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Civility In Toronto – Wonderful

Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing several acts of civility in Toronto, of people politely being helpful to strangers. This is the kind of city I love being in.

  • Someone with a senior’s ticket in a subway station without an attendant. A stranger, seeing the ticket in the token-only station, asks if the senior knows there’s a station with an attendant a couple of blocks away, then walks with her up the stairs and points the way.
  • Two people standing,

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Trump Mania

I watched the American 2nd debate, and it sparked all kinds of reactions in me. Watching Trump make his (what I knew intellectually were baseless) accusations with his emotional tone so strong, I felt a sick fear that people would buy what he said, just because of the way he said it. I saw him pacing around and looming over Hilary when she was speaking, and recognized two things:
– The normality of this kind of male behaviour, and
– Why I thought it was normal;

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Grocery Shopping in the Digital Age

Grocery shopping is different than it was even 10 years ago. When I decide to go shopping, I have a different set of steps, some parallel to my old pattern, and some entirely new.

First, find a recipe. I used to browse cookbooks, but now I’m more likely to go to Google with a very rough idea of what I feel like eating. If nothing I find appeals to me, I might think of a recipe I already have. I might go to my Evernote collection of recipes,

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40 Years Teaching College Composition

 

I’ve been fully retired for a year and a half now, and I deleted all my teaching files a couple of months ago, so I can’t pass along any specific course materials. For Labour day, though, I’m going to share the distillation of my 40 years of teaching college composition and other language skills to college and university students, and my studies on how people learn to write from two advanced degrees in mid and late career.

1. Many community college students come in already resistant to taking English,… Read more 40 Years Teaching College Composition

My iPad Mini

A friend asked me for advice on buying a tablet. Here’s what I wrote:

I have a mini iPad and I love it! I’m using it right now.

I use it for email when I’m in a wifi environment. I don’t have a data plan, but I can use the web when I’m in a wifi environment. I can also use my phone as a wifi hotspot for my iPad if I really need to access the web or my email and I’m not in a wifi spot.

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Facebook, my Porch

Facebook is the new porch, the place where you relax and communicate with friends who drop by. It’s the club for people who don’t “do” clubs, it’s the Social Hour organizations try to set up, it’s the place to mingle. Not all of my friends are “friends, and not all of my “friends” are friends. But what I like is seeing aspects of people I hadn’t previously seen, and feeling connected to them, at least potentially.

Some of my “friends” are from my past –

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Lars and the Real Girl

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805564/mediaviewer/rm3981480704

Lars and the Real Girl” was intriguing, a kind of treatise and/or metaphor on how someone can be healed when in deep, debilitating pain. Lars, probably Asperger’s, whose mother had died at his birth (I think) cannot stand to be touched socially or physically, but yearns for connection. He buys a blow-up doll, and treats it as a real girl, introducing “her” to his brother and sister-in-law, and eventually almost everyone he knows in his small rural-appearing town.

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