Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Unless I'm Mythtaken: Puck Tells a Story (guest post)

When I suspect students haven't done assigned reading, I make them record themselves reading it aloud and send it to me.  I think they suspect I don't listen to them, but I do (sometimes).  Puck has taken to inserting random "dramatic readings" of his writing into them.  Here's an excerpt from the very end of last night's homework (which ended with a table of trigonometry formulae)  This is a quick transcription, so it's probably not perfect.  Audio file at bottom of post.

"[20 minutes of trigonometry]...cos(x+y)=cosxcosy-sinxsiny...these are...oh, I can see the pattern, and sin(x+y)=sinxcosy+sinycosx ..... I got it, I got it, it becomes obvious how these work after a while.  [another student in background]  "Can you pause it so I can get through..."  [brief silence]  Thank you for making it this far.  Now, as I've finished that, I think I'll continue with a dramatic reading of my novel ... I'm not so great at telling stories, so bear with me I guess.  This story was told to me in the form of a long series of nearly incoherent screams by a homeless man who often sits on the front steps of my apartment building.  His name was, and still is, Chrio, though he insisted, especially in his sudden fits of shouting, on being called [spooky voice] Krioformus, Bearer of the Ram* [end spooky voice].  I've interpreted him as best I could, between the bits of his sudden storytelling I managed to record on my phone, most of which was nearly impossible to understand...

[I've cut several minutes out here]

...within the wrappings of the coils of the generator that breathes life into the universe, life coagulates into the solidity of consciousness.  Bread is not the stuff of life; water is life, and bread its complexity and purpose.  Within the gluten of the bread we find stories, pieces of inspiration that allow us to bend the iron bars of reality's cage and escape, for but a moment.  Bread is more than the sum of its ingredients, and so are people.  That makes you unique..."

a Kriophorus statue from the Acropolis
*Kriophorus is an ancient epithet for Hermes, often translated as "The Good Shepherd", but meaning, more literally, "who Carries the Ram".  It's particularly associated with Hermes in Arcadia (his birthplace) and denotes his role in carrying the "essence" of burnt offerings from Earth to the Heavens. It's the origin of the association between Hermes and the angel Sandalphon, who is often describes as plaiting the prayers of the faithful into wreathes and delivering them to the Almighty.

Have I mentioned that I fucking love this kid?!?!

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