Thursday, March 27, 2008

links links links..

Disappeared Up A Hill

The powerful phrasing of Dan's "Remember October Nights" does not belong to the colloquial realm. And in Necole's "I'm done reading" post her thoughts move back and forth between what she found accessible, and what remained hidden from her. It is the opportunity to read at my leisure and reflect upon her post that allows my own thoughts about the novel to articulate with hers. Beth's excitement about 'the snap shot view of the world' as a writing prompt has become a lens through which I view our writing, as well as consider the novel. The mystery of Cisneros's power to draw us into her pictures, and elude us with a slight of hand which keeps her free of her narrative... how does she do it? Maybe writing is Esperanza's liberation. Are we to assume this is autobiographical(Cisneros writing her experience of the writer's experience?)? The freedom to muse and struggle to articulate what is still unformed in my own reading of House on Mango Street, is the particular purview of writing, but writing on the blog does create a back and forth which is another influence, another voice in the discovery of the text. I am looking forward to our meeting in real time, when we will play with our ideas together. But perhaps I have been too hasty in reducing the exercise of blogging to its failure in creating conversation... It has succeeded in laying the groundwork for what promises to be an excellent conference. See you all on Saturday at Necole's. (Dan, I know you can't come... but maybe we could have a satellite link?)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This is a reminder for all that we plan to meet this Saturday 2:00 pm (food will be served) at my home to discuss/finalize our paired teaching. Meaning be reading the NCTE and also thinking about what you want to discuss/takeaway from the novel. Some of topics we discussed as being great learning lessons are/were:

Eating - the culture of it
Sensory - the smell (Mom's hair smells like bread), taste, feel of the novel
Imagery - the setting, symbolism, compairisons in the movel
Sexuality - the reference and sharp contrast between male & female in the novel
Color - color is used throughout the novel and is associated in many ways, we can connect this to Beach "Naming" for example.

Just a few thoughts and ideas and we can discuss it more on Saturday!
Hope all is well.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Remember October Nights - Dan Peltier

***Having finished the book, I decided to include a little vignette of my own***

She looked like Grandma again, all dressed up, with her nicest dress on, and deep red lipstick on her lips, the shade she loved so much before. The family all waited in the lower house on the Vermont farm on the balmy October night. Everyone was nearly settled in when she and Grandpa walked in to their surprise party. Everyone applauded, announcing celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and a few close friends continued to pile in, but all eyes were on grandma. It was as though her absence had only been temporary; she looked great, just like the grandma everyone remembered. It was just in the past year that she was diagnosed, but so many symptoms had already set in. Daniel couldn’t help but feel awkward amongst the crowd. He went to turn on his ipod, which he stuffed full of their favorite big band songs from their time. The sounds produced a 1940s atmosphere over dinner.

Everyone ate and had their fill, partook in dancing, and shared a memorable evening, but a few of the older cousins knew too much. Dan was one of them. He knew that behind the makeup and the dress, the beautiful face, and bright smile was a hidden confusion over the whole event. He tried his best to keep up spirits by dancing and playing ridiculous games with his younger cousins; those who did not know any different. It was the first time they had all been together at once since the past Thanksgiving. For some it was just too hard to rejoice, but everyone did their part to give them their night, and that made all the difference.

The end of the party was overtaken by a chilling scene, something no pathetic Hallmark movie could do justice. Grandma got up, being escorted by Grandpa, to say their goodbyes for the evening and walk up to their house. Dan and some of the older grandchildren gave their hugs and kisses to the woman that no longer recognized them. But, she kept her joyful face and went along with the hugging. The rest of the cousins followed in line, none of them realizing what the rest had. Tears broke out over the room, like a raging flu epidemic; only more heartbreaking. Some couldn’t handle the emotion and left the room, as Dan and his older brother sat in chairs directly apart from one another. Looking at one another, the two shed tears of their own, being consoled by their aunt. After the grandparents left the closed door behind them, Dan went to the back window where he could carefully watch them walk to their home. They slowly paced past the house, up the driveway, and past the lights. Past the barn and past the silo, the happily married couple disappeared up the hill.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm Done Reading!!

I finished the book over the break and wow!! I loved it. I will say that I had a better time with the first 55 pages. Don't know why, but it started getting a little too deep, or maybe I was reading into it too much. A lot of symbolism in the second half. Let me just say, had I not heard professor Cercone mention a "rape", I would not have necessairly known that it took place. I knew something transpired, but not your typicl description of a rape. I had to re-read a lot of the second half. I will say magnificent reading.

Things that I found interesting in the second half are exactly what Dan mentioned, the relationship aspect, the man versus woman struggle, in her describing women, it always seems to be that the woman is unhappy, out of place, like Ruthie "Only thing I can't understand is why Ruthoe living on Mango street is she doesn't have to" (69). Again, men being the saving grace of sweeping the ladies off of their feet and taking them "out of the ghetto".

I love the colors & imagery- I mentioned this before, but she creates a scene with her "painting" of the words. The cockroach with the spot of green paint! I'll save some of my blogging, I'm getting carried away and sleepy!