I’ve just finished reading the Saturday comics, this fine early August morning, and I saw something upsetting, pervasive, and subliminally powerful. I saw the ongoing American cultural disdain for education. Three of the comics were about how upsetting it is, for their characters, to think of the pain of returning to school. In one, a pleasant-appearing, bohemian-looking teacher eating an ice-cream cone, asks two kids how they are enjoying their summer. Their discussion after is about how disturbing it was to think about returning to school.
How to learn how to use our devices: if at first you don’t succeed, ask for help and try again.
My 92 year old father and I Skype almost every night. We tell each other about our days, and keep up with each other between our face-to-face visits. The other night, he wanted some help. He’s teaching himself and learning how to use his smartphone for more than just calling. He’d taken a number of pictures and wanted to email these pictures to friends and family.
I went to a workshop given by Wayne MacPhail – www.w8nc.com – yesterday and I know I learned a lot because my behavior has changed. On my morning walk, I took photos with my smartphone, as usual, but I took way more, and with a different conscious ‘eye’.
Wayne is both very knowledgable in a range of fields and excellent at explaining. Plus he’s very generous in sharing the material he created for his workshop, ‘Content in Hand’. I found what he showed us about taking shots with our smartphones very,
When obligations collide, my heart unfolds.
I try to read what is written for tomorrow
without my glasses. I must decide.
This slippery road leads me into strange spaces.
The centre collapses unexpectedly, but the periphery
may knit into a new street view. I search.
Steering blindly by what is yet hidden
I try to avoid the road rages of others
and drive cleanly into the mystery. I meditate.
May 1, 2013 –… Read more When Obligations Collide
This fall, I am teaching a 3rd year university course, as I have for a few years. In “Oral Rhetoric”, I get the students to focus on their formal and informal speaking skills. I use two books as my most important resources:
- Thank You for Arguing, What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs; and
- Talking From 9 to 5 by Deborah Tannen.
A poem I wrote about the experience of getting older –
Getting Older Poem
Like a spray of hot pebbles – little stings that you feel but shrug off.
Slowly blisters form: fragile skin over tears.
Nodding off during the news,
Getting no questions when I ask for a senior’s discount,
Noticing I think anyone under 50 is young,
Going to retirement parties,
I find Kirby Ferguson’s insight make total sense.
For more complete (and very enjoyable) explanations, I recommend –
- about movies – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeqRWlcA5F8&feature=relmfu
- about creativity – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI1eI94CiEI&feature=relmfu
- copying and creativity and the legal system – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAmmtCJxJJY&feature=related