I just read this story to my daughters. It was so ridiculous that I decided to make a video about it.
It's strange because the Squids Will Be Squids rendition of the tale isn't much more crazy.
Even before I spent a year living in Egypt, I enjoyed teaching Alifa Rifaat's short story, "Another Evening at the Club." It's a wonderfully dense narrative that's rich in tonal depth and nuance. There's some delicate interplay between active and passive voice, and details are revealed in a pleasing, yet direct manner. After I spent a year living in Egypt, the story only grew more masterful to me; it's a gorgeous snapshot of Egyptian culture and power dynamics.
The book appears in many short story anthologies for high schools, but it's also online. Enjoy.
Over the last couple months, I haven't written much about music. I haven't had much time to think about music and even the band practices have waned in my busyness and lack of clearheadedness. I am not "thinking music" right now; between work, my schooling, my children, my partner, and various other relationships, I have little to no room to get passionate about music.
But I have written a couple times about my first wading steps into Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication. So here are some of the resources I've been using.
I first read about Nonviolent Communication when I first read More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory two summers ago. (Embedded below is the summary of NVC as described by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert).
To be honest, however, I didn't take it to heart two summers ago because I thought I was a good enough communicator. I mean, as a teacher I have to be a good communicator, amiright?
Apparently I'd self-deceived myself, however; when I have three different people in a three-month window send me to the same resource, you think I'd get the hint. So I'm doing my best to take the hint—despite my continuing busyness. And as my fits of anxiety around communicating my needs and desires have grown more frequent and humiliating, I think it worthwhile to do some deliberate self-help.
As I posted last week, about a month ago I started working through the following workshop (below):
I'm now about halfways through this audio course (below), which I listen to on my walks and when I'm alone in the car.
So far, I feel an affinity to the program for a rather English teacherish reason: I appreciate its focus on behaviour and discouragement of lazy "to be" verbs. This might be a step 1.
Two follow-ups: Rilke and Needs.
A few posts ago, I concluded that I needed to re-read some Rilke. When I wrote it, I had wanted to post Phyllis Webb's poem about Rilke, but I wasn't at home and couldn't find it online. Here it is, although I admit I'm posting this without permission:
I reluctantly took this photo from a textbook, not one of my many Phyllis Webb books (see below). Unfortunately, the disorder of my life is clearly reflected in the disorder of my home, and I cannot access her books at the moment. "Rilke" by Phyllis Webb in 15 Canadian Poets x3, ed. Gary Geddes. Toronto: Oxford. 2001. 144.
My last entry, titled "Needs," highlighted my continuing efforts to identify my own needs after years of self-denial in the name of religion. I've been slowly working my way through this workshop about Marshall Rosenberg's NonViolent Communication method. This morning, when I started the video while doing the laundry, he talked a little about needs, and I listened.
Starting at 1:41:50:
The crazy thing is, however, that it still makes very little sense to me. I feel like I've been psychologically gypped (slurbedamned) out of an essential life skill. I am annoyed.
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