21 March 2007

Today's Mail

I didn't think I'd been away from the office that long. Went by the department to check mail at least two months ago. Apparently I should have gone earlier, because today I found on my desk a big USPS bin, which our friendly campus mail persons must have lugged over to keep the stuff from overflowing onto the floor.

So I lugged the bin downstairs to the car and just sifted through it all at home. What was inside?

  1. Eight free textbooks I did not request but am cool with receiving. One publishing company sent books they've sent me before (that time upon request).
  2. Lots and lots of marketing material from various publishing companies that want me to buy books. I'll request at least one as a possible teaching text and put several others on my wish list.
  3. Several interoffice memos: one from the music secretary who's filling in for me as ODK faculty secretary while I'm on leave and doing a much more brilliant and generous job than I think I'd have ever done, another from the public relations office sending copies of invoices related to marketing we did for Lauren Winner's visit last November, another from the FYE program chair inviting me to read the philosophy and goals for a similar program at St. Lawrence University, another with the minutes from a previous faculty meeting, and yet another from the registrar's office informing me that one of my advisees is failing two courses.
  4. One wedding invitation, announcing the to-be wedded bliss of a former student and notifying me as to his two registries.
  5. A few brochures for summer writing programs at other universities.
  6. Two bits from Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion received via inter-library loan: an essay by poet Scott Cairns entitled "The End of Suffering" and an interview with Alice McDermott. More on those later, no doubt.
  7. An envelope from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary announcing their "CS Lewis: The Man and His Work – a 21st Century Legacy" conference this October. The poster they sent is beautiful, and so is the conference. Arthur, we must go! CFP has a March 31 deadline. Can we make it? Let's go anyway.
  8. And then, at the bottom of the bin, a Noel gift from one of my favorite writers. Two board books and a simple card. Very, very cool. It's the positive yin of the negative yang that came to light yesterday when a visitor responded to Noel's active legs by saying it will be okay if, when Noel starts moving on his own, he annihilates some of the books on my lower bookshelves, because they're replaceable, and I nodded nervously because I guess she's right, but I can quickly form lots of arguments for how no book is really replaceable, especially the author-signed ones that sit on those lower shelves. And I'll be derned if the kid rips those pages up or marks out my marginalia with some Crayola. Shifty better be ready for a new box in our moving oeuvre: not just "Ma to Mc" but "signed by author so don't leave these in the sun, cuh." Anyway, receiving in today's mail two Happy Noel books from that giver is the inverse of happy Noel one day taking a crayon to one of my books. That's the point.
So we read the two new books to Noel as he emerged from the bath tonight, hoping to again instill in him the truth that books are our friends. Then I pasted Boudreaux's on his you-know-where, put a doubler in his diaper, and handed him off to Micah for rocking to sleep. Now he's slumbering, and we're blogging. What an evening.


lauren said...

That is very, very cool. :) What books did she give him???

As far as Noel tearing into your books, you could move them all up high and put a bunch of dummy books on the bottom. (When Rhoda was a puppy, I'd leave an old shoe out and if she tore it up, we'd discipline her like we really cared.) But, my philosophy is you don't have to babyproof your house...you houseproof your baby. So look Noel squarely into the eyes and say "NO MESSING WITH MAMA'S BOOKS, MISTER." And that should do it.

Good job on the a-hrefing. ahem.

Jen Strange said...

We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Good Night, Gorilla. Hadn't ever seen the former--it's a good drama :) We did already have the latter, but in a bigger size perfect for really spotting that banana-toting mouse in every scene, from Katie and Caleb, so this is good to have as a more transportable version.

Thanks for the parenting advice. I likes the sound of it.

a href, a href

Shannon said...

Again, what language are you girls speaking these days? We know nothing of "a href" here in Texas, but we do know Boudreaux, or at least I do...and highly recommend it to all my cowgirl buddies who know nothing of cajun diaper rash remedies.

Lin said...

jen, we have many paperbacks that would devistate you. everytime i see their bent-back covers, i think, "my kids are not friends with these books." i do feel a little guilty.

shan - don't worry. i had to google it. i have never a-href'ed, but i might one day soon...

Jen Strange said...

Shannon, we is speaking the html. I'm teaching it to Noel every time I apply the cajun remedy. Get your link on!

But Lindsey, gosh, don't tell me about these furled book corners. It'll make me cry.

Micah said...

You must be writing for an erudite but polite crowd, typing marginalia and you-know-where in consecutive paragraphs. The problem (for me) is that marginalia equals me-don't-know-where.

Brent and Kat said...

Two months of mail, collected in a big USPS box, has a way of revealing a lot about ourselves.

Nice score on the Lauren Winner Noel book. BFF with Ms. Mudhouse Sabbath, herself! ROCK ON!

Jen Strange said...

Huh. Indeed revealing.

But I prefer to think of myself as BFF with Ms. Real Sex, thank you very much :)