Sunday, April 1, 2012

I need a new knitting project

I think that about sums it up. I killed an hour of time searching patterns on Ravelry and couldn't come up with anything inspiring.

I don't really like knitting socks, though since I don't really mind wearing handknit socks, maybe I should get over it and try starting a new pair. Knitting for db is always fun, but summer is coming and it seems that all the good children's patterns are in Danish, Icelandic, or French.

Hats are fun - and in fact, I just knit this one. Hineri, a free ravelry download. Love it, love the yarn, and maybe if the predicted blizzard actually happens, I will be able to wear it this year. If I knit it again I'll be more careful about not pulling the first cable too tightly - it fits, but let's just say it's good I have a small head.

I used to like knitting myself sweaters, but they all seem to be just not very exciting after they're done, and the fit is often not exactly right - they generally end up feeling not really worth the cost of yarn and labor. I do seem to be much more interested in knitting classic, fairisle-type things lately - there's just a stunning amount of bad design out there on Ravelry and elsewhere. Elizabeth Zimmermann, save us!

Work, db, and Words with Friends also conspire to keep me from knitting - though with work, it's not all bad. I've decided that since I'm not likely to leave my current university before I get tenure and I've done more than enough for tenure, the time has come to read again - the grind of production for teaching and publication has really rendered me a shell of whatever I was before this process started. I spent this afternoon reading the first third of a recent study of the rise of the cult of Hanuman in modern Hinduism and it was so absolutely wonderful to be learning something for a change.

Yeah, I didn't get an offer from either place I gave a talk. At school #1, I was sorry not to get an offer; at school #2, I was not. They were rude and terrible when I was there; rumor has it that it's been declared a failed search and if that's not a sign of a divided and screwed up department and/or university, I don't know what is. They certainly seem to have lived up to their bad reputation!

Though of course I desperately wanted an offer from them so I could leverage a better situation here in NYC, where we remain deeply strapped for cash and barely (not really) able to pay for preschool next year. Db ended up getting into a few places, but after the requisite amount of upper west side parent hand-wringing, we decided to go with the Montessori option.

I was pretty sceptical about Montessori at first, but then I really liked the way that the teachers worked with db when we went for our "audition" and having done a little reading, it also seemed to me that Montessori generally seems to project less parental baggage onto childhood, particularly the idea that kids need to feel "free" and to be "creative" and have "fun." Most people deeply desire some combination of these these things because they feel dehumanized, exhausted, and otherwise gutted by their jobs, and then I think they project their own set of needs onto their thoroughly modern notion of childhood. However, it does seem to me that what db wants more than anything else - including having "fun" - is to feel accomplished, and properly executed Montessori education seems to gives kids structured and valuable opportunities to feel accomplished. I also liked that Montessori classrooms seem to be much more equipped to accommodate kids who want to work alone. Db is not outgoing, and while I of course want her to learn to be friendly with other kids, what I saw happening at the "play-based" preschools was the shy kids getting left out and then having nowhere to go that is primarily designed for solitary play.

Of course, I think that more than anything else, what matters is a good teacher, and of course, that is the one thing that you can't see before you fork over your security deposit.

Oh, yeah. Security deposit. For preschool.

Anyway. How interesting it will be to see all my preschool theories crushed by actual experience!

1 comment:

tara said...

bummer about the jobs- although whew that you didn't get the offer @#2. Sometimes I wonder if I should move and then I think eh, I have good colleagues in my department- why would I move away from that!?

suggestion for knitting: I'm kinda digging shawlettes and mittens- I love the stuff from indigodragonfly (geek inspired colors & patterns). Also the kid sweater would solve my desire to knit a sweater if only the kid would wear it!

and your question: the anabaptists practice footwashing. So that would be Amish, Brethern, Mennonites, etc. I joined a Mennonite church when I was about 22. If you want to know more I can hold forth :)