A poem by Phillip Lopate that I read in a book by Anne Lamott: We who are your closest friends feel the time has come to tell you that every Thursday we have been meeting as a group, to devise ways to keep you in perpetual uncertainty frustration discontent and torture by neither loving you as much as you want nor cutting you adrift. Your analyst is in on it, plus your boyfriend and your ex-husband; and we have pledged to disappoint you as long as you need us. In announcing our association we realize we have placed in your hands a possible antidote against uncertainty indeed against ourselves. But since our Thursday nights have brought us to a community of purpose rare in itself with you as the natural center, we feel hopeful you will continue to make unreasonable demands for affection if not as a consequence of your disastrous personality then for the good of the collective. Anne Lamott read this to one of her writing classes. She then wrote, "They stare at me like the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Only about three think this poem is funny, or even a good example of someone taking his own paranoia and shaping it into something artistic and true. A few people look haunted. The ones who most want to be published just think I'm an extremely angry person.Some of them look emotionally broken, some look at me with actual disgust, as if I am standing there naked under fluorescent lights."* What do you think? *Lamott, Anne Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and life Originally published by Pantheon Books, New York, 1994 I'm listening to it on streaming audio from OverDrive provided to me by my public library and also reading it in e-book form. It's so good that I need to be able to highlight things. I plan on buying a hard copy (traditional book) so I can read it again and mark up the book for reference. Do I even need to say that I recommend this book to anyone interested in writing?
While straightening up my desk I found a piece of notebook paper with notes taken by me. When? Why? Where? I have no idea.
At the top, like a title, are the words "Never Cease To Learn". That's kind of my mantra right now. I'm taking an on-line class through my church called "Connectional Living; Connectional Giving". I am brushing up on my German using the library's foreign language data base.
So I read the notes. It's mostly good information that I want to keep but I need a piece of notebook paper hanging around like I need, well, like I need something that I totally don't need. I know, I'll blog it.
And here are my notes about learning:
Always be on the lookout for new ideas.
Research, go to meetings, workshops,
Think, Dream, Plan.
Continually improve and learn.
Good habits are the key to success.
We are what we repeatedly do - Aristotle
You can choose your habits.
Determine your own life and your own habits. Don't let others do it for you.
Play the music that is within you.
Aha! Know how to ask the right questions.
Learn to listen.
Jerome Bruner - The process of education
Avoid negative influences.
You shape your future or your future will shape you.
Don't just survive and exist; take risks and grow.
Make it a habit to go to one conference a year. Visit venders, meet other professionals, network and share, attend multiple sessions, parties and receptions.
100 million children around the world do not go to school.
Everyone deserves to be respected, indispensable and loved.
A more accurate title might be "Am I Reading Too Many?"
My hope is that reading multiple books at the same time will ward off dementia.
Currently I am reading:
Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?, an autobiography by Billy Chrystal, is my current bathtub book.
Burn by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is part of my morning laying-in-bed-before-I-get-up ritual. I listen to it on my Kindle
The Legacy Journal: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity by Dave Ramsey is part of the same morning ritual. I read it on my Kindle (e-book).
Bombshell by Catherine Coulter is entertaining me currently whenever I get into my car. I like to say I read in my car. I always have a book on CD in the CD player.
Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan just became available. I had it on hold in Overdrive (library e-books) and I only have two weeks to read it before someone else gets a turn. I read Second Honeymoon first (and loved it), not realizing it was a series. I put this book on my iphone and will read it at the gym and on break at work.
The Bible. I'm always reading the Bible. It's my before-I-go-to-sleep reading material. I'm about to finish the CEB translation of the New Testament.
What I should be reading:
My Advent books
Books I planned to read before Christmas: Merry Christmas Alex Cross by James Petterson and The 12 Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen. I traditionally like to read Skipping Christmas by John Grisham but I'm not sure I can fit it in this year.
Relentless is the December book for my Dean Koontz GoodReads book Group.
We've had one day to give thanks, two days to get good deals, and one day to be generous. Today is Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday isn't new, but it isn't really old either. It began in 2012 but I didn't hear about it until this year. If you google "Giving Tuesday" you'll find more information than you have time to read.
I saw that UNICEF promises 90% of your donation will go to the children. That's a high percentage, but I'm donating through my church where 100% of my donation goes directly to the cause I choose.
I'm making my donation to ICT4D (Information & Communications Technology for Developing Countries). I love technology and when I read about the lives that can be saved and improved by simply having cell phones in remote areas, I was in.
Pastors and missionaries can stay connected with the outside world.
People can get information about floods, disease outbreaks, war and other emergencies in time to prepare for them.
In some places, cell phones are used to pay teachers which reduces money lost to graft.
Farmers and business owners can get the latest information pertinent to their ventures.
Think of all the ways you use cell phones and other technology and imagine what they can do in the hands of people in less prosperous parts of the world.
If you are interested in learning more or donating to ICT4D, here's the LINK.
Go now, be generous today and give to a cause that captures your passion.