Yesterday, when I was in my office, a colleague came in and started talking about comma splices and how sometimes they are overused. Well, I love the sound of those words in unison. Say it slowly and you might agree, “Comma splices”. As you know, I love words. Together those words describe exactly what it means. So, I was inspired to write this poem. Remember, punctuation is important, like grammar it makes your ideas and thoughts clear so the reader can understand exactly what you are trying to say.
So here is my poem. I hope it entertains you and reminds you to think about punctuation.
Commas, Commas, Everywhere
Comma splices dot my words
Round and round the pencil curbs
Point and scoop
Scoop and curve
I distribute them all ‘oer the place
My mind has pauses here and there
My thoughts skip round like fleas in pairs
So when I write
Or what I say
Fragments like stars in outer space
Mark my paper full of red
Ink on paper I don’t dread
I just love to tweet and post
And commas are allowed in those
Commas, commas, everywhere
They’re like water and tears I’ve shed
You can’t drink them or punctuate
Cause like the sea, they are my fate
People these days are constantly talking about time management as if time could be managed like checkers on a board. Reality is time passes if we do not pay attention to our lives and exist in the moment. But being present and doing things mindfully does not mean that all I promised will get done and all I’ve done will ever meet the expectations of those I promised.
So, this semester, I am not obsessing about getting things done as much as I am doing things because truly that is the only way they get done.
Everybody talks about being busy these days and they rush through things to finish them. I ask them, “Why are you rushing to finish when you can’t remember where you’ve been.” Rushing to finish means you are never in the present. Obsessing about what you need to do means not paying attention to what you are doing, which probably means you will have to do it again because you didn’t do it well the first time. You know…the time you don’t remember because you weren’t there.
This is a copy of my fall schedule.
Because I am a visualizer, I made the blocks proportionally accurate with respect to time.
I especially like the colors I used this time. But who knows if they are indicative of “time” which I have long given up trying to manage. These days I am just happy to live in the moment and hope I manage to keep most of my promises and still get plenty of sleep…
Or enough sleep anyway, because who knows what “plenty” is when one is referring to sleep or time or anything else.
But no worries…
We will all manage.
Originally I wrote this post on another blog. It is interesting how it still applies.
I have learned a number of valuable lessons, but none as valuable as the ones I have learned this summer. They are simple and I am a bit embarrassed by the fact that it took me this long to get them, but sometimes long is how long it takes. Here they are in short:
- Observe without judging. If you are just observing, you see things as they are and react less. Usually there is little need to understand what is happening instead of living what is happening, but if you are mindful and observe, instead of judge, you will see much more clearly.
- Listen to your thoughts. If you are quiet, you can hear your thoughts. When you hear your thoughts, you learn your own mind and realize your true feelings.
- Being present is difficult but worth it. When you are present, you realize what you missed and sometimes still miss. It is a continuous process, but well worth the effort. It reminds you of how important it is to observe more and judge less. Really listening to what people say makes you realize that much of it has nothing to do with words.
We are at to the point in the semester where most of you us are tired. Some of you may even be cursing your professors. Don’t worry, many of us cursed our professors when we were students. The time moves both, fast and slow during this time of the semester. There is never enough time to get the last project done, or to study for the last test. The end though near, feels miles of wakeful nights away. Thank goodness it has been raining– it makes the desire to flee a little more manageable.
In spite of how much you want to keep moving, please stop and reflect, because now, is the time. Now is the time to look back and recall the first few days of the semester. Remember? Does it seem so long ago when you told yourselves you would not get behind and you would get plenty of exercise and sleep? Do you remember how you felt on the day when you first walked into our classroom eager to listen to every word? Or maybe you remember thinking that a podcast or vidcast sounded hard to make. Perhaps you recall your concern over the fact that you would have to sit for 40 minutes straight, without looking at a cell phone for fear of an automatic class-participation grade deduction. Think now, about what you remember about the beginning of the semester.
Now, look at where you are. Three months later, you are creating multimedia presentations and you probably know who Ken Burns is and Marshall McLuhan was. You probably know much more, than you even know you know. No matter how much or how little work you did for your projects, you probably learned plenty just by being a part of a group. Do you know your group members’ names? Learn them, because one day one of you may be hiring the other one. Will you have forgotten or forgiven their level of participation in the group project? Maybe you don’t know it, but may have made a friend for life, after staying up all night agonizing about points and details that no one else would ever notice?
The time to look is now. No matter how tired you are and how much you are cursing whichever one of us you think makes your life difficult, please, just stop. For just a second, look at your life. Look at how much you have changed. Look at how much more you know now than you did only three months ago. Maybe you have fallen in or out of love since that first day. Maybe you have learned how falling in and out of love teaches you something about yourself. Maybe you have made a new friend, or discovered a path you never knew existed. Maybe you sense the change, but cannot quite put your finger on exactly what it is.
I do not know if any of you remember, but early in the semester, I told you it was magic. We are surrounded by magic. Do not rush so much you miss it. Stop and look, because this time will never be again. Notice where you are right now. Stop and reflect on how far you have come.
This morning after free-range writing, I realized it was important to do some free-range seeing and so I looked. I began to see beyond what was there and so I imaged form in space and added light. With flash and exposure, no matter how much I have tried to control things, the surprises yield the best results. At the particular exposure when the darks turned black the flash magically overpowered the ambient light. The photographs, rich with texture unveiled through iridescent pedals. Putting it together, I realized it was a conversation about intimacy.
Two young girls wait their turn to dance, one revealing an expression of discontent.