Thursday, June 3, 2010

There's a Pair of Us - Don't Tell!

The past few days, I've gotten in the habit of waking up at 3am. I lie there, restless, for an hour or two, debating whether to give up, get out of bed, and be productive. I turn a few pages of the same book that's been at my bed side the past month, Elizabeth Strout's "Olive Kitteredge," then toss it aside to check the internet: was a flotilla invaded? did a celebrity die? did any students send me an email with a question about the assignment due in just seven hours?

It's always after five when I fall back asleep. My alarm goes off a couple hours later, and I feel like I haven't slept a wink. The most annoying thing about this routine is that I'm a morning person: those wee hours after the sun has just come up and most people are still grouchy and wishing they were in bed are usually the hours I have the most energy and feel positive most about life.

Oh well, a blip. In the grand scheme of things, what's a little tiredness?

We discussed Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes today, and I played a recording I'd gotten from the library of Hughes talking about and reading his poetry. In the introduction, he described how when he was in the eighth grade, a new student at a middle school in Lincoln, Illinois, he was elected class poet - not because he was a good writer but because he was black, and the students assumed he had rhythm. But the students liked the poem he wrote for the end of school, and so he kept writing poetry. It was neat listening to him in his own voice, reading his own poetry. I transcribed one of my favorite poems of his, "I, Too, Sing America," in my post reviewing 2009.


Aki Mori said...

Hmm, might there be a 3 a.m. tape-delayed broadcast of a Reds game to listen to? :-) When I'm up in the middle of the night, that's what I do anyway--sports radio. In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up just hating the Reds:

Aki Mori said...

Your comment to me about Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame got me to thinking. About how my feelings about him have changed over time. (How could they not? I was a 2nd grader when I hated him for godssake! :-)

But one thought led to another and (shock) i had totally forgotten that as an adult, there was a time when I LOVED the Reds. My family had moved to Columbus by then, and as a college student studying in DC, I now remember one of my sweetest sports experiences--the Reds beating the feared A's in 1990!!

It's embarrassing to admit to forgetting something like that, but I guess it just goes to show how baseball has really faded from my sports radar.

August said...

Sports allegiances are a funny things. I often think about my irrational hatred of the New England Patriots and the New York Yankees (though I think I only hated both after they started winning!)

But having lived, except for college, in Cincinnati my whole life, I have an unending supply of enthusiasm for the Bengals and Reds. By the time I started paying attention, the Reds were a perpetually losing team, and everyone knows about the "bungles." Still, when either starts doing well, I'll be there, already on the bandwagon.

August said...

are funny things, that is.

george rede said...

Wait a second here. Not sure I can tolerate anyone gloating about "the Reds beating the feared A's in 1990!!"

That's MY team you're talking about. I prefer to recall the three consecutive World Series titles from '72 through '74, starting with an upset of the heavily favored Reds.

Later, I attended the first two games of the '89 Series when we beat the Giants. Unfortunately, that was the year of the earthquake that devastated the Bay Area and suspended play for a few days.

Aki Mori said...

Ugh, I'm just such a terrible baseball fan now. I mean, when I was a kid, I was a true fan--I'd miss school to watch daytime playoff games. I worshipped the Phillies, especially Larry Bowa. (He was puny looking, like me.)

Now, this might only invite derision from George, but I was an A's fan too--when I lived in Oakland in the 90's. And for that I got plenty of heartbreak. Year after year of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against the Yankees in the playoffs... There's sports for you!

August said...

I have an ex who ridiculed the idea of using "we" to describe sports teams. Supposedly, it's absurd for me to say, "Yeah! We did great today! We wiped the pants off the Cardinals!"

But there are few things comparable to that feeling that comes from collectively rooting for and then celebrating a sports team. Give me my vicarious victories, darn it!