One Night as an Accidental English Teacher

by Matthew Koslowski on December 9, 2009
in Anecdotes

Last night, after having dinner with some friends from dancing, my best friend Jenna and I ventured across Harvard Square from the Garage Mall to the Coop, otherwise known as the Harvard Coop Bookstore.

Down the center of the building there is a row of tables each stacked high with books. On either side of the tables are shelf displays each about as tall as a man, though much wider, and beyond those are walls lined with books from floor to ceiling. I like to be surrounded by books and I have spent many a night and many a weekend afternoon there.

The Coop is open and airy. But it seems a little too tidy. When I walk in there I feel almost as if I am in a museum. I miss the atmosphere of the Avenue Victor Hugo Bookstore, in which all the shelves were floor to ceiling and in between were aisles you could only shimmy down.

When we walked in, I hadn’t planned to teach a lesson on literature.

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Weekly Review: November 27th to December 3rd

I had not realized just how many things come through my newsfeeds in the course of a few weeks. On returning to my newsfeeds after ignoring them to work on my application essays for the Boston Teacher Residency, I had over 1,000 items to review.

Even after clearing out almost all items prior to November 27th — a few of the headlines caught my eye and seemed worth reading — I still had in excess of 400 items to review. So, here are some of my favorites from that review.

These Things Caught My Eye

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The Great Metaphysicians

by Matthew Koslowski on December 3, 2009
in Anecdotes

Whenever I first think about traveling, I am struck with the horror that I cannot bring my whole library with me. How do I decide which books to bring? When I travel, I am on a strict budget. I could easily spend my entire budget on books. That’s true at home as well as abroad.

So, I try to bring books with me. Enough books to keep me entertained for the entire trip. I always resolve that I am not going to buy a single volume while abroad. This is a resolution that I know I am going to break even as I am making it; however, in making this resolution, I buy fewer books than I otherwise would.

I had begun to explore the poetry of W.B. Yeats before I went to Rome in 2004. Reading Yeats, I felt I found someone of a similar bent of mind, who looked for the mythic elements of life but also saw that the mythic elements are not enough to strip life of its banalities. Perhaps I had not realized that when I was packing for Rome. Whatever my reasons were, I decided not to bring The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats to Rome.

And that may have been a blessing in disguise.

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