Friday, November 30, 2007

Leaves/ Brand New Ideas and Answers

OK, I gotta write this. I've been reading blogs and commenting for an hour and that won't get me anywhere as far as posting goes...

My arms, are extremely sore because I just spent two days blowing and vacuuming leaves and I'm still not done. Not even 1/8 of the way done vacuuming (I've blown all the leaves into piles at this point). And guess what? There's going to be sleet/rain on Sunday (insert dismayed and distressed facial expression]!!! And I won't work on it tomorrow. And... "the price" I paid for this incomplete work? The boys watched HOURS of television and/or DVDs because K was busy with his applications (he came back home only 7:30 pm last night) and I couldn't let them come outside (mostly Linton who spends all day at home with me) because of the high level of noise (I was wearing earplugs) and the cold. I felt really guilty and wondered all the while if it wouldn't really have been best to pay someone to do it since K was traveling so much in the past month. We also had to wait for all the leaves to fall, which they did shortly before and during the Thanksgiving break. The other solution would have been not going to Maryland for Thanksgiving and staying to take care of the leaves, but I wouldn't have done that for anything!!

Oh well... I really enjoy doing it, though, in spite of the horribly high "price" of electronic baby-sitting. Plus, today while I was working with the leaves I had several bright ideas!! There's nothing like physical work to get one's mind thinking away and coming up with great things!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
First, though, I have an "answer" of sorts (since it's not really a "helpful answer") for one of the questions I have been raising in this blog lately: "Where do we want to go? What would I like to do with my life?"

One quick question K sent me over gmail chat today provided the answer. He asked: "Would you like to live in 'Swiss city'?" I returned to the leaves outside and though... wow, I have an answer, something I'd known all along, but had forgotten.

If I could choose where to live, something that won't get to happen, I'd really want to be able to have the opportunity to live in Europe. Not in one particular place, but preferably in various countries/ cities. Which ones? France/French Switzerland, Italy, Spain. Oh, and I think England too.

Since that's not going to happen, this answer is moot. But it's a nice "dream" isn't it? Maybe K will apply for the post in Europe, but the likelihood of him getting it is slim. I know we could also do what my BIL and SIL are doing -- work at American schools around the world, BUT, we don't think we want to teach rich high school kids for the rest of our lives. No. Probably not even for a year. So... that possibility is out. It does feel good to at least to have an answer to the question of where I'd like to live if I could choose ;).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The "bright idea" is related to yesterday's post (thanks for all the responses, folks! Keep 'em coming!). I stayed up really really late last night reading a novel by one of the writers I'm analyzing in my dissertation. What a great book!! I hope I can blog more about it later, it made me think about my country's history, about torture and other issues. This is not what I want to share now, though.

While I was blowing leaves today I started to reflect (thinking also of an interview with Ray Bradbury that I read last night and his great book Fahrenheit 451) that books just need to be read! And I thought of my friend Cloudscome's blog and other blogs with great book reviews and dedicated to books and it dawned on my that I should start a website. The internet is making the world such a small place, putting information right at people's fingertips and I think it's pathetic that we academic researchers, particularly in literature, are not doing enough to promote the things we love and work with. This site wouldn't be a blog, though I could begin with as one, I envision a site about Brazilian books in English and, subsequently, in many other languages. Later (after a book deal was secured in Brazil at least) I'd publish in it all the data that I collected in my dissertation, all the statistics and lists, so it could be a resource for anyone in the world interested in Brazilian literature. It would be geared towards both the general public and academics and provide a comprehensive list of the books available in English (in print or not -- those can be easily obtainable in libraries) and other languages.

OK, I'll admit that this idea is not new. My advisor told me years ago that I should transform the information from my research into a website, but I had never really considered this. At the time I thought "Oh, but this is my work and why should I share it freely with people?" Well, now I know why, because books need to be read and in today's "small world" only the popular, best selling books are being read. Why not use the internet to try and disseminate little known books? I feel like getting the domain name right now, but I know I need to finish the dissertation first. Darn.

What do you think?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Well, this is the end of "NaBloPoMo," but not the end of posting more often. I don't promise to do it everyday, but I did enjoy posting daily and I want to continue doing it as much as I can.


Prisca said...

Living anywhere in Europe sounds lovely to me, too. I can't imagine how I'd work that one out, but it's a nice dream.

As for your website.... of course I think that's a fantastic idea. Books must be read and you have a big contribution to make in helping them BE read. Go for it!

I'll try to think about how many translated books I've read (yes, into English). I read a lot of novels so I'll try to think back. I keep trying to broaden my horizons but I may not be doing so well at that!

Did I tell you we read Pride and Prejudice in my book club for this month? I was thinking of you.

RocketMom said...

Hmm ... you mean we could live all over the world by agreeing to teach rich high school students? That sounds kind of fun to me ... but later, after the boys are older. (Right now we want to be closer to family, not further.)

You are right! Books need to be read! I need to read more! Now, to find the time ...

Renata said...

The internet is such a wonderful way to disseminate information that is hard to get elsewhere. You would find a much larger audience than on a university library shelf.

Also, I wish there were a resource for preschool books in Portuguese so I could introduce the language to my kids when they are young (Actually I came across your blog while I was searching for resources). Although I am a Brazilian native and fluent in Portuguese, I lived in Brazil a total of 7 years, so English is my dominant language. It just doesn't come naturally to me to speak Portuguese to my kids (and my husband doesn't speak Portuguese). I tried when my first son was born. It lasted about 2 months. Anyway, I'd like to give them more to work with. My 5 year old is very interested and often asks me questions. I would like to encourage him to learn before he becomes too self-conscious about it.