Sitting here with my binoculars, watching a young sparrow hawk rest in the garden. He’s perched on a fence right next to the bird feeder, and for some strange reason, there are no sparrows pecking grain nearby. He’s magnificent, with a huge downy chest of brown stripy feathers and a very small head which can turn nearly 180 degrees around and sideways. It’s minus one out there; I hope all those feathers keep him warm.
Great news: a student has had a Christmas piece I edited for her accepted by the Globe’s Facts and Arguments. It’s the perfect place to start as an essay writer – national, daily, with a nice picture. Good for you, Rita.
But – I had my teacher assessments back recently from the U of T, and was perturbed, as was my boss; usually the comments are overwhelmingly positive, but last class, some of them had complaints. Not enough feedback, they said, more critiquing. One wanted me to give a written assessment to each student of his or her progress in our eight weeks together, a little project that would take hours. Needless to say, there was some dwelling from this teacher at 3 a.m. last night, and an interesting discussion with my boss. Perhaps I have become a bit too lax with class structure. But perhaps students are expecting a bit too much. So after some fretting, I’m putting it all away.
I’m also fretting about the memoir, which is going nowhere fast right now. Any excuse not to do the work, and there are lots of excuses in the weeks before Xmas. So – in a bit of a slump in the deep freeze, not to mention more depressed every time I look at a newspaper and see the orange-faced demon. At the same time, I’m grateful for every blessing, and there are lots of those too.
Here, sent by friend and former student Jason, who first told me about the important colour pundit Leatrice Eiseman – is that not a great name? – is what we all need to know for next year. Sorry, the ends of the sentence are cut off, but I hope you get the gist. And now, off to have my hair cut. THAT will certainly perk me up.