A long time ago (nearly four years!) I wrote a post about my high school English teacher, Mrs. McGee (see The Love Connection) and a short story I’d written in her class. I complained in my post that she’d given me a low grade on the story because she objected to its conclusion.
Turns out my memory about the objection is correct, but she give me an ‘A’ on the paper anyway. (In fact, she compared the writing to Chekhov’s The Seagull … kinda sorta.)
I wanted to share it years ago, but didn’t know where it was. I found it just last week, and here it is:
Nearly (but not quite) identical!
Yet another bit of flotsam washed ashore, this one from the mid-to-late 1980s I’m guessing. Another part of the same note has a file system diagram that, in part based on the “DOS” directory, confirms the era.
Back then I participated a lot in two online groups: Star Trek and Feminism. (Both were topics of avid interest to me!) This note seems to address a topic that sometimes arose as party line in the latter group, but which I thought missed the point.
It’s about examining versus ignoring differences…
Another note that surfaced, this one actually dated: 1/17/79. Apparently, for some reason, I was moved to jot down a personal definition of innocence (as opposed to incense, which is defined by smell rather than words).
“Innocence: Trusting first rather than mistrusting. Thinking someone is right first rather than wrong.”
Sadly, tragically, life has a way of destroying that trust and changing that thinking.
On the note’s flip side…
One retirement project of mine involves going through lots of boxes containing work stuff, hardware and software design stuff, and decades of writing stuff. It’s kind of amazing and weird how much stuff I’ve generated in well over 40 years of active stuff creation. Among all that stuff — the bulk of which turns out to be dead weight I can eject — are a few worth saving and recording here.
The writing stuff, especially, varies from short notes to, in a few cases, short stories or scripts written long ago. Here is a note that seems as relevant today as it was when I wrote it circa late 1980s.
It’s about violence…
Here’s something that caught my eye: Researchers at the University of Vermont, in the Computational Story Lab (!), did an interesting word content analysis on 1,700 stories downloaded from Gutenberg. Each story had been downloaded at least 150 times by readers.
The researchers used “sentiment analysis” that measures the positive or negative emotional impact of words. Using a sliding window they attempted to characterize the “emotional arcs” of each story. Their goal was to see if there were common patterns.
Turns out, there are!
When I was a college film student, one of the first classes putting theory into practice divided the students into groups of three. The class goal was for each group to make three films. The group would rotate among themselves the key positions of Writer, Director, and Cinematographer. This allowed everyone a chance to experience those roles.
Our group produced one that was silly fun, one that was weird and off-the-cuff, and one that was interesting and which affected people.
Sadly, I have only memories (so I might be making this up).
I don’t often crack up over internet gags, but when I do I crack up over ones like this:
As an added bonus, back in June (during their slump) I wrote a little blues tune for my Minnesota Twins…
“Four score and seven…” (Ahem.) Excuse me, I meant… “Four years and seven (or more — it’s gotten hard to keep track) lifetimes ago, I brought forth upon this WordPress (dot com) a new blog, conceived in lunacy, and dedicated to the proposition that all blog readers would subscribe eventually.”
“Now I am engaged in a great deal of introspection, questioning whether that blog, or any blog so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. The truth is, the world will little note, nor long remember what I write here. It is for us the bloggers, rather, to be dedicated here to adding a few more drops to the ocean. Tiny cries of small critters in a very large wilderness.”
And at this point, I’m way off script…
This blog is nearly four years old (I started on July 4th, 2011). This post makes it exactly 500 posts here on Logos Con Carne. To commemorate it, I’m giving myself the 500 Odometer Award (which I built myself from various electrons I had laying around).
As part of the party, this post consists of miscellaneous odds and ends that have intrigued me lately. I’ll leave it to you to decide which are the odds and which are the ends.
I was tempted — just for a moment — to call this The Lost Oeuvre, but it really doesn’t rate such a highfalutin title. (And until just now, I had no idea “highfalutin” was a single, hyphen-free, word.) Considering that “works” can refer to drug-taking gear, that word seems just right.
Going through some old stuff, I came across typewritten copies of a few scripts from my film student college days. Not just film, but television production, too. I ended up becoming a computer programmer, but for a while I aspired to be the next George Lucas (or more likely, Quentin Tarantino).
For fun, I thought I’d share one of the ones I’m not too embarrassed by all these years later.