Learning to Shut Up, High Tech Family Time and British Melodrama
This week I’ve gone back to school for the first time in 17 years. I was a bit of a keener back in the day, but it’s a whole new ball game now. I like to sit at the front with my friend Beth, and I try – I really, really try – to bite my tongue and play it cool.
But we’re talking about childbirth and parenting styles in Developmental Psychology. We’re discussing the school system and learning disabilities in Life Writing. It’s fascinating. It’s controversial. It’s Totally My Area of Expertise.
Today the prof was talking about stereotyping, something we tend to do upon first impression.
“For example,” she says,
“I usually peg students in that first week: the quiet one, the shy one, and
(turning to look right. at. me.)
the one who does all the talking.”
My New Motto:
“‘Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Although we may differ in opinion about the inherent creepiness of snakes, Becoming Cliche is one of my favourite blogs. I’m sure Heather has deep, deep, important thoughts… but the rest she puts online to make me laugh. On a bad day, she makes me smirk; on a good day, I’m reaching for the Depends. You can also find very important information there; for instance, the Comprehensive Guide to Passive Aggression.
This Christmas, we spent a lot of time passing iPads and iPods around the room. After a few days of her wondering what on earth was going on, we managed to get Great Grandma in on it. Board games have been born again!
No more lost pieces, no more dishonest bankers taking unauthorized “interest payments” (you know who you are), no more table-clearing brawls over who gets to be the top hat, and no more heated debated over the word Q-A-T (yes, that is a real word). Board game apps are the best thing since sliced bread – not absolutely necessary, but a whole lot less work! Our favourites are Scrabble, Monopoly and Risk.
Getting tired of weepy celebrities pimping sad, sad stories of the third world? Slide shows of dying children set to makes-me-want-to-slit-my-wrists soundtracks? There’s been a lot of talk lately about poverty tourism and condescending attitudes within charities. This video represents a new way of doing things. It brightened my day and made me excited about giving again – as a partner, not a patron. Plus, I love the tagline: Keep the Pity; Unlock the Potential.
Cheesy British Series:
THEN, my sister-in-law Erin introduced me to Downton Abbey. And now I see it everywhere I turn around. This Jane Austen-style soap opera is strangely addictive. Honestly, I have important things to do like housework, studying, talking to my husband, maybe even sleeping. But instead I’m glued to the screen desperate to find out if Lord Grantham can break the entail or if that weasel of a footman is promoted to valet. All that Regency-era historical fiction I read in my teenage years is FINALLY paying off. I knew it would some day!
Things are busy and I’m feeling overwhelmed. As much as I’ve been enjoying “A Life-Span Perspective on Human Development” (and who wouldn’t) there may come a time when I have a spare moment… I live in hope. When that moment comes, I will spend it with a familiar old friend – Valancy Stirling. Literary comfort food for hectic times in the form of The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.
Valancy is unloved and unwanted, a spinster by age 29 (we’ll call that the bad old days), who gets some alarming news and decides to reinvent herself. You can’t help but love her and hate pretty much everyone around her. I have read this book at least once a year since puberty, and you should too.
So here’s me, playing my new game: WWDCD? What would the Dowager Countess Do? It involves a lot of sniffing disdainfully and saying things like, “We can’t have him assassinated… I suppose.”