I have to update my blog before you get to the writing 101 posts – so if anyone is reading this as writing 101 keep going a little further down! Quite tricky to be trying to do my usual blog and the assignments in the same post!
Today was the last day of classes at Arrowsmith – tomorrow is the Graduation which will be wonderful and the Talent Show, showcasing the possibly previously unseen talents of the students. Today was a day seeing students trying to master as many of their exercises as they could for the final time this year – an excited Simon told me he had mastered symbol recognition, that is the exercise that helps overcome difficulties in visually recognising and remembering a word or symbol that has been seen before, so you can imagine that having that difficulty makes reading very tricky. So the better he gets at symbol recognition, the easier the task of reading will become. Yeah! Congratulations, Simon! And one student mastered 10 handed clocks on his last day at Arrowsmith after being there two years – what great timing! And another got to the highest level of L-think that has ever been achieved in the Arrowsmith programme – this exercise helps to overcome difficulties with developing and maintaining plans and strategies through the use of language – this difficulty impacts self-direction and self-organisation in learning, leads to limited mental initiative, difficulty in keeping your attention focussed on a task, trouble with seeing the main point and a limited problem solving ability. Overcoming that is life-changing! And achieving such a high level after only one year on the last day of Arrowsmith is remarkable! Not to mention, timely!
As for my day, the rain held off so I joined a couple of friends for a great long bike ride along the trail in the direction of Omemee, although we didn’t get to Omemee itself. But we did see a couple of turtles along the way and, according to other cyclists along the trail, one of them had been laying her eggs in the sand beside the trail. We probably won’t be here to see them hatch, but we did hatch a plan (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) to cycle all the way to Omemee in the autumn (fall), have lunch and then ride home, hopefully with some of the new parents. We have been so lucky in having such a great group of parents this year – we can only hope it will be the same next year!
Warning: family blog readers – you might not want to read my attempts below – rude language warning!
Writing 101 – day 7
Well, here I go – I have a problem in that I use adverbs a lot so this is quite a challenge for me (actually, I think I say that about all the tasks!).
I headed down to the beautiful Millenium Park with my friend I described the other day – the women worthy of your attention. I am still awestruck by the change from our monochromatic winter world to the vibrant spring colours, with more colours appearing every day as a rainbow of annuals is being planted in each and every garden bed. At the window of the Silver Bean café, we deliberated over which of the decadent flavours of Kawartha Dairy ice cream to choose – too many choices and every one is delicious! More deliberation, a cone or a cup – cups were chosen! For me, I could kid myself this involves fewer calories, for my friend it was a matter of gluten.
We moved to the terrace, to sit in the shade, under the overhanging leaves, looking down on the river flowing by. It was a peaceful scene, only a couple of the other tables being occupied. One by a group of four, two men, two women, husbands and wives perhaps pausing on their afternoon stroll, the quiet lull of their conversation in the background. Much noisier was the other table, two women, one an older lady, the other middle aged – I noticed her because I was surprised to see that she had a large tattoo on her calf, although she was too far away for me to see what it was as well as the fact my eyesight is steadily deteriorating. Their conversation was far more voluble, the older lady sitting quietly, head down, whilst she was seemingly chastised by the other lady. I didn’t listen to their conversation as I was far too engrossed in ours but we were all rudely interrupted as their table was pulled to the café door by the small dog attached to it! I hadn’t noticed the small dog under the table and was amazed by its strength and determination. The small dog had followed the older lady who may have be going inside to pay or use the bathroom, whatever she was doing she didn’t have a chance! No way was she allowed to leave the dog with the other woman who started yelling “That stupid dog of yours Mom!” and more f’ing and blinding, until her mother shuffled away quietly, taking the dog with her.
I think we hardly paused for breath before we resumed our conversation, and I feel quite badly about that – should we have done something? What could we do? I don’t know and I had completely put this out of my mind in remembering the afternoon, until I thought to describe the scene. I think I live in a world of rose-tinted glasses, blotting out the bad things – now I am wondering about that!
Writing 101 – Day 8 take a scene and write it from three points of view
So, continuing right along – I am going to take the scene above and see what I can do with it – this is a fictionalised version of what happened. I have no idea if this is the right way to go about it but this is how it came out! Perhaps there is no right way!
Older lady: I am trying, with this difficult daughter of mine who is so sensitive to anything I say, not to upset her. Why can’t we simply have a pleasant cup of tea together without her finding an insult in every movement, every gesture. That’s why I picked the Silver bean café – it is such a beautiful place and so calming. I thought it might work its magic on her but apparently not. Where did I go wrong with her? She is always asking for something, if not for her, then for the children and that goddam layabout husband of hers. I can’t give her money, I don’t have that much and I’m not sure how long it will last. I do buy presents for the children, not that they ever say thankyou. I don’t think they have a chance of developing any manners with a mother like her – ok, perhaps I am critical but I haven’t always been and I have tried and tried to support her. Sometimes I go with her to the supermarket and pay for her groceries but even that doesn’t satisfy her. Oh Lord, she is shouting at me now. I can’t cope with any more of this. Every time. It happens every time – why do I keep seeing her? Why can’t I just let her go? Are people looking at us? Actually I don’t really care if they are or not but it is time to go before she gets even louder.
Oh Buster, what have you done? Let’s go and I’ll sort out the check tomorrow.
Younger woman: So this is your favourite place, is it? It’s bit too fancy for me. No wonder you never have any money left for me. And as for all this, it is so beautiful, doesn’t it make you feel any calmer – why should I feel calmer? My life is shit, Mom, three kids, a husband at home who does fuck all all day – how would you like to be me? How would you manage with the whinging kids and lazy sod? I don’t have a life. Not like you – living in that fancy retirement home, with that stupid little dog. I am angry, Mom, angry. You’ve got it all and I’ve got nothing – I can’t stand coming to see you, it makes me so angry. Nothing! Not even anything for the kids. Send them a present? Great thanks – well, fuck you! You bitch! Oh so now you are just going to walk away – well, walk away. Take that fucking stupid little runt with you and I’ll never see you again!
Buster: Here we are at the Silver Bean café, such a beautiful day, now I can rest under the table. Shame we are here with that cranky woman again. Oh no, she is going off at Mom. Poor Mom, I know it makes her sad, sometimes she cries when we get home. I do my best to make her smile, wagging my tail and playing dead, even if she hasn’t told me “play dead, Buster!” Usually she manages a smile through her tears.
Oh no, where is Mom going? Don’t leave me with this crazy woman! I am following you. Oh bummer, the table is coming with me. Thanks for untangling me, Mom. Let’s go home.