Intrepid Girl Reporter

Tuesday, 3/25: a two-copier-jam kind of day
March 25, 2008, 3:35 pm
Filed under: IGR Recommends, lesson plans, poetry, skool, students, teaching

Twice in ten minutes, if anyone’s counting.

2-4 – I Wish…

  • Famous American: Nina Simone
  • I could feel them dragging…this is such a confusing concept
  • liked song

1-6 – The Price is Right

  • well-behaved
  • responsive to numbers (but didn’t know million)
  • took threat of point subtraction seriously (GOOD)
  • WotD: discount

2-2 – I Wish

  • Famous American: Nina Simone
  • started class with genie scenario, kids were receptive
  • more “I Wish” examples necessary to fill time
    • ended up doing rhymes to finish class

2-3 – I Wish

  • Co-Teacher E thinks they need more time to practice
  • covered “I wish I could” and change of subjects (i.e. “I wish she could”)
  • Famous American: Nina Simone
    • find picture of Nina Simone that students will not compare to: giraffe, monkey, me

I’m beginning to realize that I should have paid more attention in fifth grade. My knowledge of grammar is roughly comparable to the Supreme Court’s knowledge of pornography: I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. Teaching the subjunctive is really hard. On an unrelated note, I tried to take a shower and discovered that the tub is covered in a fine matting of hair. I have come up with a number of explanations for this scenario, and none of them hold up. Maybe I’ll go to the jjimjilbang tomorrow instead.

Reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma makes me want to be a farmer, which is a bad idea for so many reasons I don’t have time to list them all here. Less self-destructively, it also makes me want to learn more about Wendell Berry, who comes from my state, or one of my states, at least. I regret that I didn’t learn more about him when I was there – I have friends who have recommended him to me before, but I was not fully appreciative of Kentucky at the time. Well. Now I am.

In A Motel Parking Lot, Thinking Of Dr. Williams

Wendell Berry
<!– Wendell Berry poem –>


The poem is important, but
not more than the people
whose survival it serves,

one of the necessities, so they may
speak what is true, and have
the patience for beauty: the weighted

grainfield, the shady street,
the well-laid stone and the changing tree
whose branches spread above.

For want of songs and stories
they have dug away the soil,
paved over what is left,

set up their perfunctory walls
in tribute to no god,
for the love of no man or woman,

so that the good that was here
cannot be called back
except by long waiting, by great

sorrows remembered and to come
by invoking the thunderstones
of the world, and the vivid air.


The poem is important,
as the want of it
proves. It is the stewardship

of its own possibility,
the past remembering itself
in the presence of

the present, the power learned
and handed down to see
what is present

and what is not: the pavement
laid down and walked over
regardlessly--by exiles, here

only because they are passing.
Oh, remember the oaks that were
here, the leaves, purple and brown,

falling, the nuthatches walking
headfirst down the trunks,
crying "onc! onc!" in the brightness

as they are doing now
in the cemetery across the street
where the past and the dead

keep each other. To remember,
to hear and remember, is to stop
and walk on again

to a livelier, surer measure.
It is dangerous
to remember the past only

for its own sake, dangerous
to deliver a message
you did not get.

1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

I’ve met wendell berry! but alas, i really don’t have the patience to read any of his stuff. eep. he’s a nice guy though, and does a lot for kentucky. but when it comes to ky authors, my favorite is ed mcclanahan. v. good.

p.s. i have a tendency to lurk but i would like to say again that i greatly enjoy your blog. a++

Comment by julie from the ville

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