How Healthy Is the Applicant?

I’m writing a recommendation for a student who is applying for a job at a high school in Mexico and the recommendation form is asking me to rate how responsible, honorable, and healthy she is. I’m not sure how to respond to the health question. I’m not this student’s physician, and if I were, I wouldn’t be able to divulge this information either.

Parent, Get a Life!

When I read the following excerpt, I immediately remembered this brilliant saying, “The best thing parents can do for their children is get a life.” Here is the excerpt in question:

UNCW recently hired an English professor whose previous publications are worrying some parents. Students say although some of the poems are shocking, they do not have a problem with the professor’s risque work, and the university agrees.

Of course, those same parents will then write endless articles and blog posts asking why the younger generation is so helpless and immature. It will never occur them that they infantilize their own adult children by policing not only their reading matter but also every utterance of people their overgrown darlings might come in contact with.

People, if you have started obsessing over publication records of profs on your adult child’s campus, this is an indication that you are in urgent need of a life.

How Well Do You Know Clarissa: My Favorite Book

OK, let’s continue our game that we started last year.

My most favorite novel in Spanish starts with the following words that just slaughtered me the first time I read them:

A. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

B. “I came to Comala because I had been told that my father, a man named Pedro Páramo, lived there. It was my mother who told me. And I had promised her that after she died I would go see him. I squeezed her hands as a sign I would do it. She was near death, and I would have promised her anything. “Don’t fail to go see him,” she had insisted. “Some call him one thing, some another. I’m sure he will want to know you.”

C. “Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. She was already in the habit of writing down important matters, and afterward, when she was mute, she also recorded trivialities, never suspecting that fifty years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past and overcome terrors of my own.”

D. “Augusto appeared at the door of his house and held out his right hand with the palm downward. Turning his eyes towards the sky he remained for a moment fixed in that august and statuesque attitude. This did not signify that he was taking possession of the external world; he was merely looking to see if it was raining.”

E. “harsh homeland, the falsest, most miserable imaginable, I shall never return to you: with eyes still closed, it is there before you, enveloped in the blurry ubiquity of sleep and thus invisible, but nonetheless cleverly and subtly suggested, foreshortened and far in the distance: with even the tiniest details recognizable, outlined, as you yourself admit, with such scrupulous accuracy as to border on the maniacal.”

Bonus points for guessing the second most favorite novel.

Bonus bonus points for naming the one I hate the most.

The answers to the previous rounds are under the fold.

Continue reading “How Well Do You Know Clarissa: My Favorite Book”