What is there to learn? March notes


Pock-marked ditch snow. Headed east on Holcomb Road, just east of White Rock road, Ogle Co., Illinois. 8 March 2021.

∴ Can melting snow look good? It’s pocked, dirty, with tar chunks in it in my neighborhood. It’s not the smooth and sculptural texture I like. And yet, there’s a challenge to me to find beauty or at least cool images in melting subsiding snow. (10 p.m. As I took old-snow pics this evening, I realized I had done similar pictures before.) [29 Feb. 2021]

∴ The clock keeps moving, across the calendar days, the calendar chart of daily highs I copied into journal from photo of TV screen this morn. It’s weird to think I lived each day, yet each day went like today does, the hours seeming to pass quickly. [1 March 2021]

∴ Dreams can be random and surreal but it’s interesting how often they are narrative, at least within a scene. I kinda understood the logic of what was going on in dream scene I described in journal this morning. [1 March]


COVID-era advice on high school flooring. 2 March 2021.

∴ A student in creative writing wrote something that reminded me of The Matrix‘s “brains in vats” example, a familiar example in philosophy. I can use these familiar examples as tools to classify ideas — and hope to find unclassifiable ones! [3 March]

∴ A colleague called me an “autodidact.” Maybe a higher-level autodidact question is: What is there to learn? What can be learned — what can be considered? Autodidacticism leads to epistemology? Maybe, but my point might be that my auto-learning might have led me to my questioning mind and my philosophical orientation/inclination. [5 March]

∴ I see my house and street and neighborhood differently on weekdays from on weekends — the symbolic meaning depends on my mood or mode (whether I have to go to work or not). [5 March]

∴ Nomadic lifestyle vs. settled/agriculture lifestyle: Settlers tell (sorta) the land want to do. Nomads respond to what the land does. They go where the drought isn’t (maybe). But farmers control what the land grows — and some of the land is declared dumping grounds, etc. [8 March]

∴ A student notes that the R. Carver story “Popular Mechanics” uses only pronouns, no names. This reminds me of what I wrote in school journal this morning: that there’s a label on today (the date), but not using a label might help me attend to today as the only day — lack of labels makes the description feel closer (more real?) [8 March]

∴ It’s banal to write, but a huge factor as one lives is societal pressure — and job pressure. (It’s easy to forget about this when thinking of historical figures’ lives.) [10 March]


A pandemic year’s worth of journals. 13 March 2021.

∴ I made my way through college — “got my paper and I was free” — and I found my passion, my calling, in and through writing. I didn’t know what project I would want to do, but I found it thru the process! I didn’t go to some top school or follow some particular curriculum all that closely — I didn’t need to. It’s almost magical — the benefits of trusting my process! [10 March]

∴ I don’t expect there will be any life’s milestone when I will feel great relief. I mean, retirement, maybe, but it’s OK that I don’t feel that relief or accomplishment. Living each day is the point. [12 March]

∴ Why should people — individuals, non-business types — have to advocate for actions to counter climate change? It’s the companies selling things, externalizing pollution, that caused this. It should be their push to clean up. Or, at least, some other biz interests (like insurers?) should shame the carbon-sellers. [17 March]

∴ Writing from within various moods — a strength, not a weakness. I suspect there is this feeling that, this sense that,  narrators of news articles, op-eds, even poetry and fiction — most published forms — want to be seen as voices of authority, rather than voices of particularity, peculiarity, and/or vulnerability. [17-18 March]


Birds at March’s end. 31 March 2021.

∴ March: It takes a whole month to go from snow-ground to grass-ground. [30 March]

∴ 3:20 p.m. With 5 minutes before I can leave school for the day, I want to sit here, logged off (instead of looking at an online list of best records by women, as I did yesterday before leaving) and just talk about how I’m tired of sitting for most of the time between 7:45 and 3-something. I did some grading today — also got sick of doing it. And that’s OK, frankly. It’s OK. It’s just a work day. I’m headed out soon. It’s 3:24. [31 March]

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