Posts Tagged ‘education

03
Jan
20

Life Is Not Short, 1-3-2020

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A rather common expression these days says life is short or even too short. I strongly disagree and get upset with anyone who says this. [So, if you happen to interact with me in person or online, please refrain from using this line.]

Life is–as I prefer to say–as long as it is granted to you, as long as the Fates allow.

You get what you get and really do not have any sensible, genuine idea how to prolong it, though certain lifestyle choices DO enhance the quality of life and may offer some minor extension…but there’s no proof. Surprises never cease, and those who think they are perfectly healthy can suffer some sudden shock to the system which blows the whole outlook.

So, don’t count…anything. Don’t count the days. Don’t count the calories. Don’t count the steps or miles you run every day; what are you? A hamster? Just live and do your best to let others live; be cooperative but not a doormat. And, if you find yourself in a position to dominate, don’t revel in it; don’t stomp on the competition. You could just as quickly be under the other foot when you foolishly overstep your bounds. And, you project a terrible example to others who could easily replace you.

I’ve recently been discussing the sensitive subject of drugs with my very little nephews. Their parents have “no time” to talk about such things. But, from my childhood experience, I know how little adults (in my family, anyway) make an effort to discuss serious topics and prepare kids for what’s ahead, rather than let some PSA or school program drill a single phrase and some silly video into their heads. I can still see the cartoon donkey telling me to avoid strangers, the YUCK face warning me about hazardous drug bottles and the owl advising me not to pollute. Ya know…those were all cute and fun in their prime. But, real kids either wise up fast or go a long time before something shocks the crap out of them. Guess which one I was? The kid who got the crap shocked out of him when “reality” presented itself. B-But, the school was exceptional with its education system!…or so reputation says. Whatever. Parents and other adults need to be the education system…and not scare the kids.

Just the other day, I tuned into a TV show about social animal species which gave considerable focus to dolphins, elephants and a few types of monkeys. I became irked every time the narrator said an insect’s brain was far too small to compete with that of a dolphin. Does anyone other than me grasp the concept of size being relative, the idea that the physical size of the creature does not determine its intellect? We already should know an ant can lift an incredible amount of weight; can it not be just as possible for an ant to have more intelligence than we currently possess?

What if even the creatures with a “hive mentality” simply devote their massive brain power to that collective instead of dividing their “gifts” on all sorts of meaningless economical concerns and mindless entertainment, as humans do? Maybe our measily ten percent of brain power would grow or achieve more if we were not so…distracted and divided. It would not surprise me if, years from now, we discover plants having brains and a language we simply did not notice…and countless vegans suddenly turn ill with guilt for consuming yet another intelligent life.

[We humans, as far as I know, are the only species to become conflicted with what seems to be primal nature. We are so withdrawn from nature that we are foolishly, blindly destroying it. The “perfume” is so thick, we can’t think clearly.]

As much as it agitated me to hear the repetitive talk about the sizes of brains, I was finding myself emotionally drawn to the elephants and dolphins. In a strange way, I envied their social structures. I wanted to embrace them and say, “Let’s go have fun, together. Let’s go have a picnic at the beach.” I felt the urge to book a trip to some far off place where I could ride an elephant or swim with a dolphin, become the creature’s friend and make sure they were treated properly. [I get very unfriendly when I see an animal mistreated by “the system.” I’m not the best zoo visitor and go crazy when I see so many scientists trying to use technology on other animals, hoping to make them more like humans or give up all their secrets to the insatiable probing of humankind.]

And then…I thought about going home, leaving those animals I just befriended…and how sad it would be, not knowing what became of them or having any say in it, really. I’d be lucky to get a letter from someone who knows the creature. [It’s not like my elephant pal Boris can keep in touch, himself. And, so far, even when people nod and tell me they will keep in touch, it rarely comes true, sort of like parents who promise to take you on some trip to give you a summer worth talking about with your peers or just to shut you up so you don’t drive them bonkers all year, trying to pass off a hamburger and fries as a substitute for Disneyland and summer camp.]

You know what is short (in my life)? Time with those for whom I care and who I grow to like. Time with people who, at least, seem to truly understand and sympathize with me. It’s so rare; it’s like finding a unicorn in the forest. And, just when I think I’ve found some gem of a person, something seems to snatch them away.

It’s no wonder I have such a delusional outlook on life, in general. I’m obsessing with fantasies instead of taking what is given to me in a content manner. And, even my fantasies can’t sustain me because I still desire some tangible piece to ground my thoughts and feelings. I still want a body to hold and love, not a cartoon or mannequin.

And, though it is a common driving force to pursue a single warm body for primal needs, I know, deep down, it takes a bit more than that to achieve the grander sense of happiness; it takes a circle of friends and good relations with family. Well, I can pretty much wrap up that last one as a failure; even if I kissed the ground my family walked upon and did everything they wanted me to do, I would not be happy with them…and I am sure a few would continue to be unhappy with me, which is probably where my perfectionist vices originated. As a student, I couldn’t cope with less than a perfect grade but didn’t understand why; I just assumed others would look down upon me somehow. Less than perfect became almost sinful, forcing me to seek the means to atone.

I don’t see great or even good options for paths to take. I don’t see the multitude of good people with whom I am to surround myself nor the means to cast out the negative few. The negative outweigh the positive and, in turn, cause me to emit negativity, apparently. My anger, frustration and despair from what I see and hear is giving me a stink as it stews in my pores. If my social anxieties don’t spoil things for me, I make a fool of myself when I think I am in the right and cross a line with someone I just met. All my lessons in manners and respecting other cultures goes out the window once I open my mouth.

As a child, I was raised to dress properly and sit quietly while adults were in the room. I was a trophy child, someone the adults talked about but rarely with, other than the occasional comment about how I was performing in school or my interests, particularly art which few adults indulged in, thus they had little to say. I was complimented and encouraged to perform better and better than better. It was only when I reached my teens that my mind advanced beyond what my body was doing and became highly self-conscious. At my lowest point, I found my voice and used it to save myself from premature death. I thought speaking out was a valian effort. But, what did it get me? What has it gotten me all these years? A few more compliments about my sense of humor, a few more bits of praise for my wit…and a ton of complaints from the majority of negative spectators who find my words foolish, unpleasant and/or excessively self-righteous.

So, I say it, again. What is truly short? The time I have with those who satisfy my spirit (and body). Not life. This life of mine goes on and on, prolonged by a higher power who has some greater…or worse…plan for me. It began abnormally and continues to survive abnormally. Thus, I can never call myself “normal.” I have come close to ending it myself, but some tiny flame resides in me which continues to believe all is not lost, even if time takes its toll on the mind, body and worldly resources that seem to be so important to having this life (when they have so little to do with nature and life itself).

If you outlive someone who literally loses their mind, the ability to speak sensibly with you and recognize your face, you may be discouraged and join the chorus who sing about life being short. But, realize you are still living; your life continues with the knowledge of someone else losing their full potential for life. You still have time. Do you use it to compare lengths of lives? Or, do you simply live it and understand loss of ability and death are part of it?

Cherish what you have. Don’t quest or chase for what may be too much. Take care of good friendships and other relationships. These should not be labors but natural constructs that you merely maintain and thank the heavens for having in your life.

And, breathe.

02
Apr
19

Writingbolt’s Foreign Scribble Breakdown #1: Love

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Providing you with the kindness of my own personal explanation of foreign language symbols.  I’m not exactly learning or teaching anything passed down/on to me.  This is more of a fun exercise in using my imagination.  But, it may be of some amusement and benefit to your understanding.

Today’s lesson is about LOVE.  [More lessons will follow.  More if there is any genuine interest from an audience.]

love-kanji-explanation_writingbolt-wordpress-humor-13002350-1

 

09
Feb
17

“Smart” Devices, Security Threat

*****

“Smart” devices promising convenience; dumb inconveniences just like pills that result in lackluster results and/or more side effects.

Yes, I am at it, again! I am livid about the latest and upcoming “smart” technology! If you have any brain cells left to digest some food for thought, dig in.

Those talking speakers–which are supposed to make life easier and answer all of your questions so you never have to use your brain for more than uttering words and pushing a button–are a potential security risk IF you have devices–including phones, appliances, door locks, home computers (which might hold tax/income files, insurance records, bank/retirement account links, etc.)–connected to the same WiFi network.

Local news reporters recently suggested hackers could do some serious damage to your records, resources and even your home if this is the case. They recommended creating separate networks for each branch of technology and extra complex passwords, “ones you might not even remember.”

…Wait. Did you just hear/read that right? Yep. Passwords you might not even remember.

WHAT FREAKING SENSE DOES THIS MAKE?!

First, they make technology to simplify life. And, like so many new inventions these days, these conveniences ask you to link every aspect of your life together, put everything online and/or in one digital storage unit. How convenient…for thieves!

You don’t have to think much. You can turn everything on and off from the small nuclear reactor you keep in your purse or back pocket. You can get money wherever, whenever. Why do your own taxes or even send a check when you can link the IRS to your bank account and let them do the draining–er, work–for you? But, those who want what you have (and know how to program the very things you put your faith in) will make stealing and/or ruining it easy.

Need I mention the latest thing in American credit cards (not new to Europe, among other places)? Those wonderful “smart chip” cards that are supposed to be better protection for your credit/money. Yet, as quickly as they get “mandated,” there are commercials for thieves with devices that can scan them much the way the latest designs for retail/grocery stores without cashiers (among other employees) can scan your card and send the bill to your house (to save you the hassle of waiting in a line with other human beings with whom you no longer seem able to socialize and/or tolerate). As an added security feature, there are ads for wallets with metal mesh protection layers…if that does the job. But, if you are protecting your wallet from thieves with scanners and camera phones and “skimmers,” how are those locations that detect your card and send the bill to your home supposed to read your card? Heaven forbid you have to stop, pull out your bulletproof wallet, dig out the credit card for that store and swipe/scan it. Oh, that would be too much work. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just not invent credit cards? Or, here’s a novel idea, STOP MAKING EVERYTHING COMPUTER-DEPENDANT!

THEN, you’re supposed to separate everything you just learned how to connect AND lock it away with a complex password you may not remember. Exactly where are you supposed to safely put all of these passwords you may not remember? Isn’t one of the thoughts behind designing a password to make it something you’ll remember and not need to write down? Will you remember where you put the passwords you have to hide from any wandering snoop that may come along?

Will someone please hold my shoulders so the room stops spinning?

How stupid do humans have to be until the whole world explodes or shuts down? Seriously. No, not Sirius-ly or Siri-ously. Seriously. A word you can find in an actual paper and cardboard dictionary if you can make the effort to find one and use those things you call fingers to do more than swipe right.

Back in my youth, the least intelligent technology–aside from the occasional invention that died out before every “average joe” knew about it–came in yellow and black books, guides for “dummies,” to make life easier and save students the chore of reading actual literature. Then computer classes began, and the whole world started going down the tubes as fast as it was making global connections.

You don’t hear much about those “dummy guides” anymore because you or people you know are likely already the dummies talking to the devices that are now capable of doing your homework for you. The dummy guides are now “help” buttons (which are practically useless due to the fact idiots sometimes compose the “simple” text and diagrams they provide), search engines and digitized voices. Don’t you feel educated?

What’s the sense in spending money on education when technology is going to rob everyone of their brains? I would not be surprised if some tech heads are doing calculations to figure out how many human brain cells are required to get the robot revolution underway before humans are no longer able to program and repair said robots. Won’t we all feel better when we no longer exist and some white plastic-faced box is turning everything we lived for into fertilizer.

NOT ME!

Unplug, now, people. Unplug, now. Think before you compute. And, someone help us all if any more of this crap is forced upon us.

19
Mar
16

Educational Kids’ TV? Overrated

*****

As I attempt to watch one more day of “educational” kids TV with my nephews whilst keeping them busy (out of trouble), I am unable to resist the urge to fuss and fume.  Why?  Because every show is introduced with some sort of listed ingredients that are supposed to be good for a child.  As if parents are just going to approve the shows from this brief and horribly worthless synopsis?

  1. The educational content is lacking.
  2. Some of the shows are completely ridiculous/without good and/or common sense.

If anything, these shows are convincing me to NOT place a child in front of the TV.  But, juggling a handful of boys who all want to do different things at the same time and who will fight with each other if you don’t sit in the middle of them…is no easy task.  Sadly, it’s either TV or a laptop computer as a second babysitter.  And, it really grinds my gears.

If you’d like a list of shows I’d rather not see on television, just ask.  I don’t feel like pointing fingers publicly at the moment.  But, it may happen, yet.  I’m looking at YOU, Nick Jr. (among other channels).

05
Jan
16

When Bookworms Write Erroneous Sentences…

I feel the urge to bang my head against a table…

and then grab the bookworm’s head and slam it against a wall, hoping to dislodge whatever causes their malfunction to write properly. 

I mean…COME ON!  You claim to read hundreds of books every year!  Learn to use the proper verb!  There ARE tons of books you want to read.  There IS a long list.  You ARE not aware of your written mistakes.  There IS someone getting irked by it…especially if you ever end up on a list for writing awards.

Grrr-AH!

28
Oct
15

U.S. Math Scores on the Decline, Again? I Know Why.

*****

No, let’s spend the next decade and millions of dollars on researching the problem instead of looking at the obvious.

Why would math scores (or any school subject grade) drop?  [And, this isn’t the first time I heard about it in the news.]

I can answer that rather simply.  Do your children possess a “pad” or “smart phone” with WiFi access?  Does the school they attend provide WiFi access, or is WiFi available through the school’s walls (from an outside source)?

Anyone who lived through school in the 1980s might recall what teachers used to say about a thing called a CALCULATOR.  They’d say we should put those things away and do the math on paper.  Why?  Because, otherwise, you learn nothing and let the machine do the work for you, whether it malfunctions or not.

Well, guess what people who may yet be clueless, your kids might be holding the new model of that calculator disguised as a whackadoodle telephone they are supposed to be carrying to “stay in touch” in case of an “emergency.”  Oh, this modern connected world with everything at the tip of a search engine’s grasp.

How I love those commercials of people talking to every sort of gizmo now programmed to talk back to you.  Let’s ask our talking toaster to answer all of our questions.  Yea, that will make us smarter.

NOT!

Wake up and smell the burning nuclear material in your hands, people, before the machines are using YOU for their batteries or footstools.  Use your head and put down the radioactive, talking toaster!

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