Today I talked about books with some very enthusiastic middle schoolers at a local private school. Sometimes visiting the private schools is like visiting Bizarro World: the 6th and 7th graders were so beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of reading books this summer that I was worried they would pee their little pants. It just made me love all of them to death, and also made me think about the fact that if I ever have a kid it will inevitably only be interested in sports.
The 8th graders were funny, though. They were willing to talk books, too, but they wanted me to be aware that they only read Very Serious Leet-trah-choor: Jane Austen (all the girls) and Cormac McCarthy (all the boys). But their analysis of these books was still endearingly middle schoolish. Here, for instance, was the commentary offered by one young man of McCarthy's The Road: "And then like, there are these cannibals! And they eat babies! It's wicked awesome!!"
And speaking of awesome, Mr. Awesome himself started a new job today. There are a lot of cool things about his new job, but most impressive to me is the panoramic view of Puget Sound he'll have from his reference desk. His old office was in a windowless basement. These things always matter, but in Seattle the amount of light you get each day is a serious freaking business. If I worked in a windowless office there is no way I could make it through the winter without heavy medication. And probably some "corrected"* coffee each morning.
Incidentally, I love the word "sound" to refer to a body of water. In conversation I probably refer to "The Sound" more often than necessary because I just think it has a nice ring to it. I'm not sure why. I also like "archipelago." I think they both sound like geographical features that should only exist inside children's fantasy books, and I still think it's neat that are real and very close by.
*The Italian term for "spiking with booze." The idea that coffee is all screwed up until you fix it with liquor cracks me up for some reason.