Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mouth Flapping and the End of Another Year

It was in April of 2009 on a regular old day when I found some of the most profound words ever written in a 'cycle blog, or any other kind of blog that I've perused. It was Dan Bateman, "Irondad," who wrote them in his Tranquility amidst chaos II. "Too many people make too much noise and flap their mouths way too often. They're full of themselves and their own ideas. Often times wrong ideas. They miss so much because they just won't shut up and be quiet."

I wrote in a reply to his post: " I e-mailed that to my work account because I need to remember that I need to shut up and listen more. I'm going to print it and nail it to my desk, I think."

Well, Dan, I didn't use the nail; I opted for a screw. But those words have been on my desk at school since the Monday after I read 'em, and one of the last things I did before I closed up my classroom for the summer was to take a picture of them sitting there, taped onto a magnetic strip that's screwed right to the desktop.

That admonition served me well, and it made a difference to me and to the kids who spent this whole academic year just past with me. Thank you, Dan, from myself and on behalf of those kids who benefited from my shutting up and listening more.

Because I left school on Friday and headed straight into a mini vacation out of town today was my first "official" day of summer vacation in that it was the first typical summer day back here at the house. As per tradition I had the inaugural lunch salad at noon on the dot. It had been a long time since I'd had one of my big salads and it was as delicious as I remembered them.

Oh! While I was away I replaced "Baby Bear," the camera I carry on my hip wherever I go. I got an Olympus to match the new recently acquired workhorse DSLR. I'm often asked why I have a camera with me at all times. My stock answer is because I'm planning to win a Pulitzer in photography someday, not because I'll take a great shot, but because I'll be in the right place at the right time. I'm not holding my breath, but I have gotten a lot of fun pictures that I'd not otherwise have taken if not for carrying a camera with me all the time. This is an actual self-portrait of the little Oly, mirrored thanks to Paint Shop Pro.

It must be a decent camera. It even makes the riverfront in Wilkes-Barre look half inviting (in part because the stupidity of not providing any parking or bathrooms for the new area isn't evident in the shot).

And, I got my first ride of the summer in today. It wasn't long nor far, but it gave me a feeling of freedom that I've not had since the end of last August!

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