Scapes. Hand-scapes is the assignment at hand for the A3 students in Drawing Basics. Draw 3-5 hands. I don’t remember if they were supposed to be drawing their hands or other hands or even inhuman hands. Chimp. Gorilla. Possum. Raccoon, sort of. Opposable thumbs. I have always been rather biased towards the thumb. It’s not a finger, right? I’ve got this fact of no use stuck in my head that the thumb is classified differently than the finger. Please tell me this is so.
The ability to just go to Oxford in a blink of an eye and get the authoritarian view of the thumb versus finger controversy. If the thumb is casually thrown into the sea of fingers, wouldn’t this mean we as humans, I mean Homo Sapiens, are related to more than primates and whales. Have you ever seen the bones of a whale? What does a whale need opposable thumbs for?
“The Oxford Dictionaries.com definition for finger is as follows: ‘each of the four slender jointed parts attached to either hand (or five, if the thumb is included)’. This wording implies that, while the thumb isn’t typically regarded as a finger, there is enough evidence of this use to include it in the definition. Although thumbs have certain similarities to fingers, there are some key differences. It’s therefore more accurate to describe a thumb as one of five digits that we have on each hand, rather than as a finger.”
Maybe it’s just me, but that entire thing went right on over my head; wasn’t even a close buzz cut; there was altitude in that chunk of information as it soared clumsily over my head. Maybe I’ll try to read it slowly and parcel out pieces of information so I can digest the various parts.
Oxford specifically announced or pronounced that there are only four slender jointed parts. Maybe the thumb didn’t make the grade because I’ve never seen a slender thumb, not compared to the fingers on the same hand as the thumb. I could, however, compare my thumb to someone else’s thumb to make my fatter than usual right thumb look slender and therefore fir the finger category. I don’t think my thumb or I really care as long as it is staying in joint.
“Four slender jointed parts” is was Oxford says. Maybe we’re talking about the four joints in our fingers. All of my fingers have been broken so often, I don’t really know how many joints each one has. My poor pinkies have taken most of the beatings. Soccer Goalie. No gloves. Lacrosse goalie. I don’t recall gloves, but that doesn’t mean anything. Softball. Gloves don’t do squat against that of a softball. I imagine in my baseball days, I would have had to gotten hit on the hands at one point. In the one year of fast pitch softball, a ball against of my fingers as I held out for a bunt. It’s probably not fair that a runner gets to advance when hands are on the bat. Maybe they don’t. Maybe they play it as if the batter hit the ball. I don’t imagine the ball going very far or the batter being able to run very far. I’d be cussing up a storm if something smacked my fingers that hard. Why do they call swearing a blue streak? Once again, I’m asking questions.
“According to The Word Detective in all likelihood, the term did arise by analogy to the speed and force of a bolt of lightning, especially in “talk ablue streak,” meaning to speak rapidly and excitedly. The “blue” in “curse a blue streak” probably also invokes “blue” in the sense of “obscene.”May 27, 2011.”
Back to thumbs as to say I am all thumbs. Thumbs are jointed, though clearly fingers and thumbs have different amount of joints. I have had my thumb out of joint a few times, though the other fingers, the regular fingers have also gone out of joint. No. I am not double-jointed. The worst joint on my body are my little toes. They go out of joint swimming and sometimes walking, and that is pain. My fingers and toes, also known as phalanges, are not the only thing that’s been out of joint in my life. My nose has been out of joint many a time.
So, what’s the difference between fingers and digits and where does the thumb fit in that conversation? I’m gonna let go of that one as I’m done with that tangent.
My mini self-imposed vacation is officially over. Returning home Sunday after departing on a Saturday got stretched a little. By mid Sunday, I knew teaching or babysitting middle school music was against my better judgment, I cancelled and asked my nephew and niece -in-law if I could extend my visit.
Sunday, I arrived at their doorstep on 53rd Street like what the cat dragged in. Does wet toast a better cliché? milk toast? Beyond exhaustion.
Because A & K had school and work, I got a chance to hang out with grand nephews Luke and Lloyd. Grand nephew Luke wasn’t so keen on the walks, but I dragged him along using the harness and leash to my advantage. I love having a beagle for a nephew, and Luke is so adorable.
While Monday was still in its infancy, I knew that Tuesday’s assignment with first graders was going to be beyond my capability. I still had no voice. That was lost Saturday before the tragedy of Sunday’s defeat. The only thing on the agenda in addition to work was choir and practices are critical with the May 21 Concert looming. Exhaustion. No Voice. Two hundred miles away. Those ingredients add up to another day off.
Tuesday looking into Wednesday. Instead of taking the one day at a time approach of recuperating, I opted to clear the table, Clean off the agenda for the entire week. Poof. No more work. Maybe I’ll come home by Friday. Early morning Wednesday I’m starting to adjust the timing to Thursday. I was starting to feel homesick. Miss the Dogs. Miss Sylvia. Miss the cats. The standings have changed.
And then the urge to come home hit home around noon. I packed. Said my good byes to Aaron, Kristin, Luke & Lloyd.
Within an hour, I felt as if I hadn’t left. The saran wrap of my home enveloped me. Don’t worry, it was breathable saran wrap. The trip home was so easy and felt timeless.If I were to get a speeding ticket from cops in the sky, how many days would it take for that ticket to make it from the Portland area to Eugene?
There was still plenty of time to do some gardening Wednesday night; it was good to see all of my plant babies. The eggplant looked a bit riddled with bad bug bites, but I suspect the yellow spotted cucumber beetle are the culprits. There’s a lot of the Wild Cucumbers growing in the garden. Sylvia’s ex step-sister Linda once told me that the wild cukes are the poor man’s hallucinogen. I will take her word on that. The spikes on the cucumber is enough to create resistance.
I had to return home. I had run out of clothes after Monday. Naturally, I will overpack a day’s worth of clothes for just-in-case. While growing up, I thought that there was someone in my family called Just in Case. J.I.C. got a lot of attention from my parents than I did.
In all of my traveling and packing experience, especially when going to exotic places like Portland, Oregon, I’ve never thrown in four extra sets of clothes. That’s a hell of a lot of Just in Cases. Boggles my imagination.
Not working also boggles my imagination. Early on in the school year, I scheduled days off. I’m convinced that I was sick so much last year because teaching takes a toll on me, especially the little ones. Well the big ones do as well, though only the ones that say Fuck You to me.
After awhile I joined the rest of the gerbil wheel workers. Every Monday I climbed on with some energy and vigor, but by Friday, repletion is the only word on the menu. Depletion is probably a better word.
Throw in an exhausting bowling tournament after a full week of work. A bowling tournament that required me to get out of bed at five in the morning. I don’t do mornings. Ten is early for me on a Saturday. Five is flat out obscene. But I was stoked for the tournament. I hadn’t bowled this freaking tournament in twelve years. Lots had changed in a dozen years.
Now I am coming to understand why I was so exhausted. By Sunday, I was so exhausted that I cancelled the job to teach middle school music. The longer I thought about that kind of job, the quicker it was for me to decide to back out. Just step away from the job and no one will get hurt. Who was I kidding? Middle School Music has always been a problem except I will admit I had a good time at Thurston Middle School with their music classes. Might have been a fluke. The question is should I take the chance to find out. Not this week.
If I slow down enough and listen to my body and my mind, I tend to make better choices. Driving home at that particular time caused the two hour drive to go by in a snap and I had plenty of energy when I got home.I could have worked Thursday. I had plenty of opportunity, and the pick of the litter. I felt and thought that I still had some things to sort through before returning to the classroom, though most of what I had to sort out had to do with bowling rather than teaching, and you have noticed that I’ve not said too many words about bowling except for the word abysmal.
Jobs for Friday the twenty-second came my way, though not nearly as many as the jobs for Four-Twenty. Nobody wanted to work, especially at the high school level. Be that as it may, it only seemed reasonable to take the aftershock day off and had Friday penciled out. Friday the 22nd jobs were for the most part easy to deflect; that was until the job for an alternative school came my way. Just my speed to re-enter reality.
Reality. I didn’t identify what kind of reality I’d be casually coming back to. Since I was to be substituting for an art teacher, I threw my camera into my bag. Taking pictures of students just hasn’t felt okay as though there could be construed something bad. I asked all of the students permission and did steer clear of those who said they wished to abstain from being in my blog. A blog that perhaps five people read probably won’t get someone taken off the protected status list.
It helps to have the ears of a beagle when mixing with other people, alternative high schoolers especially. Philosophical conversation about intelligence. How to measure intelligence. In that particular conversation, the woman who initiated the discussion seemed to feel boxed out of her own topic and soon withdrew into music and her art. Was that the result of her sitting at a different table from the group that picked up on the thread and perhaps what she was thinking or meaning had morphed into something totally different and no longer appealing? “We have all of this, ” she said, and opened her arms to demonstrate all that is in the classroom; doesn’t this make us feel far superior to other animals?” After her topic was Bogarted by the other table, I didn’t contribute, but I did think to myself of chimps and how they “have all that we have” in that they have families and jobs that is supposed to allow us to have fulfilling lives. Isn’t that what life’s about?