Thursday, April 21, 2016

Conceptual Poetry and Appropriation

Psychologists hate Jung. This is what I reaffirm to my students every semester I teach Mythology to know that if they have any shared ideas that we could possibly be deeply interconnected even at the point of the mind before the brain processes images into language, that they may be ridiculed. Then I open myself up to ridicule by sharing all the stories of how dreams are forms of communication. What does this mean? It is that the texts emerging from a writer who lets go are meaningful in their connections to those concept-images that emerge. Poetry is image, too--the strength in symbolic meaning. As someone who feels anxious, disconnected, and uncreative, the idea of a plan for writing out of existing symbolic experiences makes sense. In 1984, the struggles in Marvel Comics' Secret Wars mirrored my struggles--another concept of poetry, that the public and private reflect each other. Oh, did that just sound like Jung? A few psychologists are daring enough to move Jung forward, as scientists are daring to publish what they find in quantum physics: that unexplainable things happen. This is also often called the mystical--a direct connection to the origin. We do not understand the methods to the proof. However, shaping poems through existing materials is a way of channeling. A way of communicating with those who wrote the words. I am reverse engineering the process of what it means to write.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

To-Do with the Boys

April is the roughest month--not just cruel. I am trying to prepare for the end of the semester with a list of things I want to do [again] with the boys.

Write their poems down
Draw with them
Color with them
Teach Asmund reading via board games
Teach Wystan math via counting money
Teach Raedan colors
Design a comic book
Make a movie

I'll keep adding to this.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Public education

My sons


Book II[edit]

The second book concerns the initial interactions of the child with the world. Rousseau believed that at this phase education should be derived less from books and more from their interactions with the world, with an emphasis on developing the senses, and the ability to draw inferences from them. Rousseau concludes the chapter with an example of a boy who has been successfully educated through this phase. The father takes the boy out flying kites, and asks the child to infer the position of the kite by looking only at the shadow. This is a task that the child has never specifically been taught, but through inference and understanding of the physical world, the child is able to succeed in his task. In some ways, this approach is the precursor of the Montessori method.
Montessori education spread to the United States in 1911 and became widely known in education and popular publications. However, conflict between Montessori and the American educational establishment, and especially the publication in 1914 of a critical booklet, The Montessori System Examined by influential education teacher William Heard Kilpatrick, limited the spread of her ideas, and they languished after 1914. Montessori education returned to the United States in 1960 and has since spread to thousands of schools there. Montessori continued to extend her work during her lifetime, developing a comprehensive model of psychological development from birth to age 24, as well as educational approaches for children ages 0 to 3, 3 to 6, and 6 to 12. She wrote and lectured about ages 12 to 18 and beyond, but these programs were not developed during her lifetime.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

AWP Advice

Yes, AWP can be a challenging thing. My first time going was horribly spent with too many parties, following people I didn't want to follow, and in the book fair. Now people blog about it, so I have these things to offer. I will also update with my own notes.

First note: Plan the book fair visit for specific tables. Plan to visit your favorite writers when they are at a table. Don't get sucked in to everything.

Second: Plan at least two off-site readings. This is also a time where you can chat with writers you admire, more because you are away from the bedlam!

Third: Plan rest time. Really.

Fourth: Plan everything, without needing to stick to it.

Fifth: Listen to the voice that says, "Don't try to fit anther thing in that you wouldn't be interested in."


Note: Many people disagree.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

As a poet I look forward to the idioglossia and cryptophasia

An idioglossia is an idiosyncratic language invented and spoken by only one person or very few people. Most often, idioglossia refers to the "private languages" of young children, especially twins, the latter being more specifically known as cryptophasia, and commonly referred to as twin talk or twin speech.

Lots of material here. I already keep track of what my boys say, how they phrase things. One of my favorites was Wystan describing something good as being gluten-free.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

In my words

We just had twins--going from three to five boys--and went through the whole experience of planning with a birth center (for insurance reasons), to switching back to a home birth (when we found out we were having twins), to calling for an ambulance to transfer to the hospital. Our midwife had another midwife over to help her when Carrie was moving smoothly through labor. However, the first boy was posterior breech, so she decided to transfer to the more mother-friendly hospital. Carrie started telling the boys to stop moving, telling her body to stop, and the major contractions stopped coming. Her friend was holding the baby in on the way to the hospital. 

When we got there, the doctor was mad at our midwives who were in the room and told them to leave. We knew we would be in the other environment. Luckily, she switched over from expressing her anger to getting down to delivering. We thought we were going to have a C-Section, something Carrie was prepared for, but she delivered the first naturally after all, The second boy came out feet-first breech, too! Carrie thinks it was the ambulance's bumpy ride that might have turned him. However, he just followed naturally in fifteen minutes.

We were amazed at how understanding the nurses were to our homebirthing beliefs, as one also was a homebirther and attachment parenter. We found out from our midwife that the doctor called security to escort them out of the hospital. Out in the parking lot, they sent positive vibes for our doctor and for Carrie.

It has been quite the experience!  I was using the last year to work on poems about the boys--now with more to certainly write about.