About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I was a bit stymied about what to write for our T-themed week, so resorted to the internet for some ideas.  I have come up with Thomas Hardy's (controversial at the time)  "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." Some of you may have read it in the past as part of a literature course or even for your own personal enjoyment.  I read it during my first year at the University of British Columbia as part of my required reading.  Never having read a novel with such complex themes, symbols, and motifs, I had difficulty with it - not the reading of it - just the interpretation of it.  The essay the professor chose to have us write was: Should Tess have told her fianc√© that she had had a baby with another man before she married him?
You must understand that this was the mid-60s and discussing things like sex in my family was not only not done, but I had no idea about anything of that particular topic.  My father was a very controlling man and if he said, "Jump!" you asked "Is this high enough?"  So when he phoned me at university one day to see how I had done on my exams, it was extremely unusual of me to argue back at him when he indicated disappointment in my marks!  I told him that he had controlled us (me and my 2 sisters) and overprotected us so much, that I was totally unprepared for the topics of conversation and/or classroom discussions.  No wonder I failed! Not only English, but also History!  Now, you must understand that I was a scholarship student and this was absolutely not acceptable! 

But never mind, I quickly learned the rules of the game.  I became more open, I listened very carefully, and I read and read and read!  I had failed History because in high school, it had been rote learning, but at university I had to express my thoughts and opinions of historical events along with explanations of how and why things happened the way they did.  I understood that I was expected to have opinions and to express them both in writing and orally.  I actually found my voice! I learned what to expect on the tests and exams and studied accordingly.  After my 33% mark on the Christmas exam, I ended up with around 85% so I really must have aced that final!

Anyway, back to "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" - I believe it's on the reading list at the local secondary school, so I must urge at least one of my students to read and study it.  That way, I'll be forced to read it again with a more mature outlook and with my mind geared to those themes, symbols, and motifs. Hopefully, one of my students will gain insight from a book that had given me a thorough testing of my own mind and outlook on life, making me a more independent person.

On the internet, the book is described:  Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented is a novel by Thomas Hardy. It initially appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic in 1891 and in book form in 1892. Though now considered a major nineteenth-century English novel and possibly Hardy's fictional masterpiece, Tess of the d'Urbervilles received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England.

The book was made into a mini-series in 2008 and I looked forward to seeing it with great excitement.  This was the promo:  A free-spirited yet naive country girl is caught between her wealthy, manipulative "cousin" Alec and the handsome, educated farmer Angel Clare in this Victorian tragedy from novelist Thomas Hardy. I was thoroughly moved by it!

Some of you might have thought I would write about Tegan this week, but lately I seem to be ending my posts with something about her - and that's enough. Some people like dogs and some don't, so for those who do, here's a cute photo of her for you.
Well, that's it for my T week post so I'd like to, as usual, give titanic thanks to the talented Mrs. Nesbitt, creator of ABCW, and to the trustworthy Roger for his tremendous work keeping this trendy meme alive!


Melody Steenkamp said...

Along the abc-way you create a lovely and long list of recommended books...

Have a nice abcwednes-day / – week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
( http://melodymusic.nl/abc-wednesday-18-t/ )

Trubes said...

I'm so glad I didn't have to read' Tess of the 'Urbervilles' for my English
studies as I could never get into Hardy's work.
I got Shakespeare's Henry 1V part 1) Jane Austen's Pride and Predjudice and Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie, I loved all Laurie Lee's writing and Jane Austen's too.

T for Tegan is most essential I look forward to reading about her daily doings also good old George from Swansea.
I probably bore people with tales of Chloe, but who care we all know our animals are humans in furry coats.
love Di.
ABCW team.


jeannettestgermain said...

I know that controling parents are, LOL.

Roger Owen Green said...

I've never read that book!

Joy said...

Its interesting to reread a book later in life with different eyes. I must admit I prefer Hardy's poems to his books.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

So that's what the story is about. I recall not being able to get beyond the first few pages when I was in high school. Be interesting to see if I'm mature now to read Hardy.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Ann said...

They call them helicopter parents sometimes-its so hard to adjust BUT you did a brilliant job. Never read this-thanks for the review.