I've been outed!

I wasn't exactly keeping this blog a secret from my extended family, but I hadn't exactly mentioned it either. Bookworm has always felt to me like an experiment in progress, for one thing. For another, I already have multiple lines of communication with them: phone, email, voicemail, not to mention the fact that we all live in the same town! But my husband accidentally included my dad in the address line of an email that must have seemed comically cryptic to him. So, here they are. Aren't they cute?

Mom and Dad, welcome to my blog!

George & Gay



  • Very impressive, Julesie. (Or am I supposed to protect your dignity in public by addressing you as Julia? Nevermore!) At any rate, the genre is unfamiliar, and there are all sorts of deep questions that my colleagues in English would discuss quite earnestly about "voice". Let's face it, the qualities of informality and familial intimacy do not mix well with the non-privacy of the medium. (I feel a sociolinguistics study coming on like a bad cold.)

    And, then, how do you do it -- this web design? No, no, don't tell me. I have enough troubles.

    The immediate implication of this accidental discovery is that, in addition to all my other e-chores, I now have to check what's going on at this blog periodically. When should I take care of my taxes, pray tell? (I took an extension but sooner or later one has to deliver.) Can I just send a message and then apres moi le deluge? That's hard. But it's like your correspondent's concern that one drag on a cigarette and you're a goner! Am I letting myself in for an unending chain of comments and meta- comments ?

    Old fogey remark: There have to be books that a fifth grader can read that are not about euthanasia or other "adult" themes. Are they too boring if they don't give you that frisson -- suicide, divorce, addiction, abuse, incest, and other peccadillos? I can tell you that when I was a kid, there was plenty of other more innocent reading matter. (As you see, there is another side to your dad than the laissez-faire one you recall so sweetly.) (I'm getting cold feet about this post and am beginning to guess that you might well regret having told me about this at last and thus opened the door to my pontifications. But, hey, if you don't believe in censoring reading,....I ain't got nothin' to worry about.)

    An interesting choice nowadays, euthanasia! Read Frank Rich's recent op-ed essay about the culture of death -- the Schiavo-John Paul double feature. Is this choice of reading the long arm of the current ideological climate reaching into the classroom? Lord protect us; there may, in other words, be a heavier freight in this book than the abstract "issue" of euthanasia -- a recruitment by opinion makers -- of course carried out, without awareness, by a well-meaning teacher with the sense that this issue is "in the air" and isn't it great there is a book about it!!??

    I wouldn't be surprised, Jules, if, after this, you decide to move your blog to another URL without leaving a forwarding address!



    posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 6:41 PM  

  • Also thanks for publishing this wonderful photo. (Other readers! My wife and I really are that cute.)


    posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 6:44 PM  

  • Didn't I mention in an earlier post that I am not good at processing auditory information? It's because I grew up with conversation like that at the dinner table. If you can even call it conversation!

    posted by Blogger Julie on 7:26 PM  

  • I understood this part of your Dad's post: "But, hey, if you don't believe in censoring reading,....I ain't got nothin' to worry about." ;)

    Welcome, Dad! waves*

    posted by Blogger mrsd on 10:15 PM  

  • Julie and mrsd,

    I don't really have a problem understanding what your dad is saying. I just think he exaggerates a bit. But in a professor that's often a good trait as it makes things more clear for the avarage listener. The only thing is we are not in a classroom here! A blog is different. You wouldn't say everything in a class that we can say here and so in a way he's wrong to bring his standards here. That's what I think at any rate. But no offence intended, Julie. He sounds like a nice man.

    posted by Anonymous Terry on 9:06 AM  

  • Hello Mr. and Mrs. Bookworm Senior. I know you from days way back on "the court" and am smiling electronically at you.

    As another blogger who's kept her writing private from her parents' curious/critical/sensitive eyes (not that your eyes are the same...), I can only urge you to go lightly on The Bookwormette. These blogs have a way of becoming intensely personal expressions, the uninhibited writing of which has, for me at least, been one of the most liberating and creative ventures of my adult life!

    I guess I'm saying I'm glad you're here, so long as your presence doesn't make The Bookworm clam up!


    posted by Blogger doulicia on 11:33 AM  

  • Thank you, Doulicia. You put it insightfully, prudently; tactfully. Your friend will appreciate it, I'm sure, and I shall take it to heart.

    Bookworm's loving dad.

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 10:39 PM  

  • I share my blog with my stepfather (or does he share it with me?) so most of what I post I know my family will read....

    Mr Bookworm says this...
    Old fogey remark: There have to be books that a fifth grader can read that are not about euthanasia or other "adult" themes. Are they too boring if they don't give you that frisson -- suicide, divorce, addiction, abuse, incest, and other peccadillos? I can tell you that when I was a kid, there was plenty of other more innocent reading matter.

    And I have to say I agree with him in part...there is a pressure on children to be simultaneously a lot more adult in their thinking and behaviour, but a lot more vulnerable. I look at clothes for young girls and am so grateful that I have a son. I don't want to have to make the decision about whether a daughter of mine can have a bra and panties set at age 4! We sexualise young girls by offering them smaller versions of adult women's clothes and then make them afraid for their own safety....

    So, similarly in literature and drama - we give children a lot of information in the way of entertainment, but then have to give them the tools to deal with it. I'd much rather that they got to be children and live out a child's carefree life, rather than being chaperoned from one activity to another after school. How many kids do we regularly see riding their bikes in gangs around the place, just off to have fun, not to vandalise or graffiti, but merely going from A to B or hanging out? Do the children think it's not safe anymore, or is it the parents?

    Oops, sorry for using your comments area for my crazy's something I feel strongly about...(just in case you couldn't tell!)

    posted by Blogger Mummy/Crit on 10:06 AM  

  • Crit, I agree with you completely! I think it's the parents who are afraid, and they pass that on to their kids. But more than that, it's overachiever parents who want their kids to be the best at everything and sign them up for a million activities and schedule them to death. Certainly, it ties in with the overprotectiveness thing, which has been a recurring theme for me this week. I was so glad also that some people (Green-Eyed Lady) agreed with my anti-censorship stance. Some of the other parents at school said no way would they allow their child to read The Giver.

    posted by Blogger Julie on 7:56 PM  

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    posted by Blogger Julie on 7:57 PM  

  • Heh heh--I have yet to tell my parents about my blog :) Despite the fact that my mom teaches computer science, I don't think she is up on blog culture. I'm sure my blog would horrify my dad since I write about all sorts of un-healthy food and he is about the healthiest eater I know. I mentioned the word "Pork" in his presence once and he recoiled in horror; if he found out that I feed his beloved grandchildren hotdogs on occasion, he'd probably try and gain guardianship of them.

    posted by Blogger Kate on 8:28 AM  

  • Julie, I realise that I paint myself into a logic argument all the time...and I know I have again - even if it's only in my head! I get so confused that I don't know what I think! I agree with you about not censoring children's reading. Mine wasn't, and that was great, but my mum always knew what I was reading and sometimes read it with me, and I s'pose that is the important bit. I guess it goes back to the earier conversation about stuff we read as kids that did our heads in one way or another. So we need to keep our children close while giving them room to explore the world....Overparenting is not useful, in the same way that anti-bacterial soap is not useful. But too much slack isn't good either. How much is too much? Was parenting always this confusing? Argh. Time to switch my brain off.

    "maybe I think too much, maybe I think too much"

    And what's your dad got against sociolinguistics anyway? One of the most fascinating bits I reckon.

    posted by Blogger Mummy/Crit on 8:12 AM