8.31.2004

What I am reading right now. A find for two bucks.

Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt.

About the author's school experience in Limerick:

"They hit you if you don't know why God made the world, if you don't know the patron saint of Limerick, if you can't recite the Apostles' Creed, if you can't add nineteen to forty-seven, if you can't subtract nineteen from forty-seven, if you don't know the chief towns and products of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, if you can't find Bulgaria on the wall map of the world that's blotted with spit, snot, and blobs of ink thrown by angry pupils expelled forever.

They hit you if you can't say your name in Irish, if you can't say the Hail Mary in Irish, if you can't ask for the lavatory pass in Irish.

It helps to listen to the big boys ahead of you. They can tell you about the master you have now, what he likes and what he hates.

One master will hit you if you don't know that Eamon De Valera is the greatest man that ever lived. Another master will hit you if you don't know that Michael Collins was the greatest man that ever lived.

Mr. Benson hates America and you have to remember to hate America or he'll hit you.

Mr. O'Dea hates England and you have to remember to hate England or he'll hit you.

If you ever say anything good about Oliver Cromwell they'll all hit you."

4 comments:

Jackie said...

Maitresse~
I discovered Frank McCourt in the library one day as I was searching for a good book on cd. I found Tis, which is a follow-up to Angela's Ashes. I was captivated by his story and it was delightful to hear Frank read in his Irish accent. I need to go back to read about his beginning.
I found your blog via the 'next blog' feature. You're intriguing. And you have a smart son.

Anonymous said...

So, Maitresse, I'm finally going to do it. I'm going to ask about your name. Because the only translations or references to 'maitresse' that I can find all boil down to 'mistress'. And clearly an intelligent mind can't accept that you mean to label yourself as your son's mistress. So I'm forced to ask...what does it actually mean?
:-)
Sarah

la Maitresse said...

Maitresse = teacher/master (feminine version of Maitre, like "maitre d'.."). A - and his French primary school classmates - referred to their teacher as "maitresse." When I decided to homeschool, I suddenly became the "maitresse." Zat eees all...

But not all...I decided to not insert the proper accent over the "i" on my blog because it's a load of work.

la Maitresse said...

...and for Ruby: thanks! : )

I am eager to read 'Tis. Frank McCourt also taught at Stuyvesant High, a five-minute hop, skip, and a jump away from A's science inernship on the Hudson.

If you have other book titles you'd like to share, please do! I'm always looking for a good read!