On March 2, it's usually early spring in Maryland. Forsythia start to bloom, news reports contain daily predictions of peak-bloom time for Japanese Cherry Trees, and the ground is springy-soft and fragrant. Not today, though. Today, we have the only "real" snowfall we've seen all winter. I've promised my children that we'll go play in the snow as soon as we eat lunch. Now I'm wondering if they'll wait until 4 pm for lunch, so that my husband, who will be home from work by then, can take them. Sigh...not likely.
I like fun as much as the next person. I just don't think that playing in the snow is fun. It's cold and wet and what is fun about that? I don't ski. I don't snowboard. I don't ice-skate. And I hate playing in the snow. But I have two little boys who love playing in the snow, so I will play in the snow if it kills me. I just don't have to like it. (and if not for the fact that I have to be IN the snow, I'd love it. It's pretty! It makes everything look beautiful and festive! And as much as I hate playing in the snow, I love the look on my 7yo's face when he wakes up and finds out that school is closed. But still...snow, shovels, wet clothes and mittens...blah.)
While I'm complaining, I'm just about to learn the hard way how comparatively awesome it is to have to write a Marxist analysis of Frankenstein. Compared to what, you might ask? Compared to poetry, that's what. That's right...I hate playing in the snow, and I hate poetry. I'm a prose girl. OK, I like SOME poetry, but the poetry I like was written by William Schwenk Gilbert and James Thurber and Dorothy Parker. In other words, funny, clever, usually rhyming, and requiring no analysis or discussion to divine the author's meaning. I'm afraid that "Critical Approaches to Literature" is not, however, where I will find laugh-out-loud silly verse by Gilbert or Thurber. And another thing...if a story as straightforward as Frankenstein can be subjected to Marxist critical theory, then I can ONLY IMAGINE the tortured turns of thought that I'll be forced to take when I consider The Red Wheelbarrow. Yes, that's on the syllabus. No, I don't look forward to reading it, discussing it, or writing about it. Perhaps you'll think that this is prologue for a later "hey! I was all wrong! I love poetry!" post, but I doubt it. I'm pretty determined to maintain my snotty undergraduate "how can this possibly be relevant to any aspect of life?" attitude re: poetry.
But you know what? A look at my poetry text has done one thing for me: it's made an afternoon rolling around in the effing snow look pretty good! Comparatively, that is.