Sunday, September 30, 2007

first storm of the season

It was a dark and stormy night! After enjoying some of fall's delights in Friday's sunshine, we were reminded of its other propensities yesterday with folks heading down to the docks to check the lines on their boats. Since we're short on dockspace here, many of us have to raft up to each other, so bumpers were being added and fortified to cut down on the wear and tear. Luckily Paul brought our repaired door home yesterday (remember I told you the glass had shattered) so that we were better able to keep the wind out -- he got across before the water got very rough and wrestled the door home in the wheelbarrow without too much trouble. That wheelbarrow, abandoned just by the back deck, is now filled with several inches of rainwater. Still, the gale-to-storm force winds (60-80kmh) didn't hit particularly hard right here -- no huge branches or trees down -- and since Paul was home, I slept through most of the bluster--sometimes the howling wind and the branches and fir cones hitting the roof can make me pretty nervous when I'm on my own.
In fact, it was pretty cozy here yesterday: we got the fire going in the woodstove and sat in our comfy armchairs reading the weekend papers. Then Paul made dinner, starting with this pretty plate of figs, ham, and parmesan, before we took our grilled lambchops and fresh local corn on the cob to sit and watch The Sopranos (Season 6-Happy Families)

This morning, more of the cozy indoorness as it's still raging out there. Before I got back to the pile of marking I have to finish, I caught up on my bloglines and over at Café Mode, where there's a tribute to Jacques Helleu, Artistic Director at Chanel (who died Friday), I found this fabulous Chanel ad by Luc Besson. What can I say? My husband keeps his French going by following politics; I read about fashion! (Not that I don't follow politics, but that I generally do in English) It's worth clicking on the adlink -- less than a minute, but a brilliant little subversion of the RedRidingHood tale.

You might be interested to know that I actually went over to YouTube and almost signed up so that I could embed the Chanel ad right here, saving you from an extra click-- but they want so much information -- birthdate, postal code, etc. -- I'm just not ready to give that up yet, sorry! Have some of you jumped that hurdle already? Did it bother you?

Now back to the marking -- it's actually fairly interesting work, an assignment I haven't tried before. Since I'm having 1st-year students read Toni Morrison's Jazz, a rather difficult and challenging novel, I decided to have them write their first in-class essay on what they'd discovered about the novel after reading it on their own, before we began discussing it together. I gave them a list of possible topics -- trace a character's progress through the novel; trace the changes in a relationship through the novel; discuss the importance of the City as setting for the novel; set out your impressions of the narrator, particularly considering identity and reliability -- and reassured them that they didn't need to "get" anything, just to observe and begin to analyse, and that they could address their frustrations and difficulties in the essay if they wanted to. I thought that the assignment would ensure that everyone does the reading before we begin the discussion and would also get them to start making the observations and connections which will fuel our discussions over the next several weeks. So far, so good -- I'm reading some thoughtful responses to the novel and seeing some sincere grappling with, rather than frustrated dismissal of, its difficulties.


  1. Love the Little Red Riding Hood ad...SO French!

  2. Yes, Femme, isn't it wonderful?! Why can we so seldom see ads with this kind of production value?


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