Friday, February 21, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 02/20/14: Write During Class, Bier Stein Thursday, Men in Their Sixties and Talking with the Deke

1.  In my WR 115 class, I reserve a lot of time for students to write, during class.  I do this because I figure my students find it difficult to have time to write elsewhere that is uninterrupted whether by their spouses, children, roommates, or the irresistible sources of procrastination all around them:  phones, laptops, phones, phones, and other stuff, like phones. It also means I can see writing they've done in the middle of the day, rather than the middle of the night.  Today was one of those days.  I described a problem I saw the students having pretty much across the board in a paper I had just handed back. The students then had over an hour of class time to work on this problem, that is, to work on a section of their next essay that requires concrete description.

2.  I enjoy my Thursday routine of getting off the #82, 2:03 bus at Safeway and taking a short stroll to the Bier Stein and having some lunch.  It's a quiet time in the Bier Stein and easy to relax with a German lager and a book and to enjoy some good food.  Today I enjoyed a Klosterbrauerei Andechs Vollbier, a Helles Lager and a couple of sliders with fries. I read passages from John F. Danby's 1949 book, Shakespeare's Doctrince of Nature: A Study of King Lear.  I'll say it again:  I really enjoy reading this kind of stuff when I don't have to turn it in to anything like a paper or as part of a lecture.  Free of institutional demands, it's like reading the newspaper and I don't have to quarrel with what I read.  I can just take it in and be interested in all the different ways Shakespeare can be and has been understood.

3.  After my bite of Danby and lunch, I strode down to Sixteen Tons where Don and Dick and Cliff and Jeff were downing a pint or two and I joined them for some raucous discussion of a wide variety of subjects:  music, Olympic competition, movies, jokes, bureaucratic jargon, NYC, and a host of other things.  The Deke came in and we washed down tots with a beer or two and continued our ongoing quest to figure out just where our life together is was a great talk...

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