Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I've been off the grid lately, mostly due to lack of time and opportunity. I've been using my cell phone to check email and Facebook. Haven't been able to keep up with all my blog buddies, so I have lots of catching up to do and not sure how far I'll get with that any time soon.

I helped with a weaving workshop for the Cullman Fiber Guild, teaching new weavers how to dress/warp a loom. We had several table looms of various sizes and a couple of portable floor looms available. Lots of fun and got my 8-harness table loom up and running. For the workshop, we did 5-inch wide samples using 2-yard warps so it wouldn't take so long to measure the warp and dress the looms. It was neat to see the smiles on the faces of the attendees when they got the looms all ready to go and wove their samples.

Tuesday of this week I drove up to Knoxville with my daughter and friends to attend a lecture by Noam Chomsky, a professor at MIT, linguist, philosopher, and anarchist. I'd used several of his linguistic works in both undergraduate and graduate papers on language origins and cognitive development. He was to speak about his career. There was a huge response to this event. It was free and required no reservations. The auditiorium only held 900 people. Priority was given to UT students (not sure how many they let in), although there was some seating for the general public. We arrived about an hour before the lecture which was held at what used to be the old Alumni Gym when I was a student there. The line was out the door, down the street, and around the building to the front of Neyland Stadium. Shortly after we got in line, people began walking away from the building with the news that the auditorium was full and they were turning people away. Unfortunately, we and several hundred others didn't get in. Some folks who were turned away had been in line for two hours or more and had come from Nashville (about as far away as Huntsville) and elsewhere. Some people had arrived at 4:00 p.m. to get seats for the 7:00 p.m. event. Reluctant to give up, we waited in the misty rain along with other die-hards until the talk was about to start and checked one more time, but the auditorium was at capacity. No way they'd let anyone else in because of fire marshall's regulations. Disappointed, we went to find food and joked about how we should have staged a sit-in to protest not having been able to get in. As we walked toward the university center, we saw that the line was still just as long as it had been when we arrived and more folks were still lining up. A pity the organizing committee did not anticipate such a response and schedule it for one of the larger auditoriums on campus or require reservations. Our spirits were lifted somewhat when we ate at a delightful Indian restaurant, Taj, on Cumberland Avenue. The food was delicious and it was a relief to get out of the drizzle for a while. After dinner we went back to the auditiorum to see if there was a book signing. What luck! We got to meet him and get our books signed. It wasn't a total loss.

Time to go. Keep posting and I'll check in when I can.


  1. Your weaving workshop sounds excellent!

    It's a shame you didn't get to listen to Naom Chomsky and very surprising that his popularity had been underestimated by the organisers...

  2. Pity about missing the actual lecture, but at least you had a good meal and got to meet him at the signing. Is there any possibility that the University was taping it?

  3. Sounds like you had a memorable time, trying to get into that lecture and I admire the fact that you went back later! Too bad the organizers didn't plan this event for more interested people to attend. It seems they just try to estimate for a packed house, poor luck for everyone else.
    Smile today. :)

  4. I'm glad you at least got to meet him!

  5. I am really glad your time wasn't completely wasted Melissa. As you say it was very shortsighted of the authorities not to realise that he would be so popular. Perhaps they should hold another event. At least you had some good food..haha. Have a great week.

  6. How disappointing for you to miss out on the lecture. Glad you had a good meal to help compensate.
    Your students are very lucky to have you teach the weaving class. I have always thought of you as the perfect fiber arts teacher because of your wealth of knowledge on the subject and your patience.