Thursday, June 17, 2010

4 Years Today

Today is the day that I miss Dave the most.  Today is our 4th anniversary and the first one we have spent apart. (And hopefully the last!) I don't know how it went by so quickly, but thanks Dave for 4 fantastic years, and here's to many more!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#2 - Wide Sargasso Sea

'Wide Sargasso Sea' by Jean Rhys is book number two in  my quest to read 100 classic books before I die. (Clarification so that I don't look like an ignoramus: I've read lots and lots of classic books but I've made a formal commitment to myself to read 100 more.) 

Laura Fish said it best:

"Wide Sargasso Sea speaks of the history of cruelty and suffering that lies behind some of the West's accumulated wealth, a history which in Jane Eyre is secret and mysterious, and only appears in brief glimpses. This is a book that gives voice to neglected, silenced and unacknowledged stories, exploring different inflections of marginality – gender, class, race and madness. Where historical events, recorded in written discourse, have shaped the opinions of many of the people of the former British colonies and education is exclusively from a Eurocentric perspective, the recovery of "lost" histories has a crucial role to play in allowing access to events and experiences which have not previously been recorded. This idea of "writing back" by breaking down explanations for events and favouring more localised narratives and perspectives has informed my own work, especially in the voices of the former slaves in my latest novel. Wide Sargasso Sea is an inspiration. Certainly, before the phrase was coined, Jean Rhys was a post-colonial writer whose work reminds us that "there is always another side, always"."

Monday, June 14, 2010

For sage advice

I am a college student, and have been for 4 years. What's that you say? It doesn't take four years to get through a two-year program? Allow me to explain. I have a job, I own a house, I have a spouse who is also a student. So things have taken a little longer for me. I have been working part-time on two completely separate programs, both of which I will be finishing in the next year, after which I will move on to university in pursuit of a BA. Majoring in? Don't ask, I don't know.

For those of you who are or have been students, you know as well as I do that it takes a great deal of work, time, and savvy to navigate the complex inner workings of the educational system. Majors, minors, which school, how much money, electives, funding, scholarships, GPA, transferring, and eventually The Job Market. It's downright exhausting.

I have done my best to work out some of these questions, often learning the hard way. Read: Taken advice from college career counsellors only to find it's about as useful as asking a garden gnome. (With the notable exception of Holly at NWCC - thanks for all your help!)

Over my years of digging for clues about my educational path, I stumbled upon an e-book-made blog called Give Me Scholarships . Don't be fooled by the title, he delves into all subject academic and responds to the questions posed to him by actual students. The downside: it's an American guy writing a blog about the American post-secondary world, so occasionally the answers don't apply to us Canucks. Anyway, if you read this blog, and you go to school, or have a kid in school, you should check out the site.

Josh, I would say you're welcome, but the thing is, no one reads this blog, so don't expect a flood of traffic. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Homesick

2010 thus far has been a year mostly consumed with planning, waiting, and tediously biding our time with one notable exception:

Dave is currently in China.

Yes, it is a rather large exception, but it does require some patience of its own, mainly the fact that I am currently in Canada.

A student of NWCC in the business administration program, Dave, along with his fellow students, were given the opportunity to take part in a 6 week cultural exchange in the city of Qingdao, on the Eastern coast of China. Several grants were made available which would cover the majority of the cost, and the exchange would provide him with 6 additional credits toward his diploma. Although we had a few hiccups along the way, it was really a no-brainer from the start.

After the initial few days of jet lag, activities and classes, I finally heard from Dave via skype, and have been keeping in touch with him that way very regularly. It hasn't been unusual for us to speak as often as twice a day, even with the 15 hour time change and his busy schedule. About a week after his arrival Dave divulged that he is rather homesick. Having visited India with a group of relative strangers, I have also felt the periodic ache for the familiarity of my homeland, and so I sagely told him that it would pass in a few days.

We are now at the halfway point, and not a day goes by that Dave doesn't fantasize about airplane seats and in-flight magazines.

This isn't to say that he isn't enjoying China. Much to the contrary. He loves his fellow Chinese students, and has been exploring as much as he can. Again, this is much the way I felt about India - it was a feast for the senses, a playground of history and cultural texture, and the people were kind, curious, and endlessly fun. But even so, I had a constant feeling almost like being trapped underwater and not being able to find the surface. Not of drowning, but just adrift where there is nothing to latch onto, anchor yourself with.

I know that once he is back, China will melt into a swirl of distant memory faster than he may realize. I also know that it will be a good memory.







Miss you too Sweetie. See you soon.