Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 65

Terrible day yesterday; Binks ate a half a bag of almonds on Sunday night (left on an end table; he pulled them down and chewed through the bag).  So yesterday he was terribly sick.  Profuse vomiting and diarrehia in morning followed by a long day of general physical discomfort.  I spent the morning and early afternoon following him around and watching to make sure he didn't get worse and occasionally taking him outside, to vomit and excrete.  A good moral for you kids out there: if you eat a quarter of your weight in roasted almonds, you will be sick.

Binks, I'm sure, had no idea why he'd woken up so sick.  The idea of connecting his Sunday night's depredations with his Monday morning illness would not occur to a dog.  And thankfully he's now back to normal.  But yesterday was stressful. Poor Bear!

* * *

Finished Howard's End, a book whose final 2/3 do not live up to the promise of its opening.  Not a terrible book, but one deeply flawed--by a semi-incoherent philosophical substructure; by a massive implausibility at the core of its plot (Margaret's marrying Mr Wilcox); and by a prose style that lurches dangerously between the archaic, the glib, and the sermonizing.

Watched Kurosawa's Stray Dog yesterday, about a Tokyo cop whose quest to find a stolen gun leads to a larger examination of post-war Japan.  Found the pacing tedious but still enjoyed a number of the set sequences.

Today I go back to tutoring American History.  Mostly I get my American History tutoring jobs at the end of the year--May and June.  That means that this time of year I have to reread American History textbooks to prepare.  Right now I'm reading about the Grange.  No one ever talks about the Grangers anymore.  Why is that?


Dezmond said...

I do. As a prelude to Populism.

ANCIANT said...

People who teach American History do not count.

What is it about the years 1880-1910 that makes teaching them (or in my case, remembering them) so difficult? Whenever I have to start explaining the failure of unions or the formation of trusts or the Free Silver issue...I just find it all difficult. Maybe because they're all issues that develop over decades, without a lot of unique fixed moments a teacher can focus on.

Also: explaining bimetalism to a high school student--not all that easy. (Although fun to try!)

Dezmond said...

Yeah, that post-Civil War period until the turn of the century is the hardest for me as well. Most other time periods are somewhat easily discernable themes. Cold War. Civil Rights. Civil War. A New Nation. Manifest Destiny. Revolutionary Period. Imperialism. Whatever. But that period is so scattered. I talk about industrialism and urbanization, Grange and Populism, bimetalism, The taming of the West, immigration, etc. and then have to remind them that it is not really all chronological, all of this stuff sort of overlaps and is happening at the same time. I am always relieved once I get into the 1900's.

ANCIANT said...

Exactly! It's the way it all overlaps; talking about any part of it in a vacuum is difficult. Plus, the biggest issues are economic and explaining why tariff reform and free silver matter is not always easy.

Then Teddy Roosevelt comes along and it gets easier.