All posts tagged knowledge

Sorry, Mr. Wordsworth, part one.

Published December 17, 2017 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I’m fully acknowledge that I sound like a snob or, heaven forfend, Ted Mosby (seriously how did those smug people put up with each other? At least The New Adventures of Old Christine acknowledged that they were terrible) but  the Words are Worth (see what I did there?) saying:

The world is too much with us. In spite of my natural tendency to flail, I can’t just wander about Higgledy Piggledy hoping to land in the right place (of course if you were to see the myriad of bruises marring my landscape you would think I was doing just that.)

BatBeard continues to warn me on a regular basis to stop reading the news because it upsets me. Well, I’m not going to stop, (So there!)

The same teacher who introduced me to Wordworth (She also introduced me to Alfred Noyes, but that’s a fish for another basket) also introduced me to the duo consisting of Knowledge and Responsibility.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t a familiar with Spiderman or his uncle Ben(But how cool would it be if that Uncle Ben was the same person as the guy from the box of rice? These are the ideas that keep me from sleeping very deeply.)  She explained that knowledge made one responsible for choosing. One had to choose between action and inaction.

I have taken this to heart every single day. My heart and I have been full of decisions lately.  It is not new to this particular administration, because the problems have always been with us.  As Mr. Wordsworth went on to say:

“Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;”

A colleague whose opinion I truly cherish said ,”It’s worse than it’s ever been.”  So while the madness around me has been roiling for decades, or at least since 1802 when Wordsworth tossed this poem out to frame his thoughts, it appears to be getting worse.

As much as it makes my head and heart hurt to look, I can’t help it.

In a related tangent, I read the Handmaid’s Tale around the same time as I learned this poem. Since I was twelve, I didn’t quite absorb all of it’s meaning, but the gist of the story stayed with me. So, when BatBeard, the same pirate hero who has warned and cajoled me to remain calm raved about the series, I began watching the series (I in no way blame BatBeard for any of my angst, in fact, he is truly loved by the Mom, my Amanda Friend and Actor Boy for bringing my smile back from wherever it had been hiding.) I could only watch one episode at time because the words and the knowledge began to form thoughts and choice in my head.

Take care when thoughts are provoked.

Here’s the one that got me:

“It didn’t happen overnight.”

I’m just sayin’

Published May 23, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I love words. I also love knowledge (In fact, I yearn for it.) That’s why I am finding it difficult to believe that I can’t seem to shove the letters and thoughts together in a cohesive strand to say what I mean.

I seem to be running from reality to the point that I forget it’s there (That would be reality, not the point. Come to think of it, I have a history of missing that, too.) Last night I found myself tearing up for what I thought was no reason.  Then I remembered, oh yeah, you did just have some pretty major emotional trauma recently and its not like you can cry it out because of oh yeah that brain thing. (Why yes, I am very casual in tone when I talk to myself.)

I am having a very difficult time finding the right words. (Not in an aphasia way, more in a figurative way. I did just crack myself up imagining myself digging through the clean sock basket looking for the right words to wear with this outfit. Not that I actually care what socks I wear with what. It’s just the image of pawing through my clutter and detritus (World’s worst maid service) to find the words.

It seems that the only thing I can do productively right now is stare at the wall and mock myself.

Now, back to the wall.

Nicely said, Robin Morgan

Published September 7, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.

This quote is attributed to Robin Morgan, a poet, journalist, theorist and activist.

My mind is stuffed full of ideas and inspiration for a knowledge expedition.

I just spent the weekend at the Langdon Review of the Arts In Texas publication event. I was the contributing playwright for this year’s edition. I attended a few of the events and now I want to leap out into the world and start some kind of revolution. This revolution will be based on fact, supposition and observation. If anyone wants to invest in this project, I am willing to humbly accept your contribution.

I suspect that I will be waiting for a while for the checks to arrive. Maybe I should try Homer Simpson’s Happy Dude calling system.

I went into the Langdon Review weekend predisposed to rant. I am still waiting to hear from the last two of the jobs  I applied for. One of these jobs is for the Fine Arts department of the university that awarded me my BA. I did not get the job in the Education department  at the university that awarded me my MEd.

I am trying not to think too hard about what this might mean on any and all levels.

So at this point I have more or less resigned myself to substituting in my city’s large and terrible school district.  This statement is not meant to defame the district. It is simply a statement of fact. It is not a big secret that our district is, in a word, heinous.

More on that later.

I have decided that if I must do this, and clearly, I must, I should go forth and use the experience. I plan to look at the experience as an ethnographic research project. I will immerse myself in the day and observe and intervene only in extreme circumstances.   Kind of like shark week, except I don’t get a cage and there is no way the high end equipment would survive cafeteria duty. (Really, why do they make subs do this?)

I have figured out that I can sub three days a week and write every single second I’m not in a class room and I can just about squeak by.

I anticipate a lot of screaming and stomping in my future.

Because I sincerely believe that we, as a society are secreting and hoarding our knowledge from the people who need it the most: the ones who can’t afford it.

Just a thought to chew on for the rest of the weekend. One of the public high schools in my city is opening a student run pantry of sorts where homeless students can get clean uniforms (dress code) and toiletries and school supplies.

Other students see the need to provide the basics to make other people feel human enough to attend school and learn.

The whole  need for the idea makes me want to pound my head on the floor until I lose consciousness. That doesn’t help anyone, least of all me. I have had the luxury of an excellent education and I just spent a weekend having people nod sagely at me in acknowledgment of my wisdom.

I can’t insult my brain by smacking it around for knowing things.

Knowledge is power.

Let’s power up.


How well do I want to be able to see? and other questions I ask myself when I’m preparing

Published July 22, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am trying to do new and exciting things. I realize that for someone who loves knowledge (and in fact, yearns for it) I don’t really follow through with grand adventures.

I generally don’t like to do anything that requires me to wear real pants.

I made the mistake of musing aloud that I was thinking about auditioning for the upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet.

I should have kept my big muse shut.

Once I said it, I had to do it. ( I strive to always do what I say I am going to.)

I tried to use the excuse of not having the time to find and prepare a Shakespeare monologue. Then I harkened back to the last twenty years or so of my life which included several classes in performance, some that I attended and some that I taught.  Then some weisenheimer, probably one of my former students, reminded me that I should always be prepared and as I professional, shouldn’t I always have a Shakespearean monologue ready to go?

I hate it when they pay attention only to zing me later.

So I psyched myself up (not out, for an exciting change) polished my monologue and got my act and clothes together.

I am one of those people who is a firm believer in dressing well for an audition.  It’s shows respect for the director.

As I was contemplating my heap of make-up (I have a lot of make-up for someone who doesn’t really go anywhere.) I wondered if I should wear my glasses or contacts.

At this point in my career, most directors realize that what they see is what they get, a chunky  middle-aged chick with pretty good skin, so it doesn’t really matter and the choice was up to me.   Then I had to decide how well I wanted to see.  (The right contact lens with the correct prescription is slightly torn on the edge and feels a little pokey. I have a spare right lens that’s a little off, but not pokey. The left lens is actually ok.)   My glasses look great, but I don’t feel fantastic performing in them and if there’s a lot of movement, I don’t want them to fly off. (I realize that no one is going to ask me to do a tumbling pass, nor am I going to volunteer to attempt this, so I probably could have just worn the glasses.)

Anyway, I went with the non-pokey, slightly worse vision. I auditioned. I did my monologue.  I found my light. I took direction and didn’t  blow any lines.  I read a scene a couple of times.

The director didn’t barf or cough or otherwise voice any displeasure.

I feel pretty good about it.

I realize that if I am cast, I will have to leave the house more often. I think the pants are negotiable.

And what’s my problem?

Published June 10, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

There’s nothing like hearing about actual problems to make you feel like an ass for whining about your own nonsense.

I enjoy listening to audio books or talk radio in the morning. Back when I had satellite TV (Yeah, I know, I sound like a bitch for complaining that to cut costs, I no longer have a bazillion channels, I merely have the hundreds of shows and movies that are available on Hulu, Youtube or Netflix.) I would listen to one or more of the news shows to blast me out of my blissful slumber.

So now I have to make do with podcasts to entertain me as I go about my morning.  Today I listened to Stuff You Should Know: How Homelessness Works and How Human Trafficking works. (A normal person wouldn’t think this a good way to get pumped up for teaching tiny children how to audition for musical theater.   I prefer to think of myself as hungry for knowledge, not thirsty for lithium.)

I actually knew quite a bit about these two topics, but for some reason I decided I needed a refresher to just grim up my day.

There is an amazing amount of information about how we as a people squander our resources.  I knew that Americans throw away a shameful percentage of the food we grow and purchase.  It seems insane to do this when there are parts of the world where there is JUST NO FOOD. Not people who are hungry because they can’t afford to eat. There are places in the world where people are hungry because there IS NOTHING TO EAT.  (Yes, I do  feel that there is a reason to scream those words. They scream in my head, so you should get to hear too.)

These reminders helped me stop panicking about what am I going to do to keep my head above water because of my shifting financial situation and that I’m lonely right now.  There are people in this very city, some of whom I passed on my way to work yesterday who are trying to keep their heads above water for real when it’s raining and flooding, because they don’t have a roof.

It does bug me when I think people are judging me when they happen to look in my direction. At least people don’t act like they didn’t see me when they look right at me.

It is indeed a horrible thing.

Would you rather be ignored, or judged?

I’m sure  no one would pick both.

I’m not saying bring a homeless person home with you or build them a lean to next Starbucks. You don’t even have to give anyone money.  Maybe just take the time to smile at someone and acknowledge their presence on the planet. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, ask them their name. Wouldn’t it be nice to treat someone with the kind of respect and dignity so many of us take for granted.

Ok, I have to return my soapbox to it’s factory preset position.

The truth is funnier than it appears, es verdad?

Published April 18, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

What is it that they say about a little knowledge?  Nothing, actually, they, or Alexander Pope say, A little learning is a dangerous thing. (“Pope say” made me laugh out loud.  Say it, “Pope-say” Hilarious.) If a little learning is a dangerous thing, I must be approaching deadly weapon status. (One can only hope.)

I asked myself why I was I wading through books to find evidence for truth. I wanted to say, “Why not,” but I can only imagine the consequences of slapping myself for being a wise ass.   I am hoping a review of literature in light of my own world from my own perspective will help me make sense of things as a whole.  There is a lot of psyche denting stuff happening in the world right now, even for people whose husbands haven’t knocked anyone up. (I think I’m entitled to drop that in it’s not like it’s a state secret, and if it makes YOU cringe, imagine how it looks on this, the fuzzy end of the lollipop.)

I am feeling a little bonkers today. Evidence to support this, I selected “Drive” on the Google home page because I was looking for directions. Seriously. I am a bright, educated person and it still took me a few moments to figure out what I was doing.

I am continuing on with the definition of what may or may not be history. My Amanda friend shared a link with me about how to fake a Moon Landing. I know from experience  that if you want to make an engineer flurb, you should say with utter conviction that you think the Moon Landing was faked. (I have to be honest, the main reason that I believe it  wasn’t is because a director recently proved that it would have been impossible to film  a fake moon landing with the available film technology.)

This seems to be the perfect place to leap (with one small step for a man?) to the next statement in the book Denying History.  “History exists outside of the minds of the historians.”  That makes sense. History is that which can be proven through fact, eyewitness account with statistical support.

The problem with that as a basis to truth is that some, not me, would consider that a formula. (Not me, because if you say formula, I think “NO NO NO! That’s Math!”  and I scream and run away.)

And the problem with that, especially when dealing with people is that there are variables (eek, math!) that will make the formula invalid.

I need to step it up on getting through this book, it’s already got so many tape flags on it, it has more fringe than the Sonny and Cher show.

For those of you who wanted to read ahead and you are by no means obligated to, the next book is “Gated Grief.”