Monday, January 2, 2006

Words without structure

My puppy is about 3 months old. Border Collie. Finally has the bell routine down. He rings the bells at the door to be let out for his business. He had just one fine tuning to do last week. He took a dump upstairs then can downstairs and rang the bell. We told him it was wrong and he seems to have listened.

It reminds me of when my boy learned how to use a straw. I think he was three. We are at the kitchen table. He has a glass of milk with a straw in it. He’s blowing into the straw and bubbles are frothing. He has a frustrated look. “The other way, Andrew.” He looks up, removes the straw from the glass, turns it completely around, sticks it back in … “No, buddy, I meant …” and he sucks in his milk. Double adjustment. Bright kid.

ESPN2 is broadcasting a spelling bee tonight. The title phrase “entire sports programming network” is being defined rather broadly. “Sports” is now synonymous with “competition.” What’s next? Maybe they’d like to consider traffic court, competitive quilting, or novel writing. Christa just told me that some channel broadcasting an eating contest referred to the slob participants as “sports figures.”

I betcha there’s a college somewhere with a course on 1960’s Looney Tune Cartoons as Social Commentary. Not a bad thought when studying humor, but dangerous when it is offered in the Philosophy major.

Our society is fractured, dangerously so.

A young Orson Wells looks like Harry Chapin without the smile.

My neighbor made a cake last night and brought some over. Deep chocolate cake, caramel icing, and shaved chocolate and grated nuts on top. Oh, it was outrageously good. I have one more piece that I need to eat before my son gets up. Privilege of being a dad, eh?

I need to start researching my juvenile justice lectures soon. Five six-hour lectures. Masters’ course. I haven’t scoped the topic fully yet. First lecture is to define a juvenile. Will develop competency issues and distinguish adult mental challenges. Certification upward. Continuing jurisdiction. Census and crime data. Need a lecture just on gangs – probably number four. Will work with criminal codes and status crimes; gives room to address revised civil rights of juveniles. I have to devote one lecture to the social theories of why people commit crimes and how we can work towards improvement. Need one more … think, think, think. Ah, I got it! No, no I don’t. Nothing. Oh well, got four down. Pedagogy as sausage. The last topic will emerge as I write the other four.

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