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.