Saturday, July 04, 2009

In defence of the Arts

One question I'm currently grading has to do with how literature (and by extension, art) has no practical value. Have a look at the video below that YT shared with me:

Who says engineers have no aesthetic sense? Who says artists are technologically inept? Because our school system segregates Arts kids from Science kids by faculty and subject combination, this dichotomy causes them to pigeonhole themselves and they get proprietary over their intellectual turf.

Many of the essays I've read are by Arts kids vehemently defending literature as an essential, relevant but neglected part of our life experience, and hence must necessarily be "practical".

But watching this clip, I wonder if there is any need to make such a strong point about the "practicality" of art? Art doesn't have to be practical, but so what? Art is beautiful and that's all it needs to be.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Wonder if there'll be a Part 2?

Lunch party found our way to Little Part 1 cafe. Strange name. Not a lot of parking and seating, so car pooling was a smart thing to do. Also had to split tables, one for the working lunch people, the other for the fun lunch people.

Decor is cosy, homely. lots of framed snapshots on the wall, no theme I could discern. Two fell off the wall as we ate. Tremors? Free wifi! Great place to eat, grade papers and surf all afternoon.

The cafe's specialty is crepes. I had the Louisiana crepe. Attracted by the two different kinds of cheese fillings: emmental and mozza, though a bit leery about the asparagus. Ham is ham. Combination turned out to be quite pleasant. Could have done with an alternative flavour to the BBQ sauce on top -- tang was sharp, distracting. Fresh salad helped balance.

Brownie a la mode was fluffy and crumbled a lot. I appreciated the lightness 'cos I could eat the whole thing and not feel particularly guilty. Nevertheless, since mine was a communal table, I happily shared it with my fellow piranha.

Veggie items on the menu too. Know of any veggie people we could invite to lunch next time?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Slightly derailed

Been putting all my resources towards the one goal of finishing my assignment grading, and my rhythm's been thrown completely off because of it. Perhaps I've set myself an unrealistic deadline, but there are many other tasks needing my attention that I can't even look at until I get this giant bugbear off my back.

Unrealistic or not, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel already, which means my strategy has paid off! And the only casualty has been this long-neglected blog which I've unintentionally forgone because I've simply run out of steam by nightfall.

Very grateful for the lunch circle that has provided a much welcome break over the last couple of days. We don't get many chances to eat off campus these days, so yesterday's jaunt to Botak Jones, and today's extended "Land-Ex[pedition]" to Cafe Oliv and Chin Mee Chin (for kaya toast, a couple of doors down) were a real treat.

Should be back to regular posts soon, but perhaps in a new text format. Hearing a lot lately about the advantages of terse, to-the-point entries. Time to update my style.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy July First!

Been feeling inexplicably homesick. It's July and that means summer in TO. Bright, cloudless skies; sun on my face; cold, dry air I can breathe in with less effort than this humid soup we swim in all day here in the tropics. Wonderland, and the Jays at the SkyDome. Hot-off-the-cart Polish sausages with all the toppings you can balance between your buns (how rude that sounds!). And CHUM FM*, a constant companion that sets the mood just right for driving long distances on highways that have no end.

Without looking it up, I must have instinctively felt it in my bones. July 1, Canada Day!

*CHUM FM is a lot like Power 98 here, except I just heard a great ad for Trojan condoms, and the Internet radio works!