12/03/2000

E-mail vs. That Discuss Button. Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t really care which people use. The discussion stuff certainly gets up there faster. E-mail is a bit easier for readers to navigate. I just reply to e-mail and copy Di, my sister, anyway, who then posts the mail later that day or the next. The other drawback to discussion is that you have to be a member of the site in order to post, which I presume is a minority of the readership here.

In case you’re not familiar with membership on a Manila site, you create an account and password, which gives the benefits of allowing you to receive site updates via e-mail and being able to post to the discussion groups. I don’t do anything with the membership database (I can’t say I’ve even looked at it–counting Di and myself, I know who four of the members are).

Late update today. I was up late, way too late last night reading old Mike Royko columns, then I had to be at church at 7:30 this morning. Now it’s noon, and I’m back with my cup of coffee next to my computer, and a burning desire to write something Royko-esque.

So I’m going to hand over the reins and lay down until that urge goes away. That’s the best thing a writer can do when faced with a desire to do something like be someone else, or use a $12 word when a ten-center will do.

Good discussions yesterday, by the way. I appreciate the feedback! That thread is here  (original plus responses) if you want to read it easily.

There’ll be mail later. There’s stuff in my inbox I haven’t replied to yet.

And now, time to hand the reins over to my mom. Mom sent me this, Friday I think, in response to focusing on what’s right rather than what’s wrong.

You can always find something that’s wrong–or difficult–or unpleasant–or uncomfortable.  But focusing on the negative will never get you anywhere in life.

You’ve probably heard this story before, but I’m gonna tell it again.

I once had a student who had been diagnosed with just about every learning disability that had ever been named.  He was in a regular classroom and did the regular assignments on the same time frame as everyone else.  And he regularly had just about the highest score in the class.  One year the school hired Ms SuperDuperLearningDisabilitiesExpert.  She immediately told us all the stuff we were doing wrong.  “Because he has this disability, you need to make this allowance.  Because he has that disability, you need to do this instead of what you’re doing now.  Because he has this AND that, you need to make this exception. . .”  We thought, “If he’s an A student now–and we’re doing everything wrong–just think what he could do if we start doing what Ms SDLDE tells us to do!”  So we did exactly what she told us to do.  Within weeks, his grades slide from As to Ds and Fs.  And, as his grades went down the tubes, so did his behavior.  Finally, we asked the parents’ permission to go back to what we used to do.  Almost immediately, his grades went back up and the behavioral problems went away. 

When we focused on what was wrong, we gave him permission to use his “disabilities” as an excuse.  Grades went down and he became a terror in the classroom.  By focusing on what he COULD do, we presented him with challenges to overcome.

Time to get off my soapbox and get back to work.

One last thing. I’ve been writing really long lately. I’m going to try to keep my stuff down under 700 words. I can’t control the volume of mail, so I’ll post whatever I get there. I don’t want it to take half an hour to get through my site every day. I think 700 words of me, plus a couple of letters and responses is plenty for anyone to endure on a daily basis.

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