Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Interlacing (by Bet)

Recently I have been reading Beowulf with my class. One of the ideas that was prevalent in the time of Beowulf (560 CE) was interlacing, the idea that everyone and everything is connected. Things fall apart when you are disconnected from family, friends and community.

I just returned from a trip to Costco where I bought processed food that I haven't thought of putting into my house for many years. I bought enough calories to potentially feed my family of four for an entire year if we could subsist on just fat, corn syrup products and unrecognizable vegetables. I drove my Honda Odyssey for forty minutes both ways for the privilege of doing this, dragging both of my children with me.

One of the reasons I think this became something to do was because my family is so busy. We rarely have time to sit down together much less have free time. I started back to school and have the stack of papers to prove it. Both children are in soccer and swimming. There is no time for meals. When did making my family nutritious meals become less important than a trip to Costco?

Today at school I learned that one of our students was in a car crash yesterday afternoon. She got out of a friend's car and ran around back to cross the street right into a neighbor's on-coming car. She bounced off of that car into another. This afternoon she lays in a medically induced coma with broken legs and pelvis, lacerated organs, and a swollen brain. Doctors don't know how she made it through the night. Her boyfriend and best friend witnessed the whole thing.

This morning, as my principal is making this announcement, I realized how unconnected I really am -- from my friends, my family, and my community (is there such a thing anymore?).

I'm not sure I always have it in me to be connected. But spending quality time with my kids at Costco is not the way to start. Perhaps something as simple as a rootbeer float is the key to building those connections.


  1. Oh man, I don't know what to say! I hope she survives well, and that her friends grow from it, rather than become lessened by it.
    Costco...haven't been there since the end of May, but I do feel a trip coming up. I've put it off this long, so can't I put it off a little longer?
    Rootbeer floats...we're supposed to drink those together in June, but I'm up for it any day. Obviously!
    Is that old farm down the road from you still open? Maybe we should come down and take some time to do that. I'd love to cheer the kids on at a game, too...

  2. I have come across the word "interlacing" twice in the past couple of days. I suppose that's a good example of its definition.

    I'm a teacher too. I teach college remedial English classes. I've never used Beowulf before, but I wrote two very long graduate school papers on The Dream of the Rood from the same era. Familiar?

    I've never been to Costco - we don't have one where I live, but I've had similar feelings around going to Wal-Mart.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.