Friday, March 5, 2010

We are moments away from... Le Mac!

All right, everybody - by way of introducing Mac (who should be on this evening), I give you this music video. It shows so much of the art he teaches (check out the Sylvia von Harden by Otto Dix - wow, and these covers, too)! I found it while gathering feminist websites for my Women's Studies class this fall - it takes on drag of both gender and race (always provocatively problematic, thanks to Manet's Olympia, and, well, all of history). This particular post is from Mother Jones, with good commentary!) and the band is French - voilà! (It may take a moment to load, or you can click on the "70 Million..." link below the video box).

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

In the meantime, some news from the kids:

Oliver couldn't believe that I wanted to take this picture, but gee whiz, the kid just finished the 7th and final book of the series! Wow! He read the first one over the entire summer of 2009, the second one in two weeks, and then just one after the other after that. This from the kid who never wanted to do his reading homework throughout first grade. What a marvel it is to discover someone discover reading. I love teaching this particular generation of college students because they are the ones who were exactly Harry's age during the first editions of each book - apparently, it was torture waiting for the next book to come out: Oliver said he can't possibly imagine waiting that long. :-) My little guy... his teacher said that it was just fine if he read Harry Potter while the kids were doing stuff that was too involved for him. I still think that's off, but, hey, what a memory he'll have of reading Harry Potter in the school yard during recess!

I'll be super brief tonight as we're poised to try, try again for Mac's special appearance on this here blog. After the initial celebration about the book, Oliver and I went to the pharmacy for his intense head cold and worrisome achy ear. I really need to write about my every-other-week visits to the pharmacy (Eleanor's chest cold, Oliver's skin, Iris's stomach bug), about French pharmacies in general - they are soothing havens, all. But for now, suffice it to say that Oliver's got some fantastic medication that will hopefully do some good. So here's the scene we came home to:

Iris "Not to be Outdone" Mackenzie, plunged right back into Ivy and Bean - to be fair, she's been reading it the past few days. But it was just so dear to see her curled up with her dad reading it. Darling moment or sibling rivalry? I'll take either one. Actually, now that I think about it, today was a day of reading closure all around: I finally (and I mean finally) finished the absolutely fundamental François Ier Imaginaire by Anne-Marie Lecoq - 500+ pages chock full of iconographic information decoding the most far-reaching and absurd late-medieval/early Renaissance allegories, metaphors, symbols, and riddles. Lots and lots of good stuff in there - now to put it all to good use! Gleaned a lot of good bibliography and manuscripts that I'll want to work with further. There's an intersection between Orientalism and Perspective that I'm eager to try out in some thinking about specific images of Thenaud's trip to the Holy Land, which he writes up and illustrates right after the very first panoramic views of cities were first printed (the cities in question just happened to be Jerusalem and Cairo!) . Really, I must bore you with this some time! :-)

I bought Oliver's favorite dessert of all, super tangy and delicious lemon tart. His descriptive word for them is great: "perfect." A perfect dessert - what more could you ask for? The photograph is a candid shot, in case you're wondering: he really did lick his lips!

No idea why Eleanor is looking so wistful here. Another buttery crust about to be consumed in the great dessert festival of life? Like fluffy pink unicorns, "wistful" is not what I usually think of as Eleanor's idiom. But this little one is more complex than I think: our bedtime routine now consists of Oliver reading in his bed by the light of his wand (yes, a Harry Potter wand that lights up), while I stretch out next to Iris who burrows herself in my beck, and Mac stretches out next to Eleanor who twiddles his ear until she's sleepy. Tonight, as she was fading she says: "Mais, qu'est-ce qui s'passe?" (What's happening?). Mac answered "We're getting ready to do a Baby Pink Dragon story" - to which Eleanor replied "Tell me something I don't know." !!!! See why fluffy pink unicorns and wistful don't seem like a match? Ah, children: they are large, they contain multitudes (there's some wonderful line like that from a Walt Whitman poem). Anon, dear friends!


  1. Anne -- I've just caught your blog and read it with tears in my eyes. What a fabulous experience for you, for your kids, for your family, and clearly (from the sounds of it) for your work! Bravi!

    Mary Shepard

  2. Anne: I've just caught your blog and read it with tears in my eyes. What a fabulous experience for your kids, for your family and for your work (from the sounds of it)! Brava!

    Mary Shepard
    (the "La prof" is from a blog I'm doing for my students from Friends University ... please forgive....)

  3. Hi dear Mary! oooo! will you e-mail me your blog address? google here automatically goes to (no matter how hard i try to go to american google) and so when i typed in "le prof blog" i got a blog entitled "Prof à la dérive" - so not your idiom! :-) I remember hearing wonderful tales of your travels and your adventurous daughters - clearly an inspiration for our time here!


  4. Hey Annie! Unfortunately, my blog is a closed blog -- heavily didactic for my students. But I'll put your DePauw email in for an "invitation"; certainly you can join! When I took the group to Paris last year, I realized there were so many basic things that were new to them. So, the blog is an attempt to get them up & running for next year's trip. I love the picture of Iris at the cheese shop. Who could resist those eyes?