Thursday, March 15, 2012

sick day

I stayed home from work today to nurse a nasty cold.  I had held out a good, long time -- all three kids had the flu earlier in the month -- but I guess my defenses were finally down.  So now it's my turn to be sick.

In my line of work it is sometimes more complicated to take a sick day than not, so I only cancel classes when I really can't function.  For instance, today it would have been so much easier to lead a discussion about "Red Riding Hood, or The Saucy Squire of Sunnydale" (a panto script from 1900) than it was to set up discussion boards and write a full prezi for this unit of my fairy-tale seminar.

Because I have a few readers from the UK, and in case they're curious, I am linking that panto prezi (if you're not familiar with prezi, it's a snazzier presentation tool than powerpoint.  You just need to use the forward arrow at centre bottom to navigate your way through). Bear in mind that North American students generally know nothing about panto: it is totally foreign to their experiences of the fairy tale in popular culture.  And they are sometimes a little resistant to its campiness (I'll see what I can do about that!). Feel free to chime in here, and I'll pass your thoughts along to my students.

Okay, so that took up the first half of my sick day.  I tried to nap, but was too achy to relax.  So I made some Farmer's Wife blocks (logical, right?).  At very least the sewing (and the 4 dozen 1" HSTs involved in the first two blocks) took my mind off my sinuses.

Here are block 26, Cut Glass Dish:


Block 27, Gathering Birds:


And I finally tackled block 18, Century of Progress:


I took some liberties with the construction of Gathering Birds (to avoid having to locate or make any templates) and Century of Progress (to keep the asymmetry of the one in the book, but to do so in a way that was more pleasing to my eye).

I believe this brings my total to 55 FW blocks, so I'm just about halfway there! This is definitely the biggest quilt project I have ever tackled...but I imagine it will feel very satisfying to complete it. 

It has been a fairly tedious day, I'm fighting the cold-induced blues (being sick always gets me down), and I could use some distraction -- so your thoughts about campiness and the fairy tale, working on big projects, or crafting while congested would be most welcome.

Regardless, have a good day!

7 comments:

quirky granola girl said...

that's an interesting twist on the century of progress. the original asymmetry makes me think of a ferris wheel, so i like it that way. but your version is quite lovely. i've been sicker than sick for the past 5 days but i'm definitely *considering* a move from the couch to the sewing table today. maybe i'll count my blocks. we may be really close in numbers... :)

Tong said...

Hope you are feel better soon! And thanks for introducing me to prezi, that's quite a nifty program!! I wish I had cool professors like you when I was in university!

Prof. S said...

That's just about the nicest thing you could have said, Tong! Thanks for brightening my day.

Prof. S said...

You have my total and complete sympathy, Melinda! I'm a bad patient after one day; five days is tough to take. Feel better soon (and I'm loving your FW blocks, as I think you know).

Sheila said...

Just had a wee look at your prezi link, so interesting. And yes, panto is so unique to us Brits - I think all the theatres must compete for the most high profile actors for their annual panto and it will be an important and lucrative part of the actors' career. Personally, I can't stand panto!!

Issabella The Cat said...

I'm with Sheila, I can't abide panto! & it seems I'm with your students as it's the over camping that really puts me off. The stories were littered with references to sexuality as it is, when added to a sexually charged yet repressed institute as the theatre in the 1900's it's a recipe for disaster in my opinion. Then add our political correctness in the late 1900's to present day and the stories are left in tatters with little understood references, that if understood in context would have modern day panto goes eyes out on stalks! The thoughts behind Hansel and Gretel or Little red riding hood are horrible so I can only be left to assume that panto as a genre was simply in the money making game, leaving out the juicy gory details so not to offend a paying audience.
Sorry about the rant lol
Hope your feeling better soon!

Prof. S said...

It's so interesting to hear these perspectives, since panto is generally framed as a beloved British theatrical institution -- but of course that doesn't mean that it will be universally enjoyed or embraced!

My own tastes run to camp and self-parody, so I have to say that I find fairy-tale pantomime (past and present) a refreshing alternative to the dominant vision of the genre in North America. In fact, in many ways I think pantomime fits well with the history of the fairy tale, which leans much more to the ironic and the playful than most readers/audiences now realize...but that's a story for a much longer rant :)