Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Of sea turtles and monsters

Cora can now sit up on her own long enough for me to get a picture of her before she either slumps to one side or folds herself in half. This past weekend we had dinner with some friends and they got out this big sea turtle puppet for Cora to play with. Well, she loved it so much, and amused us all so much - she would get the flipper tip in her mouth, then bite it while doing her arms-out harp seal impersonation - that they sent it home with us. The turtle continues to be a very big hit.

As far as we can tell, she really enjoys her nanny-time with Sue - the second day was the only time she cried when Sue arrived, and even today when I waved bye-bye before heading upstairs for the morning, she just kept smiling and bouncing. I wonder if she’ll notice next week when Sue doesn’t come back. Probably not, as she will be distracted by GRANDPARENTS!! I think I will miss Sue most of all - it has been really, really nice to get things done and to be able to run errands by myself.

So, given that I have this five-hour block of time each weekday morning this week, I must now be half-way through the grading, right? Ha! I haven’t even looked sideways at that stack of papers. Instead I have been running errands, wrapping presents, signing Christmas cards, making Christmas presents, and daydreaming about all the cookies I won’t be baking this year.

Though yesterday I did spend the morning at my office, getting reading for the January term class - Monsters: Literature & Theory. I finalized my syllabus, the reading calendar, the assignment sheets for the two papers, the supplemental readings, and made all my photocopies for the first day. Whew. That copy machine was smoking by the time I got through with it. But I have a nice looking stack of copies to show for it.

On my list of things to do today is to listen to the CDs of Seamus Heaney reading his translation of Beowulf, which is the first book we’re reading. And then to find two selections from that reading and the corresponding ones from the Anglo-Saxon CD to play the first day. Beowulf is our representative of the creature-monster, or the "naturally-occurring monster" - a category that I would say includes, for us modern people, aliens. In four short weeks we’ll look at three types of monsters: creature, humanmade, and undead. There’s an awful lot of reading for four weeks...but at least it is all (I hope) interesting! (Perhaps by January 25th when they turn their last paper in, they will have decided that Prof. K. is the real monster.)

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