Friday, January 30, 2009

Post Office Cross-Cultural

It is kind of weird, when you think about it.

Today in the post office, I was approached by an Asian couple (I think Korean) in their or 40's or so. The woman asked a question - how were they to seal their envelope?

"Oh, you have to lick it," I said. I think they heard me, but thought they must have gotten the words wrong. "With your tongue," I elaborated, pantomiming the motion.

They were quite amused.

How many aspects of our culture do we learn by the age of six, never to think of again unless reminded that they are but aspects of our culture?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can'ts hold no fruit.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion..."
Genesis 1:28
My friend leighcia has written about the joys of knitting, of the process "From one dimensional string to two dimensional fabric to three dimensional garment." In one post, she writes:
Being a financial analyst by occupation and a writer/reader at heart, I usually work with the substances that cannot be touched. Abstract numbers, thoughts and ideas, shuttling back and forth from computer screen to paper to words...Sometimes, it's just so refreshing to just be able to hold something in my hands and not feel obliged to say anything at all.
As a student and now as a teacher, I have felt a similar longing, as I articulated in a comment on another of her posts:
You make pretty things. I wish I make pretty things one day too. Not sewing things. Other things.
What kind of "other things?" In another comment, her husband Matthew (who builds amps and bikes) hit the nail on the head:
Yes. Something masculine.

What do I already create?
  • As a teacher I primarily seek an impact on the hearts, minds, and souls of my students. Very real, yes; tangible, no.

  • Along the way I churn out copious amounts of worksheets, Powerpoint lectures, and grades. Tangible? Sort of. The real creation exists in zeroes and ones on my hard drive.

  • Today I made Scantron answer keys for my midterm exams. They possess a certain beauty in that they are codified truth, a standard to which my students' imitations will be compared. But, while I can hold them in my hand, they are hardly tangible. They must be fed through a dot machine in order for their worth to be made manifest.
So what am I left with? Well, I like to cook.

I'd like something more.