Sunday, February 17, 2013

one local park, my walking park, has been taken over by dogs, hundreds on a given spring afternoon, to the point that nobody else really wants to use the place. i watch carefully and walk gingerly around the edges. tonight i'm too tired; i'm staying home and blogging and going to bed. but spring has sprung. the dog wallow is hopping.

spring here means a steady hard wind, about thirty mph, that puts sand in your teeth sometimes but otherwise keeps the air fresh and the sky blue. they say that once they start plowing the fields, and that will be soon, more dust will blow and it'll get a little dusty out there. for now, it seems like a thin person or a kid might blow away, but mostly you want to just stay on the right side of some building, if you want to sit out in the sun. lots of kids are out jogging, biking, playing football even. they don't seem to mind the sand in their teeth, maybe they like it.

going to dallas in late march; this is because i have another tesol presentation on the topic of how technology has messed with everyone's brain, to the point that they haven't learned stuff. for example, if spell-check checks it, you don't learn how to spell. an entire generation doesn't learn how to spell. people rise to a certain level, in a place where spelling is necessary, and realize they've never learned to spell. but spelling is just the tip of the iceberg. remember, they never learned to multiply or divide either. they reach for the calculator instinctively, even if they're multiplying by one. it doesn't make sense to ask oneself the question, is the calculator really necessary for this one? that would only happen in my generation.

so the question becomes, who cares if they know how to multiply when they don't have their calculator. in fact, my presentation is about grammar-check software and what happens to people who are learning the language, and at the same time being told what to do with it. it's not pretty. it's like if the mechanic told me over the phone how to remove my transmission, and i was on the side of the interstate.

i see that blogger now has spell check, or at least something that's putting red lines on what i write. you must get a lot of that, you might say, since i don't have a capital letter anywhere in sight. yes, to some degree, i'm used to it. but it demonstrates a point. if blogger itself is building in the check-hardware, then basically everything is upgrading, even as we speak, and as they make better developments in this situation, virtually every word-processor has spell-check of some kind, and they borrow each other's upgrades, and the world gets a slightly higher standard. A sorely needed higher standard.

they've actually had what i'd call a hard winter here, lots of cold and hard-blowing wind, some freezing temps, some days when it's hard to walk and almost impossible to ride a bike. it's dry too; it sucks the moisture out of you til you're chapped and brittle. but it's fresh, and it's always sunny. people have money; they play to win; they watch football and they support fracking for the most part as they've always made their money pulling stuff out of the ground, one way or the other. it's a little unsettling, the fact that they already do it, so extensively, and ruin what little water we've got. i'm just a visitor though; it's obvious i won't change much. i wonder about their logic, but then, i wonder about a lot of stuff. folks sure are friendly, for what it's worth. the wild weather doesn't seem to set them back much.

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