Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Someone Caressed My Face at a Luncheon

Last Friday I attended a Christmas luncheon for all the teachers in my department, even though I'm not teaching this year because, let's be honest: I can't handle my church calling and a job even if it is only part-time. After the food was served I went over to greet my boss who is temporarily in a wheel chair so I leaned down to thank her. Then she did something just a little unusual--she caressed my face. She is older than me--probably old enough to be my mom--so it's ok that she did this. I'm cool with it, even though it was a first for me. What makes this worth mentioning is that while it seems sort of tender, in actuality she did it pretty hard; I now believe her caress belied an underlying feeling of aggression toward me and I was left to wonder, Could she know I was late for the luncheon because I was reading blogs?

The highlight of the luncheon was a reading by Leslie Norris. Would he be nothing without his accent? That's not for me to say. Anyway, just a plug for "Albert and the Angels" as a great Christmas read by Leslie Norris who is Poet in Residence at BYU but, strangely enough, is not Mormon. I made this same recommendation on TimesandSeasons.org and, it really must be said, they are the nicest bunch of people to ever completely ignore me.

But let me get to the point, remember when I saw David Sedaris and he read from his not yet published New Yorker story? Well, Leslie Norris also read something that is not yet published: "galleys" as they say. Now that I am a blogger people like David Sedaris and Leslie Norris come to me for this sort of thing, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my expertise.


  1. As a sidenote about Leslie Norris, my two most embarrassing classroom incidents as an undergrad are connected to him and his wife.

    First, his wife: I took an intro to lit class from her and made the mistake of questioning a grade she gave me (the first and last time I have ever done that). I approached her as everyone was leaving the class at the end of the hour, and she didn't wait for the room to empty before she lit into me for daring to question her. The comment that stuck in my mind: "You are old enough to create a child. It's time to take responsibility for your work."

    Second, Leslie Norris himself: I took a course on romantic lit from him and for some reason I could not stay awake during class. To this day I don't understand why I was always so drowsy. I kept nodding off during his lectures but thought I was being discreet about it. One day he stopped me as I was leaving and asked me what my problem was. Not in a kind way--in an annoyed way, and I don't think he annoys easily. Needless to say, I was mortified. Now that I've taught classes of my own, I know you can't sleep discreetly in class. The teacher always knows. Just a tip.

  2. Leslie Norris does have an amazing voice. My dad bought me “Norris’ Ark” years ago, the book and the tape. I don’t think I would want to meet him… he probably wouldn’t live up to the picture I have painted of him, especially after reading Cousin Neil’s story.

    Finally started “Dress Your Family” and I have to say I have been a bit disappointed. I kept thinking…haven’t I read this before? Figured out that no, I have not, but Sedaris did read it to us at a reading I attended. So far? Nothing new, or jaw droppingly funny. This will change, right Kacy?

    Wash your face!

  3. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Neil, considering that you fell asleep during the rip-roaring excitement of Ocean's 12, I can understand falling asleep during a lecture. Leslie Norris must be the George Clooney of the English department.

  4. I am not trying to be mysterious, here. I just accidentally commented annonymously. That last post was from me, not the person sitting behind you at the movie theater who was stalking you all night.

  5. I would like to do more face caressing. It really throws the other person off, and gives you the upper hand in the situation.

  6. I really admire Leslie Norris. Once he told me that when he was a wee lad and they would sing the hymn "Gladly the Cross I'd bear" in church, he though it was about a bear name Gladly, who happened to be cross-eyed.

  7. And he is a teacher? Disgraceful!

  8. He's a poet. He's allowed to do things like that. He was just seeing the symbolism, as poets often do.

  9. Anonymous6:01 AM

    Kacy - Although you do not post nearly often enough, I appreciate your expertise and anything else you choose to share on your delightful blog.

    Cousin Neil - I have slept through many classes. One ninth-grade teacher had my class leave the room quietly while I slept and I woke in the middle of the next period. I thought it was very funny, though he probably meant to embarrass me. I have little sympathy for a teacher who cannot keep me awake.


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