Saturday, November 13, 2021

going on goings on

don't separate me from what I remember
for I sin against completion 
I say I want want so much from this life 
and yet I keep giving it away  

my mom said she found a college friend 
from forty years ago on Facebook
she's a bit proud and shy telling me how
because it's detective shit/stalking

my sister gamely practices a funny line 
from a cartoon only I have seen
we bounce it between us: "back to you"
laughter shimmers in our mouths 

in the richness of boredom I'm dissolving
into blessings, learning lessons
of normalcy, finding myself in some stories 
I've braided out of ordinariness

Friday, November 12, 2021

demand and supply


It was a mouthy day at work for me. 

The screenshot is a colleague gently teasing me for being pushy about the "ethical action" bit in our General Ed reform saga in an online meeting this afternoon. 

This morning at a breakfast meeting with the President (of my college), I got on a soapbox about how our facilities staff who were recently subcontracted should also benefit from free tuition for themselves and their family members (as those of us employed by the college do). I went on for a while and when I stopped Prez A shared that they had made arrangements to offer free tuition to subcontracted staff earlier this year. That's terrific, but I was a bit mortified because I can get kind of preachy when I get all worked up about stuff. 

I made everyone at the meeting chuckle when I asked why he hadn't stopped me while I was going off? And he said--very kindly--well, it's an important subject and I didn't want to interrupt.

I guess I'm at least supplying opportunities for some laughs here and there?

Thursday, November 11, 2021

the elders are (al)right


Took the Cosmopolitanism class to Ziibiwing Center this afternoon; got to chat to Mr. Roy who's given several of my classes the grand tour before. I wasn't able to arrange one this time, but he gave us a short tour anyway. 

The class was standing around, feeling a little out of depth, and Mr. Roy reminded us that the people were Anishnaabe and the language Anishnaabemowin and showed us how everything was titled in Anishnaabemowin and also in English. And then... he taught us to pronounce a word, making us repeat after him: "eh ggzhi bit... now say it all together." And everyone dutifully pronounced it: "exhibit." Ha. It wasn't possible to be stiff after that. 

I noted how people fell silent around the boarding schools exhibit and were startled by the clay people... and then we had some great conversations on our way back to the college. And we got our basketballer to their game on time too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

"here for you"

Parenting was on my mind today. 

* When my students don't have parents/good relationships with parents/are going through a particularly hard time, it takes everything not to jump in and be their parent. Big A mentioned that I have gotten so much better at maintaining a professional boundary. Yes... and I know how much of an effort I have to put into it. 

* Celebrated SH's impending parenthood and I'm so excited to hold her newborn and generally be a new mom helper soon.

* I accepted a new CASA case--a child who has been subjected to parental incest-abuse for years. They are surrounded with support and services right now, and I hope I can be another useful tool in their journey.  

*My time with the one human kid and two puppy kids living at home is the highlight of every day. But I don't get very much time with them on weekdays (especially on teaching days) and need to find ways to make them meaningful. Usually it's: a cuddle and then breakfast--we start at 5:45 am! At the end of the day it's: dinner together > a show/game > me conking out with the puppies. It's pleasant and cozy but fairly humdrum.

Pic: My NuNu sneaking a treat from the tray I made for SH's visit. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

change of plan?



Haven't vetted the veracity of this, but apparently there's a dog school "in Canada" so dogs don't have to stay home alone, and this appears to be their school bus.


BRB. Going to check if Scoutie and Huckie feel like running away with me.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Shanti Bhavan

This is near Bangalore where my sister is... An amazing story of students overcoming--honestly--unimaginable odds. Here's one:

     "The mango juice tasted funny.

That's how Kusuma started her personal essay when applying to U.S. colleges this year.

Kusuma was then 3 years old. She had 2 older sisters. They lived with their mother, who was raising her 3 daughters on her own.

The family traveled from village to village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, hiding from money lenders who often threatened them with violence. "For years, I had struggled alone, desperate to feed my kids," says Kusuma's mother, Yashodha.

After a long and tiring day, her mother offered all three girls the juice. Then she drank some herself.

"My sisters and I happily gulped it down, ignoring the tingling sensation on our tongues," Kusuma wrote. "I remember my mother was crying, and after we finished our juice, she gave each of us a kiss and told us to go to bed. I woke up in a hospital bed with a tube in my throat. Later, I learned my mother had laced the mango juice with pesticide in an attempt to take our lives and her own."

Sunday, November 07, 2021

discord

for I serenaded the sun today
my mouth a tunnel

                       didn't think of Kapernick's knee
                      then Chauvin's knee
                                                 
for the wind refuses to be silent
as it flicks its tail

                        can't think of Kapernick's knee
                    then Chauvin's knee

         for the war becomes metaphor 
                            only when revolution is near

                             don't think of Kapernick's knee
                    then Chauvin's knee

         for this is a poem that kills poets 
        --whose ghosts live forever 

                            for it thinks of Kapernick's knee
                    then Chauvin's knee
                            

________________________________________
Pic: sunrise and tea on "fall-back" Sunday. 
I wore my hair in a braid and was clearly trying to juggle other strands here as well.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

back story

ripples eddy me round like
an island, like a knot
greedy with fear

in this drift of a year I may
examine one reed then
inherit a whole river

I will no longer burn into 
everything--it holds me
back, turning

into the story of one bird
perched on my hand
forever telling me

I am here--yes, I am here
have been for so long
always singing 

Friday, November 05, 2021

And... Diwali!



With my beautiful, brilliant babies. (Huck is in that first picture too... somewhere!)

We had dinner after pooja, lingering at the table forever, and then we took a starlight walk to help Nu put the chickies to bed. 

I made a payasam (with oats, raisins, coconut, and almonds) that was delicious... but also the laziest sweet one can make (it took ten minutes from start to finish). It has, after all, been a long week. 😇

(Did Diwali go mainstream this year somehow? We received a record number of Diwali greetings from non-Indian friends this year...)


Thursday, November 04, 2021

honors


A lovely and successful honorary induction and such a thrill to celebrate in person with a community of like-minded book nerds again. 

Lots of pictures with students and their families for my imminent Goodbye Mr. Chips years, and lots of ziplock bags so students could take the extra hors d'oeuvres with them.

But it leaves me with less than ten hours to commute home and get back to campus for my 8 am meeting in the morning... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Diwali*


* I said a couple of hurried slokas, but we're celebrating on Friday 

as today we have parent-teacher conferences for Nu all evening...

and tomorrow I'll be home late as honorary inductions will run late into the evening...  

but At will stop by on Friday and we'll celebrate together then!!