It was sort of a nice weekend. I don’t remember what we did Saturday, but by Sunday it was cold. Nora called at about 7:30 am and I talked to her for a while. I think she might actually miss us. Then she went to a cafe nearby and skyped us. (The picture above is her, in a cafe in St Petersburg. Apparently when it gets dark outside they turn out the lights and light candles., which sounds kind of nice.) I haven’t seen her for two months, I realize.
There were a million things I was supposed to do, but all the interruption made it impossible. In then end, K and I went to see Capitalism, which like all Michael Moore’s movies is entertaining except you get the feeling he’s leaving something out. But it’s worth seeing —
The theme is somewhat looser than in his other movies — more about “things he doesn’t like.” I sort of get the feeling that his whole career stems from his feelings about the death of Flint, and stories his uncle may have told about the glorious union past of the thirties. It is sad, and the shots of boarded up houses are sad, and so is the scene where he takes his dad back to look at his dad’s old plant, which is now just a brownfield. To me that’s sad — what did the landscape look like before it was paved over to make a plant, and then paved over again to destroy the plant.
Then I came home to read M her econ textbook. (I’m reading it to her because she’s dyslexic, which makes her a very slow reader, and also because she has decided she hates Economics with a burning passion. Yet still, she has to pass the class.) I never took econ, and really haven’t the vaguest notion of how it all works so I’m actually happy to read her the textbook. Which has to be the strangest textbook ever written.
From the outset, it looks complicated, especially to a person like me who has never studied econ. So we approach with trepidation only to realize that the text spends quite a bit of time hammering the same topic (Y=S+C, for instance — don’t ask) into our heads. It takes us quite a while to figure out that it’s just saying the same thing over and over and over, and what it’s saying appears to be very simple. The complicated drawings are only complicated in that they illustrate such a very simple concept. “In this drawing the sun is up.” Okay, so we get that. We sort of think that the book is assuming that we’re idiots, and we’re not. It’s almost a little confusing that it seems to thing we’re so stupid — is there something we’re not getting? and then — zing — we turn the page and some other assumption is made in a single sentence. This assumption — something about aggregate expenditure equaling consumption plus planned investment. — is totally confusing, and yet no further explanation is offered. But wait! What about the trucks that don’t get sold, even though it was planned that they would? I guess we’re just dealing with some kind of ideal world here, but it is very confusing —
Anyway, that’s the textbook. But this morning I was reading an article in the paper about whether we should save or spend (both, I think, is the answer. Forget it — I’m not spending.) and I understood it! Because Y = S + C! I was quite proud of myself and read it out loud to M, who acted as if she was in great pain.
The whole thing saddens her, too, since N liked the class and now it’s seeming complicated and difficult to her, and she has the whole younger sibling complex, completely unsubstantiated, that N is much cleverer than she is. But she learned yesterday from N that while N’s teacher was great, M’s teacher is a known idiot. He taught the non-honors class when N was there, and was considered responsible for the fact that none of them learned anything. This made M feel better, and I’m quite sure N never read the book at all.
Anyway, it’s actually a positive thing. She’s not going to learn anything in class, so she can stop worrying about why and just deal with it out of class. Much like American history last year.
Any, I certainly did not mean to go down that path. It’s lovely and dark and raining outside. I’ve just made myself a pot of tea. I’m about to go up and tackle the mess in the bedroom. It’s going to be great.