Every moment I’m in public, I’m subject to the Public imaging I’m 20-something.
Telling my life gets tiresome. Proving my experience via my autobiography and resumé in response to relentless questioning… Telling stories always gets to them saying, “How old are you?”
When I tell my age I’m met with incredulity.
Am I ridiculous to be bored, annoyed, tired by this response?
Societal perceptions of age and the life course(s) associated with age are, in 2013, ignorant.
Here, in Chicagoland, a social ecology that’s crazy conventional, it’s oppressive.
(Some would be flattered by the same type of misperception. I’m not.)
Defending ones life experience in contrast to ones physicality… (What’s that? My good genes? My ethnic mix? My life choices? Or my “child-like” way of being?)
Folks attributing my way of being in the world to a child is offensive, to kids and to me. Misplaced. Unfair.
In just about every social interaction I have, I feel freakish.
Children don’t own energy, playfulness, spark, curiosity, vitality.
As a grown-up who has resided along the margins throughout my entire lifespan, I’m not psychically or otherwise damaged by residing under such scrutiny.
I’m just doing me. Residing on the margins in a whole new way. I’m not the confused one and that’s all that matters.
The question here is not whether machines can be made to think like people but whether people have always thought like machines.
The human mind even at its most creative and free still resides within boundaries of human cognition and ecological affordances. Therefore, humans, as inventors of all machines, can never have “always thought like machines.”
In Turkle’s presented chicken-egg dilemma, the chicken wins. Always.
[Note: So far, I am enjoying this book. I especially appreciate how the author writes in relation to how children think, grow, and develop over time. She's respectful and clearly honors the lived experience of kids as her primary source data. As of page 60, I'm still in it.]
Inspiration for this piece: Jim Groom’s new DS106Zone design assignment, “Create a READ poster.”
Tool: I used my favorite web-based, free photo editor Pixlr to create the three layers for the poster.
The screen shot in my READ poster is from “The Changing of the Guard,” one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes. If you’re an educator, and have not yet seen it, grab a gallon of Kleenex and dial it up. I’m a know sentimentalist and a lover (not a fighter), but I hope everyone might find some inspiration in the story of the
suicidal aging Professor Fowler and the generations of students whose lives he touched.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. (Benjamin Franklin)
Then they yelled at the darken ones who had badges at the start, “We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the liability. But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned, “If which badge is what, or the other way round?”
Ever inspired and more than ever distracted, Wednesday finds me trawling the DS106 Assignment Bank for a writing assignment–something to gnaw on throughout the day. I find that part of the way I stay creatively active throughout my work day is by having something open that I’m reading, writing, or thinking about. Today I selected to explore the “Three Word Wednesday” site submitted as a DS106 assignment of the same name by my sister-friend Giulia Forsythe.
Today’s words are: badge, darken, and liability
To make the assignment more challenging, I remixed it. Remixing a DS106 assignment is always fun for me because you never know what you’re gonna get. This time the remix was a “Dr. Seuss it” which calls on the artist to transform their piece into something with recognizable Seussical properties.
I elected to find the story about star-bellied Sneetches and found the full-text online. The star-bellied Sneetches are prominent character’s in “The Sneetches and Other Stories, a collection of stories by American author Dr. Seuss, published in 1961.”
The original text:
Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start, “We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst. But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned, “If which kind is what, or the other way round?”
I then replaced a few key words in the text with today’s Three Word Wednesday words. I knew this would prove an easy task because I elected the story after seeing today’s three words. The words badges, darken, and liability lend themselves to a story of prejudice.
Dr. Seuss’ story provides a simple, child-friendly critique of dehumanizing sorting practices. The message of this story is clear and continues to be salient in too many community and institutional spaces. Doing some quick research I found a few resources for those who teach, and parents of the little dudes.
years months on the road living, loving, laughing with friends old and new, I scored My Great Job as the Manager of the Learning Center at Oakton Community College (OCC).
I captured the intensity of my first week in a new place, with a new job, and a new way of life via a series of Audioboos (listen to all four if you are so inclined). The final one, “Failed Dog Rescue and Other Last Words,” recorded on Friday, February 22nd, pretty much sums up my week.
“COME HERE RIGHT NOW!”
“I’ve found my home in higher ed, my new home, and that’s a pretty great feeling.”
Fast forward three months.
This week marks my three month anniversary and the end of my PROBATIONARY PERIOD at Oakton Community College.
Duun Daah Duuh.
Little did they know…
Tomorrow, May 17th, also marks my three month anniversary in the Chicagoland area.
I arrived by train from Philadelphia on a beautiful winter morning. Since then, my Chicagoland FEB 2013 adventures have focused on finding locales (easily accessible by walking or public transportation) that I might frequent to tend to my basic needs, enjoy life as I live it and in the style to which I’m accustom, meet a few new friends, and maybe even make a home.
Journal entry, 5.1.13, 1:42am: There are moments when I see flecks before my eyes and feel a pain in my chest and I worry I’ve not written all I have to say; that’s it not even begun.
Vagueness about home reigns. Listening to The Proclaimers and wondering if Morphine pressed any vinyl. Desiring my own nest. Push and pull. No discomfort leads to stasis. Most important is human connection then place. The favorable niche is favorable to humans first. The points on my map, in all the places, are humans–my touch points. They are my family. My Home.
Keep it Real
When this piece was published three years ago, I had temporarily left the real world of College Student Affairs to pursue the real world of PhD studies. At present, I am in the real world of searching for a full-time management position at a college or university. I long to get back to work–to once again dedicate myself in active service of human flourishing–in the real world.
Garcia, GNA. (2010). Teaching and learning in the real world, trespassers welcome. Campus Activities Programming, 43(1), 46-48.
Campus Activities Programming is the monthly publication of the National Association for Campus Activities.
[Note: I apologize for the terrible kerning within this PDF. The system @timmmmyboy excavated the article from was an early e-magazine. At least it's liberated, albeit gunky.]