Learning is akin to the old adage about rust. It never sleeps.
The knowledge acquisition process sees no rest, either: it never stops, never stalls, never slows. We are perpetually in learning mode. The switch is never flipped to the ‘off’ position. Sure, you can’t ever be quite sure where all this classroom (and school of hard knocks) work will take you – but usually it’s somewhere good.
March 21, 2016
Ellen/Reid: Reid, wow, it sounds like your grad school experience is winding up in a really good way. I think both your mom and I, or at least me, wouldn’t mind attending the graduation so let us know when DePaul schedules the ceremony. Walking onstage to collect your diploma would be a fitting way to wrap up your school work. We need to be there to recognize your success – plus, we can head to one of those nice Chicago steakhouses and maybe catch the Cubs or the White Sox. All this, Ellen, just when you’re cranking up the post-graduate work in St. Paul.
My own students have kind of stepped onto a good thing. A good friend of mine in my golf group, Jack Blackham (she’s a Brit and is the one who got me following the Liverpool Reds), somehow put me in touch with a small suburban newspaper, the Mint Hill Times, that is sorely in need of writers. When I talked to the publisher, I asked if my students would be candidates for writing positions – and she was just thrilled at the prospect of hiring them as freelancers. So my guys are gearing up to submit story ideas and buff up their writing skills. It’s kind of exciting for them to have some solid prospects to earn a few bucks and get some bylines. It should, in theory, all come together sometime in the next 10 days to two weeks.
Went to an incredible series of short outdoors films last night with Kitty and Tom Bohr. The films were winners from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. There must’ve been 8 – 9 films shown, including one about four Texas A&M students who rode wild mustangs from Mexico to the Canadian border as a way to show the plight of these wild horses, some 50,000 of which are being held in government pens pending final disposition for them. It was such a good film. Heartwarming and touching. You can look it up: Continue reading
Politics have never been my forte. Most things, in reality, are not my forte.
Still, to knowledgeably converse about politics you have to think about such things. And I don’t. The kids know where their old man is coming from as a centrist Democrat in a crimson red state. Show me a smidgen of common sense and that’s plenty. I’m good to go.
Yet as most comedians have found to their glee, there’s such a gluttonous surplus of unending fodder in the ‘debate’ run up to this year’s election (question: why does it take years, rather than a few months, to decide things? Enough already) that this penis-envy horror show makes it inordinately hard to ignore the obvious. The candidates are anti-candidates.
So it’s closer to home for me to yammer on about the wonders of retirement and a TV-less house and hiking pants as gifts and the inconvenience of 24 hour power outages. Hopefully Ellen and Reid appreciate being spared more blather than they already get on our great national conundrum.
February 29, 2016
Ellen/Reid: The thought occurred the other day, again, as to what is in store for my retirement. So far it hasn’t amounted to a helluva lot other than trying to think where the time goes. I wake up and then – poof – it’s time to go to sleep. What happened to the day? What is known is that too much time is spent on the %$(*&^ computer. That has to stop. It’s the rough equivalent of mindless TV (Ellen, you were prescient: I haven’t missed it for even a single moment). I do find myself reading more which is a good thing. Maybe it’s time to think in earnest about part time work. Something to keep me occupied (pre-occupied?) but in the best of all worlds it should have some creative tinge to it. I hope to keeping teaching as it is great fun.
I’d like to teach writing more if the chance arises. It would help to fill the nothing-to-really-do retirement void.
It’s very true that to teach is to learn twice. No big surprise there but it is so fun and rewarding. (We’ll see if my students share that sentiment in their post-class evaluations.)
Already this election thing has put a severe beat down on me. An Assoc. Press friend in Australia told me that Aussies, like the rest of the Western world, used to hold America in high esteem as the unquestioned leader in policy and economics and statesmanship but now we’ve been reduced to laughingstock status. Republicans like Presidents Lincoln, Eisenhower – even Nixon – have to be spinning in their graves at the current crop of GOP lunatics who simply show zero tact/statesmanship and clearly aren’t qualified to find a middle ground at any level, let alone lead a troop of Boy Scouts. Even Hillary has my head spinning a bit. What is most objectionable is this penchant Continue reading