School has resumed. It's been an odd start to the year. t was very strange not to have to engage in the typical back to school preparations for children who are still in public school. Very weird indeed since Mr. Lime and I still had to get ourselves ready.
That said, Calypso (who would like me to post some touching sort of post about her...sheesh, kid discovers your blog and all of a sudden wants to be the star!) has begun a program at a community college. After a couple of online classes in which she did very well she has begun attending full-time on campus classes this fall. Here then, instead of a warm and fuzzy Hallmark sort of post, I present some observations on school.
She is not loving Statistics. I can't say as I blame her. If you recall, I burned my stats textbook when the class was over. She has a particular classmate who is driving her even crazier than the topic itself. The classmate is a middle-aged woman who has just returned to school for the first time in decades and is understandably insecure about it. What annoys Calypso is not the insecurity but her inclination to ask the same question repeatedly because she can't be bothered to actually listen to the prof when he answers her. The incessant questioning is so constant a disruption that other members of the class and the prof himself are finding their patience strained to the limit. Calypso, though she is struggling with statistical concepts seems to have grasped at least one in assigning a nickname to this one classmate whose age is no where near the range of fellow classmates and who doesn't seem to grasp any of the social cues within a polite classroom. Said classmate is now referred to as Outlier.
Here then is what she related as the conversation with her Literature prof who said genres won't be covered individually but rather under themes such as Death, Alienation and Loneliness, Nature, Love and Desire. Under each theme there will be poetry, short stories, and dramas relating to the theme.
C: I was looking at the textbook and the syllabus and noticed there's a TON of Poe in the textbook but none was listed in the syllabus so I was wondering why.
Prof: Oh? You think we should?
C: Well, um, since you mentioned he's pretty much the father of the short story and we have a theme of DEATH, I thought his work might be relevant.
Prof: Hhhmm, good point. Which works do you think we ought to use?
C: (incredulous) Well, it's a safe bet that anything he wrote would work but how about a short story AND a poem?
Prof: You may be right. I'll add that.
C: Well, and I also noticed a lot of Plath in the book but none on the syllabus.
Prof: You think I should be covering Plath?
C: (looking around for Candid Camera) Well, uh, yes. She seems a good candidate for alienation and loneliness since, you know, she was feeling alienated and lonely enough to literally stick her head in an oven and all.
Prof: Hhmm, another good point. I hadn't thought of that.
Calypso then told me she needed to write a thank you note to her ninth grade English teacher who loved nothing more than when a student found death as a theme in any of the works discussed during Lit Circles (something Calypso found a real challenge at the time). I'm sure such a note will make that teacher's day.