Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Thread of Continutiy

Let's sit on the VERANDA font and chat about me for a moment. Who comes up with these font names, anyway?

While I was machine quilting my niece's quilt, I had a thought. I realized that I was really enjoying machine quilting, despite it being a slightly hellish process. For those of you not familliar with the quilting process, this is what happens. You take forever putting the tiny bits of fabric into bigger and bigger pieces until you have a whole quilt top. Then you put the middle part (batting) and the bottom fabic under it and safety pin it all together so it doesn't shift. Then you manouver this rather aukward, large bundle of fabric around as you sew through all three layers to quilt it together. When you are quilting one end of the quilt, the rest of the quilt is all sort of hanging everywhere, and bunching together, and you are trying to balance it by surrounding yourself with tables and chairs and rolling up various parts of the quilt to stuff it through the small space between the sewing machine arm and body . . . its quite ridiculously complicated. This is why most people either hand quilt their larger quilts or send them away to a professional with a special quilting sewing machine.

Anyway, I quite enjoy the whole process of quilting. I like finding patterns that I can follow to make it easier to quilt and do the longest amount of continuous sewing that i can. So for instance, with Kaylee's quilt I found that I could actually continously quilt 4 blocks without cutting the thread. This sort of small victory give me great pleasure. I started wondering why it was, exactly, that such an odd thing made me so content. And that is when I had my thought.

I realized that the think I like about quilting is the creation of patterns. In fact, I most naturally think in patterns. This is why my thoughts seem so random to everyone else. It is because my brain is organized not in straight lines but in pinwheels, checkerboards and spirals. I started making connections back through things in my life I have enjoyed that seemed unconnected. Until I put the pieces together (ha ha). Let's look at a few.

1. Quilting -- I already explained this one.

2. Curriculum planning -- I love it. I am one of the few teachers I know that actually enjoys looking through the curriculum and planning specific units. I like to see how many learning goals I can cover in one unit, and I love figuring out how I will gradually teach larger concepts through smaller, incremental activities. I love matching up learning goals, activities and resources.

3. Samuel Beckett -- This is also what I love about his writing. His works are all about repetition -- the making, repeating, and breaking of psychelogical patterns.

4. Personality Profiles -- I am fascinated by them. Categorizing people by their patterns of behaviour.

5. Poetry -- I was always really good with poets like bp nichol who play with word structure and form a lot. I am also annoying good at identifying and discussing poetic devices -- I love finding rhyme, alliteration, repetition, rhythm, etc, etc in a poem and seeing why the poets use the patterns they use.

6. Archetypes -- I love finding the repeating archetypal figures and stories that run through literature. I love finding trickster figures, hero's journeys, etc in literature. It fascinates me how most of the world's stories are based on the same patterns of plot, character and relationship.

7. Algebra -- I always did great on the parts of math that involved balancing equations. It seems sort of intuitive to me, while random formulas for calculating the circumference of a whatever never made sense to me.

8. Those Drawing I Used to Do In Highschool -- Okay, that one only makes sense if you knew me in highschool. But I used to make these sort of free-form twisted checkerboard and swirly line drawings all the time in highschool. I found them soothing and would spend hours making entire pages full of tiny, slightly skewed squares and swirls. They were incredibly soothing to me.

So, now you know an interesting, but completely useless piece of information about me. I like patterns. A lot. They make me happy.

So why can't I organize my household? I'm not sure, but it quite likely extends from some pattern of behavior.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

(also verandah)

• noun a roofed platform along the outside of a house, level with the ground floor.

— ORIGIN Portuguese varanda ‘railing, balustrade’.