I have been looking forward to watching ‘Party of Five’ lately as there is a story line about the character Julia & her mentor I am quite interested in. Julia is having a romantic relationship with her but that is not the part I am interested in (not that I mind watching Neve Campbell get it on with a chick). The mentor storyline is interesting to me because of my own tutor & mentor, Jeen. I see Jeen as a tutor at regular tutorials but also on an individual basis (not romantic…). She has asked me to do my Honours degree & PhD & volunteered to be my mentor & editor. She calls her help an ‘unofficial extra’. I am glad for her help as she has helped improve my writing & my attitude significantly.
I went to her office today & she had a sign hanging on the front:
“Jeen is not a very nice person today, please run for your life — unless you’re game”
Now, although I know that sign gets respected, I knocked anyway… She was glad to see me (especially since I was carrying coffee) & I was glad to see her. I like that people respect her. I have seen the full range of emotions in her, from extremely angry to bitter sadness. She has such a loud laugh but so filled with joy & you can hear from the first floor. She reminds me a lot of my Aunty JB.
The relationship on ‘Party of Five’ reminds of that which I have with Jeen. She is encouraging & not afraid to tell me when she does not like or agree with my work. My last essay came back to me with remarks, questions & corrections all the way through it &, yet, she still awarded me a Distinction. So even though she knows the quality of my work is good she does not just leave it at ‘well done’. She gives me something to learn from. I have learned more from her in the last two years than I have from anyone in a long time & not just about English & film but about life.
Jeen has not spent her whole life studying English or living in one city. Her last job was as an English language tutor in Japan. She still teaches English as a second language but it is not her real passion, which is American Film. She is not married & never had much luck with men. Her last boyfriend died in an airplane crash & the one before that left her with a metal plate in her head. Now she lives on her own with her cats. She has one that looks a lot like my cat, Ric, only quite skinny. Her office is full of pictures of her cats & Michael Douglas — “insane but sexy” she calls him.
I have decided to work towards doing my Honours degree & concentrate on English as my major. I have finally found something I love to do & getting it done will be a lot easier with Jeen on my side.
Ric & I caught snoozing after a long day at uni: