when words fail me, which is often, I paint. When words work for me and are available on time, I am surprised.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Funky Monkey

A few days ago, I kidnapped Jim. he was irresistible. I saw him in a car, unattended, in a parking lot. "Hey Avi, look at that monkey!"
He opened the car door. A rush of adrenaline hit me. I was a kid at the mercy of my parents to buy me things that I could not, because I didn't have any money. Because I was a kid. There was something irresistible about it him, you'll see.
"It's Jim." Avi said.
"That's your girlfriends car! I didn't recognise it."
I stuck Jim in my pocket.
I took him home.
"Hey Tate, I kidnapped this adorable monkey out of a car today; I couldn't resist."
He picked up the phone. He called the hospital. To report that I had gone around the bend for sure.
They told him to bring me in.
I showed him the monkey.
And then he understood; he hung up the phone.
Well done Lizzie.
(Jim is the big one)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ode To Scottsville

It's my turn. Looks like I am the lucky one; today, yesterday, and for who knows how much longer.
The tractors,noise and sink hole are in front of my new business today.
Scottsville is dead, long live the snake bitten holler, just far enough out of reach of the paternalistic university city.
Recently renovated buildings sit vacant all along the road. One of the tax-shelter store owners who held two store fronts open for the past seven years is taking his ball and going home too.
Floods didn't kill it, although armies of them tried.
Hail to the new chiefs, THE "COME HERES" . They sold their family mansions in the Hamptons and purchased beautiful old houses with views of the river for less than an eighth of their profits. They put personalized license plates on their BMW's; Mr. Scottsville" they read.
They looked around at the tenacious, spirited small town where Jason Walton used to like to play the piano no matter how hard his Mama protested, and they were ashamed of Their new town.
Oh The Dew Drop In.
Although it was before my time here,eleven years, I have heard the tales of the days when the boys would get to drinkin, then they'd get to fightin and so and so was thrown right through the plate glass window. That was Scottsville. It was cheap, it was the place where those who wanted to be left out of the rodent race could just hang out with the rodents. Yes, it was decrepit, no matter how many dollars the old mayor got from the US Government to build the levee, it couldn't dry up the pervasive plague that finally took old Scottsville's life.
The plague of the "Come Heres" and their highly contagious "Gentrification" germs.
Eleven years ago, the average rent on the street for both residential and commercial spaces was between $250.00 and $300.00 per month. The same space that was $150.00 per month is currently $800.00 per month. That would be fine, you know, renovations cost of living etc.,fine, except it didn't stop there. No.
The levee went up in the early 1980's and saved the town from complete obliteration. After twelve dry years, some of us got comfortable enough to renovate the victim's of the first plagues.
One insane historian and builder personally removed every brick on six commercial buildings, and diligently re- placed them. Town was bustling, but it still had issues.
Issues, not problems, mind you.
Issues like there are barely any spaces to park a car.
Issues, like the "Come Here's" have a way of becoming Mayor, council, and committee, and they don't like growth or know very much about running a town.
They know alot about being arbitrary and self important and a whole lot about how to harass business owners.
Several business owners simply say enough is enough and take their business elsewhere, where they are appreciated. Several as in fifty businesses that I can name have come and gone in this town of two blocks in the past ten years. Fifty.
Business owners and property owners are harassed about everything from the color of their front doors, "We'd prefer another shade of twilight blue." to the brick detail on their architectural drawings for their six digit renovations. "We can't get used to the commercial building looking so commercial." and "I just can't get a good idea of what it's supposed to look like." Were comments I heard at meetings chaired by interior designers pretending to know something about city planning.
I know something too. It's a good idea to build a levee when the entire downtown is in a flood plane.
It's a good idea to renovate buildings and raise rents proportionately after it is apparent the water will stay out of the buildings.
It's a really bad idea to spend a million dollars (which is already not enough) to cut down all of the trees which used to line the streets, dig up the main street to bury utility lines creating at least six months of unbearable traffic, dirt and changing the parking status from limited to NONE!
Money has been spent to build a batteau park. It's big. It has benches. There is a batteau (an old river raft for commerce)sitting in the middle of a field. A fish out of water, which receives approximately four visitors per year. The space would be better served as a parking lot, a metered one at that.
A town with no parking, no business incentives, no town support is not going to receive more visitors because it's streets are prettier; or is it?
Scottsville is dead.
Pray for it's resurrection.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stuff In Heaven

In a house which resembles a potter's warehouse.I see my best friend from my childhood. We are both in the heyday of adolescence, we are maybe ten years old. We both have long hair, down to our waists; her blond, me dark. She is the archetype of Friend, her initials are (were) BF. That's how I refer to her in my journals, I realize it also could represent "Best Friend", that's what she was. There is stuff everywhere. I don't mean furniture and clothing, but stuff. Stuff like oil pastels, old discarded letters from your mother maybe. Best Friend is sleeping. I wake her up and say, "hey, do you know what this place is?"
She smiles and hugs me, maybe we even kiss, passionately,but of course I couldn't remember such a thing. She's the same gender as me.
"It's the place where every-thing we've ever been in contact with, every-thing physical is stored for eternity."
Kind of cool, isn't it?

Now to work it:
House-symbol of the physical house of the spirit-body.
Best friend.
Adolescence-the time of budding sensuality, awareness of possibilities and true love of fun and friends.
Oil pastels, letters from Mom-sentimental thoughts and memories, creativity,tools of artistic expression.
Kiss- soft, sensual, passion.
Everything Stored for eternity, like an image on film.
I have myself remebering, awakening. I remember the young passion of friendship when life was less complicated. All action, everything physical is creativity, creating bonds of love. All memories, all actions, all emotions are stored in the warehouse of creativity that is me. I am connecting with friends I haven't seen in a long time and I am happy to feel the connection of co-creators and share a smile, a story, a moment in eternity.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Why I love My Job

Another new, old man.
New, old friend.
His white thinning hair hangs over his ears,
I clean him up.
I kid him that he cleans up real nice.
His eyes are turquoise gates
to a time well before I was born.
He talks about his son, his wife and the current temperatures.
He is my new friend.
As he is leaving he pauses.
"Can I show you a picture?" he asks.
I expect a picture of his son, his wife, himself perhaps when he was a young man.
He shuffles through a stack of well worn photos pulled from his wallet.
"It must be here somewhere, I always carry it with me, always. Oh, here."
He hands me a sepia toned photograph. It's a handsome young soldier and woman, standing in a field. She is dark haired and beautiful, well dressed in a pencil skirt and coat.
From the hair and clothing style and the faded light, the time period becomes apparent. This is a photo from the thirties, World War Two.
"This woman saved my life." he said.
"She hid us in the sewer on her farm for two years. In Italy, during the war."
He was a recognisance soldier he had told me earlier, he would stake out the enemy and report back.Us was Billy and another soldier friend.
"Did you marry her?" I asked.
"No, it was not like that."
He gazed at her picture in a moment of reverie.
"Did you keep in touch with her?"
"Oh yes, forever. She saved my life."

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Stupidest Man in the whole USA

Yesterday I arrived at the small county courthouse by 9:15 am. I was called into the courtroom to testify around 4:30 pm. I read a paperback, it was good.
I was nervous.
I told the truth; I answered the questions.
"She said, if her daughter moved away she wouldn't be able to keep the house."
"Someone at a housewarming party said,
'Nice house Patricia.' she replied,'it isn't mine- yet'."
Yes, Ratricia had a plan and she worked it.
Pete came in during her fourteen year old daughter's pregnancy. When the baby was four months old, his teen aged mother was in an auto accident which placed her in a temporary coma and left her paralyzed from the waist down.
Pete and his friends built an addition onto Patricia's decaying and already cramped little house to accommodate the wheelchair, they also built a ramp.
They charged her nothing.
Patricia was unable to work for months; she had to take care of the baby and her recovering daughter. She was threatened with foreclosure.
Pete gave her money and bailed her out of debt.
He paid for a semester of one of her children's college tuition, while they were dating.
Pete's parents both passed away, he inherited some money.
Pete renovated and sold his home in Richmond.
Pete bought a beautiful piece of land with his money. Pete built a custom home with the most spectacular views, it is currently appraised at 400,000.
He finished his house and everyone moved into it, Pete, Patricia, and her four children and her 5year old grandson.
Pete spent four months renovating Patricia's old "dump" of a house in order to make it saleable.
Before that house hit the market, she made the earlier statements, she was getting Pete's house too.
She had a ring too, but she realized she didn't really need that anymore.
Everybody had warned him, me included.
He put her name on the deed to his new house that he built with his own two hands and she knew that the marriage license was no longer necessary. She owned all of hers and half of his and that's what she got.
Patricia makes Anna Nicole look like the patron saint of ethics in relationships.
The Judge could find some truth to the precedent in the argument, but he refused to rescind the deed. It's a contract and Pete was stupid. He had been warned.
I woke up in the middle of the night, still furious and in disbelief.
I hugged Tate close and felt his warm chest with my nose.
I inhaled the scent of him and felt all of the tension in my neck and shoulders relax.
I am so lucky, I reminded myself.
Instead of making myself miserable obsessively running this distasteful tragedy through my head over and over again, I could choose to focus on just how blessed and thankful I am for all of the love and happiness in my life. Here and now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shause House

The final hearing is tomorrow. I will miss another day of work and suffer from extreme nervousness, even though the court case has very little to do with me. I am going to trust the cards, there is going to be a surprise event at the end of this ordeal. Lady justice, unblindfolded, also made her appearance in the final outcome position.I wrote this story more than a year ago, during the height of the escalation. It's a bit long, but so is this ridiculous and un- funny drama.

The House That Pete Built
A Tragic Comedy
By Stacy Sheer
This could have been a tragic comedy, except it wasn’t really funny, not at all. I am sitting on the waiting room bench outside of the musty old county courtroom in the rural county where I live. I am sitting with my harmless, Neanderthal ex-political protester, pacifist friend and neighbor, Pete. Pete has been our roommate for the past six weeks. It was unfortunate, for all of us. He has a beautiful house, which he built himself overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. When you sit on his wraparound porch at sunset, the origin of the name of the mountain range becomes apparent. Vast peaks and dips, blue as the ocean, cradled in sun streaks as far as the eye can see. The inside of his house is worthy of placement in one of those custom home magazines. Hardwood floors, cathedral ceilings, ceramic tile bathrooms with sunken tubs, framed in glass tile windows. A palatial retreat, idyllic surroundings and here he has been sleeping on the couch in our basement in his new world. The world of a refugee with nothing but the clothes he showed up in, and the few items he was later to retrieve in a little suitcase. She let us have those, for him. “Thank you for being his friend” she said. Thank you for being his friend because she was way too involved being his enemy at the time.
She had been his girlfriend for a few years. She convinced him to sell his house in the city, nearly two hours away and purchase this land, twenty five acres, prime real estate. She designed the master plan. Master Plan: Sell your house. Quit your job. Buy Land. Build new house. Fix my old decaying house. Sell my house. Live happily ever after. That was her plan. She left out a few details, they would come back to haunt him.
Poor Ratricia sits on a bench on the opposite end of the courtroom antechamber. Her long gray hair falls gently on her bare shoulders. She sits dressed for the first day at Woodstock, clean hippie chick, with her seventeen year old pregnant daughter, her main witness to the crime. Her daughter is respectfully dressed in dirty blue jeans, tied up with a shoe string and mans white undershirt tightly hugging her large breasts and belly. The belly is seeking escape and can be seen flopping out from the base of the shirt. Somehow I don’t think they understand. They have brought their game to court, to the judge and he is going to do just that-judge them.
I glance in her direction and see her sitting with her eyes closed as in deep meditation; she has something in her right hand. Briefly I wonder if she is praying for the outcome for the best benefit of all, the way I do when I meditate with a group of spiritualists once a month. But then I realize who I am wondering about, this is my ex-friend Ratricia. She is most likely praying for the outcome for the best benefit of herself. She’s shown herself to be a bit greedy lately.
I imagine her inner prayers sound something like this: “I pray the judge today believes my tragic embellished story and grants me the house that Pete built. I pray he takes pity on me because I am so helpless with my four bastard children. Sympathize for me because my daughter is handicapped. My daughter Kalina, 21 years old; has a six year old son. Poor me, my poor daughter and grandchild, I have to take care of everyone.
The community took up a collection shortly after the car accident which left Kalina paralyzed from the waist down. Kalina’s son was only four months old at the time of her accident, she was all of fifteen. The father of this child is a secret, no one will ever know, especially not their son, who has no right to know who his daddy is, even if he lives in the same town.
Someone must be protected from the truth at all times. Poor beautiful crippled Kalina and her helpless fatherless son.
Kalina travels in her car for hours , which is worth a lot more than the rice burner I drive, to slip backstage to rock n roll shows. The bands love her. Her devotion, her physical beauty, her dedication and charm. Yes she can travel for eight to ten hours to see a rock show, to hang out with the band, but she can’t stay in school for 2 hours a day, too much pain. Poor Kalina, poor Ratricia. Poor Ratricia for having to care for her handicapped daughter, and raise her grandchild. Now, Ratricias other daughter her key witness, seventeen and pregnant with a bi-racial baby. Another fatherless bi-racial baby, who will have to live in the house too, the house that Pete built.
After the argument, the big one, she told me she was tired of hearing it called the house that Pete built, that’s why I call it that. After all, she allowed Pete to live with her in her tiny cramped house with her four grown children, grandchild and four dogs over the course of two years while he built the new HOUSE WITH HIS OWN HANDS. She allowed him to sleep there, because he worked on the new house during the day, everyday.
After his construction loan had been exhausted, after he put all the proceeds from the sale of his house into the land, after he put all of his inheritance from the death of his parents into his house, Ratricia, poor thing, had to obtain a second mortgage in order to add the finishing touches to the new house. Before they could all move in. Poor Ratricia had to pay two mortgages for a few months while that worthless Pete, built that palace for her and her lovely royal family.
She whined about this expense often, so often that Pete went to the bank and obtained a permanent mortgage for the twenty five acres, house and barn, AND an extra twenty grand to repay Ratricia for all of her losses to date. He gave her the money; she put it in her pocket.
It was time to move into the palace, the beginning of happily ever after, but no.
“That favorite photograph isn’t going there!” She said to Pete as he looked down at the floor and carried his favorite motorcycle picture back in to his office.
“I don’t recall asking Pete what he wanted to put in my new house.” She would say as we discussed some old furniture I was hoping to unload on a less fortunate friend. She likes to collect stuff, Pete doesn’t. We walked out onto the porch, the one with the great view. Everyone was milling about moving into their new home. Our conversation drifted to the fact that I heard Kalina was contemplating moving to Hawaii and taking her son with her. She was laying the groundwork to become independent, as she should.
“If Kalina moves out, I won’t be able to keep the house. I don’t want her to move.” Ratricia tells me. She clarifies, “This house was built for Kalina, if she moves I won’t be able to keep the house.”
Wait a minute now I think to myself, Isn’t your house handicap accessible? Built for Kalina? Does Pete know this? You haven’t even finished moving into this house that Pete built, dust bunnies haven’t even had a chance to form under the bed yet and you are going to keep the house? My face must have gone blank. We walked back inside. I changed the subject. “Nice yellow, what’s it called?” Not waiting for an answer, I walked out the door and walked the half mile home, shaking my head in disbelief all the way.

Work the plan, work the plan. Build new house. Fix my house in order to make it saleable. That’s right, before you go to town and find yourself a job Pete, get on over to my old house and fix it up like new. Power washing and paint. Patch the holes in the drywall where angry teenage sons chose to vent, or was it a violent ex-boyfriend? Tear out old carpets and linoleum, replace them with brand new. Anything Ole boy, just make it look brand new. Two months, one injury and a trip to the hospital later, the house –Ratricia’s house is ready for market. Well, almost. She takes several months to move the hordes of junk she has collected out of the old house and into the new barn where the mice can enjoy it more comfortably.
Parties and cookouts became a regular occurrence at the new house. Friends of Pete would travel from the city to hang out in the mountains, go fishing and canoeing on the nearby river. With the regularity of a pendulum on a grandfather clock, Ratricia could be counted on to bust everyone’s mood with her nasty abusive public comments about Pete. How ignorant he is, how she just refuses to put up with him anymore. Now that the house is finished. Now that she has changed. She’s just not who she pretended to be when she met him. She really doesn’t like him anymore.
Poor Pete.
We stopped going to those cookouts, me and my husband that is. I guess some of their other friends kept going over there on the weekends, but they would end up wandering over to our house to drink a few beers, relax and escape the wrath of Ratricia too.
Six months after they moved in across the road, in the house that Pete built, Ratricia ambled up my driveway on a Sunday morning. She walks barefoot, gauzy skirt swishing with her dramatic waltzing gait. She looks all around as if lost in my driveway, abandoned child, poor Ratricia. I am weeding my herb garden. The pennyroyal has a way of taking complete control of the others; Machiavelli of herbs. She squats down and plays with a stick in the dirt and tells me the sad news.
“Now that I sold my house, me and Pete are breaking up. I don’t know why he LET ME sell my house. Now what am I gonna do?”
Poor Ratricia.
What is she going to do with the small fortune she just put in her pocket from the sale of her house; the house that Pete just renovated. He wasn’t compensated for his time or labor. Not even after the house sold.
Poor Pete.
“He’s going to have to move out. I’ll get a mortgage.” She said.
“You could do that to him? You could force him out of the house?” I asked.
“I absolutely could.” She said.
I shook my head, speechless.
Here we sit, me and Pete, on the bench in the courtroom. I’m his witness. I am here to testify to those comments Ratricia made, and the others. The others are especially interesting. You see, one evening, nearly a year after living in their new house, the house that Pete built, they got into a big fight. Pete came home from work and started cooking dinner. Ratricia made nasty comments to him, again. “I guess I’m eating dinner by myself again.” He said because Ratricia and her daughter were on their way out the door at dinner time.
“Who’d want to eat with you, Nasty?” She said.
He, having her engaged in conversation, moved quickly to the business at hand: I’m having friends come this weekend; we are taking my canoe out.”
“No you’re not” she said “I have plans for your canoe this weekend!”
“How’s your search coming for a car?” He asked her then, as she’d been driving his truck for months. She gave her car to her son; he took it across the country. She works nights; she sleeps in the truck, sometimes while she’s driving.
She said, “This weekend.”
“While she’s out in my canoe?” He’s thinking. He’s preparing chicken at the counter, cutting it into manageable pieces.
She turns back around to face him and throws her best punch, “It’s time you sell this house Pete, and we dissolve this relationship”
The paint is barely set on the walls of the custom palace.
With the knife in one hand and his finger of the other pointed at her, he makes his grave mistake. “You fuck with my house, I’ll fuck you up!” He shouts.
She slaps his pointed finger and charges at him like a bull.
“You have a knife.” She says.
He throws it into the floor. He shoves her backwards. “Watch out, don’t cut yourself on that knife, he warns her. They shove each other some more. His glasses get knocked to the floor. She picks them up and crushes them in her hand, and then she throws them back to the floor. The struggle ensues until the key witness, Anna, the pregnant seventeen year old, comes in between them and pushes them apart. The shoving match lasted an entire eight seconds. Ratricia stated indignantly,” I’m calling the police.”
Pete sits on the picnic table on the porch with key witness. Ratricia sits on the steps. They wait for the police to arrive. Ratricia and Pete tell a reasonably similar account of the battle to the sheriff. Pete goes for a ride with the police. Someone has to go to jail.
I get to pick him up at 11 o clock that night. We get to live with Pete for six weeks. Ratricia has a fantastic story of abuse that she takes to the magistrate time and time again in order to have a protective order filed and extended, while they all await a trial. “He waved the knife at me like a sword” We heard that well rehearsed line several times.
When it was stuck in the floor or when he placed it on the counter so you wouldn’t cut your foot on it as you attacked him?
Pete’s a nice guy, but he’s not the guy I chose to love or live with. Nevertheless, he was home before my husband, to greet me when I came home from work. He was in the kitchen, drinking coffee and sometimes farting, when I got out of bed in the morning. Six weeks, a bit inconvenient
I called Ratricia on the phone in the beginning of the epic drama. “Is this guy a smooth psychopath or what? Should I be afraid to let him sleep in my house? Are you afraid he’ll come across the road and hurt you?” This is the question I’ve been subpoenaed on. Well not really the question, but her answer.
She pranced around like a nervous race horse, not sure if I was on her side or not. Finally she said, “No, I am not afraid of Pete coming and harming me, but I am uncomfortable around him.”
Well if I was attempting to steal a man’s life under the false pretenses that she was adhering to I’d be uncomfortable too. I wondered how she could get a nonviolent man thrown out of his house for six weeks when she wasn’t afraid of him. In the past, I was denied one of those protective orders against a true psychotic man I had unfortunately gotten myself entangled with. I bought a handgun, a big one. I hoped I’d get the chance to use it. They don’t give those protective orders out easily, but that’s another story.
I didn’t see her pass in front of us in the direction of the court house steps, but I saw her on her return to her place on the bench in the waiting room. In her right hand she held a smooth red stone, a little larger than a silver dollar. She held it level with our faces, palm open, and then she cut her eyes at me. She was attempting to take away my personal power. Bad witch! I felt a wave of anger spread throughout my head from right to left and then: As I watched her pious march back to her place on the bench, I quickly surrounded Pete and myself in an impenetrable wall, a tower, a fortress. Within my mind’s eye, I called her to the outside wall of our fortress. I saw her there in her flowing white hippie dress, pure, like curdled milk. I tossed a bucket of kerosene over her head and then I torched her.
Do I feel guilty you ask? Well, I’m not the one on the stand; I’ve been accused of nothing. Enough was simply enough.
It’s nice to have our privacy back. I’m grateful Pete went home.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's Only a Test

I had to create another Blog to get on this site from my computer. Life Is Art 2 will simply be a mannequin, holding the space for the day I transfer my
takebackthebirth.com site to blogger, where the spewing of information is free, no matter how important or not it may be. The only cost is of course, the sheer frustration of trying to access your site when you don't really know what a cookie is except for something that will probably upset your stomach.
Only in Virginia do we cancel school because we might have some ice mixed in with rain later in the afternoon.It's 7:30pm in France, which means it is only 2:30 pm here in VA. and it's still plain ole raining outside.There are so many things I should be doing, homework, going to town to pick up my new store sign, anything really besides sitting here on the sofa, listening to the heater run and the dogs snoozing and the swift clicking of the keys(now, that's funny-swift), but I have a valid excuse, it's raining and schools are closed.
Congratulations to Clare on her 100,000th visit to her amazing site, Three Beautiful Things

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I have been moved to the new improved Blogger, whopee! I have spent 2 days and numerous hours trying to get onto my site and then trying to find help from Google. After a morning of deep meditation, head clearing and a dream where a minor fault line in the yard became a beautiful calm lake overnight. I drove to work at the sensory institute, ran the wrong program for a little girl, her mother noticed. I stood up after they left and bumped my head on the light box so hard I nearly passed out and then. . . I thought it would be a good idea to turn on the computer and see if there was any change in the block out status from Blogger. I am free at last.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Beating A Dead Horse

Horses have been visiting in the night time, but that's not food for thought today. The dead horse is the inability I have had to drop this insane micro mental battle with the head of the Human Services department and the professor of the two classes I am currently enrolled in. People come in to get their hair cut, I ask their opinion, most side with me(I use razors and shears in my work). I began wondering yesterday, if she was still thinking about the tiff we had, whether she might be realizing she has some compulsion to be correct and right at all times and that maybe it bordered on neurotic behavior. Behavior to equal my obsessiveness, it could be possible.
On Monday I saw her present documents to our class with a typo in them. She read the notes while being broadcast live, and read the notes as if there was no typo; it instead of if. I saw a wave of shame or humility pass over her face, she knew I was watching.
Yesterday afternoon I pulled our class website /communication board up on my laptop. There was an announcement from Dr.P, our professor. She stated that she had a sudden medical emergency and would be gone for an unknown period of time, someone else would be teaching our class.
I am not saying another word about it, not one more.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Here is my online horoscope for today:Feb 06, 2007
Transiting Venus Opposed Natal Uranus

If you've thought of taking up an artistic hobby, now is the time to do so. You may be more high-strung and impatient than usual, so don't be surprised if you have a lovers' quarrel or a misunderstanding with a friend. Just be certain you do not lose your temper at the workplace. Your employers might not be as understanding or forgiving as friends and family. Try to take a deep breath, and think before you speak or act.

I am fit to be tied over my big mouth and my failure to pay homage to hierarchies. I have been informed by several Human services professionals that I was valid in my communications with my professor and maybe even right, but my words were fighting words and I need to learn to pick my battles. I am sorry. Really sorry I am so darned impetuous!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Emperors and Authors

Recently I heard a radio excerpt from Mr. Richard Kapuchinski (The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat). I really gravitated to the language of this author and wrote his name down in a little notebook while I was driving. I searched the author's name on the internet and stumbled onto this powerful statement and website: "Mr. Richard Kapuchinski (The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat) and Mr. John H. Spencer (Ethiopia at Bay: A Personal Account of the Haile Sellassie Years) are two of the authors who I believe have presented the wrong information about my father and his former colleagues. http://www.oau-creation.com

Humility is a Virtue, isn't it?

It's been a while since I've written, I know. Hit a dry spell then needed to gather a few new experiences, harvesting material, my cup now seems to be runnething over. Where to start?
Yesterday morning I received an email from our campus director, she needed me to call her. I knew it must have something to do with the drama going on between my professor (who happens to be the head of the Human Services department)and me. I was having a rough morning. I realized the day before that we had an exam in 2 days on material I had not read. There were a few more early morning frustrations including a car wreck, a dirty dog and an unnecessary trip to town to return the wrong video; which means for nothing.
I pulled up class documents from aforementioned professor in order to prepare for the exam. I want to mention something about this professor first. She seems like a highly evolved, open and gentle person. She isn't. I don't think. Last semester she gave us an assignment to interview someone in a career. I interviewed our Swiss born librarian. I think it was a complete interview and with my bent for writing things well, I thought it was pretty good. I edited the interview and cut out the errs and umms, but I left Marion's responses verbatim. It was an interview. Our professor tore the Librarians grammar to pieces and I barely received a passing grade on the assignment. Apparently she wanted something beyond realism and content, something to suit a technical English course.
That said, back to the course notes.
I opened a two page piece on African Americans posted by our professor. I was correcting the numerous spelling errors on the page and then I started to get a little bit miffed by the irony of what I was doing. This Human Services professor, teaching courses in career development and interpersonal and cross cultural counseling who is such a stickler for technical English can't even use a spell checker on educational materials provided to her students. Here are a few examples of the errors I found: "spitual therapy, wester psychology, spirurrally(?)." There were several more.
With a smirk on my face and a giggle in my internal voice, I shot off a quick email to the Profo. I told her that I thought it was a slap in the face (perhaps I should have chosen a better term)to read course documents approved by her so full of grammatical errors when she holds her students to a much higher standard.
She didn't like that.
She shot back an email that she could not believe that I could be so rude to a professor and that she was not required to give us notes and if I didn't like them, I could delete them.
I didn't like that.
I sent back a response and apologized for sounding rude and that I meant no disrespect but some people may think there is such a thing as wester psychology and that I thought she was being rude to me in her response. Oh, I also told her if she didn't like my errors on my papers, she could ignore them.
Needless to say, some people have a very hard time admitting they may have made a mistake.
Pointing out to an Egoist Professor her mistakes, was a huge mistake, and for this I am truly sorry.