I won't say the apple/poetry lesson thingie was sensational, but it didn't flop. I think the kids were more interested in my old (and, alas, steadily cracking) apple slicer, but perhaps there's something to be said for a bunch of 14-year-olds resolving to have one of their own someday. Maybe next week I will show them the garlic press?
The lesson, by the way, was pretty simple. Usually it went like this: read Ode to a/the Lemon (translations vary), hold up a lemon during the fourth stanza for maximum effect of the word "nipple," point out the way you can say yellow without just saying yellow, point out the holy imagery, discuss the purpose/form of an ode, students jot down everything that comes to mind when they think of apples, cut apples with mesmerizing slicer as this happens (and slip in a Grāpple®), distribute apples, students name their apple slices (Honors only - they're cute that way), walk students through each sense (having them write down their observations as they sniff/see/touch apple) ending with taste/sound, point out that eight people have SPECIAL apples and see if anyone has realized that they aren't eating a normal apple at all, and then assign ode of three stanza/two lines each minimum, incorporating each sense.
As I drove in to work, mouth open at all the snow that'd fallen on the southwestern mountains (our mountains!) during the night, I wasn't sure if I'd even bother. I was cross from a bad dream. That's two mornings in a row. ("Mornings" because for the past two days I've been on the "nap at 5 p.m. then nap again at 4 a.m." plan. It's the morning sleep that's throwing up demons.)
Two mornings ago, what I can remember of the dream went like this:
The Sahara was giving me and my parents a special suite of rooms for our visit. On the outside, it looked like a Beverly Hills bungalow (as I imagine them). On the inside, it was amazing. In one corner there was a rollercoaster. We were busy exploring, figuring out who would go where, and I was taking photos of everything, already mentally preparing how to begin gushing to Mike. I rode the rollercoaster a little bit and ended up by a bed and bath that I decided would be mine.
That's when I saw a couple of young children run by. Ah, I thought. That's not unusual, what with this being a dream and all. They ran by again. Okay, not unusual, maybe, but annoying - this is our hotel suite! There can't be hallucinations of children running around!
So, I held out my arms in front of me in a gesture that meant "come grab my hands." I knew it wouldn't work because, hey, it's like when you try to read a book in your dreams - there just isn't that kind of control.
And then they grabbed my hands.
These kids, who were definitely not alive/human, weren't just images, either. They could see me, and they were still running around, laughing, not leaving. I started feeling creeped out.
Around this time, my parents came downstairs, looking unhappy, and I said, "Let me guess, you have 10 black children following you and they won't leave?"
(Yes, all of the kids were black. It seemed like an important detail at the time. Maybe it had something to do with me having prepared to teach "Blackberry Sweet" that day.)
Then we saw the hotel manager who'd inexplicably given us the suite (we weren't even staying at the Sahara), and accused him of not telling us everything. Now it wasn't just kids but also a woman and a man, dressed in clothes possibly from the turn of the (last) century.
I don't remember how it ended, though. I think I just woke up frustrated and puzzled.
Then yesterday morning, that was the bad one. I can't remember much anymore, but the bad part was this:
Comet had a cage-style habitat where he lived alone. (I don't know what happened to Bonnet.) I walked by and noticed that, oh my, there was a tiny chipmunk (or squirrel - I wasn't sure) running in his wheel. How did that squirrel (or chipmunk) get in there?!
So, I went over, camera already on me, but the squirrel was off the wheel. It was about the size of a dwarf ham. I opened the door to get the squirrel out, lest Comet was unhappy.
But when I opened the door, there were all kinds of critters in there. Mostly small. I started pulling them out like it was a clown car and I was the big gloved Monty Python hand. I was really worried about Comet now, and I saw him pressed up against a pole, on his back two legs, like a thief on a ledge, trying to avoid the notice of these other animals.
I put my hand out to him and he got on - it was just in time, because there was also a cat in the cage and a very large bunny. The bunny tried to lunge at Comet, and I had to punch it in the face to keep him back. (Yes, in my dream I punched an adorable plush grey rabbit in the face. I was horrified even as my fist met bunched up bunny-nose, but Comet was in danger.)
The cat was in front of me, staring hard at Comet. Comet took offense and chittered at the cat. And the cat... grabbed Comet. With its mouth.
I pried open the cat's teeth and was trying to get Comet out, who'd gone in head first. The cat had amazing gulping powers, though. I was yelling and trying to feel around in the cat's throat so I could cradle Comet and pull him out all together (as opposed to a taffy-hammie-pull with the cat). But, did Comet.... did he still have a head? Oh no... I wasn't sure. I kept trying to pry him out, but the cat was bearing down.
And then cat's jaws slammed shut, with all of Comet inside, except for one tiny foot that fell from the toothy guillotine.
And I did not wake up happy.
I staggered up to the alarm and checked on Comet. He was fine - more than fine. He was snuggled with Bonnet in their "corner unit" hideyhole, like they knew it was snowy outside and white weather calls for furry bedfellows. Normally shy/wary Bonnet avoids Comet and his rough play, which is sad for Comet since he really likes to tuck in with Bonnet. (But, he also deserves to be rejected, since Bonnet has no interest in playing silly alpha male games and for a long time Comet wouldn't take the hint.) But there they were, both of them, curled up together like little pom-poms.
The little-feet-go-snap image is still vivid in my mind, but hopefully the sight of Comet blissfully snozzed out with his brother will take over.
And now it's 3:55 a.m. and today's morning nap is about to take over. May I dream of nothing, as Mercutio would've advised.
(Speaking of Shakespeare, looks like the district has blocked Amazon as well. Oh well. Maybe I'll invest in that sixth stapler. Or try Barnes and Noble...)
25 January 2008 | Permalink