vendredi, avril 21

rally round the family pocket full of shells

so i don't think i've ever talked much about my little brother. he's nine years younger than i am, and is as different from me as night and day. but at the same time he's more like me than my sister or either of my parents. he loves books and words and reading and writing. when he was going into grade 11, he was trying to pick the courses to determine his career path. my folk were pushing him into computer science, but he hated math - it made him miserable, the same way it did to me. so i sat down with him and said 'why not try english? you love writing, and you are really good at it. you want to pick something that is going to make you happy - not something that you are going to hate, otherwise you are just setting yourself up to fail.' so he did. he went to uvic and did his ba, then transferred up to unbc to work with my former supervisor for his ma. during his final high school years and the first couple of years of his ba i went over his papers with a fine toothed comb giving advice and fixing grammar. after that he didn't need me anymore.

he'd gained a lot of weight during university. he's never really been a small kid - e even when he was a baby he was really solid. i remember laughing at the dimples in his knees. anyway, in the last few years it's really gotten out of hand. his weight was up around 250, and that is way too much for a guy of 5'10". in september he decided to do something about it, (i think that my dad had a quiet word with him 'cause it was pretty clear that he was jeapordizing his health) and he joined weight watchers. he's lost over seventy pounds - you would never even recognize him as the same person. it's unbelievable.

yesterday, he defended his master's thesis. his external examiner said that he'd never seen a more thorough defense. he passed with no revisions, which is quite extraordinary. his supervisor said to my dad that he's only ever seen one writer who was better, and that was me.

i'm so proud of him i could squeal. he's applied across canada to do his PhD and i know he's going to excel in that, too.

so anyway, this is my congratulations to my brother, even though he'll probably never see it.

i love you, shmoo. xo

UPDATE: he just got word that he's been accepted to the PhD program at the University of Western Ontario!!!