Thursday, January 5, 2012


last night my children did an imitation of me, saying, "i've never been so tired in my entire life." they claim i say it almost every day. and they might be right, and it might be true. i'm tired a lot. isn't everyone? then, this morning, they asked me which 30 Rock character i thought i most resembled.

me: "ummm--jenna maroney?"
lula: "yeah, that's what i was thinking, too."
me: "i was kind of kidding."

but then i realized i am at least a bit like jenna maroney. a sobering thought to have on your way to work.

when i arrived at work, i started in on making omlettes and teaching frank o'hara, two things i love, and two things that are hard to do. making an omlette is hard to do. teaching frank o'hara is hard to do.

the meaningful thing today is a realization that the kids in my life are keeping me honest right now. and a question: have i wanted to be in academia because there is more of a glossy sheen over the whole thing, that it carries with it more social status, and a kind of meaning that i want to ascribe to my life whether or not it is authentically there? that perhaps the more direct, hands-on work required of me in raising children and teaching in a public school is a little more, shall we say, vocational and practical, and therefore it is a little harder to scam myself into thinking that i'm important and essential (this is where jenna m. comes in--ever the delusional narcissist)???? and this is all forcing me to do what we call in both yoga and therapy ego work. i think this is the main work i'll be doing over the coming years.

this is a small sample of ego work: do i need to do this pose because it's good for me? do i want to do it so my yogi/other yogis think i'm cool and strong, even though it might hurt me? do i know i shouldn't do it, and i'm gonna do it anyway?

that probably came out sounding like woozy bullshit. but i really mean it. i might be able to articulate it better on another day when i'm not feeling more tired than i ever have felt before in my entire life.

anyway, i'm teaching ekphrasis right now, and this frank o'hara/larry rivers intersection inspires me.

(the rivers painting washington crossing the delaware is posted above, with a stanza from o'hara's poem on seeing larry rivers' washington crossing the delaware at the museum of modern art is posted below)
To be more revolutionary than a nun
is our desire, to be secular and intimate
as, when sighting a redcoat, you smile
and pull the trigger. Anxieties
and animosities, flaming and feeding

on theoretical considerations and
the jealous spiritualities of the abstract
the robot? they're smoke, billows above
the physical event. They have burned up.
See how free we are! as a nation of persons.

hope it inspires you.

hope you like it.

hope you write an ekphrasis today.

hope you click on this link and watch jacques making an omlette, and then make your own for dinner. i promise you it's beautiful and delicious. (and also check out my students making omlettes today. they were so pro.)

tights: charcoal/black leopoard with a small hole forming on the big toe after only two wearings.


  1. This is going to be a hard post to follow. It's funny about the 30 Rock thing as I felt I spent several days over the holidays channeling Liz Lemon inadvertently. But is channeling advertent(sp?) Love Frank O'Hara and the New Yorkers of that era. Your students seem sophisticated. They are lucky to have you feeding them so well.

  2. Ego work. I started a new class today--post-modern issues in qualitative research, or, whose interest are being served when we try to talk about who we are or what we know. why, i ask myself, do i want a phd? what interests am i serving? same question. negative attacking story coming out in a few days in the seattle times about special education. i can watch a hundred movies and tv shows in which the hero/ine does the right thing, stands up for the poor and the weak, and is publicly criticized, threatened, humiliated, challenged for it. but when it happens it's really hard to know if you did the right thing, or even what the right thing is, and quite literally impossible to ignore those critics. fear and shame.

  3. jt, well, the kids and i went on to discuss how the genius of thirty rock is that we all feel part liz, part jack, part tracy, part jenna, etc. yes, my students are pretty sophisticated, but what the h was i thinking teaching them o'hara?

    mc, keep the faith. you did good, i know it and you know it.

  4. Plus, I'm really impressed by the class blog!