gave me the letter S for this here M-type thing. If you would like a letter, please ask!
I started this on the train to Stowe, and it took two full days to finish it. Wow.Something I hate:
Stop sign shenanigans! By which I mean the people who, upon arriving at a four-way stop, dispense with the rules of right-of-way that are designed to keep traffic moving and decide to be all "helpful" and wave other cars through ahead of them. All this does is hold people up! No one wants to plunge to their death into the intersection, so everyone ends up staring at everyone else, trying to figure out who is waving the most sincerely and is therefore least likely to say "fuck it" and just gun it through the stop sign. It drives me crazy. Just follow the right-of-way rules and let everyone be on their way as quickly as possible. That's why someone bothered to come up with the rules in the first place! If they didn't mean for them to be followed, we would just leave four-way stops a matter of etiquette, like holding open doors. The only thing worse is people who do the same thing in traffic circles.
Horror.Something I love:
The sea. When I first read Tolkien, I absolutely understood the concepts of the sea-longing and of hearing the Great Music in the sound of water. There is no place where I am happier and more inspired than on the seashore. I haven't seen the ocean for almost three months now, and the sea-longing is upon me. (Bobby knows it: We'll be going to Ocean City the first weekend that Liberty is closed.) The closest I have to the numinous is on the edge of the ocean, hearing and touching the water. (Next is the forest. I feel a part of something larger in those places, both insignificant and timeless.)Somewhere I've been:
Scotland, twice, while visiting my sister and her wife in the north of England. My favorites of the places we've been were Stirling and Edinburgh, in that order. Bobby was researching his thesis (on the Scottish Wars of Independence) when we were in Stirling, and we were on and off the little tourism bus going to different historical sites so much that the driver got to know us and waved us goodbye when he saw us walking to the train station to leave. Edinburgh was beautiful and a very knowledgeable server in a whiskey bar we went to turned me on to Quinta Ruban Scotch, for which I remain extremely grateful!Somewhere I'd like to go:
This was the hardest one to answer. Let's go with Sweden here. I'm interested in medieval Germanic literature and history. It's as good a place as any to geek over that kind of thing.Someone I know:
, my sister and second best friend in the world. I am so happy that she found such a wonderful wife and has such great in-laws but I do miss her every day!A film I like:
I'm going to kind of cheat and say short films. Because I am a short film addict. I use short films a lot of times when teaching literary concepts to my students, and this is a time-consuming undertaking for me because I end up on a short film archive and watching things that I know really won't work for the lesson but that I find interesting. Last weekend, Bobby and I went to the Majestic in Gettysburg to see the nominees for the live action short film category at the Oscars. OMFG. I loved every last one of them and managed to go from feeling like I was being punched repeated in the solar plexus from the inside
and maybe even crying JUST A LITTLE don't think I'm going all soft now
to laughing so hard it hurt. Okay, since I'm kind of cheating in this category, I'll recommend one for the letter S: I use the darkly humorous Spin
to teach theme to my students; it's one of my favorites and they always love it too. I've watched it twenty times now if I've watched it once, and it never gets old.A book I love: The Silmarillion
--a no-brainer here! This has been the book that has had without a doubt the biggest impact on my life. It knocked me out of my narrow little literary world and made me realize I wanted to devote my life's work to literature and writing. Besides, association with the Silm fandom has kept me entertained for over ten years now and made me many wonderful friends.
Other life-changing books: The Scarlet Letter
was the book I read in eleventh grade that made me realize I was allowed to like the books we read in school. I think I was the only person in my class who liked it, and I think I had something of a literary crush on the Reverend Dimmesdale in all his angst. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
was the first work I read that made think I might want to learn more about and study medieval literature. It is still my favorite work to teach (yes, even more than Beowulf
!) and the only work I've taught to my students where we reached the end of an assigned section and they begged to keep reading.An Author:
Stephen King. I haven't read him in forever and am not sure how I would feel about him now, but he was one of the authors that first coaxed me from the YA to the Adult section of the library. (Which probably partly explains my proclivities as an adult reader and writer!) I remember seeing a TV ad for a collection of his books; the ad described his books as terrifying, which was all I needed to hear to know that I wanted to read them. I'd worked my way through the R.L. Stine Fear Street
series and everything written by Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan, and I was ready for an upgrade. Some of his books that are considered classics didn't do much for me (Carrie, Pet Sematary, Cujo
), but others stuck with my for years, and I probably read them a dozen times (It
and The Stand,
as well as the novellas The Long Walk, The Body,
and The Mist
). He wrote interesting characters (including young people) who transcended the popular-nerdy-quirky triumvarate of stock characters familiar from the YA fiction I'd been reading. Go figure, his characters attracted me the most.
I am notably not
listing Shakespeare for this one. Kick me out of the profession of teaching English if you must! Shakespeare is enjoyable but hasn't impacted me in the way that many other authors have. At the school where I student-taught, the English faculty fought each year over who would teach "Brit lit" the following year because everyone wanted to teach Shakespeare and Jane Austen. I would have had a dog in that fight but because I would have wanted to teach Beowulf
and the Middle English poets!