Friday 23 September 2011


The problem with an original assignment (which in this case I got from a book) is that its demands and effects become evident only after, sometimes, the writing is done. Some around the reading of it, not unconnected to the grading.

Students find this unfair, if grading standards are retrospective rather than prior in application, which I have to watch out for (or as Don Cherry would say, to the college grad hockey player at training camp who said "Coach Cherry, you can't end a sentence with a perposition": "Ok, 'which I have to watch out for' you asshole").

Students enjoyed writing the voice of a coach instructing and inspiring his/her players at half-time (but does Cranium have half-times?).

Trouble is, they wrote the voice and didn't speak it.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Geometry Sets

(after comment by Hawksley Workman, 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, guest-hosting for Molly Johnson)

If you saw your friends with
the latest geometry set
you knew they'd talked
their parents into it

or something along those lines was the comment Workman made, and he's right. We needed those oblique accessories like a golfer needs the wider bag. Those mini pencils, size of a bullet. We needed fine muscles on the upper tenth of thumb and index finger on in my case the right hand. For running the compass. And of course with the protractor (or proto-tractor), properly deployed, you were at the one true center, where the shadow meets the wall, the yellow leaf the green.

Friday 2 September 2011

Decisions Writers Make

Already the topic is too small. I've claimed for several years now that every book I write becomes another hit of The Man from Saskatchewan. If it is, my current book-to-be (some publisher willing)becomes Book Five of The Man. What showed up at 8:45 this morning was the idea that current work will take up more than one book, perhaps requiring re-jigging of the numbering scheme. I'm sure you can imagine, dear readers (good morning Uncle Sal and Aunt Pete), that the sentence you just read was rather distasteful to write. Because none of this matters except at 8:45am, one day out of 21, 901.