Teaching Heart of Darkness: Necessary Supplies

1. Heart of Darkness Mango Juice from Trader Joe's? Check.

2. Dark Chocolate Cookies? Check.

3. Actual Heart of Darkness text? Check.

4. A Classroom of college students who feel like they're in sixth grade again? Check.

Seriously, I love teaching. And yes, they actually do make Heart of Darkness juice at Trader Joe's. Check out the label. Besides serving as a beverage for Heart of Darkness themed snack-time, it's also my new favorite juice. Yum!

Sigh, only five more classes left in the semester. I really enjoyed teaching World Lit II over at Holy Family, as well as my wonderful students. This was my first time teaching a literature course, and they were patient with me as I learned to teach through teaching.

Looking forward to teaching World Lit I there in the Fall. Hopefully by then I'll have my Beowulf tattoo. Woo!

Pimp My Cube: Episode 1

So I've been working this amazing job for the past few months and realized that my cubicle was positively barren. For those of you who know me well, you know that simply isn't me. So after looking around, I decided to do something about it.


I mean look at this place! Does it look like Eric Smith works here?


Hmph! Certainly not! The only decor in this photo is a disshelved looking green apple (it's not even round, it's almost potato shaped, wtf Trader Joes) and a list of emails next to my lappy. It's time... for change.

*cue triumphant sounding music*


Two very important things. My bunny and the girl I adore. Aw. There's also the kitten who likes to walk on my face while I sleep.


OMG! Space Invader!!! Made up entirely of Post It Notes! SKILLS!

Also note the framed robot prints. I'd like to thank the ever talented Anthony Clark for those. If you haven't heard of this guy, do check out his website at Nedriod.com and his blog, Nedroid Comics @ Livejournal, where he makes daily updates. Dinosaur Warlock is currently my favorite thing. Ever.

What will I be up to this week and all weekend?

Reading: Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion by Jane Austen, all in that order, during the next six weeks. My head hurts a little. The joys of graduate school.

Listening: Socratic - Just Turn. Self Against City - Telling Secrets to Strangers. Boys Like Girls - Self Titled.

Watching: Pan's Labyrinth. A hundred times.

And counting the weeks to being on tour.


slaughterhousefive.jpgI was an obnoxiously precocious little kid. I spent so much time reading and writing from grade school to high school, that I was socially retarded around girls up until I entered college. My love interests were novels, the paperbacks that seemed only to collect dust in my 6th grade classroom. Perhaps I was a bit on the pretentious side, as I often scoffed at my friends who picked up R.L. Stine books, or the girls who were glued to V.C. Andrews. They didn't understand half of what was going on. Flowers In The Attic? Get out of here.

Oh, what a shock my little mind was in for when I started picking up Vonnegut. Can someone at age 11 / 12 really appreciate novels like this? Slaughterhouse 5? Breakfast of Champions? Sirens of Titan? Cat's Cradle?

No, probably not. But I read them all anyway.

Slaughterhouse 5 was the first of Vonnegut's works I read. The unique voice, the constant moving back and forth through time, and the odd humor scattered throughout, really altered my perceptions of literature. Books didn't just have to entertain. They could teach you something, deliver a message, leave you in awe and with a sense of wonderment.

Maybe I read it because the original title of the book was Slaughterhouse 5: or The Children's Crusade, A Duty-Dance With Death, and that whole children's crusade bit interested me. I was a kid, what did I know.


Vonnegut passed away on Wednesday, while I was in my room, sitting by the window, reading Franz Kafka's The Trial. I wonder, would I have been here, in Philadelphia, reading Western literature, German literature for that matter, if I hadn't picked up that dusty novel with yellowed pages in my 6th grade library?

A mind wanders.

Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.