the ticking of a clock

the ticking of a clock
somehow melodiously
reminds me of
the plucking of grass
on a field not too long ago
or was that
20 years
gone by already fast
and
steady bye
is the tire swing that
used to hang and sway
in the island wind
and the creaking trees
blown down by storms
long past forgotten
scars never healed
yet somehow
integrated into a new
memory of a body
now wrinkled, soft
and warm.


Just took a break from studying and I somehow managed to concentrate on my course material despite the constant ticking of my watch. I’ve always found comfort in the tick and tock of a clock – and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I took note of my watch while reading my course text: Adulthood and Aging.

This poem is about the immediacy of our memories and how we can experience something long passed as recently as the afternoon wind blowing on our face. I tried to capture the beauty of aging and the joy and pleasure of feeling old in old bones. There is something comforting in the fact that our bodies continue to grow and lose youth. In the absence of that vitality is a patience, a love, and a kind of peace that mirrors life. “Death is the easy part” is a quote that comes to mind, and the acceptance of an aging body somehow reconciles the gradual loss of ephemeral youth. I live with my grandparents and they are a constant reminder that life is meant for every age, and that aging is beautiful. I hope this gives you the same feeling.

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my cat is young beyond her years (she gazes at the stars)

Though
Young she appears
My cat knows time beyond her years:
She’s an elephant
without the ears.

She’s got nine lives and’s
lived them all in mine
she chases mice
and hates wine.

Out from the porch
eyes like a torch
she strolls into the den.

She climbs onto my legs,

becoming long and lean
and in between
a hard cover book
and a bean

curving and bending
pleasure neverending
with a scratch, with a purr,
she starts to stir

and i’ve only just begun.

Graceful bound and she’s
back on the ground, sashaying

to the deck (where)
she gazes at the stars.

Taking my time

A depiction of the Nuclear Family. Borrowed from nursingcrib.com

“Yeah, but you’re taking your time.”

There’s something that irks me about this statement. Not necessarily any one thing about it, but there a few things that rub me the wrong way. Allow me to explain.

The other day I was having a conversation with my co-workers about the changing nature of tuition and how I’m paying double the fees my co-worker paid when she went to the same school ten years ago. Some held the opinion that there are better services in place like a transit pass that enables students to use unlimited transit for the semester and some held that it’s still pretty damn expensive, especially if you include inflation. Although we all agreed the bottom line was that post secondary education is now expensive, and that colleges like Douglas College are cheaper alternatives to universities like Simon Fraser University (SFU), we differed in our experiences.

Currently I’m taking 3 courses this semester at SFU, and my tuition (including student fees, rec fees, etc.) was $1913.32. To add, I paid $378.30 in textbooks. That amounts to a semester of $2291.62. That’s a lot of money. To put in perspective, a full courseload of 5-courses for my co-worker ten years ago was $1400, including student fees, rec fees, etc. Although they had no U-Pass for transit, this is undoubtedly much cheaper than my semester.

To see just how much of a difference our fees were, I used myself as an example because I attended Douglas College before SFU. The main point was that my last semester at Douglas College I took 4 course totaling $1450 after a medical plan opt-out whereas when I took 3 courses at SFU, my tuition (and student fees, rec fees, etc.) was already $1,518.27.

Then to my surprise, the response was: “Yeah, but you’re taking your time.”

I don’t know about you, but when I hear this I really feel stunned. It’s like I have this experience and it’s denied empathy. Now, I don’t think the intention was to ignore that it takes a lot of money to go through university, but I felt like the part about me actually living this reality right now was kinda brushed to the side. Sure, I’m not taking 5-courses at full steam, but 3 courses is a full course load in policy and in practicality. Nowadays it’s not so easy to get a job with credentials alone (although it helps, and I know that credentials alone weren’t a surefire hire in the past either), nor do I agree that this is a handy practice.

We live in a culture that rewards and idealizes Type A personalities and lifestyles while at the same time is stuck with the consequences this produces. I respect the people who plug through their degrees and finish in 4-years (or less!) but I also respect that some students don’t know what they want to do and take their opportunity to wander the system while finding out. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to take their time if they so choose?

In this lifetime we will see friends and colleagues change careers two, three, or more times. Instead of being locked in the traditions of movie and TV portrayed life paths, we have the opportunity to create our own. If I’m going to be doing something completely different in ten years, why should I stop doing what I love now?

My week in a nutshell

I know it’s Sunday and the start of a new week in this world’s calendar, but it’s also the end of the weekend and the day I usually take to recuperate. So what better way to move forward than to recognize this week’s past events? This was my week in a nutshell:


Sunday, Sept. 12
Read, sip, sleep

Monday, Sept. 13
Go to work at 8am, come home, do the dishes, pull out my textbooks, fall sleep

Tuesday, Sept. 14
Wake up, push my textbooks off of my bed into bag, head to work, go to school, print out lecture notes, realize lecture is on circumcision, take the long way to class, get stuck in traffic, come home, eat dinner with grandparents, sleep

Wednesday, Sept. 15
Go to school, ask question in class, wander the halls of SFU, get lunch with friend, man the bread station at farmer’s market, notice rise in cute french girl population, come home, sleep

Thursday, Sept. 16
Get up, open textbooks, take notes, go to class, attend radio training, do magic, slay dragons, come home, put fairies to sleep, water plants, put light out

Friday, Sept. 17
Go to work, meet with boss, finish work, go bowling, drink a pint, meet with friends, chase wild brown mink, apologize for startling dog owner, sit down at table, get high, eat pizza, pass out

Saturday, Sept. 18
Do secret ninja things, get called to volunteer, accept duty, get escorted to IGA, check off shopping list, ride buggie down to community hall, eat chili dog, return shoping cart, watch The Town (great movie), realize life’s purpose

Revenge of the Introvert


[Photo from: http://atthebirds.gsbreporter.com/?cat=7]

For an extravert, I can be fairly introverted at times. Maybe it’s because I dwell on finding meaning in life and my activities, and sometimes stimulation and bliss aren’t as satisfying as solving problems. Maybe I’m just a nerd. Anyway, check out this article on introverts.

After having a class in Human Sexuality on circumcision (with surprise graphic images), it’s refreshing to get a good read on something else. Without further ado, here it is:

Revenge of the Introvert

the smile at your toes

i love you and i want to
tell you just one wish:
i wish not to be the lover
which you admire so much for
being the very figment of your
imagination, no – i wish to be
nothing above the ordinary, i
would be your steady hand routinely
applying eyeliner with precision
like a painter brushing the ceiling
of a chapel, delicately; i would
be your spice cabinet, utterly normal
yet full of variety and from me
you would choose just what you wanted
for yourself; i would be boring weather,
nothing more than simple rain, covering your head
and
falling at your feet, forming pools
and peering down i would be the smile
at your toes.