Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I pulled the sopping, not quite mushy little Dalai Lama book out from under my bed and reluctantly declared it unsalvageable. To the trash bin it went. A few hours later, though, I found one remaining Dalai Lama amongst the personal pictures in my photo box. The real kicker: He was carrying an umbrella.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Here are links to my January calendar and one of my 2010 'yearly' designs. They're hosted by Mediafire, another great upload yourself (or at least your documents) to the internet program. I am putting a Seattle calendar page on Squidoo, and will have a link for that soon. It looks like the calendar lens, not the Greyhound one, will be lens #13. It will be to my advantage, in various ways, to reach 5o lenses this summer.
PS And here it is: Step Into Seattle... Calendars. Sure there are a few ads on the page, but, friends, just ignore them. I may add it to the list of lenses on the sidebar, as well.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
If you know me, stay tuned. There will be more Christmas gifts online. Other things will have to wait.
PS: That picture is from quite an old Christmas card!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A bit later, the water came on not in a regular way, but in a the-dam-has-burst-way. It happened in extraordinariyly little time. I was laying in bed when I heard a sound I could not at first place. When I came out of the closet (the one I sleep in), I found that the waves had spread out from the bitty bathroom and into the main part of the studio; obstucted by a mattress that I had carried up from the "free things" area downstairs, the water formed a wading pool in the part of the studio nearest the bathroom.
Well! It looks like I am going to lose very little of monetary or emotional value from that particular mishap. My dear netbook was safely on higher ground, and I swooped a bit of tech equipment from the vicinity when I realized what was happening. (When I woke the netbook up and asked it how it was doing, it told me it detected some wireless networks in the vicinity -- pretty much what it usually says when it wakes up from a nap.) Most of the paperwork that was stacked up (and staunching the flow) in the corner was old worksheets, though I may have lost some receipts and records. The closet I sleep in is near the bathroom, and there were items that got some water-soaking/water damage. I staunched the water flow with lesser a couple old pillows and various articles of clothing that needed to be thrown away, mended, or turned into household rags. Eight grocery bags later, I was seeing dry land.
As I noted, this particular 'minor calamity' won't even cost me much money-wise, much less emotionally. That is more than I can say for many of the events of the past couple years. Sure money is a bit of a stressor -- I may decide to move out of this apartment -- but ultimately practical losses occupy the tiniest fragment of my mind, very unlike the emotional ones... I was having trouble finding any tags to fit this post, so I created a couple new ones, naming one of the categories 'minor calamities'.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The widget is hosted by a company that probably has aspirations to make money someday, but right now seems to be at the stage of just saying to people, "Psss... Look! Widget! Cool, huh?" Cool, indeed! I would not want to see the enterprise fail. I am concerned that their site might be seriously under the weather. If I had a way to do so, I would send the widget a get well soon card. My blog here is feeling a little glum today, missing its widget. It did not even feel motivated to put up a picture. Sure, it has other widgets, but it is so very fond of that particular one. Pictures just aren't as much fun, it expressed, when you can't share them with a special widget someone.
PS The widget is back, and my blog is again feeling inspired.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I wrote, in a more serious vein, of squid angels in the previous post, Riding a White Horse With a Toaster Oven. Looks like some angels have been by, based on forum replies.
That so-important-to-me monotropism piece is linked to on the sidebar now, too, along with a handful of other lenses... 'neath the 'octopus reflection' picture.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
My blog's wearing a new header, and for the first time, the header is made from a picture that I took myself. I was out last weekend taking pictures to illustrate various projects. I knew there was a brilliant light reflected off Ravenna Creek; I was surprised, though, when I scanned, how very blue the one picture looked -- and how well the tones matched the blog's color scheme. The cover picture on this 'Animoto short' is made from the same picture as the header. All the pictures in this bitty video are of Ravenna Creek -- two taken a few years back, the rest just the other day -- and they're paired with a song clip I very much like.
I've been doing a lot of off-site writing: Expect links links within a day or two... to some writing that means a lot to me, and that I really want to share.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
On a more serious note, something as simple as being tired often does have a big impact on how a person reads anothers words -- especially in emails and on forum posts. I came across an excellent article on that topic some months back -- I couldn't find it tonight, but I did come across this blog post on PsyBlog.
The photograph, by the way, is Mair -- it links to her mathematics class page. (Mine has linked for a while from a button at the bottom of the page... between a couple quotes that people have probably hardly ever scrolled down far enough to find.)
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
But once I defined my audience and my topic, it began to define me. It wasn’t just a matter, to borrow Ursula Hegi's words, of "what to tell first -- though it hadn’t happened first -- or what to end the story with". It was a matter of what went in and what got left out. So much of childhood experience wasn’t relevant to a tale of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and so out it went.
In time I realized I was defining my story not just for some future audience, but for loved ones, too. "Why do they insist on defining certain behaviors in terms of OCD?" I would wonder. I have partly myself to blame; some people would scarcely know what the word means but for me. Ironically, OCD might not have been the 'best fit' label in the first place.
Many people imagine a memoir is a writer's own soul bleeding onto the page. Ah no, often memoir writing is extremely audience-conscious. Me, I've never written for self-therapy -- always for an audience of one or more others. (And putting my writing journal online has lead to a great increase in output.)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Speaking of inboxes and their habits: When I started with eduFire, I noticed that there were a lot of small 'badges' that the system attached to people's profile pages. Most of them were at least somewhat serious and positive. One that was neither serious nor positive: the '1,000 unread inbox messages' badge. When I first heard of that one, I thought, I wonder if I could get one of those for my Yahoo! inbox. In its own unique way, my Yahoo! inbox is very deserving of badges of distinction.
Moving along: recently a wave has swept over eduFire; invites have been spreading like wildfire, and some collaborative efforts that began on the platform are moving onto Google Wave. Ah, so if you were to look at my Wave inbox, you would think that eduFire was pretty much what I concerned myself with on a daily basis. But appearances can be so very deceiving.
As I hinted in "Please Don't Email the Drops", telemarketers always manage to get a hold of me -- the same goes for all persistent telephone wielders, including loved ones. Over the years there has been more than one sticky situation involving more than one person from more than one juncture in our spider web network of origins. There are responsibilities I have been taking care of.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Most of the pictures were discernible and something beyond discernible; it was one of the most stunning collections of images Bartell's (or Walgreen's) has ever handed me. There were things I didn't remember until they stared back at me. I've thought to do another verse of "Time After Time" (with more faces from co-op days), and there's fodder for that project as well.
Other pictures were less potent emotionally, but still good illustration material. Speaking of which: At Madrona Grocery Outlet -- I still go there in daylight hours -- I found, for eight dollars, a package of three disposable FujiFilm cameras...
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The following paragraphs also appear in my new Squidoo, which I will post the link to later. This is the most entertaining section (assuming that you're just looking for a 'reflection' and are not actually taking the CLEP yourself). Here goes:
"I came across this well written and humorous article a few months back. Wanting to expose 'diploma mills' -- fraudulent online programs -- Kevin Collins, CEO of the Better Business Burea of Central Georgia, had a novel idea. He helped his cat earn her high school diploma.
The article does go on to note that the company Collins exposed was in no way affiliated with the GED, a legitimate program.
The CLEP is another legitimate program -- it's managed by the College Board. The company I work with, eduFire , is also on the up and up. EduFire uses experienced teachers to help students prepare for CLEP examinations. The instructors post standards and prerequisites. They will not work with your cat on webcam. (Moreover, the College Board will not test your cat, even if she shows up at the testing center with two forms of ID.)Click here to read an article by the eduFire CEO: "Education: My Fundamental Value".
Monday, November 23, 2009
"...It’s been a couple weeks since I updated this blog – busy weeks, both online and off. I’m honored to be a part of the eduFire CLEP team, one of six people who spent this past week writing a syllabus and planning a curriculum. There we were: two in the US, two in the UK, one in Bolivia, and one in India, separated by oceans, but united by a wiki, a platform, and a vision. When the team leader unveiled his design for class avatars, several of us were together, commenting in ‘real time’.
I am linking to the official eduFire blog announcement, in which CEO Jon Bischke explains how the CLEP program relates to his original mission of reaching out across cyberspace to those who, for economic or geographic reasons, have been denied educational opportunities. That includes so many people right here in this nation!
The CLEP examinations have helped many students graduate from college in a shorter time frame and (importantly!) with less debt. EduFire is offering support for six subjects...
If you’ve read my posts before, you’ve probably guessed that my subject is English Composition. Oh yes, I do believe education can transform lives… and so can words. I am linking also to a short passage from one of my published pieces. It’s about my mother – born in rural Kentucky in abject poverty – and how she graduated from high school at sixteen, and put herself through college.
Here’s another tidbit about my mother. She was editor of the Baylor Lariot in the pre- civil rights era. Decades later, she showed me the piece she was most proud of. Ah, and you might guess, too, what she wrote about — there’s a hint in this paragraph. And in this post, you can see her, two decades before my birth, dreams ablaze in her eyes."
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The 'CLEP channel' will be launched next week on a particular e-learning platform. There are six of us -- two in the US, two in the UK, one in Bolivia and one in India -- holed up with our computers, writing CLEP prep syllabi, each responsible for a subject, but collaborating by wiki... It's pleasant work. It always amazes me how so much of the world assumes that it's the unknown that causes anxiety. I experience very little fear of the unknown, and am pretty low, too, when it comes to performance-based anxiety. Oh no, it's the people I love that cause pain and fear, that turn me into the kind of glass ornament you see in kiosks before Christmas. Does that mean I don't want them in my life? Heavens, no! -- glass is beautiful, and some is priceless. Says The Little Prince: "You run the risk of tears when you let yourself be tamed". There are moments when it does behoove me to leave my phone off the hook while I concentrate on some "matter of consequence" (I take for granted that my performance will be high if I shut out all incoming news) but the phone will go back on soon.
The song that's playing in my head is "The Riddle" aka "There's a reason for..."
PS Just edited this -- The Little Prince discusses "matters of consequence" not "matters of nonsequence". (Then again...)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This little clip was not included in my Seattle Squidoo Page(though eventually I will put one in). I selected a song clip that I thought was appropriate for a piece about a place, though the line "Time and time again, I've watched you sleep," did give me slight pause. It gave me more pause when... well, I'd included, amidst the nature photos, a picture of 45th Ave, with Seattle's Best Coffee in the background and a "Don't Cross Here: Use Crosswalk" sign in the foreground. On the line, "I've watched you sleep," what do you know, that picture appeared, and I won't go so far as to say that the sign got up in my face, but it did move forward a bit.
This is how the program works: I put the photos in order, and, after analyzing the pictures and audio, Animoto does the animations and transitions. Our combined artistry was lower on this piece, but I'm fond of listening to it, nonetheless. I may have enough photos of Ravenna Park in the snow to do that as its own 30 second video. Theoretically, I can put it onto Squidoo.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I mentioned before... The "Thinking of You" card that appears in here was given to me by my friend, Bette.
Monday, November 9, 2009
There I was in the bike lane on the other side of the row of parked cars -- the most lit area --carrying the purse under my arm and close to my body. Two young men sprung at me, both tugging hard on the purse. I shrieked at the top of my voice, and they let go and darted off into a side street. They were no more than teenagers (probably) this time, and I guess they thought they could peel the purse off me and be gone before I knew what hit.
I think it finally has been impressed upon me that that it's unwise to walk that stretch of Union in less than full daylight. But physiological fear from the encounter did not remain with me. My mind was its normal self (normal for me) before I hit 23rd. And my thoughts and fears were... well, the same thoughts and fears they always are.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.page
Friday, November 6, 2009
Well, my free Jing program allows me to record five minutes of screen capture as video, and it will also record whatever audio... that I record into the microphone. Hmmm... It was not actually my intent to sing the song myself; it's not something I was cut out to do...
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Physically, I have a tendency to zig zag, or swerve, from side to side on the sidewalk. I have tried to watch that habit -- and minimize it -- ever since it was brought to my attention in college. (Evidently people found it difficult to walk alongside me without being rammed off the sidewalk.) Metaphorically, though, I am the straightest line you'll ever meet. When I come to a wall, I may do one of several things, including sit down in front of it and cry. After a time, the tears start to dry, but I still sit by that wall, contemplating all possible motions.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I wrote in an earlier post (Modeling the Latest in Hypertonic Arm Posture) how people have often interpreted the arms-drawn-up-to-the-chest posture as fearful. But in multiple pictures, you can find a bright, laughing four-year-old with her arms drawn up like a chipmunk -- it's indicative merely of muscle tone. Hand wringing is also a neurological thing. It's no sign of distress, but it can be a source of distress when people misinterpret it. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but my body language has often caused people to invent some other person, with an entirely different set of strengths and weaknesses.
Walking near Madrona Grocery Outlet -- the area where I was once grabbed and robbed -- I find myself singing, "My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own." In some ways that song may not seem to fit me. Ah, but it's my heart that I give away to other people! My hands are, and always have been, my own.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
See more Audio at TeacherTube.com.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Sitting in a Safeway parking lot long ago, I told my brother that the song "Hungry Like the Wolf' reminded me of our drama class. (My take on that song was at the time quite literal.)
Back to the present: Alan, of eduFire, has a number of web resources designed to use music as a bridge across populations, cultural as well as neurological. Some of that material is on the sidebar now. And I am linking right here to another WS video -- this one of a young woman singing "The star Spangled Banner" before a game.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Now I'm thinking about casting the bitty computer in a video (something personal, not my eduFire teaching video).
A few weeks back, I posted a blog entry with a play on words, drawn from the Cyndi Lauper song, "Time After Time": "You're watching through Windows, you're wondering if I'm okay..." With the same free program that snapped the one screenshot last night, I can also capture up to a five minute recording of my computer screen as video; I'm thinking about opening up places and faces in Windows, to the tune of that song. I've already scanned pictures of both long-ago housing co-ops -- the Spadefoot picture shows snow coming down on an Easter (yes, Easter) morning.
I am linking to the Squidoo page I put up yesterday. It's about an e-learning platform, and most of what I wrote is reasonably serious and informative. I did link to one particularly silly eduFire forum thread. People from long-ago would recognize me in the 'chocolate laptop discussion' -- but they might not recognize me amidst the technology. Ah, but I've learned that technology is very handy for giving a voice to the likes of me!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I am doing a bit like I sometimes do on 'the other blog' -- my teacher blog -- and talking about some internet sites I've happened into. First off... there's Edufire, an online learning (and teaching) platform for adolescents and adults. I studied them for a few weeks before taking out an account. At first it seemed that all the networking and the forums made the platform just too much of a free-for-all. Ah, no, I've come to think very highly of them, and I'll be talking about some of our projects. There's a lot more going on than people just posting their own tutoring services and classes. For instance, there's a group organizing to try and make free classes (English, microenterprise, and medicine) available to people in Afghanistan.
I believe the slogan, "Be a Rockstar Teacher" is intended to refer to a bit more than just doing video of oneself in action and uploading it to YouTube! They do encourage the YouTube thing, though. When I am ready to put a video up, I think I'm more apt to go through TeacherTube. Now here's a music video message from TeacherTube: "...I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm short, I'm tall... I'm deaf, I'm blind -- hey, aren't we all?" I think the message in this song is applicable to more than just the elementary school set.
As for the musical presentation embedded within this post... another useful multimedia site, AuthorStream. (I've linked to two 'reflections' presentations on the sidebar as well.)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I think that people often confuse two very different concepts: To talk rationally about which life pursuits are (or not) important is one thing, but to experience motivation is something else. Experiencing motivation (or experiencing interest or fear) is largely a neurochemical reaction in which arousal levels are either heightened or subdued.
Depression is, on one level, a disorder of motivation. I am using the word monotropism to refer to a very different sort of disorder of motivation: one that is less mood-dependent, but in some ways more pervasive. It's like being a website with few pages. Most things in life are experienced simply as links leading off of or onto one's pages.
I believe it's possible for a person to simply lack the hardwiring or neurochemicals that are needed in order to experience motivation normally -- by that, I mean that there's a lack of intrinsic/instinctual motivation toward very basic things like comfort, security, or cleanliness. A monotropic person may experience, at the neurochemical level, very little motivation by anything that doesn't relate to their particular passion (their cause or purpose, their relationship, their career...)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
PS: I looked under 'help topics' again, and several people have threads going about accidently flagging their own blogs... no one seems to be answering them, though.
A day or two later, I passed this small rhododendron sending out blossoms: not as many as in this picture, but a few riveting pale pink clusters.
A few years have passed... I hesitated for a long minute before selecting this particular rhododendron as my Squidoo avatar, but only because this particular rhododendron is there no longer. They removed the lovely little shrub, pulled it out by the roots -- this one and its partner, the other blooms-out-of-season rhododendron that used to regale a parking lot up near Safeway. Ah, where are you now? Do you blossom yet?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
PS: Here's another video by the same folks, this one set to "My Daughter's Eyes". I am realizing that several things I have elected to put up -- including a blog feed -- are from these same folks.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
This picture, scanned at Online Coffee, may also appear as my Poets & Writers Directory profile portrait. (A writing profile is less formal than a teaching profile -- indeed, I gave P&W this website address.)
A Related Post From the Archives: Kitty Cat Dreams
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
When my brother was seven or eight, he founded a book company and hired his little sister (me). Kevin was a mild-mannered book editor by day and Superman by night. His other interest at the time: trucks. The short piece of writing I scanned and linked to is one I’m pretty sure my brother put me up to. From across the years, I can almost hear him say, “Write about a little boy who loves trucks…” It‘s a direction I followed to the letter — there was no deliberate attempt at humor in this piece, and I lacked the sophistication to write something so over-the-top on my own prerogative...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
After my picture fades, and darkness has turned to gray
You're watching through Windows, you're wondering if I'm okay
Are you watching through Windows... or using a Mac?
P.S. The next blog entry will probably appear under this one. There's something in my drafts folder that I've been working over.
Alright -- it's there now: 'Further Chronicles (and Audio)'
I picked a copy of Further Chronicles of Avonlea off the bookcase downstairs for two reason: 1) I knew it was public domain. 2) I was locked out and needed something to read! The piece that I ended up recording, and linking to here, is by far my favorite of the stories. Even so, there were lines that were hard to record because they didn't ring true for me. There's a character in the story who, years back, had broken off an engagement because she believed her fiancee's mother when she said her fiancee was merely infatuated with her youth and beauty -- which wouldn't last -- and that she had nothing, but nothing, else to offer.
Back in high school, I had a friend from India whose parents were incensed that she wanted to date an American; I think that they actually made a brief threat to disown her. But my friends spent six years convincing those parents that their relationship was sound, and at the end of that time, they were allowed to marry. As for why my friends wouldn't go against the parents' wishes -- well, part of it was because they were Ba'hai, and, while the Ba'hai faith prohibits arranged marriage, it does require parental consent. My friends were bound by what they believed. I honestly think either one of them would have -- like the girl in the story -- broken off their engagement if they believed they would be a lifelong burden to the other; yet I can't imagine either of them believing it. Going back to the story, it's hard for me to imagine a girl who says you're right, I have nothing in this world to offer, but for a fleeting beauty -- a girl who lacks the drive to fight that she's somebody. But there's a lot in this story I do like: It may be an archaic societal criticism, but it's societal criticism, nonetheless. Now, without further ado, here's The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily.