30 November 2009

Let's All Keep Calm

From the literally ones of responses that have poured in, it appears that there is concern that people may be defriended. Chillax: no one is going to be defriended.

Today I had my very last set of supervisions for this term. I still have Study Skills supervisions, but no more with my regular students. How irritating it was, then, that my last supervision should turn out to be with my least favourite student of this cohort and my most favourite, simultaneously. My least favourite student is a young man whose abilities as a literary critic are, let us say, in directly inverse proportion to his pomposity. He is very pompous. My favourite student, by contrast, is very quiet, but when he does speak he is always right on the money. My least favourite student is disappointing enough on his own, but having him in a duo with my most favourite student was something like having an inferior diamond on a piece of showroom velvet, then putting a first-water diamond next to it: the first diamond was just bearable when it was alone, but now it's impossible to turn a blind eye to its flaws (although I'm guessing that in that metaphorical (well, similical) situation you wouldn't want to put up your hand repeatedly at the first diamond and say, "Don't speak! Now, go ahead, second diamond" -- although maybe you would. I'm not a gemologist, so what do I know?).

I am sorry to see this term go. I liked pretty much all my students, and my very favourite (from a different cohort) I liked very much. He had a sense of humour, and you could see him actually,
physically struggle with interpreting literature. When he was leaving the final supervision last Friday he gave me a little extra smile, and I was quite flattered, until I stopped and had a look at myself shortly afterward in Boots and realised that all my red lipstick had come off, leaving me with only a bright red lip line, and that my hair was MASSIVE. So I'm guessing the appreciation was merely intellectual. Or perhaps he thought I had deliberately modelled myself on Mrs. Rochester (on the right, there - we were doing Jane Eyre), and he was admiring my themed look.

Incidentally, none of my students in those supervisions recognised Mrs. Rochester as a symbol of potentially terrifying female sexuality and repressed womanhood. This reading has become so commonly accepted in the States that it's now simply understood, not to say banal. So I was very surprised indeed.

In other news, I engaged in snotty one-upmanship with a man on match.com. He contacted me, and I contacted him back. His initial e-mail was widly extrapolatory of my profile, and I wrote back asking him how he'd got these impressions. He responded by saying we should talk on the phone, and I wrote back saying I felt uncomfortable talking on the phone to people I don't know (true), so I would like us to continue to communicate via e-mail for a while (of course I should have cut this all off after his initial e-mail, but, hey, I'm desperate). He then wrote back an e-mail in which he basically flat-out stated I was a weird for not wanting to talk on the phone, insulted the study of Wordsworth (??), told me I was naive, and informed me that I had missed out on something great by refusing to get to know him.

Now, I know it's fruitless to engage with the lunatic, and that there is nothing to be gained from such engagement since the lunatic always think you are the lunatic, but I have been low, and I think I just wanted to feel I was superior to someone. Or to feel that I was in some way worthwhile. Or...who knows. Anyway, I wrote back and corrected his spelling and grammar. Was it petty? Yes. Did I derive any long term satisfaction from it? No. Was it pleasing for three hours? Yes. And that's enough for me.

Boy, I certainly am going to have lots of stories to tell my fifteen cats when I'm old.

And in the final bit of news, I had coffee with Mr. Cielo yesterday (chillax! again. It wasn't a date. It was a hanging out. Although I'll give him credit: he managed to keep a conversation going for one and a half hours with someone with whom he apparently has zero in common). After this coffee (which, as the previous parentheses demonstrates, showed me how little we had in common), in a fit of temporary Idon'tknowwhat (defiance mixed with desperation, I suspect), I invited him to the dinner party I'm throwing on Sunday to honour Pearl Harbour Day (it's my favourite holiday). And he accepted! But everyone else there is a close friend of mine, and they all know each other! Now it will be me, a bunch of close interwoven friends, and Mr. Cielo! To whom I have nothing to say! Argh.

And lastly, BF sent me this poem, saying it made her think of me and this blog. I like it very much, so I thought I'd reproduce it here.

Who Is Now Reading This?

May-be one is now reading this who knows some wrong-doing of my past life,
Or may-be a stranger is reading this who has secretly loved me,
Or may-be one who meets all my grand assumptions and egotisms with derision,
Or may-be one who is puzzled at me.

As if I were not puzzled at myself!
Or as if I never deride myself! (O conscience-struck! O self-convicted!)
Or as if I do not secretly love strangers! (O tenderly, a long time, and never avow it;)
Or as if I did not see, perfectly well, interior in myself, the stuff of wrong-doing,
Or as if it could cease transpiring from me until it must cease.

Walt Whitman

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