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The humour of Ms. Google

Just over a week ago hubby and I returned from an autumn holiday. It involved a fair bit of driving in places altogether unfamiliar to us as we explored Canada’s maritime provinces: Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick. To avoid having to navigate with my head buried in a map, I prepared for the trip by downloading and learning to use Google Maps as our GPS. Ms. Google was certainly a holiday-saver! She also gave us a few groans and a couple of laughs.google-maps-1797882_640

For example, on our way from Lunenberg to Blue Rocks NS, she led us down a No Exit road.

Several times just after I (the navigator) noticed the fleeting Re-routing banner, she would begin pouring out a virtual river of instructions. A river because we usually ignored her attempts to get us back on track by traveling on to where it was safe to make a U-turn so that we could get back to the original route. I know I detected relief in her voice when she would announce: “You’re back online.”

Another time, after we had visited St. Stephen N.B., which is within eyeshot of Maine, she began giving distances in miles instead of meters and kilometres, totally mystifying us two Canadians for whom metric has become the norm.

navigation-2049643_640We got the biggest chuckle the day we missed the turn into our motel and found ourselves back on the highway, racing northeast while Ms. Google, sounding more frantic with each repetition, called out “Go southwest. Go southwest! Go southwest!!” She toned down after we took the first exit we could and she then proceeded, with the greatest patience and never a scolding word, to circle us back to our missed destination.

I would never want to go on another trip on unknown roads without Ms. G. holding my hand. The fact that we could laugh at her foibles is testament to how she helped us relax and enjoy our drives.

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spiritualjourneyfirst-thursday-copyThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey (First) Thursday, hosted today by Jan at her blog Book Seed Studio, where you will find links in the comments to more articles on the subject of Humour.

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Fall Semester

"Life's too busy! I'm too tired to write poetry."

“Too busy, too tired” – a slide from my talk “Breaking the Silence”

Fall Semester

I plod toward the culmination
of a summer of study and planning
lugging a stone-boat
of handouts, lessons and lectures.
Responsibilities blinker me
from distraction.
Urged and directed
by the reins of conscientiousness
it’s Giddy-up and Go
till November
when, unbuckled
from this harness
I again get to frolic
in the meadow
of carefree imagination.

© Violet Nesdoly

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I have spent much of the summer getting ready for fall. I’ve been preparing to deliver two poetry workshops at an end-of-September writing conference and at the same time reworking a series of eight lessons for our church’s Wednesday morning for women.

Though I have been a classroom teacher in the past, I haven’t taught much lately and I’m rusty. Ratcheting up the tension for me this year is that I have made Keynote (Mac version of PowerPoint) presentations for each session. That’s ten Keynotes! Trouble is I’ve never used such a presentation before in a class, neither do I have my own projector so I can’t even practice with the technology.

I’m not complaining… really! Doing this teaching is a wonderful way to stretch and grow my skills. But one thing I find hard to do while focusing on these assignments is to give myself to creativity. Because when I do, I so easily get lost, lose track of time, slow down, get behind. So I’m trying to enjoy this season and looking forward to the time when my on-top-of-things teacher-role will be finished and I can again be the absent-minded writer.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday. It’s hosted today by Jen at Teacher-Mentor Texts.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Personal, Poetry Friday, Writing

 

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Leisure these days

I’ve been keeping up with the November Poem-A-Day poetry prompts at Poetic Asides. Yesterday’s was  “Talk back to a dead poet. Choose a poem you like by a poet who is no longer living and offer a rebuttal.”

I chose the poem “Leisure” by W. H. Davies (1871-1940).

Here is the original:

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

– W. H. Davies

My talk-back poem is more a reflection than a rebuttal. Some days I’d definitely prefer Davies’ brand of leisure. But, then, who can entirely resist ‘progress’?

Leisure these days

I think I’ll pass on woods and grass
if my connection’s nice and fast.

Ignore lithe Beauty’s dancing feet
as Google serves me sure and fleet.

Watch girl in sidebar smile or scowl
and not that pensive sheep or cow.

See YouTube arrow turn to bars
instead of watching squirrels and stars.

The stream of stars that I prefer
Netflix delivers all the year.

What good is life and what’s it worth
without the time to sit and surf?

– Violet Nesdoly (November 8, 2012)

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I’m offering this poem to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by the dauntingly clever Ed DeCaria. Come on over to Poetry Friday: Findability, Discoverability, and Marketing to sample dozens of poetic offerings from the Kidlitosphere and beyond.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Light, Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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