Marisa Lessons

O wise one

“In orals [oral exams], when you don’t know what to say, just start quotin’.”


Prof: C’est quoi, la signifiance des derniers lignes de “Liens” par Apollinaire?

Étudiant: Ehhhhh…..

Prof: Je ne peux pas vous entendre…énoncez un peu…

Étudiant: “…..Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes,

Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;
Midi le juste y compose de feux
La mer, la mer, toujours recommencee
O récompense après une pensée
Qu’un long regard sur le calme des dieux!”

Prof: Oh là là, bien dit. 100%.

Marisa Lessons


There’s More to Life Than Being Happy 

This cool article by Emily Esfahani Smith, from the Atlantic, is about happiness vs. meaning. We talked about it in the context of placing the concept of the self within a narrative after a traumatic experience, and this article directly addresses the ways in which Holocaust survivors made their way through and dealt with life afterwards.

In the Waiting Room,  Elizabeth Bishop1911 – 1979

This poem, which is fantastic, is about a young girl who, in the waiting room, realizes that her ‘self’ is not a clearly designated medium but rather something wholly connected to everything around her. Here’s an excerpt:

I said to myself: three days
and you’ll be seven years old.
I was saying it to stop
the sensation of falling off
the round, turning world.
into cold, blue-black space.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?