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Lately, it’s been hard for me to write. As soon as I “put pen to paper,” I look at what I’ve written and immediately think that it isn’t good enough. It’s driving me crazy. Does anyone else have that problem? No, that’s not a rhetorical question (I really am asking people that question). Amusing as that may seem, it has seriously hindered me from putting my thoughts down on paper, in this blog. But, today, I’m just going to write. I won’t edit myself. That’s funny, isn’t it! It all comes down to balance. To balance one’s life, to balance one’s learning, and to appreciate the meaning of balance is one of the important lessons to learn.

ray of light

Ray of light, shining over and through the mountains.

When I visualize my own thought processes, I see things as rays of light, shining brightly, and shining through the tops of things. Because light shines over the top of a landscape, the natural balance of nature inspires us to learn, to learn lessons, and to become a path to that which we seek.

Just like a college student studying for a test, I find myself analyzing everything these days. Whether I’m sitting on a bench watching people walk by, or sitting at my computer composing something interesting and thoughtful, I cannot seem to make a move without analysis (akin to a professor getting ready to teach an educational student). Is it no wonder that most college textbooks nowadays are about analysis? If I were to place books into various categories, the six most important categories I can think of are as follows:

  • Educational Materials (textbooks and college books).
  • Literature (stories and writings).
  • Entertainment (magazine-style books and fiction).
  • Thought and Inspirational Books (religious materials and scripture).
  • Reference Books (dictionaries, formula books, and charts).
  • Compendiums (big textbooks of lists and facts all gathered together).

Here is some background on the point I am trying to make. In one town, I know of a company that processes a great deal of books (mostly college textbooks). A lot of sorting goes on in that facility. When college and university students are finished with their books, they might try to find someone that wants to buy the ones they don’t want. In the olden days, people going to college would likely buy their books from the college’s bookstore, and then when they are through with the books, they’d sell them back to their bookstore. Nowadays, lots of students go to reputable places to purchase media like this one to buy their books, and then when they want to get money for the materials they’ve used, particularly college books, they would sell textbooks to an online book buyer (i.e. “textbook sales”). On the face of it, one may think those companies simply process books without much ado. However, quite a bit of sorting, classification, and grouping of books must take place. A textbook selling company may have books grouped as to their classification (using the aforementioned list, for example), and a book-buying company will have their buying lists sorted by author, title, or ISBN number. The point is, analysis and conceptualization comes into the picture. For an end result (in this case, a buying and selling transaction) to take place, there must be some organization. Whether the organizing be done via collating materials, or classifying documents as to their function, analysis is still being used! A college student that buys a book, studies it, and then sells it at a later time has assimilated the information, and then moves on to the next area of study (or information gathering).

So, when I begin to find myself analyzing a topic, I think of those students, those books, and reading materials being gathered and classified so that an optimum level of study takes place. Only then can I consider myself to be a student of life, and a perpetual learner. Gathering my notes, my thoughts, and my faculties, I move from step-to-step, carrying the knowledge I have previously gained into the next field I venture into. Whether I learn from a college textbook, or a professor, the end result is always the same: facts are things to be learned, known, and assimilated.

Some of our earliest memories center around books. Maybe when we were little, we were snuggled up in the lap of a grandparent or parent while they read our favorite book to us. What a comforting thought!  Maybe instead the memory is that of being home from school sick in bed and having a family member console you with some favorite story of a favorite hero or perhaps it was a never heard before mystery or adventure. Sometimes, you can close your eyes and think of those book’s words and almost see and feel those memories evoked by the stories in the books read by a beloved one. How much enjoyment there used to be when it was story time at school. Nothing sparks the flame of imagination like hearing or reading books. The length of the book need not matter; once we have the seed of a story in our minds, the image may grow and linger for any length of time and these thoughts give us instant remembrances of something special.

These first experiences of hearing and reading are the foundation for our future understanding of more important and complex information which life will soon bring. These foundations from books will allow us to be able to absorb any interesting topic which we choose to seek in books of any of the variety we find interest. What might be a childish curiosity at a young age could be the beginnings of a life’s career in something like entomology or oceanography.

Through books, we have the ability to be or become anybody we might choose to be (if only in our temporary vacations of our minds). No matter where we live, our circumstances or our limitations, we have a side – trip or an escape from these confines through many a fantastic book. (No matter if you will never travel the world.) Through texts, you will still be able to “see” and “know” these different places. In many respects, I should think you would better see and understand some of the aspects of other places through books as opposed to actually going there. At a moment’s searching through a book, you will gain access to the sought interesting facts you would like to know in comparison to trying to go to this far away place and spend much time and resources to perhaps not capture the “thing” you would like to gain from the lengthy endeavor. I am very interested as to what life was like three hundred years ago, but I have no desire to not have a skilled surgeon on hand if I need one and have grown fond of other things paper is made of besides only books. Therefore, through reading books of or from history, I may gain enough of an idea of what it was like to satisfy my curiosity.

There are other places we cannot go, besides back into history, unless we use the gift of books. We are a bit too large to explore the intricate workings within a human body. We just cannot quite squeeze through those arteries or fit into the space of a cell without the aide of books and our imaginations. The last I checked, there are no tours available to the oceans’ depths or into deep space either. There are so many sources to purchase books as well, but my favorite is online purchasing. Whether they be just for enjoyment type books such as novels or fantasy, mystery or adventure or if what you are wanting is higher education type books, by going online within just a few minutes you can locate and compare books and make your purchases and those books are conveniently delivered directly to you. Visiting actual brick-and-mortar style bookstores may also be as enjoyable. Each person has their own preferences.

Many of these books you may choose to purchase in used condition, whether it be because once you have finished reading them, you would like to resale these same books online or because many of these used books are in fact almost like brand new books. Some of these books, (maybe all of your books) you may prefer as new books. Still this same easy to search and find and purchase of these books online seems a great choice as opposed to driving around town looking for what you want. Even though they are encouraging the trend to electronically access books, this is an unsavory trend, in my opinion. I want a book where I am able to “tag” important information I will re-look to later or will want to remember. I want the ability to hang onto certain books possibly for many years. With downloaded information, how long do we hang onto information? And, is it as memorable as when we have access to these books sitting on their designated shelf space? Some information will go out – of – date, but this does not make it totally void of all use. In many instances, to better understand why some events unfolded in history the way that they did, you HAVE to look back through books of that era to gain the insight and understanding of the circumstances which allowed those events in that way to occur. If you “literally” speaking sanitize and erase through omission of accurately recorded accounts then never will you be able to have clear insight to the why’s, where’s and how’s of history. Certain events occurred in the past, which are as accurately as was possible recorded in historical books. These acts may be ugly and unimaginable to most of us nowadays, but it is imperative that we see what people in the past thought to be “truth” of “acceptable”. Some of those ideas and practices may make us chuckle while other thoughts and acts make us cringe and gasp, but there is so much history and information we need to retain in the light of how past books were viewed and penned. If you take away the looking glass (prism glass perhaps) or magnifying glass and instead replace it with a flat, sterile modern eyepiece, you erase important details and depths of our possible vision. There are so many books that once they go out of print are lost forever. This in some instances is such a terrible loss. When you “modernize” old language, you may lose much of the flavor and zest, which was contained in the old script (the “books of old”). How have you the ability to know the volume of difference? Things like slavery happened and were viewed from different perspectives. Those points of view were expressed and even if they were expressed as if they were “good” or whatever and we now see them as not so good, by us reading of them now will not have us think them any less different than what we now see them to be with all the since – then – gained understanding and knowledge.

Books are of such great value that many are used to enrich the lives and minds of all. No matter how sparse or great your time and appetite to read books is, no single moment of reading a book is ever considered a waste. When we invest the time and energy into reading books of any variety, that information is woven into our thoughts and will in some fashion be reutilized somewhere down the road. Even when we read a book which we think we are not gaining from, many times if, say there are words or viewpoints which we do not know the meaning of or relate to, when we are further along in life or reading these books the understanding will finally more fully emerge and be recognized and seen in our thoughts as being of importance. You have to allow all of these different directions of sight in order (eventually) for them to merge together in order to have a more complete perspective of all of the similar and conflicting details. Books may allow us the freedom to explore and expand focus and hone – in on whatever area of information we choose to direct ourselves to learn about. With the use of books, we have the resources and ability to compare information to strengthen or weaken our convictions as to what we believe we know. Maybe we use these books to improve on how we do certain tasks or comprehend how scientists comes to certain conclusions about how octopi are intelligent.

Without books to skim through or absorb, much of our learning would be boring and made flat. Books may be read for several hours at a time or for only brief minutes, then retrieved and read for a few more scant moments through out a day or week or whatever. They are able to be referenced later and to allow us to share with other people who may have similar interests or need of specific information.

Throughout time and history, education has always been held as one of the most high value of all things considered valuable. Several centuries ago, education was once only available to royalty and the priests, no matter what the culture around the world, so far as I have understood it to have been. How amazing that we now have, at our own choice and willpower, this great gift of immense value to learn things! Students not only have a choice to educate themselves when they get older, but our great nation (realizing what great power comes with education) declared all children have a right to access a great deal of knowledge! I decided to create an image honoring the sentiment I have about education, mind, and unity.

education and unity

If you wish to examine the aspects of this image, the earth, the land, the golden rays of knowledge, and introspectively assume an inward (and contemplative) focus while considering the impact education has on one’s life, then perhaps we can unite our feelings of knowledge together.

Anyone do this? You see a movie (a super great hit, or a nominee for a prize) and you absolutely love it! Then, you decide to read a boo, and it happens to be the book the movie is based on? Well, I did this last week. Now, some people have different opinions, but me, I LOVED doing this! It was like seeing an excellent movie, twice! (Or, reading an excellent book twice.) I’m not going to say the name of the movie that I saw (I’ll keep the media that I read or watch to myself for now), but I have to say that for me it was an incredible experience.

This experience has impacted me so much that today, a week later, I still can feel the “vibe” of that movie and the book. Remember my earlier post about “emotional impact” and how reading different things can cause various thoughts and emotions to arise, e.g. joy, peace, sentimient, etc., and I pointed out the difference between reading words on a sign compared to reading words in a story. My next question or topic may be on whether the written word has double the emotional impact if along with reading those words, a person watches something visual, like a movie. So by watching a movie and reading its corresponding book, is the emotional impact doubled? This dovetails nicely with a new idea I have been thinking about which I might want to discuss later. The idea is about reinforcing the learning of an idea, topic, or subject by reading AND watching. The concurrent stimulation of our senses using simultaneous stimulation of the learning centers in our brain.

Learning can occur in many different ways. If you want to try an experiment, how about this. The next time you watch a movie and read the text which matches the storyline, consider whether you learn more, less, or the same as if you had only done one or the other. Of course, the script may or may not correspond to the filming of the material, but that is up to you to decide.

Sharing a picture

I wanted to share this picture with my readers. It makes me think of heaven, of positive thoughts, and a swirl of all-things good, happy, and full of bliss. If you look at it, and like it, and it also makes you happy, you are welcome to look at it as much as you want. Here it is:

positive thinking

A swirl of sublime and positive thoughts.

Happy New Year! I just went online and looked at what the opening dates are for many academic institutions, various colleges, and a number of universities. Some of them open this week. For example, the University of California at Riverside begins their quarter on January 2, 2013, and the University of Chicago begins on January 7, 2013. I believe the beginning of quarters and semesters usually depend on how many days there are for classes, as well as how early (or late) classes finished before the holiday season. I find it very interesting that multitudes of students will be sitting in class, with an attentive attitude, learning lots of things within the next few days!

Today, however, is New Year’s day, and almost everything around here is closed, or open for a short while. I respect and admire all those that are working today. I wonder if my readers share my sentiment when I mention that when everything is closed, it is kind of ghostly and unnervingly quiet. I kind of like it when things are open, when there is a lot of activity. Just the other day, I told someone how there are two similar shopping stores right next to each other; one is always bright, busy and full of activity, but the other one is quiet, lonely, and they even have some of the lights turned off. My very favorite shopping mall of all times was one I visited nearly 30 years ago, which actually had carpet! A carpeted mall! Every shop was interesting; there was a pretzel shop, a store that sold various teas, many candy shops, and lots of really bright, fun, and busy department stores. Nowadays, that same mall has all of the carpet removed, many of the stores I used to go to are closed, there is no tea store, and the candy shops moved across the street. I don’t visit that mall any more. Maybe my attitude has remained the same, and even though malls without carpet are awesome, I still like malls with carpet. With the right attitude, no matter where I am at, or what I am doing, everything seems bright. Whether I am learning or shopping, or simply celebrating New Year’s Day, I’m happy.

learning and shopping and studying

What’s the point of the preceding paragraph? Liveliness, perhaps? Or, learning to be lively in spite of signs and pointers at things that are on the quiet side? No matter where we are, or what we do (or when we are doing what we’re doing), we can focus on ourselves, and be true to the joy of our own spirit. If one is in a mall with no carpet, or a brightly lit carpeted shop, there is always some sort of joy to be found. For me, thinking about all the institutions of higher education opening up for spring quarter (or the continuation of winter semester, or whatever you want to call it), brings a lot of gratitude and peace to my mind. Within a day, or a few days, college and university students everywhere will be learning all kinds of new things, reading awesome textbooks and learning various topics from their knowledgeable professors and instructors. The future, indeed, seems really great.

Resumes and College

About an hour ago, someone asked me to keep an eye out for a couple books that they needed. I said, “sure, give me the ISBN numbers.” When I got to the computer and looked them up, I see that although they are like “textbooks,” they are more like study books. What is the subject matter? Job hunting and how to write resumes. I thought that books on this subject are a wonderful idea. Students who are looking for work, to get that first job, looking to get hired may not have any idea what employers are looking for. And, a good place to start learning about those kinds of things are from books! (Notice the title of this blog is Books… and Learned Things.)

I would think most of us can figure out that an employer wants basic qualities, such as being on time, being prompt, polite, courteous, etc., but I would think that if your resume just says you are good at being on time, there may be the possibility that others’ resumes might, uh, ‘beat out’ your resume. So what do you put on one? How do you portray yourself? Well, guess what. I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. I, myself, would have to find out. How would I find out? I’d probably go to a library (either like a big library that I wrote about on this blog, or a local one) or bookstore or bookshop and read some books on how to job hunt, and how to write a good resume.

My goodness time flies. I’m a perfectionist and I could have written more, but I spent most of my time correcting the grammar in this post. Do you all have that same tendency?

Sell and help.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do in regards to this blog is coming up with a title for this post because it is about helping (and selling, too)! It would have been easier if I had my act together and got this post up before Christmas, but in hindsight, maybe it’s best that I’m a day late. How can we help others? What can we do to help those in need of help? In the holiday spirit, it’s really a nice thing to be able to do something for others when we are able to. If you have money to spare, maybe just a little cash, isn’t it a great time of year to be able to give something to those that are needy?

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned that in hindsight, this post is okay that it is a day late. My logic is as follows: those that wanted to help others, that wanted to give a little money to others may have already done so (e.g. Christmas gifts, coin donations to those that cheerfully ring that bell in front of stores, donation boxes, etc.). So what about all those folks that want to give, but don’t think they have anything to give? I’ve always felt that just to smile at someone, to let them know you care, to lend an ear and listen to someone’s story, to share one’s joy and peace with others is a really nice gift in itself. On the other hand, there are those that could really use some money, and there are many people who think or feel they don’t have any money to give, and they might even feel bad that they didn’t donate any money. I don’t think a person should feel bad if they don’t have money to give. In fact, maybe it’s not really the best thing to do to give away money that you really need yourself. Therefore, I’m not talking about that; I’m talking about extra dollars; cash you won’t miss. Again, though, what if you don’t have extra money laying around? So, this morning, I let my “wheels turn” and lots of good thoughts and ideas came up (forgetful me — I’m sure some of those ideas I forgot already, hence the importance of getting them down on ‘paper’).

First of all, it is likely that you have a person, a charity, or a company in mind that you’d like to give to. If you don’t have a charity in mind, you can always search on the net for some worthy causes. (I like to visit a place like the better business bureau at bbb.org to check out the charity, so as to help me make decisions about donations). Or maybe you know a friend or neighbor, or a friend of a friend in need that can use some food or money. After you have someone in mind that you want to give a donation to, then you may wish to decide what you have to spare, whether it’s money, food, or whatever. I wouldn’t be to quick to immediately decide you don’t have any money to give. My readers might be thinking “No way, I don’t have a spare penny to give.” And, that’s fine, maybe it’s best that you don’t give any money. But I said not to be too quick to immediately decide about that. What do I mean? Well lately I’ve become aware of how many things (things = stuff, unused items, junk laying around, non-junk laying around, miscellaneous items boxed up in storage somewhere) that can actually be sold! For example, let’s say you are a college student. Now, granted, one may hear the phrase “broke college student” from time to time. I always chuckle to myself when I hear that because it’s such a generalization. Some college students are rich, some are successful, some are loaded with cash. At the same time, there are some students who simply don’t have any money, but they wish they had money to give. All their money has gone towards tuition, living expenses, educational materials, housing, and other university-type expenses. However, consider this: they may have un-needed or unwanted assets. Like what? How about textbooks! The college graduate or enrollee may have books laying around that they don’t need any more that they could sell for some money, and then voila, they now have some money to give. Another example may be someone that is an avid reader who has a huge collection of books, novels, and storybooks, but throughout their life or career, they may have accumulated too many that they  might not even read again, or don’t ever use any more, and they could… you guessed it… sell those items at a flea market or a used bookshop. Okay back to the college student who might have lots of books they aren’t using. Where can they convert those books into money? Well, they can take them to their bookstore if their bookstore is doing a book buyback, or they can find a web site to sell textbooks to (www.buystextbooks.com is a good example, they’ll buy almost any current edition textbook) and sell their books, get some money, and now they have some money they could donate.

Of course, that’s just one really good example of how to possibly get some cash for stuff that’s just laying around, and using that example, a person can probably think of a dozen other ways to get money. Another example (this is really cool) is that many people (maybe even most people?) collect one thing or another. Some collect cards, baseball cards, old fashioned toys, and things like that. With the advent of internet, auction style websites, and the like, a person wanting to help others by giving them money can sell things they don’t need online. A person doesn’t have to be a college student to sell items, although someone in college might have time to do this: they could be a craftsman or craftsperson, and make handmade items. Let’s say you are good at making boxes, or ornaments, or really classy hand-made gift items. There’s an excellent websites where a person can sell their crafts and make money to give to those in need.

Note: while writing this post, someone just told me they knew someone that raises money for charities buy buying used books from library sales, and then going online and selling those books and using the proceeds to give to others. I’ll have to look into this further but on the spur of the moment, this website looked pretty interesting and cool: http://www.booksale.org. Now, that’s a library book place in New York, I’m sure there are other similar places in your town.

Anyway, in conclusion (yes, I am rambling on), my point is that there are so many ways to help others. You, the reader, have to decide on your own how much you are able to help others, if you are able to help others, and use your own best judgement to make these decisions. If you truly are unable to give to those more in need, a really friendly smile or a gesture of positivity is often a welcome offer of kindness. I once heard someone say that if you walk past or drive past a homeless person on the street that is holding a sign that they need money and you don’t have any money to give to them (or don’t want to give them any money), it’s really nice to not ignore them (for whatever reason), and to at least smile at them and acknowledge them as fellow human beings. We are all part and parcel of the universe, and creation.

Joy, peace and all of the happiness of the holidays to all.

Here is just a quick note to wish all my readers a really happy holiday season. As far as education goes, I’m going to educate myself in the art of properly wrapping some Christmas presents. I’m going to read up on whether it’s proper to affix a bow to all presents, or only some of them. Should gifts be randomly ‘bowed’ or should only the best ones receive a bow? I almost giftwrapped a book without putting it into a box, but I realized that like the proverbial box of chocolate candies, the recipient is going to know what it is based on the size and weight even though it’s wrapped. So, into a box it goes!

May everyone in the world experience all the joy and peace in the entire world.

Merry Christmas 2012!

Normally when I study, I will read through the subject matter from front to back. I’ll start from the front page, work my way through to the end of the book, and call it good. Recently, however, I started studying “backwards” from the back of the textbook to the front. It feels like that does something to my brain/mind in a tactile way. Probably like when people force themselves to handwrite using the non-dominant hand. Like exercising a usually-non-exercised portion of your study patterns.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that anyone studies this way, but for me, for some reason, it actually feels good, and allows me to internalize whatever data I am trying to get my head around.

Here are a few of my study methods. They may be ones you already use, and they may not be ones that you use. You have to make your own choices, so please don’t take these as any kind of “recommendation” or suggestion. This is a list I’ve made, just for fun:

  • Reading from back to front.
  • Studying from the beginning to the end.
  • Studying a book from the middle to the front, and then from the middle to the back.
  • Reading from beginning, to the back; then repeating the reading and study from the back all the way to the beginning (like mowing a lawn diagonally, then diagonally again the other way).
  • Imagining myself studying, while I’m actually studying.
  • Taking notes while doing any of the aforementioned 5 steps.

And, there you have it. My various methods of studying things. In a previous post, I went into some details about libraries, in particular, a library in France called the “Bibliotheque de L’Arsenal.” Locally, right here in the United States, we have a number of libraries that are as large, or even larger. If I were to go into one of those libraries and start studying microfilms, literary works, or whatever, I would probably use one of those study methods. For me, the most important way to study is to be sure to actually learn what it is that I am reading about. Then, when I feel I have a tangible grasp on the material, I can say that I’m done studying! Readers — you saw I just now said “tangible” grasp. By ‘tangible’ I mean when I’ve learned something, it has a certain tactile feel to it. Read on:

Tangible Feel To Learning:

I made a little headline right there, “tangible feel…” because have you ever asked somebody a technical question (e.g. “What is the 4th planet in the solar system?”) and you get a vague answer (e.g. “Well, there are quite a few planets, it depends…”). Obviously, they have no clue. They DON’T have a tangible grasp on the topic. But when you do have a full grasp, you can answer with authority (“Mars!”). Did that make sense? Hopefully I explained this in a sensible way. Anyway, I’m about half-way through my study of latin literature, so I’m done writing for the night! Good night!

A big big library

Anybody heard of the “Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal”? I did, when I was about 8 years old. I remember thinking magic and spells and things were really cool and I read somewhere that locked up in this giant mysterious library all the way over in France were actual manuscripts from ancient magicians and sorcerers. I really wanted to visit that library. In my imagination, it was made out of brick, and was filled with archives upon archives of books, literature, maybe even writings from Solomon himself.

Well, just the other day, I remembered the name of the library (I even remembered how to spell it) and I searched on the web for it and found it! Here’s their website, again, if you don’t want to search for it like I did, just click here: Bibliotheque de l’Arsenal. On the front page of the site is a cool looking mysterious room, except it’s not ‘mysterious’ as I would have imagined when I was 8, but mysterious because the whole website is in French and I don’t know the language. Um, where are all the books and manuscripts? I dunno. I’m really not so interested in reading books about magic, sorcery, talismans, and things like that any more. Of course, if someone has some stories to tell, or if you’ve actually visited that big big library, do post your comments. I’d like to know if you have been there, have found anything interesting, whether they use the dewey decimal system like we do, etc., and whether the key of Solomon is buried somewhere among the stacks of parchments.

The front of that library (photo taken from the outside) looks kinda smaller than I would imagine it to be. Maybe one day I’ll actually visit it in person. I found the address at the UK National Archives (here) at 1 “rue de sully” street. So maybe it’s as big as a street. But then, if I visit, I wonder if they would actually let me paw through all their texts and volumes. Probably not.

Oh how I wish I was 8 again 🙂

Balancing time

Some days, doesn’t it seem like there is this thing called “space” on one end of a stick and “time” on another end, and all we’re doing is balancing the two? See, we have to get from one place (point ‘a’) to another place (point ‘b’) in a certain amount of time. Others rely on that! Someone expects us to be at a certain place at a certain time, or, we, ourselves, expect to be somewhere, at a certain place, at a certain time. Well, the title of this blog refers to “Learned Things” (that’s Learn-ed, two syllables, in case you’re asking…), so you’re probably wondering, what’s so learned about balancing time and space? Read on!

Consider this scenario: what if you never had to be on-time for anything. You sat on a park bench all day long reading a book, feeding birds. Nighttime approaches, but you really don’t have to be anywhere, or even go home to your bed to sleep. Isn’t that the ultimate in timelessness? Normally, we keep track of where we have to be. Right now you are reading this blog. You know you have a few minutes left before you have something else to do, so you continue reading. If someone asks if you are busy, you probably say “Oh, well I’m reading, I’ll be there in a few minutes,” or something to that effect. Again, limitations of time and space. What I’m trying to get at is what happens if you don’t have to be anywhere, at any time. Now, saying “Well I have all day” doesn’t count, because what about tomorrow? I’m talking about having unlimited time.

Back to balancing that space vs time “stick” mentioned in the first paragraph. If the time you have is unlimited, won’t that throw off the stick? Make it impossible to balance? Hmm? When I look at a typical day, it’s made up of discrete moments, all grouped together. If you don’t want to search all around the internet about “space time,” there’s an interesting piece on “stacking” time written by a U of P professor, found here and there’s even a cool looking illustration (much better drawn than my illustrations ha ha) of this spiraly circular stacked time thingy. This circular-ish illustration kinda depicts a typical week for me. Anyway, back on point, back to that balanced stick.

balancingWhat happens if your time is finite, so finite it feels constrained? Then, dear reader, the stick will tilt the other way. Space becomes heavy. WE feel heavy and burdened. So constantly, we balance space with time. Please let others know about this blog, as I would most definitely like to hear your comments, and suggestions on this post, particularly your experiences balancing the two as unique entities, instead of a free-flowing river.

In conclusion, the essence of what we experience in our day to day life of learning about stuff, education, and absorbing information seems contingent on how much time we allot to such pursuits. We are finite creatures, in that we will be ‘alive’ on this earthly realm for a set number of human years (after which is a matter for discussion in another place, another time). We have to count minutes, hours, and days; we have to consider what happens next, what we do next, and most importantly, what we choose to study.

Reading a Newspaper

Why do people (well, some people) associate READING with BOOKS? Aside from the obvious, a person can read lots of things. Yesterday’s post already had a list, so I’m going to make a short list: a person can read labels, magazines, newspapers, and signs.

Signs?

That’s today’s topic: signs and signposts. Do you ever wonder what they really mean? Do signs exist to indicate things? To tell people what to do? On the road, there are signs that say “stop” or “don’t cross” or “do this, don’t do that.” None of those signs bother very many people. What if they did? What if you were walking across the street, and suddenly saw a sign that says “Don’t cross.” Would you get irritated? In my opinion, seeing a sign that says that shouldn’t have an emotional impact. Rather, it is an instructional/warning sign to NOT CROSS THE ROAD. If you stand there thinking about it, then that might not be a good thing! So following rules can be a good thing. Hmm… why does it say that? Are they being ‘demanding’ or ‘rude’ or whatever? Ha! That would be silly. That is taking an emotional point of view when given an instruction. If a person reads the owner’s manual to a device or vehicle, or some mechanical item and it says to keep the tires inflated to a certain PSI, does one think “Why are they making demands of me?” No, of course not, these are simple rules or policies or instructions that should be paid attention to.

Okay, back to books… (I can almost hear all of you book lovers out there that are thinking “get back to talking about books…”). What is it with book lovers, anyway? They go on and on about “oohh, I like books so much…” like they are making a blanket statement. Always struck me as strange. I mean, some books are great, and some, well, belong in a box. In the trunk of a car. As weight. To help keep a car that needs trunk-load-balancing balanced. Anyway, back to books: many are instructional, many are informational, and many are just plain ol’ FUN reading (and/or a mixture of the above, and then some). Do you like those colors? Then, why do some books have an emotional impact?!

Emotional Impact of Reading

Have you ever watched someone read a book and then they start to laugh, or cry, get depressed, or become happy? Why does a BOOK do that, and a ROAD SIGN does not? Is it the words? The amount of words? Or is it the context in which it was read? Let’s ponder that for a few moments. Don’t just blurt out what you think the reason is (you may be right, you may be wrong), but just think.impact

Did you come up with an answer? I did. Conditioning. It is our conditioning. We don’t really see that many individuals becoming emotionally involved with a road sign. But all around us, we see people getting absorbed in reading their books. Perhaps the exception may be students who may only get intellectually involved with their college texts. But just take a moment to look at the avid reader in a shop, a store, or a coffee house. The frowns, the smiles. Very interesting, wouldn’t you say!?

Do I have any readers yet? If any of you are reading this far, then for goodness sakes please tell others about this blog! I would love to hear (well, read — I don’t know how good your voice is) your comment(s) and suggestions. If you have compliments to tell me, I am right here. If you have things you don’t like, then just keep it to yourself! Well, okay, you can tell me about that, too.

This seems to be the hardest part, for me, about writing. Going from my very first post, to the second post. Like building a diving board and then having to take the first leap.

here to there

from here to there, or a to b, or whatever.

So it’s all about going from my first post, to the second. I have this stack of teaching books here, each elaborating on some various aspect of writing. One says, “Give your readers an idea where your thoughts and feelings are coming from.” I am thinking “HUH”? Give my readers an idea? How about I do even better and insert an image into this post. I am going from one point to the next. Maybe one of my books already suggests that.

Anyway, I think it is time for a list. Here is a big list:

  1. The grounds. There is green grass, flowers, and trees everywhere.
  2. The big building. Yes, we mentioned a college of some sort in a previous post. But now I’m talking about anything with a foundation (brick, concrete, stone, or wood).
  3. The inside of the building where studying is going to take place.
  4. A floor plan of how to get from one place to another.

There, that is my “leaping point.” The next topic should be far more interesting!

 

 

It’s time to write something. Every day I pass by the same buildings, the same streets, the same tree. Off in the distance is a big university with quite a few students (likely studying, and what not). Of course it’s made out of brick, you know, the kind with ivy and trees and well-landscaped grounds. If I were to go inside, it’s likely I would find places that serve food, maybe even coffee (probably near the library, right?). Next door to the university is a big sign that says “college of education.” Now THAT’S what I want to write about: education.

What’s “education” supposed to be about? I’m educated. You’re educated, we are all educated in some way. For example, today I learned that if a person is cutting grass, it’s good to leave a little bit of grass above the ground if you want to keep it healthy so that it grows good in throughout the season. I didn’t really have to go to college to learn that. I learned it by reading!

Now I’m rambling. My first paragraph was about education, my second about reading, and now my third is about getting things done. When a person on TV is idolized as a hero (the one who wins freedom for the community, the one who rescues those that need to be rescued, the person that needs to be counted on), I think their main quality is getting things done. That is the purpose of this blog. I am somehow (some how, some way, however, whatever) going to tie all those topics together, and it will make sense. Lemme repeat that. IT…WILL…MAKE…SENSE… (probably).

So, back to the university building. It’s all about the architecture, the structure. It’s going to be there for a long time because that is what the future is all about; being around for a long time. Sure, students may study at a non-brick building, or a temporary structure, nothing wrong with that. But I’m trying to make a point so if the reader would kindly allow me to generalize. A solid structure fosters an aire of consistency, whereby learning is facilitated. Of course, that’s only my opinion, but now that I’ve got that down on paper, so to speak , I can begin to consider where I want to take this blog, what topics to explore, and what may be of interest, of entertainment value, or something informative.