Sunday, September 26, 2010

Greetings! From Virginia

So as Michael and I have decided to start this blog, we thought that we might as well tell you a little bit about ourselves. I'm going to tell you about me, and he's going to tell you about him because, as writing teachers everywhere are always saying, "write what you know."

So the first thing is that if you're reading this blog, you may very well know us as "Mr. P" and "Mr. AB," or "Mr. Pereira," and "Mr. Andrews-Bashan," if you're not into the whole brevity thing.  That's because we're teachers.

But this isn't about us, it's about me. I am a teacher. I teach English at the The GW Community School. I've taught there for nine years, and it's the only post-college job I've ever held. One summer I worked as a counselor at a preschool camp, and in high school I was a page at the local library. In my whole life, those are the only jobs I've ever held, and now that I write that down, it's pretty incredible. The other half of this blog was in a TRAVELING HOOTENANNY so, basically, jobwise I am the boring half. I do really enjoy teaching, however, and in a couple of years ago I was honored to receive the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Private School Teacher of the Year award. The picture accompanying the award is the dorkiest picture ever taken of me.

I have a degree in English and one in Cognitive Science from Vassar College. That's a pretty good description of my intellectual interests right there. I like reading and writing and psychology and neuroscience and philosophy. My English thesis was about the relationship between language, physical space, and history, and how ghost stories work to warp or disrupt the relationship between these elements by undermining and reconstructing written language as a signifier. I am much dumber now than when I wrote it and can't understand a word of it. My Cognitive Science thesis was on the role that rhyme may play in making difficult poetry more understandable. I got to mess around with eye-tracking software and spend hours running statistical analyses in a 6x6 windowless room while listening to oldies on a transistor radio. It was awesome.   

I'm married, I have two cats, and sometime in the next month I'm going to become a father for the first time. That blows my mind, but I can't wait. I keep imagining pacing back and forth with this little girl in my arms while I read the Odyssey or Paradise Lost and she falls asleep to the most beautiful, ennobling, human music ever created.

In my spare time, I like writing and making music. As far as writing goes, my first love was poetry and maybe if I work up the nerve I will post some really terrible things I wrote when I was 17. As far as making music, electronic music is my thing, and although I can now brutally murder some chords on the guitar and occasionally remember how to play them on the piano, I do a lot of my music-making using samples and synthesizers and such. Every once in a while I do some work on my long-term novel project, which is a satirical philosophical bildungsroman about pirates. Nothing I make is very good, but I sure do like making it.

And now, in an attempt to differentiate myself from Michael, here are some things you should know about us:

Michael is a little bit Beatles.
Daniel is a little bit Rolling Stones.

Michael is a little bit Harper's.
Daniel is a little bit New Yorker.

Michael is a little bit Catcher in the Rye.
Daniel is a little bit Moby Dick.

Michael is a little bit Radiolab.
Daniel is a little bit This American Life.

Michael is a little bit Li Bai.
Daniel is a little bit Du Fu.

Both of us are a little bit Han Shan.