Wednesday, 7 October 2015

IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group for Wednesday, 7th October 2015

Anna Nordeman

IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group for Wednesday, 7th October 2015

This is my twenty-eighth post for IWSG, written on 6th October 2015:

There is nothing more humbling for a wannabe writer than reading very, very good literature from the Literary Canon. I've decided to write a term paper on one of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey, and I am also doing a group presentation about  Ann Brontë's novel, The tenant of Wildfell Hall.

So much to read and write about, besides the daily struggle of making ends meet. 

My eleven year old daughter, Elisabet, had two free days from school last week and could accompany me to the university in Linköping. We rode the special campus commuter bus together and Elisabet got to meet my classmates and instructors. But Elisabet was too shy to speak English with any of them. And she almost went through the roof when we discovered that I had forgotten to pack her head phones the second day out. She used them on Thursday when we were in the group presentation class. She could look at her I-pad while the rest of us spoke English. 

But on Friday, she really needed the headphones again because it was a high-level lecture about grammar. Interesting for us students but super-boring for her. Lyckily, I could buy a pair of ear phones in a shop (Pressbyrån) that has everything from coffee to sandwiches to newspapers. (I thanked the shop-keeper profusely.)

We came early enough to stop by the office of the grammar-teacher, Emile Farmer, whom I have mentioned earlier on this blog. He's a charming, funny Brit who still only speaks just a little Swedish. When I tried to persuade my daughter to say something - ANYTHING - and in any language, to Mr Farmer, she said nothing and just looked grumpy.

(Swedish) "Han förstår svenska!" I said, " He understands Swedish."

"It's just not going to happen," replied Mr Farmer with a wry smile. 

Elisabet and I left Mr Farmer to continue his preparations for the lecture. And when it was time, we sat in the back of the classroom to not disturb others.

Afterwards, Mr Farmer said that Elisabet was "as good as gold", and that I had succeeded in making the experience as tolerable as possible for her with I-pad, ear-phones and a bag of chips.

"I've been doing this for thirteen years" was my last words to him.

Best wishes,

P.S. Sorry. No photos from our excursion to the university. I had my hands full.

First Commenter:



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you can keep a thirteen-year-old entertained for the duration, you're doing something right!

TBM said...

Hey now, it's a major accomplishment to keep her entertained. Back when I was 13 I hated everything.

Tanya. said...

Why does everyone keep going on about Elisabet being 13?? She is 11.
Anyway I think she did wonderfully, I remember my first visit to meet Eva in sweden...her brother was about Elisabets age and he just went bright red and ran Of course that was many years ago now....Elisabet will come out of herself when she is ready...right now she will learn quietly and take her knowledge in by just being a part of your life. xx

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Reading really good fiction is hard on your nerves, it's true. But reading lousy fiction can be really encouraging and inspiring. ("I can write better than that!")

IWSG October

Unknown said...

Why do some commenters think that Elisabet is 13 years old when she is actually only eleven?

It's my own fault.

I wrote that I said "I've been doing this for the past thirteen years" and it is natural to think that I mean that I have been a mother to Elisabet during this time.

Actually I was thinking about both my TWO children, Erik, 13 and Elisabet 11 years old. But since there is no mention of the older child, Erik, in this text, it is easy to assume that I only mean Elisabet.

As I mother I cannot forget Erik. But it probably would have been less confusing if I had written "the past eleven years", and only refered to having a daughter.

Thank you all for your interesting comments!

I hardly touched on literature. I am reading three books at the same time ande there is a huge grammar exam tomorrow morning at 8 am!

Wish me luck!

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