My Handwriting

Two photos today: one as student of Patrick Weil‘s course on the 5th Republic back in 2003:

(I still use these notes to prepare lectures – brought them with me to class just today!)

and one as prof:

Red, erasable editor’s pencil always in hand, I finished grading the essay portion of my students’ midterms last night. This student did a pretty good job answering my broad question about “France face à ‘l’autre'”  (France confronting the “other”) – covering the period of 1900-1958. I used to use a variety of colored pens to grade, always avoiding red as my dad always does, but Seth brought home a bunch of boxes of these pencils when he worked at Fortune, and I was hooked on them, mostly because I can erase and change my comments, which I always second-guess. It’s old school needing the pencil sharpener, but my 3.5-year-old assistant is only too eager to help me complete that task.

Hello, my name is

Life is crazy right now. Two kids, teaching a class, midterms sitting on my nightstand, waiting to be graded… I have masses of admiration for my parents and in-laws, who raised three kids with both parents working full time. Babies become toddlers, and toddlers become little children with personality and new talents and it’s hard to escape all the clichés of parenting (it goes by so fast!). And so, I’ve been wanting to document this time in our lives ?? and blog more about it ?? but have needed someone to guide me a tad in the process. Nothing ever gets done without deadlines, as a wise professor told me once, as I embarked on writing my dissertation.

So I’m going to take a cue from one of my favorite photo publishing sites, Paper Coterie, and follow them for the month of April. Who knows if I’ll keep up on time, but I have every intention of posting something for each of the days’ themes (even if I post late). The overarching theme? Me. I usually shy away from such ego-centric stuff (ug, the bratty “it’s all about me” attitude we pass on to our children in this culture…). But I think of the approach as simply one of sharing, documenting, and remembering.

So voilà. Today’s subject is My Home:

This is the gallery wall I’m slowly putting together in our stairway. I love it because I’ve had a lot of the frames and artwork since our city days. Most of the photos are newer ones of our wedding and kids, but I also still have a photo I took of my sisters in 1994 (?), an assignment in my photography class in high school. There is a lovely little photo of my granny and her two sisters that my sister Monica had copied and framed for all the girls one year for Christmas (it’s the top-right one in this picture). On the left is a photo of Jax and Ben that I had taken at a department photo studio. Matching 70s shirts for a 70s kind of activity. The charcoal drawing on the left was done by the father of one of my best friends growing up. He was an art teacher and gave this piece to my family as a thank-you for taking my friend on a vacation with us. When we got the house, my parents gave it to me and I’m so happy to have it.