Friday, December 7, 2007

marking and its antidotes

I'm becoming convinced that protracted marking sessions effect bio-chemical changes which make a person appear very, very cranky. Imagine reading essays which begin "Historical aspects and events have never been so important as ever before" (believe me -- didn't get better!). I've been appreciating the ones that are only 1200 words instead of the suggested 2000 -- at least then, I quickly do the math, move to the back page and mark "Considerably short of assigned length" and stop agonizing over justifying the poor mark I'm going to assign as the student has tacitly given me permission to give such a mark. Of course, there have been one or two delightful surprises and I'm sure there are a few treasures left in the pile, but meanwhile I'm afraid it will be a dreary weekend.

So some wee distractions:

First, knitters might be pleased to see this photo which Eric at ParisDailyPhoto posted the other day

Eric's post also included a link to Knitta the Texas Knitters' group that performs this guerilla knitting worldwide. Fun!

And another Parisian blogger, Polly Vous Francais, I found this link to a wonderful story from The Guardian about a group of anarchists working clandestinely to repair the clock in Paris' Pantheon:

For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon's unsuspecting
security officials, a group of intrepid "illegal restorers" set up a secret
workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building's famous dome. Under the
supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker,
they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust
in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the
elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.

Apparently, getting into the building was easy for the clockmakers who simply allowed themselves to be locked in one night and then used the opportunity to identified a useful side entrance -- locks pose little problem for clockmakers -- through which they came and went over the next year. While there, they furnished their workshop with tables and chairs, connected to the electrical grid and hooked their computer into the net.

Read the complete story -- it's quite fascinating. Better than Dan Brown!

And this also makes me smile. I love the hawthorne tree in winter and last Friday, walking to the ferry along our sunny seawall in Nanaimo (while unbeknownst to me, orcas were visiting my house!), I stopped to take photos of the sunshine illuminating the berry-red, if scrubby, tree. That's it above, and me, in shadow, and here's a closer view. Don't we have a pretty waterfront to walk along?Then back at home this weekend, another patch of winter sun hit the little hawthorne in our front yard and I couldn't resist taking some more photos (more and more, I'm wishing for a new camera, an SLR again, altho' digital now, of course).

It seems to me that anyone of these photos offers a perfect colour combination for a scarf or hat (do I feel a visit to my LYS coming on?) -- I love the deep rich red against the neutral earthy tones of branches and stone, against by the brightness of the winter-blue sky and its greyed-down reflection in the water.


  1. oh man do I hear you, Frances. Got the mean ol' markin' blues over here in Saanich, too! Lisa

  2. Here's a link to a post about a bit of PNW urban knitting to cheer you. I don't think the adjective guerilla suits this particular piece, though.

  3. Oh I love the story of the secret clock restorers! No doubt they chose this route, rather than attempt to wade through the massive bureaucracy to get anything accomplished here!

  4. thanks for the story on the clock
    restorers. I try to read the guardian at least twice a week but must have missed that story. Change through action, I love it.


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