The lovely Mrs. V. over at Mrs. V's Reviews tagged me to write 7 random things about myself. . . here it goes. . .
1. I am a Seinfeld devotee. It's kind of scary. My dad and I wouldn't be caught dead watching anything else between 7 and 8 pm any day of the week. It may be all about CSPAN Book TV on the weekends, but we need our Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer every day of the week.
2. Wine and I get along nicely. My hands-down favorite is a nice Pinot Noir. Nothing too fancy, but I'll spring for a beautiful crimson bottle of KJ any day. If I'm in the market for a white, I'll usually do a Sav Blanc. The last time I was in Napa, we discovered this amazing little winery, Clos du Val, cloister of the valley--small estate of a small valley as they put it. What I loved so much about this winery was that a) they were in many ways off the beaten Napa path and thus free of the obnoxiousness of 20-somethings trying to get wasted (yes, I'm a 20-something but I, au contraire, do not embark on wine-tasting adventures with this end in mind) and b) there was no trace of pretentiousness or snobbery in the tasting staff. I felt comfortable asking questions and they didn't scoff at my questions as if I should have already known the answers. Oh, and they waive the tasting fee if you buy a bottle, which not all of them do. Ooooh, and if you're in Sonoma instead, don't miss another favorite: Ravenswood Winery --no wimpy wines!
3. (Stealing this category from you, V!) I absolutely plan to do a PhD program sometime in the near future. As per the advice of my elders and professors, I will not do one without a fellowship or assistantship that covers tuition. Right now I'm waiting on deciding exactly the direction in which it's right to go. After a few years in the classroom I may feel that a Curriculum & Instruction PhD (NOT EED--zero interest in administration) might be right. But, I also am strongly pulled in the direction of my undergrad discipline--English. The drawback here is most English PhD programs require the candidate to have reading knowledge of two languages besides English by the end of the program--eeeeeeek! I took four years of Italian in high school and all, but 2 languages is a major commitment of a whole different breed. Other ideas include some sort of media/American studies/cultural studies/W&G studies/anthropology degree. I just need a good few years in the general ed classroom to see if that's where I want to stay or if I want to eventually pursue teaching at the post-secondary level.
4. I nannied two kids for 3 years! Right before I finished community (aka the 13th grade as we like to call it 'round here) and moved to regular college, I secured a part-time position nannying a little girl who was 1+ years old. When I left, she was 4 and had a little brother of 2.5. I was with them every morning for so many years, and I miss them terribly! They were great fun. Being with them every day really added to my knack of relating to kids of all ages, and schooled me in the intuitive ways of children--persons who can sense artifice and authenticity with great skill. I also learned a ton about babies in a supportive way; their mom was not just a great employer but is also a friend who taught me plenty of things I didn't know in a caring and nonthreatening way--including but not limited to how to split a banana into 3 easy pieces by shoving my finger in the top and to never try to calm an irate baby who won't go to sleep by continuing to talk to him about how upset and tired he is, no matter how soothing the tone. Watching--and enriching!--the process of two children's acquisition of language and observing the widening of their understanding of the world was unbelievably amazing. I miss mornings of singing Joni Mitchell and The Beatles together, and of dancing to Raffi--the very best musician for children in the whole wide world. And his philosophy on how children should be treated isn't too shabby, either. You don't know about Raffi you better ask somebody. Anyhow, I'm glad to have been such an important part in their lives, and I know that some of the times we spent together will be held fondly in their minds for always. Because of that position, I am able to say that I have actually had the privilege of working with kids quite literally from birth up to the 11th grade. I see where they've come from, I see where they're going, and my perspective has been greatly fortified by my experiences.
5. I love records. I'm lucky because my mom and dad have amassed a huge collection over the years. I think I like them because there's something so much more tangible about a record as compared to a cd. You can hold them and smell their musty smell and they have these sprawling photos of dreamers or glorious, hallucination-induced drawings. And then you open them up and they have all these surprises inside--poems and sincere dedications and whatever else the artist felt should go in there. My parents taught me early in life how to put the needle on the record carefully, and that is a skill I am thankful for.
6. Speaking of hallucination-induced anything, I'm interested in Carlos Castaneda's conversations with Don Juan as recorded in his mystical accounts, starting with The Teaches of Don Juan. It wasn't so much the Mesoamerican shamanism itself that drew me in, but the particular ideas regarding how humans can control their spiritual selves that took hold of me. The understanding of the world as something far more mystical and unknowable as we try to make it is comforting to me in some odd, eerie way. One of my favorite quotes is found in Journey to Ixtlan: "There are worlds upon worlds, right here in front of us. And they are nothing to laugh at. . . "
If you've ever read any Castaneda, yes, I have tried the do the whole dream thing and I think I did manage to glance at my hands once. I think I stopped reading the book before bed at that point. Maybe I should start again!
7. I love stationary and writing my own thank-you notes and messages of all sorts. Don't get it twisted--you won't catch me doing any stamping or anything else krafty-korner like. But I do love to write my own messages and give plain old pretty note cards for occasions as opposed to buying a card that says something disingenuous or artificial.
Ok, there you have it. Whew. I tag whoever wants to be tagged. I'm no good at that part. . .