Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Conquering The Poets

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I heard the slam of the book as it hit the porch. Excited, I ran to the front door, lifted my newest treasure and tore the bubble wrap open with glee. My American Literature textbook had arrived and I looked forward to spending long hours reading the works of great authors like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. As I flipped through the pages, I felt a cold icy chill travel up my spine as I discovered that the textbook contained poems, lots of poems, millions of poems by authors such as Emily Dickinson, Anne Bradstreet and that really freaky Poe guy who wrote about a raven pecking at his window. I sat back in horror as I remembered the long, agonizing hours in high school that I spent hunched over Shakespeare’s iambic pentameters only to receive a dismal C in English Literature.

The disappointing experience I endured in high school led to a severe fear of all words strung together in a rhythmic pattern. As a child, I didn’t even read Dr. Seuss. I would rather have a root canal than read a poem. Poetry doesn’t make sense to me. And a lot of it doesn’t even rhyme! I was convinced that the poets were going to kick my butt. Again! But, I had no choice. I would have to rely on my instructor’s help; I would have to push aside my distaste for poetry, and I would have to gather the courage to explore and discover the beauty in the poet’s words. Only then would I be prepared to conquer those poets.

I relied on my instructor to show me the way. To lead me, like Moses led his people through the desert, through the labyrinth of metaphors, couplets and the confusing world of onomatopoeia. I depended on my instructor to provide the necessary resources, such as videos and audio tapes ease my way in learning to learn how to read poetry and the different techniques that different poets used. I also expected my instructor to nudge me in the right direction if I should run astray or stumble in the wrong direction during my travels through the course. My instructor did all that and I thank him for his patience as I bombarded him with endless questions.

But, I knew that I would also have to fulfill my role as a student to conquer those poets. I had to open my mind and push aside all my preconceptions about poetry. I had to recognize that my bias against this genre of writing was based solely on my high school experience. I knew that many people love poetry and that there are many authors out there who excel in taking their readers into unknown worlds such as: the aforementioned Dickinson, Bradstreet and don’t forget the crazy guy with the bird. I had to bury those memories and start with a clean slate if I was to have any hope of leaving this class with a respectable grade. Once I made the commitment to approach poetry with an open mind, I started to feel that I might have a chance to conquer my poetry demons and could actually do well in the class. I was amazed when I realized one day that I was not only understanding what I was reading, I was enjoying it.

However, my role as a student didn’t end with a commitment and a willingness to bury the hatchet when it came to reading poetry. I needed to go further than the techniques involved to truly appreciate and understand the words of the poets. I had to be willing to explore the world behind the words. I had to let my imagination fly as I watched the metaphors take wing and soar from the poets pens. I had to discover the world that the writers lived in by imagining I was looking through their eyes. Dickinson world was filled with flowers, her religious beliefs and she used metaphors to describe her feelings about the world around her. Bradstreet was a Puritan who wrote about her town, her family and the pleasures she took in the simple things in life. Poe, well, he was a very disturbed young man who put his dark thoughts into words and shared his pain, his fears and his scary nightmares with his readers. By digging deeper and discovering the poet’s personal worlds, I was better able to understand their works and the beauty behind their works.

In the end, due to the help and resources provided by my instructor, my commitment to approach the subject with an open mind and my willingness to take the extra journey of discovery to find just what inspired the poets, I was able to lasso a very respectable A+ in my American Literature course. I also left the course with a better understanding and appreciation for the writers of this genre and I no longer groan when I see a book a poems on the shelves of the local bookstore. I may never quote Keats to impress someone. But I can now speak with confidence when I say that if I was stranded on a desert island and only two books washed ashore, one being Stephen King’s newest novel and the other a book of works by Maya Angelou, I would not consider using the poetry book as kindling. That’s a sure sign that I’ve conquered those poets, don’t you agree?

I have to go now. There’s a huge, dark raven tapping on my sliding glass door. I think he has something to say.

 

 

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Just For Laughs

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Before I head off for my next class I thought I’d share some silly little things I’ve come across that made me laugh! Enjoy!

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Gonna miss him!

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Oh Yeah!!

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Hey, how did that picture of my beautiful granddaughter Elizabeth get in here?

Well, time to hit the books and study!

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Hope everyone has a smile filled week!

Love,

Cranky

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Sad News – Shirley Temple has passed away.

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Shirley Temple Black

1928 – 2014

I can’t stop the tears. I feel like I’ve lost a little sister. Shirley Temple Black passed away today at the age of 85. The world has lost a talented child star and a great lady who did so much good work in her lifetime.

She will be missed but I’m sure she’s tapping away with the angels and putting lots of animal crackers in her soup! RIP Shirley!

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A Silent Hawk For Wordless Wednesday!

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Shhhh…I’m supposed to be studying! But, just wanted to send this in to Bastet for her Wordless Wednesday for this week! Back to the books!

Love,

Cranky

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A Look Back…A Look Ahead

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Well, slap me silly! I almost missed my anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I first stepped into the wonderful world of WordPress. And, oh what a year it’s been.

I remember sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for Danny’s name to be called (that’s what you do at doctor’s offices..you wait…you wait and you wait) when I overheard two women talking about a blog they both followed.

At the time, I had no idea what a blog was. It sort of sounded like some kind of alien communication device. My first instinct was to move further away from the two old bats but my curiosity got the better of me. Very politely I turned to them and asked “What the hell is a blog?”

They gave me a look that screamed “DUH” but I guess they felt sorry for me so they explained that blogs were used by different people in different ways. Some used them as a personal journal; some people used them to showcase their writings and some people just enjoyed reading them.

I was amazed! “There’s something besides “Matlock” reruns and playing stupid games on Facebook!” I thought to myself. “Who would have thunk it?” I ran home and fell right into the WordPress World.

Well, that was on January 27, 2013 and the rest is history (as they say). When I look back I am amazed at the difference WordPress and all you wonderful people have made in my life.

From the moment I stepped into WordPress, I was hooked. All of you out there have so much talent, so much to say and you do it so well! You inspire me and you motivated me to make the most out of the rest of my life.

The best words to describe this past year is UNBELIEVABLE! I’ve progressed so far in my writing (and been lucky enough to have numerous pieces published) just from learning from all of you!

So, what’s ahead? Well, as you might know, this geriatric old biddy is now a full time college student aiming for a degree in journalism. I’m still writing those short stories and getting closer to revising the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I still like it, but need the time to really sit down and work on it. Those damn short stories keep calling me and to tell the truth, they enable me to hone my skills in writing so I’m not worried! Plus, I have such a damn good time writing them!

How do I thank all of you? I have over a thousand followers now and in one short year, I’ve gotten over 20,000 views and almost 5,000 comments (okay, so half of that number are mine…picky..picky!) I’m chuffed! I’m honored! And, I am oh so grateful to all of you.

So, what’s up for Cranky in the next year? Who knows? And, that’s the exciting part! I’m not getting off this roller coaster…it’s too much fun and it certainly has put a skip in my step. I am working on time management so that I can do my schoolwork, keep up with my writing and still manage to keep in touch with all of you.

We’ll just have to take it one day at a time. But, what great days they will be! I just know it.

Love,

Cranky

15 Comments »

One Proud Grandma…One Great Day

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Okay, now that my horrible, horrible speech class is over I can finally get a post done! I really didn’t think that college would take up so much of my time but it’s too late now!

I’ve got three A’s under my belt and heading into biology! Last night I just glanced through the book and had to put it down. The pictures were pretty gruesome but I’d taken anatomy years ago, so c’mon birds and the bees, bring it on.

Danny and I are weathering the chilly weather here in Florida and anxiously waiting for tomorrow which should be the start of a week filled with sun and warmer temps. I have felt so bad for the people in the country getting hammered again and again with subzero temps, ice and snow! Now they know why southerners say “y’all come back now!”

So, the speech class is done and better weather is coming, so there’s been a lot of clapping going on. But, I am a Grandma, first and foremost so I must bring up the fact that my grandaughter, Elizabeth and her friend Camilla have, oh, how should I say this?

THEY ROCKED THE FLORIDA REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR! Oh yeah, they are going on to the State Science Fair and they are only in eighth grade!

The two traveled with Camilla’s family this summer and collected data in Costa Rica to compare with data collected in the U. S. I’m not sure what the project is about since I haven’t been able to see it yet (but I will). I know they put a lot of hard work into their project and I’m so proud, well, even Cranky has a big old grin on her face.

So, while I try to think of something to write about, I’d just like to present the 2014 FIRST PRIZE winners of the Florida Regional Science Fair. (Did I mention I’m proud?)

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So, let’s put our hands together and give them a round of applause!

I’ll be back soon!

Cranky

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Another Legend Passes

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Pete Seeger wrote with a message and his message will live on many years after his death.  Rest in Peace, Pete! I know you’re forming a folk band among the angels right now!

There is a time…Turn, turn, turn!

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Remember Me?

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I know….I know! I haven’t posted in weeks and believe me, it hasn’t been easy not to click into WordPress.  However, I’ve been having a tough time in my latest class “Public Speaking” and I haven’t spent time on my site…that time has been spent on this Horrible, Horrible course!

I used to do Public Speaking but it was 25 years ago.  I have forgotten more then I can remember and as easy as it sounds to write out a simple outline, stand up and deliver the damn thing…it’s a lot of work.  Research, audience analysis, blah, blah, blah.

Who knew such an innocent sounding course would be keeping me up at night? Anyway, since I’m not a quitter, I will survive this horrible, horrible course and then I’ll be back to say “hi” on a more regular basis.  Love ya all and hope all is fine!  Just be patient with me until I get through this horrible, horrible course!

Who would have ever thought that I’m actually looking forward to my next course, Biology! Guess I’d rather dissect a frog then give a speech!

Take care and I’ll be back soon!

Love,

Cranky

P.S. Have I mentioned that this is a horrible, horrible course?

15 Comments »

Bye Bye Phil

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Phil Everly

1939 – 2014

Once again, we must say farewell to another Rock and Roll legend.  Phil Everly passed away today after a battle with lung disease.

He and his brother Don formed the duo the Everly Brothers and they influenced many other singers of their time.  Songs such as “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love” earned them a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

We’ll miss you Phil.

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Bring It On

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It’s that time of year when we look back and wonder where the hell 2013 went to.  It seems as if, in the blink of an eye, the months sped by and we are now on the brink of another new year.

2013 was a banner year for this old lady.  I discovered blogging.  I met new friends…new mentors…and learned so much from all of them.  I was shocked to discover that I seemed to have a knack for writing…trust me, I still shake my head in disbelief when one of my works gets published.  I was inspired by all of you to start thinking about the last quarter of my life and what I wanted to do with it.  I’m now chasing down a degree in journalism and look forward to being the old fart walking across that stage at graduation.

2013 was an interesting year and I’m hoping that 2014 will bring more surprises, more discovery and more success in my writing endeavors.

Before the year ends, I do want to share my gratitude and my appreciation to all of you who have lent me a shoulder to sob on; you have given me the inspiration to break out of my shell and let the words flow; you have smiled with me, frowned at me, and laughed together as we looked at the silly things in life. Two fists thump on my chest to all of you for your friendship!

So, 2014, bring in on!  I’m ready, willing and able to see what you have in store for me and for my friends here in WordPress!

Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!

Love,

Cranky

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