Julie and Julia

The wife and I just finished dinner* followed by Julie and Julia. It was pretty enjoyable to watch, though I came away with this demanding question: at what point did someone decide they should compromise Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci's screentime for Amy Adams and Noname McGhee? Streep is amazing and hilarious in her subtle play on over the top character — physically: brilliant. If I had been producing this, I would have read the script, said, "Great. Now ditch the present with blogging and the whining and make a biopic about Julia Child". I would say for movies about food, Big Night (a bigger role for Tucci) is still tops. But, we did enjoy spotting my old Park Slope subway stop in one scene, along with a neighborhood bistro that was used a few times. Also, I now have a mind to try making Buerre Blanc, maybe for a special occasion.

*Unintentionally, I stuck with the theme of the movie by trying something myself for the first time in the kitchen tonight. I poached fish in olive oil. Verdict: delicious. Surprisingly not oily, and without the waterlogged consistency that's hard to avoid when poaching in water.


One Month So Far

It's been a good while since I've posted, and I'd like to think it's in part due to the fact that I'm now a full time student. I'm in the accelerated Masters Ed program at Hunter, and with that is a pre-determined roster of classes for each term. Currently I'm taking Childhood Development, Diversity in the Classroom, Developmental Reading and Math Curriculum & Method. The big surprise so far – Math is my favorite of the four. Several reasons. The professor is very sharp, charismatic and confident in his balance of covering both theory and practice in the classroom. Most of all I'm learning elementary math again, but instead of learning it by rote, this professor has me understanding why I'm taking each step in a problem's solution. This is mostly through visual models - pieces or props representing the numbers we're throwing around, and boy do I understand things better that way. Apparently, lots of people do because we're being encouraged to use these methods in our [future]classrooms. Sweet!

Part of the curriculum this first semester is 25 hours of elementary school observation. My first of these was at a private school here in Park Slope, and when I sat down to watch a 4th grade reading discussion, my first thought was, "oh my goodness this is how little fourth graders are?" They were fidgety, spacey, goofy, fairly unselfconscious, and then as they started discussing the book, really bright! And that was really cool: these squirming little kids throwing out incredibly perceptive suggestions on the novel they'd just read. Whew. I was relieved. I tried to remember what I was doing back in fourth grade. I can remember my teacher, my best friend, the girl I had a crush on, the girl my best friend had a crush on, the lousy cello/violin "duet" I attempted in music class with this kid Adam, but for the life of me I can't remember what the hell we learned academically in the fourth grade. And that's where this grad program comes in. I'm actually getting two educations for the price of one - as a teacher and as a 33 year old elementary school student. I'm going to totally nail the state capitals test.