Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 24, 2008

Small Steps Toward Alice in Wonderland

My teaching schedule is light, but a week break still gave me a lot of great writing time, ending with Easter dinner yesterday. It was lovely to have my daughter here, two couples, and a dad with three teens who are well-read runners and have come since the days of egg hunts. We filled two tables pushed together, I asked my friend Jess to say a short prayer. We closed our eyes and there was silence until her husband said, “Out loud.”
“I’m thinking,” Jess said. More silence, then she began, “Since there are people here of all different beliefs, I’ll begin: to whom it may concern.” Then thanks for the pleasures of being together and a request for silent wishes for those less fortunate before we ate chicken, asparagus, potatoes, and coconut cake.

Once everyone went back home I set about finishing Alice in Wonderland, then wrote an email to my older sister telling her that I still didn’t like it much though she probably did. That was sort of our pattern. She emailed back that she remembered me being disturbed and in hindsight maybe I was right. Maybe I was right? Yes, this is better than chocolate bunnies! As I read I cringed as I remember cringing as a girl when the Duchess throws the crying baby across a room. But I know there are lots of intellectual fans. I pumped up the students beforehand about the sorts of wordplay, varieties of nonsense, playing with time and theories of evolution that go on. A student asked if the author was on narcotics. There doesn’t seem evidence of that, I replied, but reading the thing I bet my students were rolling their eyes thinking: right. It was hard for even me to believe when Alice is talking to a caterpillar smoking a hookah and nibbling mushrooms.

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Responses

  1. I always SO enjoy your thoughtful and beautiful posts. Now I’m craving coconut cake….! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Debbi. It’s good I didn’t go on about the cream cheese frosting….

  3. I don’t like Alice in Wonderland either. I blogged about that awhile back.
    http://joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com/search?q=Alice+in+Wonderland


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