TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE
November is the Autumnal month of writing.Desiring to put some thoughts on paper..er..I mean on the screen in MS Word I kept looking at the screen for quite some time…the button on the right side of the screen showed 11’…Oh dear I have 11 drafts…incomplete’ and I wish to achieve a target of 50,000 words by the end of this month! a question raised but not answered…’when you will stop playing scrabble you will be able to achieve results’, I got this advice or rather a sort of final review…I must think about my word game seriously, it is non productive in the material sense though it does give the mind some exercise’ ..hmn
I will paint something first…and so My Paint was instantly on the screen…readers the result is before your eyes. I paint by intuition….’
So much to write and so little…no if I organize my time I can complete my tasks.I am surely really surprised at myself, do you know why? Is anyone listening? I am talking or thinking to myself, there is only One true Listener’ and I know He is listening…will I be able to write anything worthwhile? or am I just wasting my time?
A few days ago my phone rang, since the hour was odd I asked my husband to answer.A male voice was on the line but was asking for me…I found out that he was a very worried father…father of a daughter now a student at A level in a local school…the problem the daughter wanted to study English Literature but could not find a teacher, would I be able to help?
well I can try but first I must know how much the student understands about literature.
Talking to the student I found that she did have the basic knowledge that Literature means ‘novels ,drama and poetry’…I guess we all know that…okay dear but it is a long and hard journey,reading line by line word by word ,comparing contrasting and critically reviewing written works of famous writers,mostly dead and gone’…the second part consists of the living authors and poets who are currently struggling to record the good and evil deeds of humanity crowding the planet…
well madam please guide me I wish to appear for a CIE paper in about five months..five months? impossible…no dear at least a year…well ma’am please send me a task by email as I live so far away and cannot come so often…
neither can I …and then only two emails were exchanged…the task to explain the poem’After Apple Picking ‘by Robert Frost…hard to understand ? I thought so..ma’am do you know anyone who lives near my home who would be able to guide me?
‘I told you I have deep fears that Literature Teachers are fast becoming extinct..a rare species…retired , hiding…and English has ‘ need to improvement” and ‘come here ‘ has taken the new approach of ‘come closer’…it does mean the same does it?
well back to English Teaching’..how about writing a book’ on ‘How to Teach English Literature? specially at O and A levels ? well
first Teach English Please….’
I heard all this … and I will pray for strength vocabulary repertoire and sentence structure and now away to the skies, back to duty….
I picked up my knitting needles as I finished reading the email..Madam I have dropped the idea of studying English literature maybe next year I am really really grateful for all your guidance…..
she stood,in stone..silent still no band
how long can one stand or rule the land?
but She did, from far away
In Freedom,her own,
a Crown a Cape, a Gown
In Gold yet cast down, as Ozymandias Pharoah
dethroned from throne,all remain in the same stone….
Queen Victoria’s statue could be seen on a pedestal on the Main Mall Road of Rawalpindi Cantonment.I remember passing by it in our small olive green Fiat car to and from Saddar Bazaar…in the evening shadows I still have the stony figure’s shadow in remote recesses of childhood memory flashes…I did not know whose statue it was then…but someone important always could be seen like this, carved in stone, lifeless silent, cold and hard..frightening…it was just an object of sight seeing along with the grassy patches and flower beds on the roadsides…many years later..studying for my masters Degree in English I read about Queen Victoria..The Victorian Age, the authors and the poets and the grand relationship we had with the Majestic Queen…she was quite a personality….a great ruler…hmn..now gone…there are two artillery guns …where once she stood….years of rule…nights so cruel…freedom enchained…freedom gained..freedom still sought ..to regain…from another reign?….
Another night another time …
I have to complete my knitting projects …I must …its winter again…has it taken me so much time? what have I been doing? I wonder …knitting comes out of knitting’… nothing comes out of no knitting..it stays there…any work untouched it will not finish …neglected? well not exactly…just a bit due to Summer and then the Fasts …and now some other duties and now novel writing…would you be able to gather so many words..thoughts …sentences…? and now back into the 1950s I go..remembering Mother her sister and sisters-in-law all would be knitting…by hand, no machines no sir…
yes I remember the magazine ‘Woman & Home’ this had beautiful knitting patterns… for me and my sister till we did not start knitting it was Nora and Tilly, the wonder paper cut out dolls in the magazine….
Paper dolls …and we would be so happy playing with paper…
and see who is knitting here… Cary Grant…from acting to knitting…from knitting to writing…from needles to pen and from pen to paper…er..these days..it is a screen….Cary Grant..on screen…oh well, knitting cannot come on screen can it..I mean on the 35mm…maybe I will make a real movie of Knitting…A Knitter’s Story….
‘Hi I am here and I hear paper, screen, film, play tonite…hmmn great idea talking about paper…the one thing that is going out of use …it is becoming a ‘paper less society…but not yet…
Can we really do away with paper? No but my thoughts were on knitting dear…the skill is an ancient one and I was reading about the very first knitted garments were ‘socks’ and those too out of..cotton’ how difficult would it be to knit out of cotton? Wool came much later and how wonderful to see that there was Arabic script knitted into form…to ward of evil….
Not strange at all as..evil was quite spread out and mysterious …
This is what I found out…’The oldest REAL knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) we’ve got is ‘Coptic socks’ from Egypt, dating to around the year 1000 CE. There are quite a few fragments, all of them done in shades of white and indigo, in stockinette. Many of them have Khufic (a decorative Arabic script) blessings knit into them, or symbols to ward off evil, or both. All look really cool. And may I point out for the fiber-snobs among us, that all of the really ancient knitted fragments we’ve got are knit out of cotton.
Yes indeed, cotton. Wool wasn’t used for knitting until way later.
How soon we fall into a knowledgeable conversation. I look forward to knowing so many new things I am not able to absorb fully, but you bring them out so smoothly that one does not feel any hinderance…I mean you make it so easy…how wonderful you must be in class…
‘Now there you start again…and many say that I talk too much…
‘Oh dear I hope you don’t get caught like the ‘parrot’ ha ha
Now not again…I do feel bad when I hear this…but it does not matter …for I know that whatever I say is the truth…and Allah has gifted me…it is His Blessing that I am a teacher and He wishes that I may speak the truth and ,er…well. loudly too…
‘Ok tell me about the knitting…
‘Oh I love to knit and I have written a couple of poems and a story about knitting..”
Oh I must hear this one…
‘Well, I was sitting one evening and trying to sort out the entangled left over wool …and I thought
‘This bag of wool must be sorted,either used or shall I give them away’ these thoughts troubled me every time I opened the cupboard and set eyes on the entangled various sized colorful clusters rolled up in different shapes
‘These are left overs’ this green reminds me of my friend the one I met in the examination hall. She was knitting and that attracted my attention ’Oh she loves knitting too’ the dark green is from the pullover I made for my son when he was six years old…and then came the grandchildren….so soon.. I realized how time passes…we knit and knit and one day children too are grownup…no more babies…then the babies too grow up why have I saved these colored balls for so many years? I kept thinking…and then my heart said,’ don’t you see? they teach you values’
yes, the value of life…the colors the warmth, the love and the relationships
The memories of childhood are all woven into these fiber strands.
Each color has its own value like each child….and like these leftovers all preserved we have the good things the good memories the good deeds that will always bring color to the lives of the families.Each strand knitted into a garment brings joy love and tenderness.It strengthens the bonds of love and sharing and so much more…last of all there is the satisfaction of making something for a loved one, the joy of creativity and the blending of color and design…and so I love this basket…which tells me so many stories…and the blessings of the Lord …as I keep adding color to the basket.
Ah so wonderful…What joyful stories knitted into the basket…No wolf can take them away……………….
There was a boy in school, in class 7..he used to knit his own sweater..and that too of the school uniform..then all the girls would laugh…but now I realize he was doing good…and he must be quite warm too in that wool…
The first knitting project that we sisters started was also knitting our own school uniform sweater…it was fun..each one knitting one side and soon in a few days the sweater would be ready..the most difficult is the stitching part…but one learns
These days there are videos available and the internet has free tutorials and free patterns…
But no free wool….wool was the best Beehive I remember…the results would be like silk soft and smooth and the pattern! Just as the magazine said…and the tragedy now is that ‘Media is common but strange…half private half state controlled…it keeps showing till the rulers wish..then channels are blocked, sometimes for personal political reasons…and it is ..we can say…biased? Favorite…? Or sold …?
‘And the internet?
‘Well that too has its own priorities and causes and see youtube channel…is still blocked and I am one severely affected…
‘Hey how come..you are not a movie fan or have you become one…
‘No no actually I was learning…
Ah the perpetual student..what exactly was your subject and er…degree..you are a Master of Arts and ..a Master of History and a Master of Language and a….
Oh stop please…it is my hobby …I get excited at times and so enthusiastic I start off with a great ‘giant leap’ but I never land on the moon ‘….ha I guess the first stage is the best throttle affected after that…it burns out…
Ha I get it..its your knitting….
See there now…two jerseys half done..one leg warmer…one leg only….
The next ..next year…ha ha
No Imust finish before December 22…
Ha a Christmas present…who is it another Grandma I know…or the …er the writer…no I will not say…
Oh no its for anyone who is lucky …I mean the lucky one to be with me when I finish it…
‘Oh so I have a chance
‘Oh you need one? I will knit one specially for you ….I am a special knitter er..hand knitter…er..a family knitter…well youtube has lovely stuff but its ‘blocked by the state’..the reason was genuine at first but the reason for not Unblocking is according to many people not fair or justified…it is an encroachment of human rights or civil rights …or just Not Right…
So they are not opening are they..well lets see can I bring you some videos?
No no please I believe soon they will have to when the Big Change takes place…it always happens that with the change at the top there are changes all around …and so I have great hopes Insha Allah, yes there was one other thing I was anxious about…the Internet does tell you strange things…this term Yarn Bombing’…its all around…and …oh I can see the anxiety and the humor…it does tickle doesn’t it and then frightens you as well…
Well, I shivered a little I mean my wings trembled and I could feel that even with all my swiftness …and flying experience…this word gives one the Great Fear if I may say of the final moment…it becomes dark and red all over and the crimson flood starts flowing and the blue vanishes into the darkest of darks’ and the gigantic cave begins to open and the vault fills in with the loudest of screams….
‘Oh please Sir,
Ok I was just reminding and doing my duty if you will also keep on the track…and you will be grateful always for The Lord He hath His own ways and He Loves those who Obey Him….oh about bombing …and yarn…
Well yes it is…The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide. The start of this movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg, 37, from Houston, who says she first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom-made cozy…
What is cozy…something to warm but on a door handle…I ..er…am not so familiar with doors for there are some special doorways in my line of life…er…
Well cozy or cozies… or tea warmer is a cover for a teapot traditionally made of cloth. It insulates a teapot, keeping the contents warm. Their use predates the invention of vacuum bottles as a means of keeping hot liquids hot. Tea cosies may have padded inserts that can be removed and washed.Some tea cozies are hand-knitted, resembling woolen hats…
Oh so you can also knit a tea cosy
Yes sure but isn’t it a grand idea….a tea cover on a door handle and then on and on to other things larger ones and there you go…with your yarn…yarn forward…yarn over ha yarn over anything that is the idea now I get it fully…yarn covering even a car and out in the open tree trunks and large benches…and
Even buildings …or dear there is no end to it but how exactly is it a bomb?
Bomb would be the excessive yarn that is used…and it is joined with the ‘Stitched story…now that was a movement also….The movement moved on from simple ‘cozies’ with the innovation of the ‘stitched story’. The concept has been attributed to Lauren O’Farrell](who creates her street art under the graffiti knitting name Deadly Knitshade), from London
You are a historian aren’t you..you must check up Knitting in your own faith Ok?
‘I will Insha Allah….
‘And now it’s the time tick…er..I the bomb tick…oh ..no ..Ok make me those wing warmers…wwhhhiiiiiiiiiinnnngggggg
Somewhere a cock crowed
All Lessons from the Heavens above
were of calm peace patience and love
Who created among birds the Dove?
Wars in the clouds war in the skies
what did man gain by all the Lies?
blood all over, all over cries’
weapons made for hunting food
were made all strong and good
iron sharp, defense understood-
O Peace where art thou fixed?
lost forever in River Styx?
Condemned thou like Sisyphus?
twirling planets, endless encircle
shine shimmer forever glimmer
are they lights or tears that quiver?
swords flash bullets splatter scrapers shatter
But what does it all to richness matter?
Silence stands silent, loose tongues chatter
under the bridge hungry bodies curled
bags of bones looted and hurled
wars murders meaningless unfurled
wars whirling , worsening world……………
Time for The message to Come again….
to relieve the misery injustice and pain
But words never die, they are
never dead till thoughts make
storms raged but
words remain cold
hold the power to be
bold and take control
words make some cry’ till
thoughts make them fly;
‘close your thoughts’ some say’
but still words do stay’
I get a dozen every Sunday
my thoughts wander go astray…
where am I ? even I forget
while I think, I think…I pray’