I've just completed my first week of "school" -- school being a new semester of adult education at the Academy for Life Long Learning at the Cape Cod Community College. The week began with a class at 9:00 on Monday morning about the Canterbury Tales -- that's Canterbury Cathedral in the picture, a beautiful place to visit in 1500-something or today. We are going to read Chaucer's tales in Middle English which the very erudite teacher has tried to convince us is not very difficult. It was fun in college, lo, a great many years ago, and will be fun now. I plan to take my Chaucer to the beach tomorrow and sit far from other human beings and attempt to read the assigned portion of the prologue out loud. I have little hope of doing it accurately but I'll give it a try.
I'm being a bit gluttonous this semester and will be over at the college every day of the week. Tuesdays are free and easy, only a foreign film at 3:30, which gives me a lot of time on Monday afternoons through mid-afternoon Tuesday to do my own things. Wednesday morning I'm going to a class on the economic "miracle" of Southeast Asia and I must take myself to the local Barnes & Noble to pick up the text I ordered and then read the preface and first chapter before next Wednesday morning. The end of the week is a crunch. Thursday morning there's a Shakespeare class in which we will concentrate on The Tempest and later All's Well that Ends Well. We had the briefest taste of Helen Miran in a 2011 production in which she plays "Prospera" a CD I'd like to see all the way through. But next week's class will be an old film of the play with Efran Zimbalist, Jr. -- I do not have high hopes for this. After a break of an hour and half there's a philosophical class on Uncertainty which promises various takes on a very big subject. Fridays -- such as today, begin with the class I teach, Writing With the Whole Brain -- a good room full of students today -- there are four men enrolled with is very unusual. I hope they'll stay. Men don't do well when they are in the minority but maybe there will be safety in numbers this time. We'll see. I totally enjoyed the bits every one wrote in class and we had some nice discussion. After that, with just a little time for lunch, I go to a documentary film class. Today it was a biographical documentary about Johnny Carson. I actually never watched him although, of course, I knew of him. There were many funny clips but the film was much longer than it needed to be.
And so my autumn begins. I am going to a concert shortly -- piano music for four hands and I look very much forward to it. I haven't heard a live concert for a while. The program sounds great. So this is the culmination of a very good week of intellectual input. And I still have the weekend! For homework: reading Chaucer, reading about Southeast Asia, reading some of The Tempest... sounds good to me.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!