Some quick updates on what I've been up to:
1. I'm on page 150 or so of The House of the Spirits and I have to say I'm engrossed. My curriculum calls for me to teach three translated works, one work from an author on the translated book list, and the rest "school choice," which means my choice. They have to be meaty texts, though. My ideas right now are five each semester: How to Read Literature Like a Professor, The House of the Spirits, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Death and the Maiden, and The Metamorphosis in the first semester, and Frankenstein, MacBeth, The Fifth Child, In Cold Blood, and The Elephant Vanishes in the second semester. It's a World Lit course, but I think I can sneak one American text in there. I was thinking it could be Song of Soloman, which has so much there it's ridiculous, but think In Cold Blood is more of a pageturner, and for my money the best non-fiction books of the 20th century.
2. I'm still trying to decide how to structure my American Literature course - chronologically, by high interest level, or by genre. I'm leaning towards starting with Their Eyes Were Watching God, moving into The Great Gatsby, then backing up and doing a bunch of Puritan shit including (I think) portions of The Scarlet Letter, then jumping ahead to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and including The Autobiography of Malcolm X as my most modern text. I'm not sure, though.
3. While I'm still not happy about getting two new preps, I'm intrigued by the possiblity of teaching these general 10th graders (who I need to inspire) alongside these really smart 11th graders (who I need to work really hard).
4. I bought five workouts for $25 at the local gym, and have been enjoying strenuous workouts every day. Today, though, I hurt my lower back something fierce while doing squats. I wasn't lifting too much weight - lower than I usually do, actually - but heard something pop in my lower back and it's been sore as hell ever since. My mom even gave me some muscle relaxers tonight, my first ever.
5. We spent several hours out on Lake Michigan today on the boat as a family. It was really nice and relaxing. The weather here is nearly 100 degrees, and the water temperature ranged from 77-79, so it was nearly perfect. It wasn't very sunny, so I don't think I have a sunburn. Or maybe that's just the muscle relaxers making me feel good.
6. Since I don't have cable, I've been soaking up ESPN when I sit in front of the TV here. I'm getting really intrigued by the deadline trade madness. In the end, when all is said and done, I'm sure a lot more will get said than done. But I'm still curious what will happen with the Tigers.
7. No one in the family flipped when I showed them my tattoo. In fact, my mother even said she liked it. I'm not sure if it's a good sign when your mother says she likes your tattoo.
8. I'm really hoping that Miami Vice is at the local Michigan Theater when movies change tomorrow. Movies are still just $3.50 here, and that's one of the few movies I want to see this summer.
Back to The House of Spirits...
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