Monday, January 21, 2008

To mark the 10th anniversary of my graduation

...the University of Waterloo sent me a note of congratulations and an alumni calendar. Very nice. To celebrate, H and I went to The Orange Toad for coffee and cake. Ten years! Wow. That means it's been ten years since I left nursing. I finished up my degree while still working as a nurse: a day-night rotation, 12-hour shifts. I was a prolific painter at the time as well. I was writing, too, like I always have, but I didn't pursue publication for a ten year stretch. There just wasn't time to do everything. I must say Waterloo's distance education program was awesome. On days off we'd go out to our wilderness cabin on Precipice Lake (we've since sold it). There I'd sit on the deck and listen to taped lectures and loons at the same time. A rather aggressive red squirrel would chatter at me constantly. Clearly it had no use for English. It would sit in the trees above, chew off cones and let them fall. I swear it was aiming for my head. That squirrel was the only real distraction. I studied the work of many an author on that deck. That's where I fell in love with Hopkins.

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I'm currently reading Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties. Next up is Rilke's Book of Hours.

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The future of science...is art? To answer our most fundamental questions, science needs to find a place for the arts. From what I've heard, much is being done on this front, but, going by this article, not nearly enough. When I read this I immediately thought of Mari-Lou Rowley, a totally science savvy poet. No doubt she could speak to this.

UPDATE: Here's what Zach Wells has to say on this.

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My pop culture education continues. The other day, to my great delight, Batman arrived. Not from Amazon, but from my pop culture mentor who, like a true superhero, fearlessly embarked on an epic rescue-Brenda-from-her-massive-pop-culture-gap mission. I'll watch it on Friday. Friday night is now movie night in the Schmidt house. It's kind of like going to class. Only the chairs are more comfortable. And there's popcorn.

10 comments:

Rhett said...

If you are only at Batman now you better take some pop-steroids and bulk up.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Har har. Ok, so I'm a bit behind. But I am making progress. I now have four Harry Potter movies, the new James Bond and Pan's Labyrinth under my belt. So ha.

Rhett said...

I am pretty sure Pan's Labyrinth is a work of art and not pop culture. Then again you might have a different understanding of what pop culture is... far different generations and all (because I am soooo much younger).

Brenda Schmidt said...

Oh sure, make fun of my age now! And so near my birthday. Which has now passed...

Ok. I just looked at a definition of pop culture. So Pan's Labyrinth would be a product of high culture then or does it straddle the boundaries? Mass produced for a mass audience and all that jazz. It was a beautiful movie. Harry and Bond, on the other hand, were just plain fun.

Rhett said...

Sorry about the age thing. It's never funny. I hate using that joke. It was a weak moment. I think I was just feeling sensitive because I played soccer on Sunday and I am definitely feeling my age. Can't run for an hour without stretching anymore.

I suppose pop culture chooses it's artifacts (is that an acceptable word?) and not the other way around. So if popular culture loves Pan's Labyrinth then maybe it is a pop culture movie.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Ha! Just wait...

Hm. Nicely put. I think.

Paula Jane said...

If Rhett's feeling old ... what hope for the rest of us? (Although I can say after an hour of dancing last night, I actually felt quite refreshed. My knees, however, are complaining today.)

I should probably warn you that this Batman (1966) is extraordinarily campy, meaning that many a die-hard comic fan felt it ruined the reputation of the caped crusader. However, since I was a kid when I watched reruns after school in the seventies, I had no such knowledge to interfere with my love of the show. It's over-the-top, and Adam West plays everything so seriously, which makes it even better.

My favourite scenes in the movie ... well, I'll recount them when you've had a chance to watch.

Brenda Schmidt said...

Dancing! Splendid. I'm no Ginger Rogers, but I love dancing! (Note the pop culture reference. Ginger Rogers counts, right?)

Campy! Perfect. Me and camp were made for one another! I won't warn H though. All the more fun! :)

Ariel Gordon said...

I liked the more recent Batman. Very dark, except for the Katie Holmes-as-love-interest bit.

I'm still sad that the Golden Compass apparently wasn't very good.

Brenda Schmidt said...

What, does this mean I have to compare Batman movies?!

I still have to check out the Golden Compass. I'm so behind.