English…?!

Whenever I tell people that my master’s program is for a master’s in English, I’m always surprised at their reactions – or their lack thereof, really.

I do not see myself as an ‘English type’.

My family and I (on my mom’s side, that is) are really rather scientific and math-y about things, and we are total nerds and dorks about the things that interest us… and we also do loads of research on things just about all the time.

If we love something, we also are semi-experts on it – that’s how much we look into things with our research and how much we love learning.

Tonight, I happened to mention that I have read 45 books so far this year (It was relevant, but I don’t presently recall why.).

My friend said that I was and English type, because those were all [insert super famous, depressing-topic novels from around the world that have at least a version in English], and I made a face, cutting her off with, “No, not that crap.”

We both halted at what I had just said, and saw that I had unconsciously called what is considered some of the most important things in the world to an ‘English type’ crap.

I wasn’t intending to be rude to those books or those people, but it was straight from the heart and head, what I said – I love to read, but just not much of that stuff that everybody seems to say is necessary and kind of the only part for caring about literature.

I had even given an ‘ugh‘ of distaste at an overheard conversation earlier on, in which someone was naming some of those famous novels (thereby making me mentally gag).

Just as anyone likes one thing over another, I like certain books and book genres and styles over others – it isn’t that I see no value in the famous novels – many of them certainly are the foundation for modern-day styles and rhythms and topics on a regular basis – , but it is that I see value in other novels, too… more value than the English buffs ever seem to give them.

That’s why one teacher wasn’t sure what to do about my thesis idea – there is no teacher at our school who has a background that is entirely relevant to the author and books I’ve selected to research and discuss as valuable, because they are too new and too radical in the world of English buffs and, therefore, degrees in English.

That’s okay – I’m part of the tiny minority of caucasians at a black university… I’m accustomed to doing things differently and making them work.

Post-a-day 2018

P.S. Is it weird to anyone else that we’re almost finished with 2018 already??…. I mean, it feels like the end of September right now, maybe early October…

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Class quote, I say

Tonight at class was great, and for various reasons.

At one point, our usually-rather-serious-and-exhausted teacher is mentioning something she has said to us many a times, and I have to do an audio double-take:

“Did you just quote yourself with blah blah?”

She pauses… looks at me…, “I did.”

She ever so slightly smiles…, “I did.”

And then she, along with us, breaks into chuckles laughter, as she explains how she needn’t always be serious and that she finds it important for her to offer some humor for us from time to time, so we can remember that she is not just a mean old professor, but that she is a human being.

Then we went all into how students regularly think she’s mean and grades ‘too hard’ on assignments (definitely false on both accounts, but we could see how kids could think that).

And, somehow, it was all entirely relevant to what we were aiming to cover in class tonight, and we tied it all in with our research methods topics of the night, everyone participating in the conversation (at last!).

It was a great class meeting tonight. 🙂

Post-a-day 2018

Bilingual Ballet

I found myself thinking of (and, of course, missing) my ballet class in Japan.

I was the tallest by a lot, and it was mostly older ladies (not old, but definitely older), and everyone was super sweet and happy and even a bit giddy every class.

And the teacher and I had an unwanted but accustomed distance-by-language-barrier, because my technical Japanese was utterly iffy, and her English possibly below that… that is, we had this distance until the night that we delightfully discovered that we both spoke French rather fluently… then we got on quite comfortably, and even more familiarly than I did with any of the others, because we could say so much to each other now.

I had always asked on occasion for the teacher to repeat something she’d said or done (in Japanese, of course), and I continued that…, but now I could and would ask for clarity at times when I still wasn’t certain what the goal or instruction was (if you’ve ever done ballet, you can understand how important it is to understand what muscles are doing what in a movement), and that part would be in French.

All in all, Monday nights at ballet class were always great, and I miss them now, especially with it getting cold outside (that was when I’d first started going to the classes).

Post-a-day 2018

Life

The Universe gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

Period.

Today, I needed a reminder of the magic that abounds, and I was granted that reminder thoroughly and beautifully.

I was even declared an interpreter by someone who didn’t even know that languages are a prominent part of my life, nor that I know more than one language.

And, on my way home this evening, just to let myself free in having fun, I sang a free-flowing song in a language I don’t entirely understand (yet, anyway)…. and it, too, was magical.

Yes, today has been magical, magic-filled from the Universe.

Thank you

Post-a-day 2018

The person I want to be climbed rocks

I went bouldering in an indoor rock gym tonight.  It hurts now in my hands, in a very ‘ouch’ way.  My palms felt like fire when I showered in the warm water, and it felt like I was rubbing them raw when I was merely soaping up my body and washing my hair.  I imagine that even more of my body will ache tomorrow, in a good way.  I’m glad I went climbing with this old friend.  Apparently I am terrified of jumping down while facing a wall… I’d never noticed that it made a difference to me, jumping down from something forward versus backward… I guess I just hadn’t ever considered a blind and backward jump for anything before tonight.  Anyway…

And now, since I gave the girls an assignment on it today when subbing for creative writing, I’ll throw in a bit of free poetry, slam style, but typed…

I got a few scrapes and bumps,
and even drew blood on one skinning spot.
But I climbed a lot
for having done
little comparable activity
in the past several months.

And it felt good.
And I felt like I was being
the person I wanted to be.
The person I want to be.
Yes.  The person I want to be.
Me,
myself, and I are good people,
but there’s more to me
to who I want to be.
And she
yes, she
stopped in to smile tonight
to show how I might
could be.
Truly.
Would that she
come sooner
and wait no longer,
but it is I who must go to her.
Let it go, let it go, just let it all go…
Or Beatles-ly
let it be…
then shall I be she
proud and powerful and humble and beautiful
as can be,
being the person I want to be.

 

Post-a-day 2018

 

 

What’s your nerd field?

Today, my cousin compared my lesson planning talk with that of her brother’s talk about trees.  You see, he, her brother (and my cousin), got really into trees, and studied forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas.  He used to talk about toy cars and action figures, and even eventually video games, too, like a little nerdy kid who is somewhat obsessed and awed by the specific toys and all that they can do/represent, as well as all of their background information.  You couldn’t really get him to shut up about the toys when he was little, or the video games when he was around high school aged.  In college, this talk turned to being about trees.  He even named his dog after “his favorite tree species”.

So, now, fast forward to today.  My cousin, the forestry cousin’s older sister, said to me that my teacher talk about lesson ideas and planning lessons – and this is about any topic, be it actual foreign language teacher, which I actually did for high schools, or dance lessons, or my art & yoga classes, or whatever teaching opportunity I might have – reminds her exactly of her brother and his tree talk.

Does that not say something distinct and pointed about me and teaching?  😛  Clearly I like it.  (I also happen to be very good at it, it turns out.  Total blessing, and I am incredibly grateful for it.)

‘Okay, but I’m not going to get a dog and name it Lesson Plan,’ I laughingly retort.
After a slight pause for inhale, she replies, ‘Hannah…, I could see you coming up with a more creative and better way to name the dog Lesson Plan.’
‘You say that…’
‘Oh, did you think I was joking?  Because…’
‘No.  You say that, and I know that you aren’t joking.’

I was just worried that I really might be that nerdy about it, because I could totally see myself doing something that silly somewhere down the road.  😛

Post-a-day 2018