Tuesday, 24 October 2006

last day of school

Today was my last trip to Mildura until next semester. My third-years gave me a big card. One of the messages said "Thanks for not making us do Jane Austen!" I was very deeply moved. It was as close as I'm ever going to get to an authentic Dead Poets Society moment.

In case anyone has been wondering why I made a web page for Basil ( it's ok, I had a good wonder about that myself) I think part of the answer might be that I'm totally, totally knackered after this semester, and while there is still the matter of about sixty essays to mark, it's a big relief not to have to actually teach any more for a while. I've taught thirty-one different literary texts this semester; Possession, The Odyssey, the Oresteia, The Pilgrim's Progress, The Rings of Saturn, Trainspotting etc etc etc sigh. I'm so over the god damn canon. carnt blody think

Whine, whine, whine. I won't miss the travelling either. There is something very beautiful about the walk across the tarmac from plane to terminal at twilight at Melbourne Airport, the sky is streaked with colour and there are lights everywhere and planes coming in and taking off and the air's warm and smells good, and the ground under your feet is upliftingly solid. It's only a few seconds though and a long way from being fun enough to make it worth while.

Admittedly you do see interesting sights at the airport, this morning it was Alexander Downer in a nasty suit going through the security scanners, his bag seemed to be taking an unusually long time to pass through the x-ray machine. All two hundred or so people in the area were staring at him. Then in the taxi queue on the way home I stood behind Michael Triguboff, who is probably not exactly famous but I gather he is extraordinarily rich. He was carrying a devastatingly nice bag, much classier than Alex's.


M-H said...

Crikey! Cabinet minister in the ordinary queue? Anyone could have taken a pot shot at him. I wonder what the staff were looking at in his bag. I'm having some horrible thoughts... Dildos?

lucy tartan said...

Nothing so implicated in freedom and pleasure I should have thought.

Jonathan said...

I'm teaching a class next semester, targeted at freshman, called "Appreciating Literature."

What I will be teaching, exactly, I don't know. I'm comfortable with "Writing about Literature" classes, which I can usually design a nice theme around, but the "appreciating" part is terrifying me. Other people here seem to teach things they like, but my taste runs to the acquired, typically.

Also, Trainspotting?

lucy tartan said...

What a nice idea for a course. And you don't know what to put on it?

Is it too open?

It'd be good to hear what you do decide on.

I know you design interesting courses.

lucy tartan said...

Also, Trainspotting, yep.

TimT said...

You never know with those kinky Torys, spanking and dildos might be tickety-boo for Al Downer.

God knows what bedroom antics the machine men and women of the Labor Party get up to, though one imagines bedroom pleasures are beyond most of the current set of politicians we get nowadays.

momo said...

I always feel like one of the Beatles stepping off a Southern Australia/Rex/Kendall/whatever they're called these days airlines flights from Melb-Mildura-Melb. Got a certain glamour to it, going direct to tarmac.

pk said...

spanking and dildos might be tickety-boo for Al Downer

Indeed, and in keeping with his penchant for fishnet stockings.

Bernice Balconey said...

Was Downer's "a nasty suit" re colour or cut? James Packer graced the front financial pages last week with the worst stitching on lapels I've ever seen. Looking for all the world like a rat with a gold tooth - albeit a very large one. Rat - not tooth.

lucy tartan said...

I was not close enough to observe lapel stitching, but the suit was too small. The jacket was the kind with two vents in the back and the vents were gaping around the backside.

Off to represent Australians in Milan or Paris, no doubt.

The Devil Drink said...

What's wrong with Trainspotting? If you can have canonical James Joyce and William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson and all of the other booze- and drug-ridden white men of literature, surely there's no problem with working-class smacky Scots.
Whoops, did I just say class?

Suse said...

Driving home last night Son #1 suddenly yelled STOP THE CAR! I screeched to a panicked halt and he climbed out to retrieve 'The Rings of Saturn' wedged in the crevice of a roadside tree.

He's about a third of the way through it now. Can I send him your way if he has any questions?

lucy tartan said...

Devil Drink, it's more that this year's group of students turned out to be the kind who vomit upon the smallest provocation. Trainspotting made them sick. I didn't teach Joyce or Burroughs or anyone else like that (more's the pity) so technically we didn't have the canonicals.

Suse, sure you can, I promise to do my best How old is he? Wedged into the fork of a tree is a very appropriate place to leave / find this book.

Jonathan said...

I've decided to go with this reading list.

I'm calling it "Literature and Ordinary Life." It'll be about down-to-earth folks, just trying to get by. Earn a dollar, etc.

The Devil Drink said...

That's really pissweak. If any of you are reading, oh you sensitive-stomached students, you need to get with the mainstream.
Workplace and classroom chundering is an established Australian value, exemplified in the works of Bazza McKenzie, but c'mon. You're not supposed to regurgitate your lot from reading.
As I said. Piss. Weak.

Suse said...

He's 12.

And he doesn't generally vomit when reading.