Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
June 23, 2016
Friendship is Magic
Category: Miscellany … Serious

Today, as a student and I perused a list of writing prompts in search of an engaging topic, we happened upon one that tasked students with describing how to make a new friend.

"How about that one?" I said. "That looks like a fun prompt."

"I don't have much to write about that," replied the student. "My best friend -- he just came up to me and said, 'Will you be my best friend?' I said, 'Okay!' And we've been best friends for three years."

And I was fascinated by this revelation, because it just seemed so simple -- and because, I guess, that really is how friendship works for children. I think that's even how one of my most enduring childhood friendships started; we met in the 2nd grade and remained close until our sophomore year of high school, when he matter-of-factly informed me that we could no longer be friends because he needed to be with "his own kind." (He was Korean American. I am not.)

I smiled at my student and said, "Huh! Maybe I should try that."

But then it dawned on me that I *had* actually tried that -- and in the past few days, no less. When I asked if that person wanted to be friends, the answer was an unequivocal "no." (The explanation -- which I didn't ask for -- was this: "You and I are just so different.")

My student smiled back and said, "It couldn't hurt."

-posted by Wes | 1:00 am | Comments (0)
June 5, 2016
My weekend and stuff
Category: Miscellany … Serious … Travels

So I get that everyone has pleasant and unpleasant experiences, and that staying positive (at least according to general wisdom) means appreciating the good ones while mostly ignoring the bad ones... but I think it's kind of interesting that my negative experiences are frequently bizarre or memorable -- or costly -- enough that I'm inclined to comment on them to the exclusion of the more uplifting ones. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 9:19 pm | Comments (0)
April 17, 2016
A Prosaic Proposal
Category: Current Events … Serious

At the high school where I teach an SAT prep course, there's been some controversy over a student essay. Apparently, after reading and analyzing Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," students were assigned to write their own satiric piece -- and one student wrote a piece about racism that a number of students found highly offensive. (Some of those upset students are in my class; before Wednesday's session began, I read the essay and we chatted about it briefly.) (more...)

-posted by Wes | 5:44 pm | Comments (0)
April 12, 2016
I dislike terrorism, too?
Category: Serious … Travels

I got to work an hour or so early today, and since it was such a beautiful day I decided to take a delightful walk along the trail near the tutoring center. Seriously, it was a super pleasant walk and I should plan to arrive early far more often than I actually manage it! Still, here's a multiple-choice question for you.

Which of the following yard signs did I see during my walk?






Again -- it was a lovely walk. I think people sometimes get the impression that I post with the intent to complain or to spread negativity or to garner sympathy, but mostly I just think those observations provide for more interesting discussion than simply noting that I went for a relaxing walk (not that I won't post those sorts of comments as well). Like, what kind of person publicly displays a sign like (C)? At face value, it's basically the equivalent of "I DISLIKE TERRORISM" -- except I'd wager that most of us dislike terrorism. (I hope that I never find myself in a place that I am conclusively convinced is NOT a "jihad free zone.") So why would a person feel the need to express that sentiment in bold, capital letters unless he/she intends to suggest something beyond the simple meaning of the words? And given that likelihood, how should we interpret the sign? Is it making a positive/worthwhile comment, or is it functionally the equivalent of "I KINDA SUCK"? Hmmm.

-posted by Wes | 9:19 pm | Comments (0)
April 1, 2016
I’m writing an article, baby.
Category: Miscellany … SC Updates

"And in the case of the Caped Crusader, Snyder's Batman is easily the most realistic depiction of a maniac who spends his nights beating the snot out of criminal scumbags. Unike those other Batmen who wouldn't touch guns -- which is both out of step with the character's original disposition and decidedly un-American -- this Batman, like a small number of brave policemen protecting our streets from unarmed black teenagers and those proud white people protecting their families from the swarthy degenerates that would swipe their sneakers, isn't afraid to soak a few shirts in order to ensure the safety of his fellow Gothamites."

Too politically charged? I think too politically charged. I wanted a record of this sentence somewhere, though. xD

EDIT: Apparently not too politically charged, 'cause I was like, "Man, screw it, POST." Also, since I'm posting about it everywhere -- I'm super stoked about it, you see -- I posted a new article on Scary-Crayon! It's the first article I've posted since June of last year (yikes), and the last feature before that was May of the previous year (yikes squared). I really do miss posting to SC. I should do it more often -- I always feel so proud of myself after an article goes live. At least this one was over 3K words, so I feel a bit like I've made up for some of those idle months.

-posted by Wes | 5:16 pm | Comments (0)
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