Saturday, June 28, 2003

Blogging in the dark, waiting for the stupefying effect of another glass of Zin to kick in. Had a long long nap and now can't sleep. Lying in the summer-dark entirely lost. Such a terrifying feeling to wake up and not know where you are. Dislocated in time. Then as I was trying to fall back to sleep it happened again. It could be June, or September, or Christmas. I have talked about the garden in my mind that blooms while I edit. Perhaps there is another garden that blooms while I sleep? Watching the night struggling to arrive in the west-north: no stars out this evening.

Wherever will I use my metaphor about the elastic waist of time? It was spontaneous but pleasing.

Now reading: Clara Callan. Am adoring it. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. So far very good. The Polished Hoe. Still struggling.

Today I like: Walking with my boys. A picture of tea and crumpets. (What IS a crumpet, anyway?) Picture of a brave girl. Dickensfield chocolate donuts.

Today I dislike: Misperception. Space between. Too much disorder.

... standing in zoo station, face pressed up against the glass ...

the wind, the rain
the magpie standing sentry
green tender not placid
active not passive
the span of a hand
across a universe

Wine insufficient. Time for the food channel... - L

PS: Hi Pat!

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The only living blogger in Edmonton, apparently. Hmph. No one feeds my addictions anymore. Finished with school almost: one set of exams to mark and grades to submit, then I'm done. My paycheque definitely says I'm done. Must find something else to do. My parents, my aunt and uncle, my grandmother, and some of my cousins are planning to come to the house for Canada Day. Must cook. Must clean. Must drink lots and lots and lots so I don't remember the carnage. No no no, I don't mean that. I think my new degree is perfect for one as self-centred as myself: MEd. Just think: I've been MEd. Oh dear — like I needed the encouragement. Cirque du Soleil was phenomenal. Worth the money and the rain. And the way you make the buffalo roam. Zak's off to PJ next week, finished school on Friday. Those were the days, my friend — we thought they'd never end. Oh but a pirate came and that changed everything, changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty and all that. There's a lot of things if I could I'd re-arrange. Well, must dash. And I'm appositive we have nothing in comma. Hmm, I think that needs work. One of my students wrote a sexual grammar poem. It was very very good but I forgot to copy it down. The worst thing about getting older is ... something ... I knew what I was going to write a moment ago ...


Thursday, June 19, 2003

Finished! Well, almost finished. Just final edits to go. I hand it in tomorrow around 10. I'm happy — and now I have a few weeks to proofread thoroughly before binding.

Ottawa was SO beautiful. Saw the Parliament buildings and the National Arts Centre. Walked around a lot listening to both of Canada's official languages, sometimes within the same utterance. So cool. I was proud to be a Canadian. And we were indeed made co-chairs of Active Voice, the national newsletter. Yay!

Now reading:The Polished Hoe by Austin Clarke and The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron.

Favourite headline this week: School board rejects books with gay parents for bad grammar (from the news). Now that's an advocacy group! What's next, step-sisters for random punctuation?

As promised, the "thesis" of my project (the introductory statement, etc.) follows. Enjoy!

Love to all,

Formal education is perhaps society's most efficient and most effective ideological apparatus. One visible manifestation of the ideological relationship between state and school is curriculum; indeed, as Michael Apple (1990) observes, curriculum and ideology are vitally linked. In Canada curriculum is set by the provincial education authority; in Alberta this body is called Alberta Learning. Curriculum development is based on the premise that, within a grade or subject area, teachers must teach students something; curriculum is the document that outlines what that something will be and how student apprehension of that something will be evaluated. But curriculum is more than a large set of goals and objectives: it is a catechism of the knowledge that a particular society deems valuable and worthy of transmitting to future generations. And more: it represents the institutional architecture that determines whether a child succeeds or fails in the enterprise of schooling. Through the operation of the manifest curriculum — and through the subtler manoeuvres of the hidden curriculum — those who hold power work to conserve it and those who lack power struggle to gain it. Within this climate of overt and covert contestation, the ordinary work of the school proceeds.
At schools around the world every day, teachers teach and students learn. This ordinary teaching/learning exchange is inscribed by power relations: that is, what is taught and what is learned may not be the same content. Through the machinations of cultural hegemony, teachers enact the social reproductive work of the curriculum. Such a conservative gesture is clearly apparent in Alberta's revised curriculum for high school English, introduced in 2001 and being implemented in full in September 2003. Yet at the same time, there exists within this curriculum the potential to create a lexicon of opposition. In this paper I will explain how high school English has been yoked into the sorting and selecting functions of the institution through the shifting matrices of literacy and literature; further, I will interrogate the assumptions of Alberta's new English curriculum; and finally, I will propose a mechanism to subvert the ideological work of the new curriculum by exploiting the aporia it presents.

et voila... a master's degree is awarded!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Personal chiasmus: For me, it is not hard to write: it is hard not to write.

hush, hush...
(a little loopy from too much diet pepsi)

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Write write write. Procrastinate procrastinate procrastinate. It's a blotto cycle but someone's gotta do it. Depending on the font and spacing, my paper is either 26 or 50 pages of paragraphs and notes. Well, that's certainly respectable. Of course, the proving draft is due in eight days and I'm going to Ottawa in five so the math's a little awkward, but I'm sure everything will turn out properly. And if not, then I've spent four years making great charitable contributions to the U of A's well-being. No no: when it's done I'm going to post the title and thesis on the blog so we can ALL share the excitement...

My father is working too much for a working man, never mind a semi-retired grandfather. And people say I have a work addiction! At least I can see where it (and my other nasty little vices) came from.

Today I like: Cranberry juice. The rhetorical schemes: I finally learned them! French Kiss (one of my favourite movies ever and yes I know romantic comedies are aesthetically unevolved, thank you). Sundae Smarties. A smile, always a smile. Exile. Unpredictable magpies. Sun rising through mist.

Today I dislike: Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Stupid Alberta Learning website. Dirty dishes. Piles of laundry. Procrastinating. Paranoia (it'll destroy ya!). Rampant consumerism (ho ho).

Welcome: grace. Patience: courage. Perseverance: serendipity. Beauty: knowing. So may it ever be.

Must fly — really!

laV (which the spelling checker on Word wants to correct to "lava" — hmm)

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Read books like candy. Delicious: let the words slip over your tongue, play with your tastes, nourish the hunger inside you. Who shall write elliptically? I.

Grey grey gloomy day. Where are the other bloggers? Carol visited last night. She filled my head with wonderings. We spent Friday night with Bill and Valerie. They are some of my favourite people ever. I really like — and respect — smart, strong people. Then there are all those I'm running from. Oh well.

Must plant. Must write. Must research. Must mark. Must think. Must stop thinking. Life of imperatives. Why do I need an audience?

... I don't know why sometimes I get frightened ...

Finished both Up the Down Staircase and Uncomfortably Numb. Consuming as avoidance. I need to realize the metaphor of climbing the walls. Teach and cheat are anagrams. As are meta, meat and team, tho' not as effective. I hear a voice calling from the underside of the equator. Seventeen days and counting: what will I become? Whatever will the universe make of us?

Binaries binaries everywhere, always a trap, a trick, a treachery. I am a child of computer logic: both/and, if/then. Why not ask for more? Something opened in my soul one day and the world could never be enough.

Why the tears then? I'll tell you why: It's all too beautiful, all too beautiful, all too beautiful...

See? See? Look now: do you see? Do you understand? Do you hear the sounds in the symbols? The you in me?

No shadows in the city.

... blowing through the jasmine of my mind ...