Monday, October 27, 2008

Literacy is a burden

You know, when I was a kid no one asked me if I wanted to learn how to read - they just forced it upon me without so much of an "as you please". And that's just crap. Do we really live in a country where 5 year olds (yeah, I don't know how old kids are when they learn to read) do not have the right to decide whether or not they want to becomes literate? We get voter pamphlets, TV and radio ads, phone calls, and political platforms shoved in our faces every day listing out the pros and cons of each square on the ballot, but no one lays out the pros and cons of literacy to children.

But kids, I want to be the first to tell you that reading is not all its cracked up to be. The number one drawback is this: WHEN YOU'RE LITERATE, PEOPLE EXPECT YOU TO READ. How is that fair?

All of a sudden you're bombarded with reading lists, standardized tests, book reports, essays, biographies, poetry, and other forms of coma-inducing boredom. And, when you're stupid enough to hang around academia, you're assigned the worse thing imaginable: journal articles. And again, you're expected to read them, remember them, and cite them when appropriate. Oral traditions worked well for centuries and millennia, what was so bad about that?

And what's just a slap in the face is when you do find a book that you want to read, you don't have time to read it. Or, its been so long since you've read anything entertaining, you get absolutely obsessed and can't function until you finish the book. Then, you realize that the book is part of a series, and that you don't have time to read anymore books in the series until the spring.

I should have been a goat herder.

But, on the pro side, here's something pretty awesome about being literate:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Losing the Will to Live

With the impending doom of giving a presentation lacking things like data to a conference of professionals, I have been given a reason to contemplate my philosophy on life.... Or rather, near death by serious injury/illness. I am so obviously frantic about this talk, I'm blogging. That's gotta say something....

On my way into the grocery store last week, I realized that if I got hit by a car, I would have a good chance of getting out of giving my talk. Upon crossing from the parking lot to the store front, I noticed an SUV heading my way - what a perfect opportunity! But, alas, they stopped at the stop sign. Damn you, Boulder and your pedestrian-friendly drivers!

Upon expressing my desires though several different mediums (i.e., Facebook), there was an outcry of support to help me fulfill my fantasies of getting taken out. I feel so loved. My one stipulation is to please run over my right side ; I feel the need to even things out and that having metal in only my left leg throws me off balance. And if we could make a stop by McGuckin's on the way to the hospital to pick up some screws and metal plates, I would appreciate the thousands of dollars that would save. (Though I did get a check for $17 yesterday from the hospital for overcharging me at some point. Thanks guys! I hope you appreciated that other $10,000!)

I have also considered giving myself extreme food poisoning - can't move from the floor, commode-hugging food poisoning. No one wants someone who could potentially vomit at any second on stage constantly opening her mouth. I have had offers of help with this tactic, as well. And, honestly, by the way the several day old sandwich I just ate tasted, this may actually work out. We'll see how the next few hours pan out.

But it now appears that I have moved into the apathetic stage of panic/stress/exhaustion where I don't give a crap. This, I can handle.