Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Race War of Words

Race to most racist

I know you are, what am I?

No victor in sight

A Fabrication by Any Other Name

I prefer books over screens for my entertainment. I scoff at people that find joy in gluing their eyes to a computer screen. Surely reading is a superior way to spend time. To be fair, on closer inspection, just how different is virtual reality from fictional reality?

Human interaction suffers when life is lived predominantly within a computer screen. Yet many times, I get so involved in a book that I dread any human interfering with my turning of the next page. I want to stay in my fictional world. Screens and books are best as solitary endeavors.

I too feel the draw of a world filled with ubiquitous screens. I waste time clicking and scrolling through computer articles and photos. The dog and cat videos make me laugh. But I fear the sway of advertisements that push me to buy what the most powerful social media forces out there are selling. I try to resist this modern siren call.

Besides my Etch-a-Sketch, the television was the only screen I could stare at when I was young. My staring was limited to one-hour per day. And that hour had to be broken in half. So a half hour in the morning, another half hour in the afternoon. Maybe that explains why I read. I could explore fictional (and non-fictional) worlds with the flip of a page.

A flip of a page or a swipe of a screen, are they so different? I’m sure I could be swayed by reading too; that is if I only read one book. A wide and diverse reading list protects independent thinking. Social media lies behind a heavy curtain.

My father took me to the Detroit Institute of Arts one Saturday when I was young. I fell in love with this exciting, brand-new world.

Years later, I took my son and his cousin to the art museum. They were bored to death. I thought the suit of armor exhibits would surely interest them. More boredom. Unlike me, they had already spent hours playing video games and had a broader access to television. Television and computers were part of their school curriculum. How can a bit of paint on a canvas compete with the fast-changing and addictive colors and sounds that run across screens?

And yet, I admit to my own addiction. An addiction to the arrangements of 26 letters across a page. How can I judge others?

Books energize me, too much screen time depresses me. A screen has the power to dull a mind and passively lead a person to buy the ideas and products displayed so attractively on the virtual shelves.

Reading is far more active. A reader interacts with the author, with the stuff already read or experienced creating a solid foundation to build up ideas. Who knows, it can even bring about a change in long-held beliefs. Books breed independence and knowledge building. The ceaseless chatter of information on a computer ends up feeling shallow.

My prejudices lead me to forget that the oral storytelling tradition led to books and then books led to computers. Perhaps this is an inevitable course of events that is not necessarily better or worse, just the progress of imagination. The end of the oral tradition weakened our connection to each other. In turn, we connected with machines. Human to human, human to machine, machine to . . . How does the story end?

Cold and Heartless

I took a lousy yoga class where the instructor laughed at the students. For one pose, she said she will be the only one that will need a towel. From a sitting position, she bent herself forward and touched her head to the towel on the floor. And then she smirked.

Shortly after this class, I read an article on the internet that stated it is a shame some yoga instructors can’t make a living. I am not ashamed that I will never patronize that lousy teacher again.

I take yoga classes from two excellent instructors now. They are motivational, bring the class peaceful meditative moments, and push each participant to pursue each pose to a safe, effective level. They both make a living as yoga teachers since many students sign up and pay for their classes. They also instruct and get paid for teaching others at how to conduct a yoga class.

When still in school, I overheard a young woman speak to an English professor about becoming an English professor herself. This student was surprisingly good in the field of biology as well as English. She was sure that biology was a more sensible future.

The professor told her not to worry since she was one of the best and the best will be able to compete. The student was a class valedictorian, she was highly driven, and skilled. The teacher encouraged her to enter the competitive field in academia if that was her desire. She pursued her love of English literature and did became a professor.

Don’t believe the lie that you can be whatever you want to be. A grade C- student will not rise to the top of a highly competitive field. Instead find another path, desire is not always destiny. Break your heart early before you complete a degree program and still end up with no viable job prospects. No one may want you except the student-loan debt collectors.

Schools and businesses should coordinate the real-world job market with young people and their the dreams. This will be especially important if college is free for all.

Some fields that require no college are begging for workers. Some of these jobs may provide a good income and satisfaction. It doesn’t hurt to research options.

Life is not fair. Yoga instructors must find balance within the job market.