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Thanks for the Redroom Symphony

Time to put the year to bed.  Tuck it in and say, "Nightie Night," sing a lullaby.  I just turned in the final grades for my students, went Xmas shopping, had a dinner party with my very talented musician friends, song rocking this little Merriewood house, closing on the midnight hour with Amazing Grace.

There is nothing better than singing that song really loud with your friends, or with anyone who wants to sing and feel found instead of lost. Kenneth loved it; he arrived in the middle of the hootenanny, after working for twelve hours.  Chef time at Xmas time is a whole lotta work.  But he was delighted, coming into a house full of music.

 Music, poetry, stories, writing, students, friends, family: it has saved a wretch like me.

Thank you, Redroom, for the many voices, the amazing grace of community, the song of it, a great gift, as good as a box of See's candy.

Here's a poem for:

The Last Day of the Year


On the last day of the year, I throw 2008 in the trash.

The calendar is crumpled from falling off the wall; by December,


eleven pages of months have been hanging around long after

their moment in the sun, all bunched up and shivering


behind Ansel Adams' photograph of Yosemite Valley buried

under pounds of snow.  The little squares of days are now at rest,


no more doctor's and dentist's appointments,

no more root canals, cancer scares, English Department meetings,


the year collapsed in on itself, 365 black holes added to the cosmos

of newspapers, yogurt containers, and wine bottles. 


Staring at the empty space on the wall, I'm soothed by utter blankness.  

Nothing to look forward to, nothing to look back upon. 


No yearning, no remembering.  As if God pushed the Pause button.

A shiver shoots down my spine, and I think about getting a new calendar


as soon as possible, on January 2nd when the stores open,

and the machine of the world cranks up again.  The world of things


to do, places to go, people to meet, little squares of days

in the sun, a table, blue flowers in a vase, a menu, a glass, a plate.

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Putting the year to bed...

Hi, Susan

As one of those students whose final grade you just posted, I HAVE to pause to say "Thank You" for your excellent instruction and for your inspiration to keep on writing. And I can say that now that the final grades are posted and it won't be (mistakenly) perhaps viewed as "apple-polishing" For the first time since I came back to college after 30 some years, I'm actually sad that the semester is over...and that is solely because your  Poetry Writing class is over.  I feel a bit lost already without the daily stimulation of my classmate's, and your, critiques of my work on website and without set assignments to complete -  even though the course has only been done for a couple of days.  I even thought about requesting permission to repeat your course, but I don't know if that is even allowed and, besides, it's time for me to move on to "Big School."  Happily for me, however, my very last class at community college has been your Poetry Writing class and , for sure, what I learned there I will carry with me into the future. 

 Again, thank you!!!


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Hi Gayle

I love your photo.

You can take the poetry writing class another two times if you want; you can take the creative writing classes up to nine units.  I think so!  Check it out with the counselor/catalogue to make sure.

It was a great class, and you made it that way with all your attention and generous additions of poems and poetry news.

Join the class again, please!  I'm polishing the apple.

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RE: I love your photo...

Thank you Susan...that's my traditional (whenever I buy a new motorcycle) "Does this bike make my butt look fat?" shot...


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From a repeater CW person...

I don't think DVC cares how many times you take CW-as long as you have the money to pay for the classes, you'll be okay.
Of course, things might have changed. I hope not.

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Repeat Poetry Writing class

Ok, I finally figured out where to look to answer the question...and according to the course description for Spring 09 on the DVC website  says the course "may be repeated once" and the maximum number of credits allowed for a combination of creative writing classes  222, 223. 224 is twelve