News on the teaching front: My Ryerson course starts in a week and right now, on Monday evening, has one spot left, so by tomorrow it will be full. If you’re interested, you should register this instant.
On the other hand, my U of T advanced course was cancelled today because of low registration. This hasn’t happened in years, and I don’t understand why it came to be this term. Yes, when you check the U of T creative writing calendar, there are 7 other memoir courses that sound like mine and are running at the same time. I’m sure that doesn’t help. But there you go, that’s life. The cancellation means not trucking through the snow, that’s a blessing. More time in my cosy home doing my own work, yay.
I’ll survive. For any disappointed students, you know where to find me – it all starts again in May.
And to cheer myself up, I’ll read this lovely note I recently received from a longterm student:
I wanted to let you know that your constant encouragement works wonders to those who are keen at heart and slow to task. You keep a steady stream of motivation flowing through sharing your own journey, ups and downs and the sage advice of others. I need these!
Saturday night on TV, a beautiful documentary, “Life, Animated,” about Owen, a severely autistic boy who comes to process, understand and control his world through Disney animated films. Profoundly moving as it shows his parents realizing – he’s in there, his mind is alive, through his imitation of voices in the films, specifically, fascinatingly, all the sidekick characters. By the end, the boy who couldn’t talk or function is a young man in his own assisted living apartment, speaking at a conference in France about being autistic and proud. He got a standing ovation. I’d read the article written by his father, Ron Suskind, in the New Yorker, which led to the film, a tribute not just to Owen but, so very much, to his mother and father for their infinite patience and love. And also, to the creative genius of Disney and his teams, who didn’t just entertain millions but saved one small boy’s life.
Yesterday, to see Moonlight with friend Ron. It won the Golden Globe that night. Though it is a very good film, I have to say, I found it slow and the dialogue and storyline sometimes hard to follow. Its story of a disadvantaged gay man of colour in the south, bullied as a boy, abandoned by his drug-addicted mother, bullied in adolescence, then unrecognizably bulked up as an adult and a drug dealer like the man who rescued him in childhood – it’s a great relief that there’s sweet redemption at the end. Haunting. But I wish there’d been more subtitles.
Then a Sri Lankan dinner with Ron, a childhood friend who recently moved to my neighbourhood, and then home for Sherlock. Ridiculous and sublime, and again, needs subtitles – the dialogue moves so fast! And then a bit of the Golden Globes, but I missed Meryl Streep last night, caught her again, a million times, on FB today. What a magnificent woman. I drank in her words like cold water in the desert – an actor speaking a wise and difficult truth to the nation and to her peers. I am in awe. Brava!