Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "The Sharpness of the Sword"

This poem is spillover from the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "Sharpness" square in my 8-2-19 card for the End of Summer Bingo fest.


"The Sharpness of the Sword"

[Tuesday, September 15, 2015]

After school, Shiv sat on Luci's bed
sharpening her/his sword while
she told him about her day.

Luci went on about her classes
and the yoga thing she did and
some people that she'd seen.

"Today I saw Guowei in
Spirituality and Madness,"
she said. "I think I like him. He
has interesting ideas about China
and America. He doesn't always
balance them well, but he's trying.
He's a little pushy sometimes, but
he's sooo handsome. I think he's
going to ask me on a second date."

The pang was sudden and unexpected.

"I don't think you should date him,"
Shiv said, shaking his head.

"Why not?" Luci asked.

"Your sword doesn't
like him," Shiv said.

"What makes you think that?"
Luci said, staring at him.

Shiv opened his hand to show
her the thin line of blood.

"Shiv-ya! I thought nothing
could cut you unless you
wanted it to," Luci said.

"Yeah, so did I," Shiv said.
Then he shrugged. "Now what
are you going to do about this?"

"I will tell Guowei thank you
for the nice dinner but that I
will not go on another date
with him," Luci said.

"Oh, good," Shiv said.
"I thought you were
going to argue more."

"No, no, it's your job
to help me decide who is
worthy of me, or not," she said.
"I should get the first aid kit."

"What for?" Shiv said.
"It's just a scratch."

"Shiv-ya, you're
leaking on my bed,"
Luci pointed out.

Shiv looked at his hand.
The cut was no deeper than
a cat scratch, but it had been
sliced rather than scratched and
it was bleeding ... kind of a lot.

"Crap," he muttered, grabbing
a handful of tissues. "Get the kit."

Luci brought the first aid kit and
sat down beside him on the bed.

Shiv gave her his hand without
further protest. After all, she
was the one who would have
to change the bedsheets.

Luci sprayed his palm with
numbing antiseptic before she
wiped off the blood and took
a closer look at the damage.

"This is too long for bandaids,
butterflies would never stay put, and
gauze would get in the way," she said.

"Got any other ideas?" Shiv asked.

"I could put on several layers of
liquid bandage, but then you'd have
to baby it for a day or two until the scab
toughens up," Luci said, pressing gauze
over the cut to slow the bleeding some.
"Will that be a problem at work?"

Shiv sighed. "Not if I ask the boss
for deskwork instead of waiting tables.
That'll learn me to be more careful."

"I'm sorry, Shiv-ya," said Luci. "I
didn't realize the sword would be so ..."

"Real?" Shiv said with a grimace.

"I was going to say 'active' instead,"
Luci said. "It's always been real.
"It's just not usually this dramatic.
There are plenty of family stories."

"That would've been useful to know
ten minutes ago," Shiv drawled.

Luci gave him a seated bow.
"Please forgive me, Shiv-ya.
I am a terrible sister."

"No no no!" he squawked.
"You're the best sister I've
ever had. See, look, it's
almost stopped bleeding
already. I'm fine. Really."

"Okay, if you say so," Luci said.
She lifted the gauze away and
covered the cut with InstaSkin.
"How does that feel now?"

Shiv wriggled his fingers.
He couldn't feel much through
the numbing antiseptic. "It's fine."

"Oh, good," said Luci. "I was
worried when I saw all that blood."

It wasn't that much ... well, okay,
against the white sheets it maybe
looked a little more alarming.

"Nothing that won't heal in
a few days," Shiv assured her.
"If not, well, there's always Heron."

He wasn't thrilled with that idea,
but it was a good backup to have.

"Okay," Luci said. "Let me tell you
some of the family stories, though.
We may need them sooner
than I thought we would!"

So Luci spun out stories
from her childhood, like
the ribbons of silk she
used in her dance.

Shiv listened, thinking
about the ties of family and
the sharpness of the sword.

Whoever came around wanting
to win a piece of his sister's heart
had damned well better be worthy of her.

That sword wasn't the only sharp thing around.

* * *

Notes:

Guowei Yang -- He has golden skin, almond-shaped brown eyes, and short straight hair of dark brown with long sideburns. He is slim and handsome. Guowei is Chinese-American, but he handles the cultural combination poorly. As a bookworm, he does well in college. He is attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha for a major in International Studies and a minor in English. Guowei likes Luci, but her sword does not like him, so she declines a second date.
Qualities: Good (+2) Bookworm, Good (+2) College Student, Good (+2) Handsome, Good (+2) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
Poor (-2) Chinese-American

International Studies, Bachelor of Arts (University of Nebraska-Omaha)
• 46 hours of University General Education courses
• 12-19 hours college breadth requirement
• 49-55 hours of major courses
• 0-13 hours of electives
TOTAL HOURS: 120

Foreign Language Requirements:
At a minimum, in order to satisfy the INST foreign language requirement, majors who are completing an area studies concentration must complete the equivalent of three years of one university-level foreign language study (completion of a minor is recommended) or two years each of two foreign languages. At least one foreign language studied by those completing an area studies concentration must be associated with the area chosen.
For students who are completing the general INST major, the Global Strategic Studies concentration and/or the International Management and Business Leadership concentration, the foreign language requirement will be two years of one foreign language (16 hours) or one year of foreign language (10 hours) supplemented with 6 hours of language credits from studying abroad.
If a student is a native speaker of another language, formal foreign language study may not be required.

Code Title Credits
Core Curriculum
INST 2130 GLOBAL CHALLENGES 3
INST 4140 TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 3
INST 4990 SENIOR E-PORTFOLIO 0
GEOG 1000 FUNDAMENTALS OF WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY 3
PSCI 2210 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 3
ECON 2200 PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS (MICRO) 3
ECON 2220 PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS (MACRO) 3
Course List
There is an option for majors to have no concentration or choose from one of three concentrations:

Area Studies
This Concentration offers the opportunity to focus on one or more areas of regional interest. Examples include Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Please discuss with an academic advisor the possibility of other areas of concentration, including Africa, Central Asia South Asia (CASA), and East Asia which will depend on the availability of relevant courses at a given time. In addition to the INST core courses, at least 15 hours of 3000-4000 level coursework that focuses on the region selected must be completed. At a minimum, majors who choose this concentration must complete the equivalent of three years of one university-level foreign language study (completion of a minor is recommended) or two years each of two foreign languages. At least one foreign language studied by those choosing this concentration must be associated with the area chosen. Study abroad in your area of interest is strongly recommended. Course lists for Area Studies will differ according to the area and availability of courses offered.

ASIA
International Studies
INST-3000 Perspectives in Int’l Studies
INST-4140-009 Intl Relations of East Asia
INST-4140-011 Postcolonial Lit & Culture
History
HIST-2810 East Asia: Trad & Modern China
Religious Studies
RELI-3500-001 Spirituality and Madness

CMST 4510/CMST 8516 Persuasion and Social Influence 3 credits


English Minor Requirements
Code Title Credits
ENGL 2410 CRITICAL APPROACHES TO LITERATURE 3
Select 3 additional credits of English at the 2000 level 3
Select 6 credits of English at the 3000 level or higher 6
Select 6 credits of English courses at the 4000 level 6
Total Credits 18

ENGL 2230 ETHNIC LITERATURE (3 credits)
An introduction to the literature of Native Americans, black Americans, Hispanic Americans (Chicanos, Puerto Ricans or Cubans), and Asian Americans (Chinese and Japanese). Explains and defines cultural terms and practices, and attempts to prepare students for multicultural living.
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENGL 1160 or permission.
Distribution: U.S. Diversity General Education course and Humanities and Fine Arts General Education course

ENGL 3300 JUNIOR TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to topics in American literature, to include colonial, modern, and postmodern literature and also Native American and immigrant/diaspora literature written in English or read in translation. Readings will vary according to the topic specified.
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENGL 2410 or ENGL 2420

ENGL 3500 JUNIOR TOPICS IN GLOBAL LITERATURE (3 credits)
Topics in world literature, to include trans-national and trans-continental literature written in English or read in translation. Readings will vary according to the topic specified.
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENGL 2410 or ENGL 2420. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

ENGL 4160 TOPICS IN AMERICAN REGIONALISM (3 credits)
A study of major trends in American literary regionalism, with special emphasis on social, cultural, and ecological contexts. Focus will be determined by instructor, but may include particular authors, literary themes, historical periods, or geographic regions. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8166).
Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENGL 1150 and ENGL 1160 or equivalent; ENGL 2450 or ENGL 2460 recommended.

ENGL 4670 SOCIOLINGUISTICS (3 credits)
An exploration of interconnections between language, culture, and communicative meaning, stressing interactional, situational, and social functions of language as they take place and are created within social contexts. Formerly ENGL 4880/8886. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8676).
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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