What Lies Beneath The Mist…

Morning Fog Emerging From Trees

There is an enormous stack of books piled on my right and a bookcase that is bursting at the seams on my left. Sunday afternoon and I am in the midst of memories, moments and mystery.

Five minutes ago this post had a different headline. I was going to call it Should You Delete Old Posts and write about how I want to shrink my database.

That is because I have almost 9,000 posts here and the weight of it is creating issues. There are a ridiculous number of broken links scattered throughout the blog and it irks me.

Irks me because one of the central purposes of this place is to tell stories and broken links wreak havoc. It is like reading a story in a magazine or a newspaper and then discovering a chunk of the page is missing. Just when you are really into the tale you discover that your wife/sister/brother/mother cut out the 20% off coupon for Macy’s.

Great they are going to save money on shoes and you are going to be stuck wondering how the star of the story became who they are. You’ll stare at it and wonder what the linchpin of the piece is and be stuck not knowing. Ok, that is not entirely true. You can go online or go buy another copy, but that is a hassle. It kills momentum.

I don’t want to kill momentum in my stories.

Five Posts

  1. Was It A Dream?
  2. More than Heaven Will Allow 
  3. Why Is Daddy Crying 
  4. There Are No Coincidences 
  5. Pray For Him 

I am in dire need of coffee now, need a quick shot of that liquid black gold to lighten my mood and speed along the ceremonial cleaning of the clutter surrounding me.

Ok, it is not really ceremonial because I have filed quite a few papers, rid myself of some old clothes that I don’t need any more and considered donating some of these books.

I am not really good about getting rid of books. I love to read and I love having a personal library that includes more than a couple of paperbacks and some old hardcovers from college.

Some of my favorite blogging stems from posts like this that are more about stream of consciousness than straight storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I love stories. I love reading and writing stories, but sometimes it is fun to mix it up.

Sometimes the best blogging moments comes from just writing without concern for anything other than the joy of writing. This is one of those moments where there are no thoughts about SEO, headlines that will make this go viral or any of the mechanics that we read about.

Those of you who are still reading are here because you are trapped beneath a heavy object and unable to move or because you really like my writing.

The Return of Homework

The 2012-13 school year starts this coming Tuesday which means we face the return of homework. My kids aren’t excited about that and neither am I.

I haven’t missed having to push and sit on them about getting it done. Nor have I missed feeling like large parts of it are being given strictly because teachers are required to and not because it helps learning.

What I want is for my kids to learn how to use logic and reason to think. I want them to learn how to use their minds and not just regurgitate information. Anyone can do that. Take what you know and show me you know how to use it.

Damn, I wish I could make like Gumby and step into a book. Just thinking about homework makes me want to go on vacation. I could deal with some time on a beach or a boat- maybe both. Heck since the two usually go together all I need is one and I can find the other.

Instead I am going to help with learning about the sea, sailing and the ocean blue. That is not a horrible thing, but now that I am thinking about the surf it is hard to focus on work.

Got to run now, I have to get my fix in and the beach is calling.

Linked up with Dude Write #9.

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18 Comments

  1. Jens P. Berget August 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I am still reading because I really like your writing. And I’m looking forward to the 2012/2013 school year. My son is starting school and my daughter is in 4th grade. It’s going to be fun to see them learn and develop new skills.

  2. Joe August 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    9,000?? Holy crap! I need to step it up on my site 🙂

  3. ken August 14, 2012 at 7:20 am

    There’s really some interesting thoughts here. 9000 posts! That’s incredible! I’m only at just over 100 and it’s already crossed my mind that I should do something with them to ensure they are around when I want to look back.
    ……….but then there’s the beach?

  4. Chloe August 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I must like your writing because I’m not trapped under any heavy objects that I’m aware of (if we don’t count the weight of the world that I sometimes take on just for shits and giggles.).

    I hated homework when my children were in school. I resented the fact that these people had my children for 7-8 hours a day and then wanted MY TIME TOO!!!

    They had their chance to ruin them, after school was MINE.

    I once had a stupid teacher tell me my second grade son would never be able to go to college because I didn’t make him do some stupid math worksheet. I was so angry.

    But then I guess it turns out that she was right. My son decided that college is a big, fat waste of time and amounts to nothing more than a lifetime of indentured servitude to the banking industry, so he gave it a pass. He’s now a manager at a Starbucks (a job he competed against college graduates to get).

    Oh well. Kids these days.

    I share so many of your thoughts about blogging, Jack. I’m in the midst of a dark story, but then I can’t take all the darkness of it, so I have to write about my outfits to BlogHer or give away a free sex toy…something–anything–to break up the monotony.

    That’s the great part of blogging for yourself. I write for me and if people like it then “YAY” and if they don’t then “Oh well”.

    BTW, have you read Roberts Rules of Writing? I really like it.

    • Chloe August 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      And it was nice to comment on a blog where I didn’t feel I had to say a bunch of flattering bullshit.

    • The JackB August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Hi Chloe,

      I have read it but it has been a while. I am glad that you aren’t trapped under anything heavy.I do provide a rescue service but lately we have been overwhelmed with calls and sadly our Yelp profile reflects that. 😉

      I don’t blame the teachers for all of the homework because some of it is outside of their control but I do hope they try to be sensible about what they give and how much.

      I want my kids to think and regurgitate what they are fed.

      Your son is still pretty young, might even decide that college makes sense. Sometimes we have to just let them go and figure things out.

      Keep writing. Follow your heart. I like it when you do that.

      • Chloe August 14, 2012 at 9:35 am

        I know the teachers are trapped. My husband comes from a large family of teachers. All this homework blossomed during the 90s and has continued unabated. Both my husband and I volunteered in our childrens’ classrooms and saw with our own eyes the change that took place as quantity over quality became the trend. The poor teachers. This is NOT their fault. Parents and government officials wanted all this homework, and now they have it.

  5. Bill Dorman August 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I don’t read the paper until I get home in the evening; there has been more than one occasion when I get to the end of the story and see a big ‘hole’ in the paper. I had to chuckle when I read that.

    I’m thinking it’s time for you to home school your kids, the heck with homework.

    9,000 posts, huh? I think I have 11………..

    • The JackB August 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      The way things are going your grandchildren may never experience the joy of reading a “holely” paper. 😉

      I thought about homeschooling, once upon a time I was a teacher. But I think in our case we might kill each other. School will be good for everyone.

  6. Change The Topic August 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I am generally a “stream of consciousness” blogger. It’s really about all I know how to do. I’m starting to learn about fiction, though. I have a lot of stories in my head, but I just don’t know how to throw them down. I’ll learn though, and I’ll blog throughout the learning process, because it’s what I love to do.

    Don’t delete things. Make the links complete again. Thanks for the post.

    • The JackB August 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Stream of consciousness works for me, but then again I am biased. 😉 As for your stories well there are a bunch of easy ways to start.

      The first is to prepare a simple outline, just map out what you want and then fill in the blanks. Or just start writing, sometimes it is more fun to go that route and see where you end up.

  7. bridgetstraub.com August 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I am right with you on the homework. I’m dreading it!

    • The JackB August 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      I don’t mind when I see a reason for it but so much is assigned because teachers are required to do it and not because it has value.

      • Chloe August 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm

        Most of it is BULLSHIT busywork handed out to make it look like they are doing something. It’s BULLSHIT. Okay. I guess I still have very strong feelings about this topic. Stepping away now, quietly.

        • The JackB August 14, 2012 at 9:00 am

          @ChloeJeffreys:disqus No worries. I totally get it. Quite a bit of it is questionable so we are on similar wavelengths.

          • Chloe August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

            Okay, here’s my other little tirade about homework.

            My children get sent home an assignment to do a report on farm animals, or nuclear physics, or penguins. Whatever. It doesn’t matter.

            Now my little children have college-educated parents who know how to do research, own tons of books, have library cards, AND own a home computer (this was the 90s, so it wasn’t THAT common).

            Little Rosie and Johnny go home where there are no books. Rosie’s parents don’t speak English, and Johnny’s parents never even graduated high school.

            Now whose going to come back with the better report?

            This is the way social inequalities in our society are perpetuated. If public school, which was supposed to be the grand leveler, worked right, then teachers would TEACH how to write the report so that all children would have the opportunity to learn how.

            Report Day comes.

            My children turn in a report that we helped them with.

            Johnny turns in a report he wrote himself, without any help whatsoever.

            Rosie doesn’t turn in any report.

            And Matthew turns in the report his attorney mother wrote for him last night after Matthew went to bed. (Yes. Saw it happen ALL OF THE TIME).

            Matthew gets an A+. My children gets As. Johnny gets a C. And Rosie fails.

            And that’s how the game is played. Damn, I’m cynical. I need to do something about that, huh?

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