Monthly Archives: September 2010

Reading for Pleasure Wednesday: RAYUELA

Rayuela [Hopscotch], Julio Cortázar, Chapter 7, complete:

I touch your mouth, with one finger I touch the edge of your mouth, I draw it as it if it came out of my hand, as if your mouth was for the first time just barely open, and closing my eyes is enough to undo it and start over. Each time I create the mouth I desire, the mouth that my hand chooses and draws for you on your face, one mouth chosen from all, chosen by me with sovereign freedom to draw with my hand on your face, and for some random chance I seek not to understand, it perfectly matches your smiling mouth, beneath the one my hand draws for you.

You look at me, you look at me closely, each time closer and then we play cyclops, we look at each other closer each time and our eyes grow, they grow closer, they overlap and the cyclops look at each other, breathing confusion, their mouths find each other and fight warmly, biting with their lips, resting their tongues lightly on their teeth, playing in their caverns where the heavy air comes and goes with the scent of an old perfume and silence. Then my hands want to hide in your hair, slowly stroke the depth of your hair while we kiss with mouths full of flowers or fish, of living movements, of dark fragrance. And if we bite each other, the pain is sweet, and if we drown in a short and terrible surge of breath, that instant death is beauty. And there is a single saliva and a single flavor of ripe fruit, and I can feel you shiver against me like a moon on the water.

Now Cortázar reads in Spanish:

Axé.

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Louisiana: Resist

To: All Faculty
From: Z
Re: Prioritization for “Reduction”

Do not allow yourself to be manipulated. Do not allow yourself to be pitted against other faculty. Do not allow your department to be pitted against others. Respond with unity to any prioritization “surveys” which may have been sent to you as individuals.

Axé.

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Charlie Parker

Nachtmusik.

Axé.

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Academic Mondays: Robert Boice?

1

I do not now manage my time as I would like to, due to (a) my Reeducation related disability, (b) what my assigned schedule is, and (c) what customs are in this culture.

And I tend to be flexible and relaxed, yet structured. But this culture expects almost complete flexibility, at least from women; the only way people defend successfully against that, I note from observation, is via rigidity disguised as softness (hence the term “steel magnolia”).

2

In any case, I keep struggling to wrest control of my time from others, something I did not use to have to do.

In this effort I keep seeing references to the work of Robert Boice.

3

Boice tells you how to manage your work and writing time and what he says is largely true. People discover him and it is a revelation for them.

What I do not understand is this: how did they manage to finish PhDs and become professors without having discovered what he has to say on their own? How did they manage decent grades as undergraduates?

4

Did they not discover even in middle school that any longer project, especially if you have several and they overlap, has to be done in small pieces and at a steady pace?

I am not trying to be mean or critical, I just really wonder, how did anyone manage to get ahead without the Boicean ideas, whether they had read Boice or not, predated him or not?

5

Boice’s point about “mild happiness” as the ideal state for work, of which the post just linked to reminds us, is well taken given that we are so well trained to believe we should suffer to work.

To experience this mild happiness, however, one must have a sense of the worth of one’s project and the validity of one’s interest in it. One must also feel worthy of doing it, an not feel guilty about that feeling.

One must also not feel guilty about having a deep interest in something.

6

My first education and also Reeducation taught me these feelings.

Since Reeducation I have had trouble attaining that state of mild happiness. I am overcome with shame and fear, for which I attempt to compensate by inducing extreme happiness by playing things like salsa records. This makes it hard to sit still enough and work methodically enough.

My student, commenting on a novel we are reading, says the character’s oscillation between shame and joy is an emotional effect of child abuse.

7

And I believe that the reason we are taught to affect suffering while working is that people see we are interested in our work and become both envious about this and jealous of it.

That could be why they say it is not work, and that we should be able to produce on a dime without having put put time into it (time we could have spent caring for them, or catering to them, for instance).

Perhaps my views are completely idiosyncratic.

Axé.

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Fragile

Music for a weekend of grading, while the universities mutate and distribute themselves over crimes. I was just, finally, recovering from having my education stolen, so this is all quite ironic.

I saw it all coming long ago, however, which does show that I am a good trend spotter. This is not  enough satisfaction.

I do not see how they could cut out any program. Everything we have left after the last round of cuts really is essential. Everything I can think of to cut would also cut a revenue stream.

It is said we should contact our state legislators every day and I urge everyone to do so. It will be months before Jindal’s actual budget proposal is submitted, and there is time to change it.

People out of state should also write Jindal, I believe, and ask him nicely to support Louisiana universities by funding them.

Say you admire our institutions and name more than one (public) one. Cite any direct knowledge or personal experience you may have. Let him know the country is watching.

Governor Bobby Jindal
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Axé.

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Bicentenario

Lately I have been exhilarated but today I am tired, and I miss my home in the city where the air is clear and dry and things are brown and dark green and red, or on the coast where things are white and teal and blue.

Axé.

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Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Jerry Lee Lewis was from Louisiana, too, and he could shake more than Bobby Jindal ever will, but we still have a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

For the Mexican bicentennial, which is today, this blog has moved to a new phase. New understandings of Reeducation or of one’s relationship to Education will not be formulated into Posts, but jotted into the comments thread under Research, at the top of the page. This thread has been repurposed as a meditation thread for me, not a discussion thread, and most discussion of it, if there is any, is provisionally pointed to the Talk thread.

Due to the crisis we have retaken control of our own lives, and renounced bourgeois doubt. Instructors — at will employees, por más señas — are pacing the halls, and talking about unionization and strikes. It will come to nothing, but it is very interesting to hear.

In the meantime we are enjoying ourselves, shakin’ it and breakin’ it.

You so beautiful but you got to die some day.

Axé.

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