14 sept. 2005

A few things I know how to do:

Make a perfect caldo gallego. Make a "tortilla española." Teach children to write poetry. Complete the Saturday NY Times Crossword in 40 minutes. Do sukoku puzzles. Recognize any jazz standard. Make C. Dale Young laugh out loud. Play a four-against-five polyrhythm. Memorize a sonnet in 15 minutes. Memorize the names of all my students the first week of class. Translate poetry from the Spanish. Irritate Tony Tost. Get academic articles published in specialized journals in my field. Write the perfect "tenure review letter." Speak in blank verse. Read French and Catalan. Play a "tumbao" on the congas. Write academic prose in Spanish. Explain the subjunctive for three hours straight without using any notes. Bore you to tears with my lecture on Thelonious Monk. Speak in public in either Spanish or English. Ride a bicycle. Make amusing lists. Write pantoums. Write parodies. Curse. Babysit a three-year-old child. Juggle. Juggle a soccer ball with my feet for 4 seconds. Make a copy of a drawing.

A few things I cannot do:

Fix anything mechanical. Play the piano. Tell a joke. Tolerate a poem by C.K Williams. Teach adults to write poetry (I never tried!). Keep my desk free of clutter. Act. Sing. Complete everything on a "to-do list." Listen to "books on tape." Sell anything to anyone. Tell anyone to do anything. Meet a deadline. Grade more than three papers in a row without my brain rebelling. Learn html code for indenting a line. Remember my students names a week after the semester is over. Get a book of poetry published. Make hollandaise sauce. Shoot a basket. "Turn" a double play. Play tennis. Understand hockey. Watch an entire football game from beginnning to end. Cut hair. Shave without cutting myself. Go a day without reading poetry. Relax. Give up my blog for a week. Publish in APR. Beat people up. Write a sonnet. Get a job at a "liberal arts institution." Surf. Make small talk with someone cutting my hair. Remember whether it's "Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon," or "Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger."

I guess I'll call it even, although somehow I think the things I know how to do are pretty useless--except for the caldo gallego of course, and a few things I cannot mention here. Tomorrow: things to do before I die.

8 comentarios:

JWG dijo...

Wasn?t until I began teaching English that grammar became fun. Still don?t use it as I should, catch myself all the time, but I like talking about it. hours of subjunctive talk, still my beating heart.

About the double play, bet we could work on that, what position do you want to play and where is the ball hit?

next (and first) poetry reading we are both at, I?ll bring a bat and glove.

take care
jim

Jonathan dijo...

I guess I could play first base and just stick my arm out and catch the throw. I am a leftie which is an advantage for that. But I think I really want to play second, run to the bag, catch the short-stop's throw, and then throw to first.

The subjunctive in English hardly exists. I was talking about the Spanish subjunctive.

Tony dijo...

The subjunctive in English, if it were to exist, would look something like this.

Tony dijo...

I am glad that you can irritate Tony Tost.

Someone needs to do that.

Jonathan dijo...

i'ts not on purpose. Sometimes what I say just irritates him.

JWG dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.
Lisa M dijo...

What happens when the baby turns 4? Will you still be able to baby sit?

How do you know that you can't teach the adults to write poetry if you haven't tried yet?

Do you think I ask too many questions like the 3 year old does?

If it is any consolation, I can't make small talk with hair dressers either.

Jonathan dijo...

I can deal with any age from infant onward. 4-year olds are no problem. Adults, however.... I would love to try but who would give me a chance?