doing really well. We had a chill weekend (well despite Sam's sleepover waking us up.) Next weekend off to Libertyville to see Eric, Sarah, Avery and Ian ... and my mom.
OK, more later probably. I just wanted to give the people who keep track of me through the blog, the word that we are alive and really, really well. Living in paradise continues to have its perks.