Thursday, September 13, 2007

Life lessons

Haven't blogged for a couple of days because I've felt a bit overwhelmed with life. So many thoughts going through my head.

Now, I hadn't updated about my assignment since early Friday morning. Later that morning I called mum and as it turned out the entire unit have been given a two week extension, not just the one week extention I already knew about, so in fact, I'd handed the assignment in on time, yay for me!

But then mum rang that evening, to talk to me about my assignment. She'd shown it to my lecturer who has said it was good "draft"! OMG, draft??? Yes, that is what my mm told me. She went on to say the lecturer was happy with the content but I needed to format it according to the Uni style guide. At this point I said to mum that I'd done that. She said, "Yes, but you have some parts in point form. I realise this isn't an essay, but you still can't use point form in an assignment like that."

I couldn't understand, I hadn't put any of the assignment in point form! Then it dawned on me, I'd sent her my NOTES! Can you believe it??? Even that was a bit of a worry because the lecturer had been happy with my notes, but I hadn't follow them all that closely - they were mostly a summary of the article. So, I sent mum the assignment in full.

A funny story came out of it though. When mum showed the notes to the lecturer, the lecturer said I'd don't quite well and noted that I'd chosen the hardest article to critique. To this mum said, "Yes, like mother like daughter!" because coincidentally, when mum did this same unit last year, she chose the exact same article (would you believe it???)... The lecturer did a double take, she hadn't realised I was my mother's daughter.

Mum so graciously sent me the assignment she had done, but knowing she got a HD, I've been far to nervous to read her assignment in case my is vastly different from hers!

On Tuesday mum received my marks for my poetry assignment from a couple of weeks ago (she receives them before us external students because she is the External Studies Co-ordinator), and it seems I received 80% for my poetry, so a distinction, and two, possibly three of my poems are being published in the annual University literary publication, "Tales from the Upper Room" The two definitely being published are the haiku and the tanka I posted here last month.

Haiku first...

Infants sleep soundly
Tame humans or wild bear cubs
Safely with mother


Grand developments
Babes saved from illness and death
Powder likens milk
Infants sleep with monitors
Nature now superceded
The third poem I might get published (depending on what the committee think) will be the freeverse I wrote. I find this incredibly ironic considering my trepidation over having to write free verse at all!

Ok, enough with the bragging, LOL...

So, this week I've been knee deep in more poetry exercises, including three more poems and a piece about a poet, requiring a brief analysis of one of the poet's poems. I ended up choosing to write about the life and poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. While deciding on who to write about I looked at the poetry of Emily Dickinson, and I've decided to write my major research assignment on her and her poetry... She is one funny lady! Here are a couple of samples of her work:

I ’M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody! 5
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!


I FELT a cleavage in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind I strove to join 5
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.
Today, I've been trying to write a children's book... ARGH! My first attempt came off condescending and overly moralistic. Have decided to try the same theme in rhymed couplets and using a chaos story plot - where one catastrophe leads to another and another...

The other life lession has been regarding FIL. I saw him last weekend for a belated Father's Day get together and was quite simply blown away by how much he has deteriorated in the past four months. He colour wasn't good at all, especially on his hands, but also his face, and Dave said it looked better on Sunday than the previous week. When he moved, he moved so slowly it was agonising to watch. His cat was his mirror image, and now I can understand completely why FIL is not willing to having Sheva put down, the old man cat and the old man are two faces of the same coin!

Everytime Dave sees his father he ends up crying afterwards, and tbh, this time I ended up crying with him! And that was after ushering the boys home quickly and having a stiff drink!

Today, Dave has spent the afternoon with his parents up at the hospital where FIL has undergone some routine health check. Dave went along to help his mother with his father who finds it very difficult to go to the toilet on his own because of his deteriorating hip and balance, but is also upset at having to have assistance, and would have wanted it from MIL in a public place like the hospital. Dave was also going to try and convince FIL to sit in a wheel chair rather than attempt to walk up and down all the hospital corridors to the different departments but when I talked to Dave earlier his father hadn't wanted a bar of the wheel chair... As much as I have strong feelings and beliefs regarding the afterlife, it is hard to see a much loved man slipping away before our very eyes! He was so lovely with Bryn the other day, holding his hand and telling him, "You're a very special little chap!" Aw, I don't care to imagine that one day Bryn will not remember this man...


katef said...

love your new poems.. specially the second one.

So sad about your FIL.... I find the sadest thing about my FIL dying is that his grandchildren will not remember him....

Amanda O. said...

Aw Sif, two sadish posts... your FIL's decline reminds me of Nic's grandfather so much. One of the biggest things I regreted about his passing was that Laurent wouldn't remember him the way we would and watching him slowly slip from the person he once was into a frail old man was hugely emotionally challenging. In the year before he passed, we did a lot of scrapbooking of him - asking him lots of questions about his life, stories, how he met his wife, what his early life was like, what it was like with his kids as a parent, his hobbies etc. Unfortunately we didn't get too far before he ended up passing but I hope it gives Laurent at least some sense of who his great grandfather was. Might be helpful for you guys and it was a lovely insight to learn about things we didn't know about or didn't know his side of until he told his stories.

How cool to get the poems published in there! :-) Glad to hear you had the extra week to submit so you got it in on time but jeeze, are you channeling me by handing in your notes instead of the assignment??? *VBG* That sounds more like something I'd do! ;-p

Juniper said...

Love the poems!

And hugs re: the FIL issue. It is so hard to see family deteriorate like that, and like you said, thinking that Bryn may not remember him *is* sad. Make sure you take lots of pix of them together - it will help Bryn remember him, and show that he did know him himself (if that makes sense...).

Unknown said...

Love your poems too, and I did my HSC literature thingo on Emily Dickinson, fantastic :)

I'm really relating to your sadness over your FIL, as you know. Like Amanda did, I am making an effort to take photos and little short videos (just on my digical camera) of dad and Lily (and the other grandkids). It always makes me teary but he hasn't noticed, and I don't want him too...but yeah, I feel it's important - especially when he is showing or teaching her something, or telling a story...

We have some beautiful pics of her with great granddad on Kaje's side from earlier this year, and the love he has in his eyes is really palpable - I'm glad she'll have that to look at when she is older, and Kaje can tell him stories of his granddad being a fighter pilot in the war, and lots of other stuff...anyway, you know what I mean. It's hard, but really worth doing.

God I am going on, but I also got dad to sit down with me to draw a family tree, and he told me tiny little grabs of stories of distant relis, it was so interesting to hear these too, and note them down too xx

Good Job!