Happy New Year!

Well, the hollerdays, as Colin calls them, are over, and a new year just begun. We had a wonderful family-oriented Christmas, with lots of visiting and prezzies and snow(!). Now, Dr. T and the kids are back to the usual grind, and I’m enjoying one more week at home before reprising my Lennoxville routine…

Colin is officially in Grade 1 as of yesterday, and according to the note from his teacher, he’s doing well, and making a real effort to speak in French. I’m still working with him at home, and I suspect that his homework will be my biggest source of worry and guilt while I’m away at work.
I got the word from on high that I will, in fact, be full-time this semester – my colleague finally got and signed her 18-month renewable contract with CIDA, so she’s off to Belgrade and I’m committed to at least one more semester of Monday to Friday far from home and family. A truly good news/bad news scenario… I love (love, love, love) the work, and the campus and my departmental colleagues; but I am really starting to wish for miracles, like some massively rich corporation in Sherbrooke suddenly offering Dr. T a lifetime contract.
I reread The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in preparation for my course on Montreal writers. Ah, Mordecai. Perhaps it’s a municipal bias on my part, but Richler is, well, great. His writing epitomizes what I want to get across in this course – how setting, and specifically this city, can be a character unto itself. It molds its inhabitants, be they real or fictional. It’s a microcosm of the world. The haves, the have-nots, the good, the bad and the ugly, the two solitudes (which, in Richler’s case, are ironic in that they’re so wrapped up in being the ‘two’ solitudes that they don’t even notice the significant population that doesn’t belong to either one)…
Really, I should be applying this analysis to my course prep, which is the work I’m avoiding by writing this instead.
But before I go: Just finished Therapy, by David Lodge, for the Million Book Club. Good read! Funny, sad, weird, etc. I have to admit, though, by the time I got to the end of the book I was beginning to wonder about the ubiquitous neuroses in male writers. It seems that the ‘guy’ writers – Hemingway, Mailer, Miller (Henry, that is) – have been supplanted by the quiche-eaters. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Ah, well, subject to discussion with the MBC. Report to follow.