Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When Peacocks, and People, Dance

--Yesterday, I was sad to hear of the death of Elmore Leonard.  Part of me thinks, why should I be sad?  After all, he had a full rich life; he was older than I realized.  Still, I always feel a bit sad when a good brain leaves us. 

--This article in The Washington Post is full of insights, including Leonard's habit of getting up very early to get the writing done, and how he re-invented himself and his writing several times.

--Here's my favorite quote from the article:  "Mr. Leonard liked to quote the review from a librarian at a Connecticut prison: “'While you ain’t caught on with the crack and cocaine heads, you have got a following amongst the heroin crowd.'”

--Now there's a recommendation!  I immediately started thinking of the kinds of reviews I would like to garner.

--As I was sorting files, I came across one of my favorite student evaluations which said that she so enjoyed the way I taught that she'd like to read a book that I wrote some day.

--If I'd been smart, I'd have been keeping a file with student names and contact info, so that as books emerge from my brain, I could let them know.

--Speaking of books, one of my good friends came by my office last week.  A third good friend took this picture:

A few minutes earlier you'd have seen us literally jumping up and down in our joy.

--My friend's poem appears in this anthology, The Dance of the Peacock:  An Anthology of English Poetry from India.  It's such a beautiful book, and I don't mean just the work in it.  The pages are thick and creamy.  It's well assembled.  The cover, as you might can see, is beautiful.

--It's good to remember these moments of joy.  And when I'm mired in administrative drudgery, like the schedule that I'm redoing for the umpteenth time through no fault of my own or the assessment report requirements that change mid-cycle, it's good to remember that my administrator days are not usually drudgery days.  They're usually days of quiet contentment with bursts of periodic joy.

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