An eventful day – December 15, 2016 – ramblings

Two books mark the day.  Finally finishing Horton and Freire’s We Make the Road by Walking with a group on Twitter (I fell behind, but I finished, mostly on subway rides to Capitol South and back.). I have three or four Freire books in my collection that I have actually read, and loved. Now this one will join that group (there will be more about this reading and the book in a subsequent post. I found a pdf of the book here, but eventually found a hard copy via interlibrary loan. There are copies for sale at used bookstores and on Amazon marketplace). The book is an ongoing dialogue between Myles Horton, of Highlander fame, and the Brazilian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire, whom I have blogged about here previously.

And I embarked on a journey of reading Bernadette Mayer’s Midwinter Day in the remaining days preceding the winter solstice (see the tweet above). I linked to an excerpt online, but I hope you will go to your nearest independent bookstore and purchase a copy. I met Bernadette Mayer a couple of years ago at Kelly Writers House, here is a separate link from that event with Phillip Good at the Writer’s House, the home base for ModPo on the UPenn campus.

Not really sure how my name got on the list, but I received an email invitation to attend a Tech Salon. So I signed up and went Thursday morning. It was a cold and windy hike up the hill from Dupont Circle. The theme was technology and development in the new Trump government (as usual, mine was the only brown face at the table, well, I shouldn’t say that because there were a couple of folks there of Indian descent who were dark. I’m accustomed to both.)

One attendee described the Trump base as composed of four sometimes warring tribes. They are 1) the cyberlibertarians; 2) the evangelical Christians; 3) the populists, tea-partyers, and American 1st-ers, and 4) the GHWB/Wall Street republicans. At any point in time, 3 of these 4 groups are or may be very interested in development overseas and may be helpful to efforts by the development groups. Someone else mentioned that the anti-immigration folks might buy into efforts to support startups and entrepreneurs who build business and create jobs in their home countries. Someone else mentioned the CVE (countering violent extremism) results of local job creation. There was a lot of discussion about broadband and about internet policy that I found interesting. Also interesting chat about using data analytics to focus aid delivery.

A handful of folks appeared to still be in denial about the Clinton defeat. One or two people kept making jokes. The majority seemed to be engaged in finding solutions, work-arounds, and possible advantages in the years to come. Most believed, as I do, that development won’t be high on the agenda immediately, and that existent (and already funded) programs will continue operating under the radar. I’ve always found hand-wringing to be a bit silly – show me the parameters, the constraints, and let’s get on with it, whatever it is.

And a book was recommended, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, which I hope to find at my library.

p.s. One more rambling thought before the day is done. Just read the Vanity Fair piece about Clinton machine post-election insider fighting. In her defense, Huma’s that is, I had a handful of interactions with her back in the day and always found her to be cordial, collegial and helpful, unlike most of the 7th floor sharks and carp who made up the Queen’s court. Yes, she was high up on the totem pole and I was just a lowly office director whose calls she didn’t really have to return. But return them she did, and always with helpful information for the task we were trying to accomplish. The other folks in Brooklyn need to get a grip!

and the job search continues…

Resumed with my old employer yesterday.  WAE (When Actually Employed) they call it. Part-time for retirees.  Three days a week trouble-shooting consulting, I call it. Keeps a bit of change in my pocket.  Going to get a badge today. Need the badge to get into the computer. Who every heard? Big corner office in the sub-basement. Don’t like it. Think I’d prefer a cubicle with sunlight and fresh air to the dungeon.

Read through some OIG reports yesterday. Security briefing today. Computer access tomorrow if I’m lucky. Real lucky.

Still waiting to hear back on a couple of part-time librarian jobs. Part-time is enough for now. Need to keep my toes in the water. You know what I mean? We’ll resume work on our project as soon as my partners return from vacation. Gathering material every day.

And ModPo resumes in September. Gonna try to balance it with the Science of Happiness edX course that starts the same week. Joined a coaching team.  And continuing with Agile.

Enough for a retired guy…

And today’s Epictetus quote:

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Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson!

I can’t ignore that poetry (and my love for it) is a huge part of this transition.  It is the oil that lubricates, cools and cleans the gears and moving parts of my thinking and action (Is this a poem?).

So, we (me and two ModPo comrades) attended Emily Dickinson‘s birthday celebration at the Folger.  Peter Gizzi was the featured poet.

OK. So he started off with #1286, There is no frigate. Then #373, This world is not conclusion. Next was #124, Safe in their alabaster chambers, followed by #448, I died for beauty.  Here he mentioned that Keats was ED’s favorite poet (never knew that, makes me want to go back and check out Keats (think I have his complete works here in the bookcase)).

Next he read #883 (but my collection, edited by R.W. Franklin, says #930; that’s why I write down the number and the first line, or at least try to), The Poets light but Lamps, then #778, Four trees upon a solitary acre. Here he riffed about the “deep interiority.”Then #591, I heard a fly buzz – when I died. Here he quotes WCW and Wallace Stevens (but I can’t decipher my handwriting: “A poet always ### with her poems” quote from WCW and “A new poem is a new mind” quote from Stevens). Next #372, After great pain, a formal feeling comes.

Here I felt he was beginning the conclusion…

#508 (but my collection has it #383) I’m ceded – I’ve stopped being Their’s.  Here he mentioned the Civil War, and how ED wrote 1000 poems between 1860 and 1865.  #290 (but my collection has it as #319), Of Bronze – and Blaze, and he riffs on “An Island in dishonored Grass” which he says may have been about Whitman, whom he says ED detested, though it may have also been about the green grass of the battlefields. I was blown away by the line, “my splendors, are menagerie/ but their completeness show/will entertain the centuries/ when I, am long ago.” Reminds me a bit of the poetry of the Gettysburg Address. He also said ED was 30 at the beginning of the Civil War.

Then #1679, the ditch is dear to the drunken man. Here he mentioned James Schuyler, his mentor/professor in the 80’s (looks like he was there at the birth of the New York School, with Ashbery and O’Hara). And he concludes with that awe-inspiring 3rd letter to Thomas Higginson (that, I think I have located in Susan Howe‘s My Emily Dickinson, though the only reference I vividly recall is that to Carlo, her dog, so it might not be).

My last note is a mention of Jack Spicer on the difference between ED’s poems and letters.



November 22, 2013, the week ending

Blog entries have been irregular of late.  Shifting back and forth between prose and poetry can be exhausting.  But here we are.

Good trip to Philadelphia on Monday to close out Modpo 13.  Here is a shot of Al and the table TA’s:


View the final webcast by clicking on this link.

and here is a shot of the assemblage at KWH, after lunch:


The bus trip up was quick but crowded!  And the train ride back to DC was lovely as always. I so love Amtrak! Class Monday night was cancelled, so I came home and did some work on my thesaurus project (although I know I won’t really get in gear until the day before it is due, which would be today!).

Tuesday was uneventful.  More reading, more pulling out words for the thesaurus project.  Really enjoying the readings, though I know that is not supposed to be the point of the project.  Also savored all day Tuesday the descent from Monday’s ModPo high. Wednesday I had part two of my retirement medical exam.  Good numbers on cholesterol, blood chemistry and pressure.  Half decaf coffee is doing the trick!  Thursday, created a spreadsheet for the physical thesaurus (I am a spreadsheet kinda guy). Thursday afternoon I drove out to Chevy Chase for a quasi interview with an executive recruitment firm (I say quasi because it was the first meeting, more like a let’s get acquainted chat). Thursday night Info Lit class on Adobe Connect. Which brings us to Friday, today, all-day-long finalizing of the thesaurus project and presentation.  Bring the weekend!

October 27, 2013 – Library Student Day in the Life

October 27, 2013.

Up early on a Sunday morning, playing catch up with readings from 551, Organization of Information.  This is not the class I should have fallen behind in, this is the stuff I really like because, as we all know, the devil is in the details.  Anyway, I am catching up, ploughing through the readings, intent on making the first of several Blackboard submissions before I have breakfast and dash off to meet the Poetry Group at the American Art Museum.  Later, volunteer duty at the Arabian Sights Film Festival, which should actually be fun, then back home to plow through some more 551 readings.

Sunday is a good day to ponder on all the upcomings of the week.  Job Fair at FSI Tuesday, Megabus to New York on Wednesday for Power, Privacy and the Internet conference, How to Establish a Consulting Practice panel Thursday morning, online tutorial project due in Information Literacy and Instructional Design (644) Thursday night (better have the bulk of it done Tuesday or no New York trip!), Tech@State Friday morning to meet the president of Coursera with ModPo buddies, wrap-up, photos and reception end the Job Search Program course Friday afternoon (better dress up for that).  Gotta check in on the research project I have neglected these three weeks (I think folks understand that this is and has been, like, hell three weeks in the education village, but still, it is good and right to talk).

Working (mentally, just an internal conversation right now) on a new poem about the future reaching back to determine the present.  Sankofa.  It’s an African philosophical and psychological construct.  Mother Africa.

Enough for day -1.