Friday, October 24, 2008

a cool steady rain here all day; winter is coming, and it is hard, mornings, to load a 3-yr-old in a carriage & wheel on down the road. today we just took the car. it's ok; i've been swimming regularly, getting lots of exercise, feeling healthy, doing everything but sleep, and skipping that mostly because of the joys of the world serious and advancing my professional interests just 'cause i want to. i've become very interested in chat, especially the cultural aspects that the young carry around with them when they do it; how they engage in it with a passion, and almost fear it for its pull into its own cultural realm that they all share but know works against their more conservative goals. and, linguistically, the way it's a language of its own, with language behavior & change built right into it. so i'm working on getting some of my arabic-speaking students to tell me more about what i call 3-5 chat, a language that is arabic but written in mostly english letters with some numbers (3 & 5, most commonly) sprinkled in to represent certain arabic letters that wouldn't otherwise be accessible. and they're incredibly fast at this- so fast that, after seeing them once a while back, even almost a year back, i'm still amazed. my own son now types at over 80w/m, and he doesn't even try to improve- it's just from practice, and keeping up with the general flow of conversation. it's a culture. it's a happening event, just about wherever they are.

so why do i put this here, on this weblog? don't know; it's late at night; i don't really have my thoughts collected. i have a whole weblog for just this topic; yet sometimes i have trouble separating it from just a personal ramble going off into creative space & pop art. i've learned to go with the flow of my general a-d-d self- short story one day, pop art the next, professional writing when i can or have to, grading papers as a grind, day in, day out, yet even that's interesting, because if i focus on getting students to really talk about their lives, i really want to hear it, and, if they're studying nature and natural responses to global warming, i want to hear that too. counted my haiku tonight, have over 260, but what's missing is scrupulous attention to nature & the natural turns of season; one of which, of course, we are experiencing now. all this exercise basically puts oxygen in my brain and opens my eyes wider; i've begun to study the wild colors of the kamakura (sorry no link) japanese garden, without even knowing what all the various grasses are, without a clue, really. studying it, kind of, from a distance, spiritually, as it changes color, and sits still in its inanimate beauty. it's kind of the zen of walking to the pool; the passion of taking a few minutes of walking, to really see. and on the other side of the fence, the wild grasses of the uncut construction area; i've got to take that camera back, & get more of it. sometimes the wildness of nature itself, the snake under a rock, is enough to set you back. even in illinois, the plain(s) state.

then there's the play...gotta get going on it. make a poster & all. tomorrow; tonight, it's cold, & i'm going to bed. winter'll be upon us, any day now.


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