Posted in In my humble opinion...

SoCS 2-4-23 Just Right

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “perfection.’” Use it any way you like. Enjoy!

I’m a ‘word’ person. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that y’all are too.
Words have meaning. Some are cultural, and some are regional, but we all hope that the meanings are close to universal in our own situational contexts. Don’t get me started on the current Pop Culture effort to redefine and/ or at least ‘water down’ the cohesiveness of our common understandings! {deep breath}

The word “perfection” has been one that I refused to use according to my own philosophy on early childhood education. I made a decision ‘many moons’ plus years ago to avoid using the term “perfect” in my interaction with children.
I’ll use the term “just right” but never “perfect”.

Here’s why:
“Perfect” suggests (to me) that there’s an objective measurement of something tangible that IS perfect. What a daunting pursuit for anyone to attempt to find “perfection” in an imperfect world among flawed, imperfect, people. I didn’t want any child to believe such a thing. I just know that they would fall short and be discouraged by their repetitive “imperfectness”. It’s already a hard enough task to grow and learn.
I also have noticed many adult people who actually get up in the morning with an expectation to find that ‘unicorn’ known as “perfect”. It’s painful to watch. Many people are just ‘born’ to impose such an impossible standard on themselves, but I made up my mind that during my childcare years, I wasn’t going to inspire it in kids by an inartful use of language.

So, what did I substitute for “perfect”? I adopted the use of “just right” with the kids. If something you’ve planned comes out the way you expect it to, it’s the subjective place of “just right”.
Goldilocks wanted porridge that was “just right” according to her expectations and tastes. Is there, or has there ever been, a “perfect” bowl of porridge? I’d like to know where THAT recipe book is.

Our mannerisms have lasting effects on children. They study what all adults do. (Not unlike the way our pets study us.) But our language also should be carefully regarded. When they aren’t watching us, they’re listening, and words still do have meaning.

Just so ya know, having the opportunity to watch kids grow and learn has offered me a small glimpse of God’s ‘perfect plan’ when He created them.

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope your weekend turns out “just right”. ❤

Oh, after writing this I recalled a heartwarming memory from my childcare years that fits this theme ‘just right’.
A former child in my care had a 1st grade assignment to draw a picture of something “Just Right” for him. When he showed me his drawing and caption, I cried. The drawing was of my house and play yard and the caption was ” My Day Care is just right for me.”

Posted in In my humble opinion...

Oct.9th,2012~ Nature

The modern theory of natural selection derives...
The modern theory of natural selection derives from the work of Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is more going on in Nature than natural selection. Natural selection adds polish to a perfection that takes my breath away.That perfection cannot be denied.
An old school friend , once smugly answered a question I had placed online with, “It’s called natural selection.” My question was from an observation about dead frogs. They become more visible to carrion feeders when they die and their white underbelly turns upward. The contrast against the darker colored water becomes another mechanism in the amazing life cycle. While, I do believe that the white under-bellies happened in order to disguise frogs against the silver surface of ponds. Those who could be seen by underwater predators were eaten in greater numbers therefore, “selecting” the white bellies as a helpful genetic trait. This still did not explain how the white bellies also helped the “clean-up” effort. I find these unintended perks very interesting. Of course, as an observer of nature, I notice many perks and find them to be evidence of a perfect order that cannot be categorized as coincidental.
I am not inclined to bring religion into the discussion. Nature herself is an enigma which is tangible to our studies and senses yet cannot be explained by pure science.
Nature can be violent and seemingly unkind from the human view. Ah, even our own senses often betray us. Yet, we refuse to accept our own limitations, often at our peril. The global warming debate, our manifest interest in saving animals from extinction, and our refusal to realize that humankind is part of the natural order are not even hiccups to Nature’s plan. We may have a hand in our own destruction but we are not guardians of Nature.
I studied the Valdez Oil Spill, once upon a time. It was a horrible event with much destructive force. Our scientists rushed to help.Helping and doing is an honorable endeavor. The scientists developed enzymes and “soaps” to break down the oil. When the horrors of the event faded it was found, and not as widely reported, that the “soap” impeded the natural bacteria which took over and cleaned up the environment twice as fast. Individual wildlife suffered…Nature recovered. Nature recovered in spite of our well-intended cures not because of them.
When an animal, humans too, experiences severe bodily trauma, they go into shock. Shock can be a deadly condition but it also is a Natural reprieve from pain and worry. Folks who survive shark attacks seldom pause to relive the pain endured while losing the limb. They have pain during recovery but talk freely about pulling the unwhole body part away. Their natural response was not inhibited by overwhelming pain but was directed by adrenaline and the interest in surviving. I find this amazing. Even our bodies are kinder to us than we realize.
There are many ways to look at our world. Often we defer to experts when problems arise. I think Mother Nature is the quintessential expert when it comes to environmental issues. Our job is to care not to waste and destroy but it is arrogant to assume we can manage “her”.

Posted in Sideshows

Spontaneous Writing: My Dilemma

English: This is a Venn diagram showing the re...
English: This is a Venn diagram showing the relationships between pronunciation, spelling, and meaning of words, for example, homographs, homonyms, homophones, heteronyms, and heterographs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever find that the monologue in your head is so much more brilliant than you? The words flow with an amazingly beautiful voice but faster than the hand can reproduce. There’s an exercise called spontaneous writing that, I believe, tries to capture what’s in your head.

Certainly, spelling has no use there…at least not for me, I cannot presume to know if you “see” words in your head when my head is filled only with my voice. BTW- I do see numbers and charts in my head in a three-dimensional and, what I have come to understand, bizarre fashion. But, I’m on a word search today.

My dilemma, most of my writing is prompted by my personal dilemmas, is the act of spontaneous writing. The NANO month of November is one example. There’s also a blog , Magic in the Backyard by author Kellie Elmore, which asks for raw prose. The prime directive of these writing prompts is to write without any focus on grammar, spelling or corrections.

I want to do this! It sounds like a fun, and such a freeing, act but I somehow cannot make the final leap. My inner editor won’t shut down and I won’t do it and cheat. In order to take part, I have to be willing to produce material that is “unclean” and share it.

Does this come from an arrogance? I ask myself. Am I afraid to be seen as imperfect? My answer is, not exactly. Some of it IS from not wanting to be terribly imperfect. If you’ve seen my spelling errors even when I use spell check, then you may already suspect it. BUT, I believe my hesitance is more about being misunderstood.

Words are such an anemic medium. It takes careful placement and timing to reproduce the author’s meaning. In my case, I want meaning to be as clear as words allow and I cannot envision my writing being shared when I have not reread and edited it for meaning ,and yes, I believe incorrect spelling does dilute meaning. At the very least, it interrupts the flow and pleasure of the reader. And who of you doesn’t realize how very important the placement of commas can be?

So there you have it. I want desperately to play and I will not cheat which makes it so very hard for me to try.

Do you suffer the same struggle when asked to write spontaneously?

PS…this post was spell checked repeatedly and was corrected every time. 🙂