Anne Dalke's blog
[more from Through the Looking Glass:]
"What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?" the Gnat inquired.
"I don't rejoice in insects at all," Alice explained, "because I'm rather afraid of them -- at least the large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of them."
"Of course they answer to their names?" the Gnat remarked carelessly.
"I never knew them to do it."
"What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?"
"No use to them," said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?"
"I can't say," said the Gnat. "In the wood down there, they've got no names -- however, go on with your list of insects."
"Well, there's the Horse-fly," Alice began, counting off the names on her fingers.
"All right," said the Gnat: "half-way up that bush, you'll see a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look. It's made entirely of wood, and gets about by swinging itself from branch to branch."
"What does it live on?" Alice asked, with great curiosity.
"Sap and sawdust," said the Gnat. "Go on with the list."
"O Tiger-lily," said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, "I wish you could talk!"
"We can talk," said the Tiger-lily: "when there's anybody worth talking to."
Alice was so astonished that she couldn't speak for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she spoke again, in a timid voice -- almost in a whisper. "And can allthe flowers talk?"
"As well as you can," said the Tiger-lily. "And a great deal louder."
"It isn't manners for us to begin, you know," said the Rose, "and I really was wondering when you'd speak! Said I to myself. "Her face has got some sense in it, though it's not a clever one!' Still you're the right colour, and that goes a long way."
"I don't care about the colour," the Tiger-lily remarked. "If only her petals curled up a little more, she'd be all right."
This summer, my daughter Marian told me that, as a birthday gift, she wanted to treat me to a Mural Arts tour. Researching the various options, she came upon the Restorative Justice tour (and the rest is history. Our 360 went. We saw. We problematized....)
From yesterday's NYTimes: Who's in Charge Inside Your head?
"Buddhists note that our skin doesn’t separate us from the environment, but joins us, just as biologists know that “we” are manipulated by...the rest of life....Where does the rest of the world end, and each of us begin? Let’s leave the last words to a modern icon of organic, oceanic wisdom: SpongeBob SquarePants....'Absorbent and ...and porous is he'...are we, too."
A friend just shared w/ me an AMAZING review of "Are You My Mother?" by Heather Love (an English professor @ Penn), which I want to share w/ you all: http://publicbooks.org/fiction/the-mom-problem As you know, I really REALLY did not like the book on my first reading, but this review has gotten me re-thinking/re-feeling my damning critique ...I will now have to go back and re-experience it, for sure...
A few bits to tease you into the review-->
Bechdel's quip: "I think people who are well-adjusted are not going to be interested in this story...
Fortunately, there are a lot of people who are not well-adjusted.”
Then there are Love's several insights (to have such a name!), including the difficulty of portraying "resentment and ambivalence toward the mother as an inevitable result of her role as caretaker," and also her lovely LOVELY final evocation of Winnicott's question about
“where we most of the time are when we are experiencing life.” He thinks we're in a space of “deep dreaming" that is created between individuals, and between individuals and their environment. What I am thinking now is that your "site sits" might be such spaces (if you can allow them to be). And what I am wondering is whether we can make (are we making?) our shared classroom time into such a space. We'll return to these questions when we read Thomas Barry's essay, "Dream of the Earth," but I wanted to flag them now.
Circulating in the English Department just now is an essay that just appeared in Inside Higher Education: Humanities in the Digital Age. It seemed to me to intersect quite intriguingly w/ the piece by Thomas Berry which we're reading for Tuesday, and the language is quite amazingly (ironically?) 'eco'--for instance, the claim that
"It all starts with where scholars live and work natively: in their departments…Currently, digital initiatives …spring up accidentally like weeds [well, Michael Pollan will soon have something to say to us about that conceit!] around particular faculty, areas, or projects. We propose an organic strategy for integrating digital initiatives into core departmental research, teaching, administration, and staff work…."
...for a structured program of "storytelling integrated with mapping" caught my attention. We are not engaged, in this class, in "digital learning" on anything like this scale, but I do think our two small field trips upcoming--"back in time" to the farm from BMC was made, and then "further back in time" to understand the geological formations on which our cultural explorations sit--are akin to this project of "telling the historia of the environment":
Please see below for information on a NITLE webinar that may be of interest. I will be arranging a group viewing here on campus; please contact me if you are interested. You can also register and watch from your own computer using the link below. (Bryn Mawr College is a member of NITLE.)
Stories of the Susquehanna: Digital Humanities, Spatial Thinking, and Telling the historia of the Environment
In light of our "environmental" interpretation of Bruce Bechdel's life, I thought you all might be interested in an article from yesterday's NYTimes, We're Here, We're Queer, Y'all, which describes the possibility and reality of queer life in rural areas...
...that HSBurke referenced in class today, as we were discussing what to "do" with stories of trauma:
Zimbabwe teen leaves anguish behind, starts future at Bryn Mawr (Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 2, 2012)