Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Far Away

Today, was a typical Bryan Doscher day. I woke up completely unalert, turned off my alarm (Which was muted) and tried to save myself from being late to class utterly unsuccessfully. I sat through class panting and sweaty from the sprint there, and spoke every so often in horrible form unable to present my own arguemtn with any sort of lucidity. I then fell asleep on my couch about thirty seconds after reading "Imaginary Homelands", and was then forced to sprint to St.Mary's so as not to be late for service... which I then also sat through sweaty and panting.

On the other hand, however I got to meet the three students that I will be working with throughout the semester at Homework Help. Eric, Chris, and Sidney in fifth, eighth and second grades respectively. Eric is very bright and personable. He has fantastic manners and I'm pretty sure he thanked me ten or twelve times and said goodbye just as many. Chris is very tall and lanky. He seems popular and knows something about everyone, like the epicenter of middle school gossip. Sidney is adorable, she is in second grade but she doesn't look young. I was shocked by her features she looks like a shrunken eighteen year old; her eyes, her cheeks, her smile she looked so mature.

I was being the good guy today, I wanted to get to know what they were like so that we could have some sort of relationship during my time there, and I find it very easy to relate to the guys, but Sidney is very reserved and completely immune to my 'charm' (yes I'm delusional). We spoke of school; a conversation sparked by Chris' impending move to high school, and Eric's jump to middle school. The conversation struck me wildly appropriate after reading 'Imaginary Homelands' and I found myself completely enveloped in their school drama. Chris looks me dead int eh face and says "Believe me, middle school goes fast!". What a character! As if I've never been there, but the point is how it relates to Rushdie's presentation of memory and the homeland. Those memories seem so far away. Like Chris was telling me, it went so fast. Time moves so slowly, even if you run through it but sometimes you turn around and two years ago seems like yesterday, or three years ago feels like another lifetime.

I particularly connected to two sections of the piece, in relation to the kids stories. Eric is in the fifth grade, about to make the transition into middle school and I can barely remember what it was like sitting in my classroom. the details, the most insignificant details, end up carrying the weight of your memory. You can connect the dots from the pieces, as Rushdie says, and reconstruct your past. I can't necessarily slip into memory but if I piece it together I can just understand what it feels to take that step into the sixth grade, and how much it meant to me. Second, was the notion of a monochromatic image in memory. I'm not sure if my memories are black and white, but I can assure you the colors aren't correct if I try to figure them out. They are just so far away, they're ii another world but sitting at a table with a second, fifth, and eighth grader threw me for a loop. Here I am trying to connect with three kids, trying to convince them that I understand who they are, where they're from, where they're going, and where their minds are at when my days of second, eighth and fifth grade are black and white and so far away.

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