Conversations, collages, and other people’s husbands

Last Wednesday’s Creative Development class involved planning an imaginary party, playing a rousing game of “red light, green light” and a show and tell of some of the collages our fellow classmates had put together. It reminded me of a class I took back in college called Remedial Childhood. We rode bikes in the woods, had picnics in the park, and did lots and lots of colouring – of course. And yes, I earned actual college credit for participating. Why can’t all classes be that fun? Check out my collage:

Thursday’s Narrative class saw us discussing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The class seemed evenly divided into camps of those who loved it and those who abhorred it. I was somehow in the middle, leaning heavily toward adding it to my list of Books I Have Started But Have No Plans to Ever Finish. The discussion was lively. I threw in my two cents about the story being largely plot driven, the lack of emotional connection between the characters and the reader, and the role of Lisbeth Salander as a false heroine. The teacher was also not a fan of the book and advised us to watch the movie if we had a strong constitution. She called it brutal. I think I’ll pass.

Class finished off with a heated debate about the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Arguments were focused on whether or not it was appropriate for an author to tell someone else’s story while claiming it as their own. I decided to play devil’s advocate. I posed the question “can a white person tell a black person’s story?” There were claims that race was not an issue — that this was simply about not allowing the person who has experienced an event to give it their own voice. I disagreed. It is a race thing. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Oh look…. why didn’t I notice that elephant in the room before?! On the other hand, is this not what writer’s do? They create. Tell tales. True ones and not so true ones. Because someone did not experience the Holocaust does that preclude them from writing about it? Whatever happened to creative license? Discussions, discussions…

I skipped Thursday evening’s class to go drinking at the pub. Ok, not exactly. I reluctantly attended a parent’s night out at the local “family friendly” pub/restaurant. (I did skip class though). Once I’d finished my first glass of cheap wine, I was feeling decidedly more relaxed and managed to make a few new friends. The moms I met were ok – some were downright lovely – but it was the dads who were the most friendly and sociable. All of these husbands, cheerfully mingling. Chatting about bruised knees, bike rides, and babysitting. Dads who had attended the Harvest Festival and Quiz Night with enthusiasm. Stay-at-home dads, work-from-home dads. Dads fixing the lunches and doing the school run. I was in awe. Hooray for men like them! I got on so well with these guys, probably because deep down I knew they would not be judging me on whether or not I was wearing last season’s shoes.

Refreshing.

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