divendres, de gener 07, 2005

A Cup of Coffee, a Steak a Neb (English / Welsh / Cornish / Spanish)

Class went well today. The goner whom I had mentioned earlier is actually coming to class and doing his work; it appears as tho I were wrong. Strangely enough, some times it's edifying to be wrong. I really do want all my students to do well, at least as well as possible. This is not the American in which I was a child, and the rules of the game have changed. Each person is now a picaro cast out dirty and snot ridden like el Buscón into a grime and disease infested world. We are so much like Spain during the waning years of the Siglo de Oro, but since we hardly ever pay attention to what happens in present-day cultures, we are hardly likely to pay attention to the state of Spain more than 250 years ago. Soon, like Spain, I fear we will spiral into a long, slow decadencia, ending up something like a bloated Argentina: still wealthy, still sort of important, but nostalgic for better times. Each and every student in college must strive for their buen puerto. As the saying goes, the knives are out, and the path to a pleasant life in which simple Hedonistic pleasures are possible is becoming a harder row to hoe. It's hard to look at their faces and not want them to succeed. Oh sure, there are those exceptional few whom one would wish ill, but the majority, you want them to be something, to have connections, wonderful vacations, long lasting memories of rich experiences. The dismal truth is, no matter how much we wish, no matter how hard we try, that's not going to happen to most of them, but there's always that one or two who make it.

One of the noteworthy things we did today in the battle for awareness of one's place in the world was read and discuss Ursula LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" This class seems pretty sharp, and they got the message right away; it was interesting to observe the reactions of the Black students; interestingly they seemed more relaxed with the concept than did the White students, who, as usual, make up the vast majority of the class. Nearly all the Black students at the college, by the way, are from down state.

As an aside, before leaving the classroom today, I managed to find and view the four minute Simpon's message from Marge where Lisa speaks her four words of Cornish in support of Cornish Independence. It was a bit anti-climatic afetr all the fuss about it on Warlinnen, but it was still fun to watch. You can go to Simpsons Channel and see it you like. I also found this poem in Cornish by Mattew Clark (den yowynk poth yu ;) ) about the gowrdonn, the tsunami, which I found very interesting:

Bardhonek yn kov a dus a vyw warlergh an gowrdonn
Awos an hager-awel
Y fynnyn ni skapya pell
Dhe vro gans trethow owrek
Ha trevow yn-dann gell
Dhe dyller gans howl ha toemmder
Dhe dyller pur bell dhe-ves
Mes lemmyn an goel yw mernans
Awos kordonn ha dorgwrys

Le mayth esa tewes
Tornysi hys-ha-hysLe mayth esa ostel
Gans gwin yn lystri-gwrys
Lemmyn nyns eus travydh
Saw korfow yn tre dhiswrys
Yma ankow yn pub sorn
Awos kowrdonn ha dorgwrys.
-Matthew Clarke 1a mis Genver 2005

The other highlight of the day was dinner with Th. and M. at Union Hall in Johnstown. Union Hall is quite a nice place for a small town like Johnstown, and its owner/chef is a CIA graduate. We had a wonderful meal, and good conversation as usual. Of course, one thing about dining out in Johnstown, Gloversville or Amsterdam, is that Taiyebeh and Mo are local celebrities in that neck of the woods, so people had to keep coming over and saying hello. This is one of the reason I opted to live in Schenectady. Local celebrity aside, I like being able to live my life with a certain amount of anomymity. Even in this area, I run into my students all the time. Anytime I'm out in the Fulmont region, I see my students everywhere. For me, living like that would be too much.

After dinner I returned home along Route 5. From Amsterdam to the lock at Patersonville, there was scarcely another car to be seen. As I rode along, I got all musing, and a bit bemused at life. I didn't want the road to end; it was quite pleasant to drive along the wide ribbon of asphalt almost alone, the road clear and dry even after the day of snow and ice we had had. It did come to an end however, and after Patersonville, I was able to turn my thoughts away from tristwch dirgel ddyn fy nghalon, dirgel ddyn sydd yn digalonni. Ambell waith, rwyf eisiau'n wir lladd y rhan fach ohonof sydd yn credu yn serch hyd yn oed rwan, ar ôl yr holl flynyddoedd o fod yn unig. Y gwir yw clir, nid oes neb yn y byd hwn imi. Rwyf yn gwybod; mae llawer o bobl yn meddwl hynny, ac yn ei ddweud, ond dwi'n ei wybod yn nirgel ddyn fy nghalon. Dwi ddim yn siarad am ryw, mae gen i gyfeillion dros dro fel Tri ar Hugain am hynny. Ond hyd yn oed fi, dwi eisiau teimlo breichiau cryf o fy nghwmpas ambell waith, i wybod bod rhywun yn meddwl mod i'n arbennig, a'i wybod, dim jyst ei gredu, ei heisiau. Ond mae dydd i mi allu credu ym mhethau fel hyn wedi machlud. Petasai fo ddod, fyddwn i ddim yn ei credu, dyna beth sy'n drist, a dyna pam dwi'n digalonnu. Efallai, un o'r dyddiau hyn, bydd y teimlad gwag hwn yn marw'n llwyr, a byddaf mewn hedd o ryw fath. Mae'n hen bryd imi atal credu mewn ffantasi, mewn ffug, mewn breuddwyd twp sydd wedi cael ei fwydo gan straeon, ffilmiau, profiadau pobl eraill. Beth sydd yn wir imi yw byd arall, ffordd arall, ffordd lle mae cariad yn aros yn ffug, chwedl wedi ei chreu i blant, fel Siôn Corn, rhywbeth hyfryd sy ddim yn bod.