Sunday, January 17, 2010

A long week, a little old man, and an Austen fangirl?

I haven't done a real post in quite a while. This is going to be a long one.

Good grief, this has been a long week. I miss my free time in a huge way. It's been tough going back to school this week. Tuesdays and Thursdays are extremely long, with me having to be in town all day, because I have a many-hour break in between my classes. One of those days, Mom comes with me to town and we run errands, and the other, I go to my grandparents'. Anyway, Tuesday was a really hard tough, exhausting day for me. I wasn't too sure about my two "night" classes, because both of those teachers are new. The first one was okay, but the second class was like being in the twilight zone or something (and I'm not referring to vampires, here).

We get in class, and the teacher starts panicking because we have the wrong textbooks. All of us have the same one, completely different from her own. She says, "Okay, let me walk out and come back in," and leaves the classroom. Hint #1 that she's not your average teacher. Believe it or not, she did come back. The class was completely packed, with hardly enough chairs, and including a lot of people I didn't know, which made me uncomfortable. And the teacher...she seemed nice enough, but with an odd sense of humor and a very scattered look about her. She frequently lost her train of thought. Then, in walks this little old man. He looked like this, minus the cane and bow tie.

He sat in front of me. This is not good.
See, I feel this unexplainable pity and sadness for little old people. Even if they give me no reason to feel sorry for them. This man has his book and notebook in a reusuable Walmart bag, and he gets situated, having his notebook and pen ready. He writes the name of the class and the date at the top of his page in big, almost child-like handwriting. It made me want to cry. And all I can think is why is this little old man in a health, safety, and nutrition for children class? And more importantly, why did he have to sit directly in front of me? This is like having an elderly grandparent in your class at school. So for the rest of the class, I cannot focus on anything but that poor little man and how sorry I felt for him. I came home from school that night feeling exhausted, sad, and dreading Thursday.

I prayed and prayed that Thursday would go better, that somehow everything would go much better than it had Tuesday. And as silly and insignificant as this may seem to most people, God answered my prayer. Thursday was a great day. My first two classes went great, and in children's literature class we had a great discussion. When I got to that last class, the teacher was much more relaxed and seemed slightly more organized. Apparently a bunch of people dropped the class, because the class size was much smaller, and I felt much more at ease. And the little old man didn't come back. As terrible as this sounds, I was relieved. Because I know I couldn't have made it through that class with him sitting in front of me. I hope that everything had a happy ending for him, too, and that he changed to a class that he would be more interested in (he said that he had took photography classes before) and with a teacher who he could follow along with (I was having a hard time...I know he was).

I'm not sure why this little old man evoked such a strong sense of pity in me, even more so than usual. Maybe it was because he looked like the man who had lost his wife in "Up." Maybe it was because he didn't have a wedding ring on and I imagined that he was a lonely bachelor or a widower. Maybe it was because I feel uncomfortable and set apart in college most of the time and I could relate to him, because he must have been incredibly brave to come back and take classes with all of us obnoxious teenagers. Whatever it was, he's permenantly stuck in my memory.

Now, on to more pleasant thoughts! On Friday, I did a seriously crazy, time-wasting, once-a-year thing. I watched the BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice," aka the 6 hour one with Colin Firth.

I know that this is the favorite P&P adaptation of most people, especially those Austen purists. I confess that it does stick very closely with the book. And Colin Firth is good-looking. But to me, this movie doesn't even compare with the 2005 version, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Maybe it's because I had just watched that version, my favorite version, a few days before.

Can I go on a slight fangirl (can "fangirl" refer to Austen books or movies, or does it always have to refer to the Jonas Brothers or Robert Pattinson?) tangent for a moment? Because I adore this movie. It is my favorite "modern" movie, my favorite Austen adaptation, my favorite movie period. It has been since the first time I saw it a few years ago, just after reading "Pride and Prejudice" for the first time. I think this movie beats out the other version a hundred times over. So it's not exactly like the book...this is one time I will compromise. The cast is awesome. Mr. Darcy is handsome. Lizzie Bennet is lively, clever, and fearsome in her dedication to her sister Jane. Mrs. Bennet is obnoxious and shallow, but lovable (the voice of the other Mrs. Bennet grates on my nerves big time). Mr. Bennet loves his family. Jane is sweet and beautiful, and Miss Bingley is vain and selfish. Mr. Collins is self-righteous, loathsome, and a complete goober. The scenery and filming is gorgeous. The buildings are perfect and the colors are amazing. The I listen to the soundtrack on repeat for hours while I do my homework. It's beautiful, inspiring, optimistic, and heartbreaking, all at once. And if I could play the piano like the guy on the soundtrack, I would never leave the keys and my piano bench.

This movie is pretty much perfect. Can I recommend it enough? If you're an Austen fan, a girl who loves chick flicks and happy endings, someone who appreciates odd characters, a lover of Regency romance, or someone who enjoys beautiful piano music...see this movie.

Austen fangirl rant is over. Until I watch the movie again. Which may be very soon. If you're not sick of hearing the words "Jane Austen," head over to Natalie's blog. She's hosting a fun reading of "Emma," with a post on every other Tuesday, starting with this one.

Until next time,
Kristin (missvintagegirl)


    I could watch this movie every day and never get tired of it! It is so well made!

  2. oh my goodness! they've come out with a BBC Masterpiece Theatre version of Emma! it looks so magical :)

  3. I'm late here but just HAVE to tell you that I love this movie and even moreso the soundtrack! I can listen to it over and over and over again until my dc (dear children) ask me to PLEASE stop! It's so heavenly... Sigh... I just discovered your blog via my daughter Emily (White Way of Delight) and I love it! :)


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