A muddle.

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Brain. Fried.

Been a busy several days weeks months.  So I’m just going to sling a bunch of random ideas at you. This is what my brain is like on the inside much of the time. I’m….sorry.  lol

I’ve noticed that I have a lot less motivation to write when I come home from work, probably because work uses up a lot of the same brain cells that would otherwise be interested in crafting ideas into words. That makes me kinda sad, but I’m hoping I’ll either grow more discipline (so that I write anyway) or work will get a little better organized (so I don’t come home so mentally tired).

On the upside, I’ve uncovered an enjoyment of creative direction – the joy of developing an idea but guiding someone else to bring it to life.  I get to have ideas, AND I can allow people with more skill than I have to implement them. It’s kinda win-win.

I wonder if there’s an equivalent within the world of curriculum development of “creative director.”  Not in the technical organizational chart sense — I’m sure textbook project include a creative director for layout and book design. I’m not really talking about a textbook at all (though I know a lot of people equate “textbook” and “curriculum.”  No, I mean, it would be cool to develop a core idea for a curriculum unit or course, but hand that outlined idea off to someone who’s great at teaching to expand and develop.

Then again, when I come up with something I think is a good teaching idea, I also want to teach it.  Or team-teach. But it always sounds like too much fun to pass up. 😉

I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to make time to read, but it is. This really distresses me. I’ve written about it before, I think.  I can’t decide if I’m lazy or distracted or too busy or incredibly undisciplined…. but I really would like to read more actual books in 2014.  Falling behind on that resolution so far….

Slowly pecking my way through Practicing Science Fiction, a collection of essays about using sci-fi in the college classroom to teach other concepts and subjects.  Got many more books lined up behind that one.

The Pens managed to lose this hockey payoff series to the Rangers.  In game 7.  Really?  REALLY?! Dammit.

I have about 6 half-formed design ideas mucking about in my head. Apparently books aren’t the only things I can’t follow through on nowadays. lol

I”m absolutely in love with podcasts on my work commute now.  Our car is too old to have an iPhone jack, so I put in my earbuds and listen while driving.

My favorite — thanks, Cliff Boss! — is Dinner Party Download, a random collection of stories, interviews, bits, jokes, music, and a drink recipe that comes each week thanks to Public Radio.

I rotate between DPD, the game show Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! (which is hilarious most of the time), and Freakonomics podcast.

This might have been a mistake, but I ended up listening to my first episode of This American Life (podcast) on Mother’s Day while driving to the airport to pick up The Man.  The topic was Death and Taxes; the first long segment focused on a nurse at a hospice center and the entire question of dying.

I probably shouldn’t have listened to a long piece on cancer death on Mother’s Day; it was hard to make it through honestly.  But it’s a stunning piece, and I recommend you give it a listen. Or read the transcript, but I recommend the audio.

This American Life: Death and Taxes

I heard two psych presentations by senior undergrads this week, both excellent.  Holly taught us all about the real research that lies beneath the show Lie To Me and how psychologists and investigators determine who’s telling the truth and who’s making up tales.  The next afternoon, Christine described her semester long internship at Patrick Harris Mental Hospital.

PH now serves all 13 Upstate counties, with a terrifyingly small budget of $16 million for the year.  That’s it.   120 beds, $16 million, to serve 13 counties.  South Carolina must be one of the worst states to live if you have any need at all for social services.

In fact, while I’m on the topic of Niki Haley, our governor:  Can’t stand this woman. Can’t stand her politics, her priorities, her push to strip away everything that might help someone who isn’t white, middle-class, or Republican.   I’m not sure I can ever get back on the Republican bandwagon.

Sorry, folks.  I cannot separate the call of the Gospel from the commandment that we love God AND our neighbors.

And returning to mental health for a moment — I don’t know of any church who has any significant ministry to schizophrenics, to manic depressives, to suicidal people, to those who need medication just to survive.  In a state like South Carolina where being conservative is more important than caring for citizens who would otherwise be left to die or implode, there aren’t a lot of options.  The private sector isn’t keeping up.  I’d argue that it can’t keep up.  Some problems may be too big for the private sector.

So yeah.  Sorry, Niki.  I’m voting for anyone who’s running against you this year.

OK. I have an hour or so before I will pass out into awesome sleep.  I’m going to get off the electronic device and get on the printed page.  There are essays to conquer! Short stories to read! History to consume!

One more:  How did Kevin Spacey tour all over the world playing Richard III and I didn’t hear about it?!



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