These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

katrina the cat, just cause

"The naming of cats is a difficult thing." t.s. eliot

as i made my way downstairs, i looked up at the small landing and saw my cat katrina stretched out, half asleep. it's one of her usual haunts, day or night.
sometimes she and i will engage in a little tussle. i will pet the back of her head as she pushes herself on the landing. sometimes i bat at her and she bats back. i have to be careful because if my hand strays too long she'll nip at me. a playful nip. but her teeth are quite sharp.

when i'm downstairs by the front room, she'll gallop like a pony to the front door waiting for me to let her out for a nibble of some grass and a stretch onthe concrete walk. silly kitty. dirty kitty. she'll meow at me to let her out to achieve this. if she annoys me enough, i open the door.

and what about ice cream? my cat loves it. if she hears the clinking of the metal spoon on the dish or glass, she comes in, stares at you with pathetic eyes, or, once again, meows incessantly, until i'm forced to give her some. she cam make eating ice cream a chore for me. still, i don't mind sharing.

otherwise, i see her sleeping here and there throughout the house, wherever there's a comfortable spot, which for a cat it a feat and test. it must fit all qualifications. it should be soft, be like a cave, hidden underneath a chair, or pile of freshly washed laundry or how about in the master's bed.

on some night's a find my little feline curled up beside me in bed. it's a new thing, something she started doing this winter. dawn said it was for selfish reasons because she wanted to keep warm. but she's kept it up during the summer so i think she likes the company. but it's on her own terms.

and that's why i like my kitty. everything's on her terms. she'll come to me or sleep by me on her own terms. truly a feline to love.

Monday, July 27, 2009

back at migrant school

went this morning i went back to work with students at west ottawa's migrant summer school. it's the final time this summer, as school's over wednesday.

i worked with second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. and some middle school kids. it was a lot of shifting gears, from one class to another.

with the younger students, i interviewed the teacher and pretended i was writing a story. i let the kids ask questions and many asked interesting questions. it was enjoyable. sometimes it's hard for me to teach at that level to little kids, but they were cool.

next, i went to the middle school classroom and worked with sixth and seventh graders. i had some of the students read their articles to me. i was surprised at how good they were as writers. each had his or her individual voice in there. it was awesome. what made it more interesting was how all were working from the same story. each took his or her own take on it.

finally i went to stph's class. also included were fourth graders. it was a short lesson, but i talked about being a reporter, revising, drafts and we even pulled up a story i wrote for today's paper. some of the kids had heard about it (a shooting ina mobile home park).

it was a great day for teaching. and learning.