Saturday, September 23, 2006

First Day of Fall

This has been a hectic week orienting 13 new graduate students to their new responsibilities at teaching assistants, teaching first year composition (WR 121 at OSU) to 25 students per class. So much to cover, too little time, of course.

I pondered the use of "orienting" - that is, turning them to the east - and mentioned this to Michael asking why we don't occident them, that is turn them to the west, as in fact nearly all of these students have come west to Oregon from somewhere east of here, though a few have come north from California, which made Michael ask if there is even a term for northing or southing. Undoubtedly there is, somewhere.

I want a reverse dictionary that will allow me to enter the concept and find the term.

Recto and verso, face and peen, alamo, alder, and aspen. All words that crossed my mind this morning during my crossword puzzle. Words are wonderful, like flowers, like tools.

Tomorrow I will go back to school to post to our online course module and get ready for first day of class Monday.

Fall always seems like the beginning of the year for me, probably because I love school so much.
Here's a poem I wrote six years ago about first days of school.

"First Days of School "

Fine white chalk lies straight,

paired stiff in trays waiting

to be worn away to dust. The blackboard

clean, free of the ghost lines it will bear

all year like hieroglyphics. Twenty four

desks and chairs rest in neat rows,

soldiers at attention, soon to fall out,

at ease, in disarray until June. Two U.S.

maps sleep neatly rolled. And the globe

sits still, not yet turning, the earth before

Galileo set all of us spinning,

© Sara Jameson

September 18, 2000


Blogger River Wiedle said...

While I did not find a term for "northing" or "southing" I did discover an online "reverse dictionary." It is still in Beta testing, but I played around with it, and found it to be quite useful... to an extent. There are some obvious bugs that need to be worked out, but it is better than nothing!

Here is the link:

I especially enjoyed your poem about the start of school, or as you might say in a more intellectual tone: the beginning of enlightment and education of the world not only around, but inside of us. "[F]ree of the ghost lines it will bear all year like hieroglyphics" displays a vivid image in my mind of our highschool blackboards/dry erase boards with the streaks of multiple colors that still littered their faces at the beginning of our school year. I guess no one bothered to clean them over the summer - the result being both teachers and students alike not being able to differentiate from the new writing and the old.

6:36 PM  

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