Love to Learn, Learn to Love.

JuicyLesson 241: Music is the Fabulous Tune “Sacrifice” Performed Live by Elton John, Eric Clapton and Dire Straits … Fear and Loathing; A Dangerous Mind Unleased: Ideas of/for the Half-Baked Among Us .

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Above: Our featured pic today really struck me when I saw it for the first time, and every time I have taken a look at it since I see it in the same way: it is showing us what “poetry in motion” looks like.

Music today is the beautiful number “Sacrifice”, performed by Sir Elton, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler with Dire Straits. A Classic. Live. Performance.

My electric 24 volt cordless lawn mower stopped working because it appears the charger may be broken or the battery which holds its charge for about 90 minutes of mowing, might need to be replaced. Took the mower partially apart prior to realizing that it could simply be the charger that needs replacing. Sure hope I can put it back together.

Also my 2002 IBM laptop – my trusty Thinkpad – just stopped working in the aftermath of a power failure. More on that later. Suffice to say that most of my Mon-day is laid out for me: see about my laptop and the lawn mower in the morning, doctor Ludman, my wonderful and absolutely marvellous GP in the afternoon. I have to sign off now while really hoping to be able to report good news on at least one front upon my return. See y’all later and have the kind of positive day that I’m hoping to have.

Good news on both fronts and I’ll have it for you tomorrow.

Anyway, they don’t call me ” wrong way Jerry” at least on the roads, by-ways and highways, yup, they don’t call me that for nothing. I get that nom from my bud Emile, because, when he’s with me in the Beast and whenever – or so it seems – I am faced with a three or more pronged choice on the road, whether riding free or on the Beast GPS, and when I have less than that proverbial split-second to make a choice, I invariably will select the wrong fork or, to be absolutely poetic, the wrong prong. Wrong prong Jerry.

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With all due respect, Hilton, my dear friend, may you rest in peace, I must interject right here man that I give the nod to the reference “Beast” over that of “Hammer” as the “nom d’highway” of our Caddy ATS with the favest feature of mine, a six-speed automatic transmission equipped with the obligatorily stylish but surprisingly effective stick shift which I always use thanks to George, my colleague at Phoenix, who suggested that I deploy the stick while driving which I’ve done ever since.

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Not only does the correct use of the stick give the Beast that little extra umph when some additional speed is required, but using it gives one an inexplicable rush on the one hand as well as a more understandable one from the point of view of a PSYCOLOGUE when a feeling and/or sense of power is thrown into the mix.

Try to imagine the feel of a V-6, 3.6 litre, 327 HP engine … Vrooom Vrooom not whatever the Mazda commercial says, or in the way it is both projected and comes across.
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George suggested at the time that I use the stick to, among other things, downshift when I need to slow down or stop. I presume that this slows the Beast down in a more controlled way in addition to minimising the wear and tear on the brakes especially in so weighty a vehicle (didn’t want to call the Metallic Black Beast “heavy”), and, most importantly, of course, when properly accomplished, down-shifting while one is gliding smoothly (is that a redundancy) to a stop, both looks and sounds very cool. ‘Nuff said. Right? Right.

In the long term, the pen is most definitely mightier than the sword. The sword wins battles. Wars, on the other hand, are won by the pen.

Thanks for your suggestion re. The Beast George, and also un gros merci for what follows:

Listen to this: I was diagnosed with Scleroderma in mid-October 2008, it was the 17th actually, and I had to quit teaching and George generously agreed, after some coaxing and promises from me**, to take over my four classes – a sec. 5 economics class in addition to three sec. 4 history classes, the latter one-semester course being a “must pass” from the students’ point of view.
**I promised to prepare all of his classes for him; he’d be faced with the responsibility of guiding the students through them. I believe to this day that the Phoenix principal never thanked me for my efforts while I was ill and getting sicker by the day.
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I say generously because Mr. Frew, George to the students at Phoenix, had already retired and was basically subbing there and only there, just to make a little extra scratch, and here he was being asked pretty much out of the blue to take over all my classes and to teach material which he had never taught before and with which he was totally unfamiliar.

George and I worked really hard, me preparing the material, him delivering it and then the kids took over, doing their part in the classroom and at home. The results spoke for themselves: the vast majority of students passed their exam and successfully completed the course which they had to pass – and still do by the way – to get their HSL certificate.

How could they not. With a teacher like George delivering material prepared by one very sick and getting sicker with time teacher, me, the class was definitely well-prepared from our end and ready to do their part which they obviously did, and did well, judging from the quality of their results.

The class was also obviously well motivated by George which was and is a very important part of any good teacher’s job, or something which just average to good teachers must aspire to if they want to emerge from the classroom battles, scarred but as very good to excellent teachers.

As for other qualities which the excellent teachers among us should possess: passion, intelligence, a minimum amount of patience, the ability to talk loudly partly to project, partly as a means of control in the context of classroom management, and, last but not least, a caring, consistent, conscientious and compassionate attitude towards their charges, the four “C’s”.

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So to sum up: here was ol’ George being asked to make a major move from a semi-retired, newspaper-perusing, cigar-smoking, feet-up kind of sub teacher to a full time job with its concomitant challenges, travails and responsibilities, and he accepted and after a minor amount of cajoling, and please, dear readers, don’t let the use of gussied-up terms like “challenges” instead of bloody “problems” and “travails” instead of g-damned hard work – I’m talking three to four hours per night, every night except Friday when I used to return home from school and put my knapsack with my week-end school work in it somewhere out of sight, not to look at it, nor think about it until Saturday** – that’s right, don’t let the use of what I call “gussied up” terms fool you – it was really hard work for both of us.
**I decided at one point in my career to take Shabbatim (Saturdays) off but had to revert to a six-day per week homework cycle when I was left with double-digit work to do Sunday and by that I mean a day of ten hours or more of homework to do, and hence decided that I needed to get back to working Saturdays too.

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To finish off today’s Juice, we have Aislin’s opinion about the new leader of the BQ, another mental case … why don’t those clowns throw in the towel already?
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That’s all for now. Had my average up to around 60 hits per day, which, I have been told, ain’t bad for a website like mine. However, that was before Saturday and Sunday – performances on those two days were significantly lower than the above-mentioned average. Time to get it right back up. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Best of luck and peace.

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