49 Forever

I have just come back from the Annual Meeting of 49 forever and I did not let my name stand for office again. I think organizations should not keep people in office for more than a term or two but get new people with new mesh ideas on their executives. So, we now have Jules Jewra as the new president and Celine Paradis as the Secretary. The vice-president is still Mary Buist and Joyce Stenvall remains Treasurer. The speaker for the evening was Kevin Jeasseau who is a member of COPS and described several related projects such as Vial for Life. That would be very valuable here if volunteers could be found to staff the programs.

I used to teach High School English and my students always liked the poem, The Road Not Taken, which ends Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the less traveled by, and that hasmade all the difference.

Perhaps, because the students were in their teens, they all felt that he had taken the road less traveled and that he? had definitely made the right choice. Imagine when one student had a study guide and it posed the question ?where in the poem does he explain that he later realized that he had taken the wrong road?. After, a few situations like that I began to think that the reader is perhaps entitled to interpret a poem using his own background and situation. Sticking with Robert Frost , and I know that many of you well over 49 studied his poems in high school, I recall another of Frost?s poems ?Mending Walls?.

Two Vermont farmers whose fences were made out of stones tell about both or them mending their fences by picking up fallen stones and replacing them. The memorable quote from that poem is ?Good fences make good neighbours?. Taking that as the theme of the poem it was a surprise to most of the students that he wrote the poem in celebration of Brotherhood Week. I soon realized that maybe a teacher of English should not mark in such a rigid way.

We often interpret situations from our own viewpoint. Sometimes this is good but sometimes it?s questionable. Our older daughter, Nicola, when at University qualified in English to take a course in writing from the ?Writer in Residence? who, that year was Marion Engels.Her best friend in that class got a good laugh when she got such a high mark in English she couldn?t understand it. The assignment was to write a short story and she decided to write down the fictional life story of a hard working; -working farm woman, recalling her life, She thought very hard to find a situation when the woman would have the time to go over all the events in her life. Finally, she decided to have the woman looking out the kitchen window as she prepared a lattice-work pie. She got great praise and a high marls from the teacher because of the symbolism she used by having the lattice pie a symbol of the farm woman?s confused and tangled life.

I often read a book and, later, read a review of the book. Did the reviewer and I read the same book? Of course we did. We are just different people. When someone makes a comment to me (or about me) should I take offense? Maybe her statement was meant to be funny or even complimentary. Look on the positive side.