Thursday, May 21, 2009

dilettantes of a single domain

They've rehearsed their script. They're ready to record. The microphone is plugged in. MovieMaker is open.

They're staring at the screen. They're immobile, the entire group.

I walk over and inquire about their statue-esque manner.

They respond in unison, chanting, as if they've been in front of this altar before:
It's not working. It's not our fault.
They tell me they plugged in the microphone and nothing happened. I want to stop right here. I want them to repeat themselves, but with passion and conviction. Instead, I direct their attention to the icon bar at the bottom of the screen:

They're staring at the screen. They're immobile, the entire group.

I ask:
Which one?
They're staring at the screen. They're immobile, the entire group.

And this is where I tell you that they are not tech savvy. They are not light-years ahead of us. There is no techno-gap that separates them from anyone in my demographic. They don't know more, and even more apparent to me is the fact they don't do more with technology.

The class is bound in an 87 minute capsule. Time is ticking, and I point to the clock. Then, I direct them to look at the microphone.

And one of them asks:
But what happens if we press it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

expiration dates

Perused the 'draft' section of my yet-to-be published post list. Some of the titles have some meat beneath them; others, boneless and skinless.

Are any of the following titles post-worthy?
  • twitter is stupid
  • drawn & daughtered
  • even nicholas biddle's on FB
  • all warped up
  • too much info makes a bad pizza
  • take that, olweus
  • worried about thursday
  • look ma, no 'no'
  • a bit on the hi-fi receiver
  • fast nickels, slow death
  • 12oz confidence builder
  • words, unutterable
  • full-frontal lighting
  • speaking through purgatory
  • how to poop during a crisis
  • do you see yellow?
  • student up
  • meals for a hypocrite
  • the 5th trimester
There's a part of me that wants to tend to all 19, because, if left unfinished, then 19 more thoughts/ruminations/opinions have been left unfulfilled.

But if I go back and complete these would-be posts, then I feel fraudulent; as if my own thoughts no longer qualify as original or my own.

A blog is a terrible, wonderful thing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

extracting quotes, like a witch

I found this article on CNN interesting and, this quote, shockingly accurate:
"One day, I took a broom to hit him and he started crying. Then I knew he was possessed by demons. ... Nigerian witches are terrified of brooms."
At first, I thought:
No brainer. He saw you brandish a broom and come at him. No wonder he cried. But making the jump to 'he's a witch' seemed absurd. Until I realized:
  • When I was eight, my mother came at me with a spatula, and when I screamed, 'Aunt Jemimah!', my mother was convinced that I had been a ruffed grouse in a previous life.
  • At my Bar Mitzvah, I inadvertently burped halfway through my torah portion. My uncle lept from his seat and cried out, "Unicorn!" Everyone kept their eyes rooted on me, but no one saw that there really was a unicorn walking in the back of the sanctuary. A pretty, beautiful unicorn.
  • As the principal handed me my high school diploma, I dropped it on the dais. As I kneeled down to pick it up, the assistant principal bellowed out on the microphone, "He's a C student!" This one, I have to admit, has followed me ever since.
  • I cried when I first saw 'Titanic'. No one talked to me for three months.

Friday, May 15, 2009

short haircuts

We hold the door open because the man is in the process of leaving, and we are in the midst of entering.

He's probably my age. I've been spending a lot of time recently Price-Is-Righting my way around everything. I'll best-guess that guy's income, how many boyfriends she's had, his accumulated frequent-flyer miles, and any other quantifiable spec of personal data that I know I'll never know, but take pleasure in the best-guess gymnastics of it all.

The man says 'thanks', and then he continues, addressing my two sons, as if this tiny interior-exterior switcheroo at the precipice of the Hair Cuttery is cause for conversation:
Are you two going to get your hair cut? Be careful not to get it cut too short, I mean, I know our mommy is going to be a bit upset with our hair cuts. Right Sammy?
We hold the door open because the man is in the process of leaving. And his son, Sammy, sitting in his motorized wheel chair is right behind him. And there's no mistaking his breathing tube, or his slightly askew facial features.

Sammy smiles and uses the joystick on the right arm rest to move the wheel chair toward the door. He's what? No more than six. And he, like his father, wants to talk:
I like my haircut. I bet their mommy will like their haircuts no matter what. Right daddy?
And I know that he's talking to his father, but I'm certain that he's asking me something.

As Sammy starts moving toward the door, my youngest son, Brian, steps in front, blocking the path, and asks:
What's he doing?
Brian's asking more than he can articulate, but I answer literally:
He's leaving, and he can't do that with you standing in his way.
And as if Beckett penned the denouement:
Sammy: Bye.

Brian: Bye.

Sammy (to his father): I like those boys.

Brian (to his father): I like that boy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

yearbook quotes mean something?

Instead of this one, how about:
When we make our teaching transparent, we become accountable.
It's slightly more profound than my quote (circa 1989):
Could be worse, could be raining.
Or maybe there's no difference whatsoever.