So why should YOU read my blog?
That’s a great question. With gurus galore and millions of new books published every year, millions-or is it billions- of new blogs — What makes my blog different? Honestly, I am sure that you can find at least hundreds of blogs that are similar to mine, but they all lack one thing that this blog has — This blog has ME –Ken Dauer, aka FinePickens, recently added also aka TheOldGuy.
So, welcome to the blog of FinePickens. A few of you may benefit from looking up the definition of the words in my tagline. Perspicacious, Peripatetic — I like those words; not because they have so many syllables, but because they engender so much meaning.
If you are reading this blog, you should give yourself much credit for how smart you really are. Like it or not, your life is blessed with the trials and tribulations of modern society. I used to congratulate my students on their intelligence with this story:
“You are smarter than some of the Presidents of the United States. Just imagine what might happen if George Washington could walk into this room, right now. If I were to ask him to turn on the lights, he would probably reach in his pocket and pull out a match and start looking for the candles. If I were to ask any one of you, you would walk over to a strange switch on the wall, flip it the other way and fully expect something to happen to the objects in the ceiling.” Just to tickle their minds I would add, “Can’t you just imagine when George needed to go to the bathroom — he’d be out behind the schoolhouse looking for a much smaller building?” Of course, I realize that some of you younger folks will look at that last comment and wonder, “What in the world is he talking about?” Folks, things change!
Things change, we change as the things around us change. Our culture changes as things change, so here I have another story. In the 1980’s computers came into the schools. I was blessed with the support of a school board and administration which saw fit to put into my high school English/Language Arts classroom, one of the first file-sharing computer networks using word processing on a Novell platform. From today’s perspective, it was archaic at best; but then, it was one of less than a handful of computerized “writing labs” across the country.
At the same time “Technology Education” became quite a catch-phrase. Consequently, students would come into my class, excited about the latest robot they had created or the machine that would replace five humans. In my classes, I expected the students to continue to talk about great ideas from literature and history. They were expected to use the computerized writing lab to share their research and to engage in “peer editing”. About that time another phrase popped up: “Collaborative Learning”. I was finally able to capture the time with this statement to the students.
“You go to Vocational Education courses where you learn how things are changing; you come to English/Language Arts to learn how things are remaining the same.” There is the old cliche: You should learn from history because you won’t have time to make the mistakes of the past.
Life is filled with choices. For me, among the most meaningful of choices is to be clear about “What to remember” and “What to forget”. When my wife makes a remark about becoming forgetful, I remind her that from my perspective that’s a good thing.