Saturday, December 31, 2005

for Carol

It's 12:23 on a Friday night, but I'm all wound up from a good conversation with dear Courtney, and I decided I'm not going to bed. It's still my vacation, and I have nowhere to be tomorrow morning, so I can stay up late into the night, typing away my thoughts. and I have a blog that needs to be written on.

many things have been flying through my head lately. many new things that I've been trying to wrap my brain around. (or am I trying to wrap them around my brain?) You might say there was a paradigm shift going on. Paradigm is my new word, and I will try to explain what it means, for as Charlotte Mason would say, if you can explain something - or retell it back - then you really know it. A paradigm is like a way of seeing something. It is the way you think something should be. So, for example, you could have a paradigm of how school is. Then the paradigm would include everything you know about school. Anything new that you learned about school would either fit into that paradigm and just add to it, or it might contradict your current paradigm and cause what is called a paradigm shift. And that is when my brain hurts, and I close my eyes halfway and try to make sense of something. (How was that, Courtney?) So, for another example, that is what happened when my sister told me she was going to have a baby. ! I first took in the news as one does. I heard it and my brain processed it, but it didn't fit in with my paradigm of my sister to be pregnant or to be a mother, and it took a while before I was able to wrap my brain around the notion. and now I get it, and it sure is exciting!

I'm on vacation, and have been at my parents' house where the internet connection is slow even for a dial-up and so I haven't checked my email. I haven't checked it in so long, and I'm rather enjoying this not-checking-it and so even though I'm back home, I'm still avoiding it, because I can. Part of the problem is that I have a growing list of people who I would like to email--that is, write a serious nice long email to. But I haven't done it yet, and in order to do it, I'd have to open my email and then I'd see a huge chunk of unread mail, and I'd feel like I have to respond to it all, and I'd see that some of it could be taken care of real-quick, and I should just deal with it, but then I'd be in a business-task sort of mood, and that is not a good letter-writing sort of mood, and so, the cycle continues. The emails haven't been written, the emails haven't been read. But it feels good to throw it all off along with other unvacationlike tasks. Like going to bed at normal hours.

Last night we played a fun game of naming all the things that were different from this time last year. Especially things that happened or changed that were unexpected. That was fun. That led us to wondering what unexpected things will happen this year, 2006.

most common homophone mix up of late: led and lead.

  • lead is what you don't want in your paint.
  • led is what leaders did yesterday.
I am sure unexpected things will be happening. most sure. Because that is what my paradigm of the future tells me.
I'm not sure if I'm making sense any more, so I won't try to use any more new words until I've fully synthesized them into my vocabulary.

But here is what I really have been thinking about lately. I've been thinking about this summer, and I've got some big ideas. I say ideas, and not plans, because I no commitments to them, and I'm afraid to say they will happen, because then I will be disappointed in myself if they don't happen. For now, the planning of it is fun.

The plan is to take a huge road trip around the country. I would start off about midJune and head west. Hopefully I'd make a stop in Kansas City to see Kailin, then I'd spend several days in Dallas with the Polaks. Then, I'd take off for the Grand Canyon, and this is where I hope some others would love to join me. I'd see the Grand Canyon, and then head for California, and then travel all the way up the coast through California, Oregon and Washington to Seattle. I'd spend some time with David and Jodi, who hopefully would be living there by then, and also with cousins on Vashon Island (where my bike was built! which would come with me). This would be about early July, and I'd go up to Vancouver to spend some time on the 40 acres, with, hopefully, a great deal of family. Then, with Rachel my cousin, we would head off across America, hitting all the great sites like the Badlands, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore. maybe I'd leave a bit for another time. I'd drop her off in Chicago, and head back to Atlanta, to rest up and start school. So that's the plan. And then there is all the fun other details to imagine, like how I would fund it, and how I would pack my car (which I hope will be christened by then), and what I'd need to get, like a bike rack and a sleeping bag and tent. And who else will join me, and could this really happen?

This all started one morning when I was getting ready for school and it just popped into my brain. Isn't that odd.

Isn't this odd stuff that you get from me at 12:58am?
Probably why I don't do this that often.

Right now I can piece together where my writing is coming from - I think I could list about 5 authors at least that are influencing my writing. Or perhaps I could at least I could think of book titles if not the writers. Which is ok. I wonder if that is because I'm tired and I am writing like that, or if I always do that, and just now I happen to be able to see it like that. Actually, no, I know I write like that a lot, especially after having just finished a particularly well written book. Like Huckleberry Finn, or The Education of Little Tree, or...If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.... I think this entry just happens to be a whole lot more piecemeal that others.

Ha ha, I just realized something funny. When Carol read the sentence from the introduction to Plato containing paradigm in it, I couldn't explain it. Then when she read her understanding of the dictionary definition of paradigm to me, it didn't fit with the vague idea I had of the word, or the contexts in which I had seen the word. So I was really confused (the fact that Radu purposely misused the word the rest of the evening probably added to it). So it was like my brain was trying to shift my understanding of the word and recall all the other times I have heard it and understood those passages. And it wasn't working. But now it is: Courtney's Clarification has helped greatly. [That sort of connects to the idea of what a paradigm is, doesn't it?] It's sort of like the ideas of schema. Now who was that educator that talked about schema, and fitting new things into it, and reworking it? and the more you know the more you can add to it? It is far too late for me to remember something like that.

There now, I've given you all lots of opportunities to respond to things from this blog, and so I hope you will, if you actually have read this far. Which I'm glad if you have.

I hope your Christmases were all Merry and may you have a wonderful last day in 2005!


Courtney said...

Wow, 3 references to me! I couldn't sleep last night either. That was very insightful. Yes, schema- that's it! And thanks for the italics. :)

Ken said...

good stuff. that's a killer vacation. nicki, the girl who played on our ultimate team last spring, was going to do something similar last summer but someone canceled on her.

that crazy radu. i'll have to give him a hard time the next time i see him.

David Wm. said...

Sounds like an awesome trip. We've got a tent you could borrow and maybe some other gear too.


Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it