Tag Archives: random editing

I don’t know how to do this

Rochelle’s play—The Miser—good stuff. A lot better than [play at school where I student-taught]. Some collegiate-level performances from M__ and others.

Saw Mr. P__ [who will be my principal next year]—he said I’ll have two physics, two physical science, and journalism—I’m excited by the idea of teaching journ., but I’m just not sure what I’ll do with them in the day-to-day. But then, I don’t really feel I know how to teach physics, either. I have now seen one model (my supervising teacher’s—I don’t consider what [a physics professor whose class I took] did to be even a workable model), but I don’t really think there’s a lot of value in the lecture method. As [someone] said, I want to inspire, to make science fun—or at least, let’s say, interesting and exciting—for these kids.

But I don’t know how to do this. I need to do some thinking and researching on this.

Idea: As the astronomy book I just got prompted  me to thinking about science—why is it that the universe is a certain level of complication, but it’s not extremely difficult nor extremely easy? It takes a few years of study, but the basic laws about the universe are understood, enough for humans to manipulate their environment, use rockets and lasers and stuff. Why is the Earth this complicated but no more/no less?

And yet, life goes on much as it has for the last 10K years, with or without knowledge of the universe.

Likewise, a psychological question: ability to learn—why is it what it is? Learning takes work, effort, but it’s not too hard to do. What is the transference of ideas? Why is it possible at all—and yet, since it is, why does it still take some effort—why can’t we read this once and have the material committed to memory? Some people have nearly photographic memory, so it’s possible—why not more widespread?

Every year is a vital year for reproduction for animals like birds. If they don’t reproduce every year, their species would soon die out. There performance is now. And this fact hasn’t changed with human arrival—from a year 30,000 years ago, to 1100 A.D. to 1902 to this year, animals are always on the edge of survival, needing to eat now and mate this year (thinking of birds here, etc.).

I was unmindful this week and got out of touch with my body—heart beating from adrenaline, tired, eating when not hungry and eating too much at meal time and eating crap food at other times. Doing work today got me back in touch with my body.

[From journal of Sat., 7 April 2001, Journal 30, page 86-7]

Pretty much an accident that your perceptions of the place matched the author’s description

Last day before Thanksgiving. A break will be good. It’s already 5;25, I for some reason read the Rock. Coll. magazine that came instead of starting to write but hey, no big deal. Now , after poopin’, it’s 5:45. Oh, well, here we go.

This story about a blue-collar guy who lived thriftily and donated $2.3 million to University of Great Falls. But what caught my eye was his avoidance of “putting on a show”—as opposed to all the grabs for attention out there now, you know, the cultural importance of attention. And I wondered if what he is indicating here is that he’s humble, … that he’s doing the donation entirely for his own personal reasons, not for publicity or external reasons at all.

Here’s the other article that caught my attention yesterday, both from Tues. [Chicago] Tribune. This guy, Meltzer, writes comic books, novels, and a TV show,” Jack & Bobby.” At first, the quote about if he writes about it, he’s been there—well, duh. I mean, yes, if you’re writing about a place that other people might also visit (that is, if you’re not just writing about a made-up or appropriated-from-real-life place), then, yes, you need to be there.

But the other side to that quote could be the editor is saying author really “evokes” the places he writes about. But all that means is that, after reading this, you go there and see for yourself, you can see what he’s writing about. But you’ve already read this description, and so that’s in your mind when you go there yourself, you know? You can’t have the experience fresh because you’ve already read it. And let’s say that you read about a place you’ve already been to. Well, then, it’s just pretty much an accident that your perceptions of the place matched the author’s description.

See, I think I wrote about this recently, how media perceptions are often so different– that is, the perception of a place I get from seeing the media representation is not the experience I have when I go to a place. I’m reminded of my Wash. D.C. trip in ’97 [as a reporter for an agriculture newspaper, with my trip paid for by a corn-growers group] and how White House was smaller than I thought it’d be, less impressive somehow. And how there’s that dissonance between your idea built from media and your perception of it right here.

It might have been funny if, instead of just an article about the topics, if I’d actually written about the process of lobbying. After all, that was sorta more unique than most media accounts—and, sh!t, that would’ve been much better than the dull-ass articles I did write. But within recent months I found and reread some writing I’d done that was about the press conference, how horrible it was and everything—pretty funny now. That would’ve been a better story. It was more-interesting material than yet another ethanol story, but there you go. I can’t imagine Warren actually publishing it—though I’d have to tone it down. Maybe he would’ve actually let me do a sidebar on the lobbying process. Oh, well.

[From journal of Weds., 24 Nov. 2004, Journal 40, page 34-8]

“I got enough earrings. I don’t even wear what I got.”

“I got enough earrings. I don’t even wear what I got,” said one of two old ladies, passing a jewelry store in Campus Hills mall [Normal, Illinois].

“Children! (snap) Over here where mommy is,” youngish mom with 2-3 kids, ditto location.

Do I have a compulsion to record, I asked myself, between recording and charting lottery numbers and scribbling overheard vocalizations—me, same spot.

(Gibberish)—a baby, stumbling alongside Ma, same spot.

(A conversation too soft to hear)– two young, 20-ish women.

I can’t get away with these that often. I’m not being that detailed, so these are only selections, and if they are selections, why include things with no data, other than cuteness, and that doesn’t last too often.

“Fine. I hear you’re the pick-up lady. Ann says you’re gonna pick them up,” said middle aged woman, in response to a “How are You?” from the older woman.

blah blah (?) file cabinet, like under Walmart (?) — one middle-aged woman to another

Slush, slush of a girl’s coat. Clock, clock of heels. Squish, squish of utility man’s footwear.

[From journal of 19 Nov. 1996, Journal 17, page 17]

All my blogging wouldn’t mean much to me once I get sick

I thought last night—in bed , maybe?—(I’ve been noticing lately how all the reasoning, all the words, go away at certain low-brain (brain-shutting-down?) times—as going to nap or to sleep, how images just pop to mind (R__—but I was thinking to myself before I saw whom it was, “some nutter”—is mowing lawn right now. My lawn could use to be mowed, too, but you don’t see me doing it now. Grass is probably still too wet)—or how, when I’m exhausted from being sick, I don’t really have any interesting thoughts then. I think I’ve said before that it’s a little remarkable that the whole intellectual realm, all the ideas and philosophy and science and literary, etc.—all of that matters to (and is accessible to) only those who feel well, who aren’t sick. All my blogging wouldn’t mean much to me once I get sick.

[From journal of Sat., 23 July 2016, Journal 232, page 32]

M was filling out a questionnaire this morning.

2:24 p.m. Borders in DeKalb. …

M was filling out a questionnaire this morning. Here’s some things she wrote: (Paul Simon greatest hits on speakers)(she volunteered this sheet for me to look at, and she told me these answers, too)

Describe your spouse’s personality: introverted, fun-loving, talkative one-on-one, honest, intellectually inquisitive, thoughtful

What do you like most about your spouse? Incredibly supportive, calm and stable, funny, tolerant, ability to communicate

What do you like least about your spouse? Critical of others (not usually me), messy

… Other questions on this questionnaire—useful for character sketches? Name, address, phone, age, occupation, sex, date of birth, place of birth, religion, height, weight, does your weight fluctuate, if so by how much

Marital status: single, engaged, married, separated, divorced, widowed, living with someone, __ remarried: how many times?

With whom do you life?

What work are you doing now? Does your work satisfy you? Jobs in the past?

[From journal of Thurs., 2 August 2007, Journal 88, page 53]

Wherever you actually are might have no name at all

OK, so, this “Black River Falls, Wisconsin” I saw this morning on the highway, as I passed it—Black River Falls is the name of a place, as as compared to other places, like Rockford, Ill., or Chicago, or Iowa, etc. A name is a kind of a placeholder—it labels what it refers to but words are placeholders—any words, all words (my server was “Howard,” says the ticket he brought—17.48, too much to give a good tip with the 20$ M gave me, which is my only cash. M heard me counting change and said she had cash and I said she’s fancy ‘cuz she has lightweight money.)

I got the oils changed, I told M is what I was gonna do. An oil change vs. oils changed—though it’s only the one kind of oil. But what plurals mean with liquid substances is tricky/unclear, anyway.

“Black River Falls”—it’s a sentence, actually, and it’s probably merely descriptive—that’s the town at the falls on the Black River. But, and this gets to my point in “Big Things Photographed from Inches Away” post about what names actually refer to, “BRF” refers to the town, the area, the government—an abstraction, in other words.

Wherever you actually are might have no name at all. This is the idea that came while I drove. Do I really mean it—in what way? (My __ card was declined—oops. Let’s try [a second card]—damn. I hate to make dude run a 3rd—I do still have the cash—OK, the [second] card worked. I gave a $4 tip on the $17.48. May soon need to poop. But go to get car, then Woodman’s, then home, and write more or nap. I’m not sure why I felt I needed to come up here on 1st Saturday of school year—eh—to get the oils change done, I guess.)

I’m not even quite sure what this means, but the image is this: that if I’m sitting in grass at a park, or a yard, or along a side of road—or when I’m at a particular place in a building, in an auditorium, in my classroom—there’s no way to locate these places—? Now that’s kinda like, you know, not true—on the earth, you can be located by G.P.S. coordinates, or my measurements (23 feet south of the light pole) or by further names (classroom A106, seat 353).

So what am I talking about? Well …

[From journal of Sat., 20 August 2016, Journal 233, page 152-3]

They had to be careful—they were writing for publication

Kitty just sorta stood on back paws to swat at dog, and left, and came back to attack dog’s tail. Dog paid little attention.

How loose were these words over time—shapes changed, etc., but we’ve got pretty specific spellings, etc., nowadays.

And the sports scores in Rockford Register Star—say, lately, the results of NCAA tourney—see, I don’t —they’re so much data to me, since I don’t follow the teams or, now without TV, I’m not even aware they’re happening—not that I attended much to these things—boys basketball—I’ve used a couple times lately the line that “I stopped paying attention to basketball when they took down the cage and disallowed body checking”—maybe not exactly that wording—”disallowed”?—but that brings up a couple things—one, how much more paper I fill than a medieval scribe would have filled—but then, they had to be careful—they were writing for publication (now that I’ve got this great hand-made book, I’d like to make it into some fancy illuminated book—maybe a “Sayings” edit).

Sh!t, I’m tired. I could close my eyes right now—not buying new things—#2, back above—how nimbly my brain can deal with sounds & letters & words—and can even take these lower-level symbolic/representational things somewhat for granted (though I have spend time sounding out the consonant sounds, etc.—I’ve been aware of the sound similarities between how our tongues make “T” & “D”—I learned that somewhat, partly, not fully though, on my own.)

Sarah Palin’s 40-something and more ambitious than I am. Romney’s aide’s Etch-a-Sketch comment—that he can erase all his extremist positions once the general election begins—has been widely mocked by the online mocking/cleverness classes.

[From journal of Sat., 24 March 2012, from Journal 158, page 18-9]