Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hooray for the Common Man

They are crowd funding an arc here. Every day mourning precedes afternoon.
Yesterday I tidied up my place in the am for Lib and Leslie’s visit.  Their visit was wonderful but my speech was pretty rough.
Last night I was trying to speak out loud. My arms and hands were out of control. When I decided to try speaking a second time it occurred to me to sit on my hands. Sit on my hands! Oh my God.
When I was in grade nine I had to give all my teachers a letter that instructed them, on behalf of the administration, that I was not to talk unless I was sitting on my hands. I could raise my hand to ask or answer a question, but I had to sit on my hands to speak or risk getting a detention.
I was never told why, but it shamed me. And no one else I know has ever had to do such a thing or heard of anyone else having to do the same thing. I told my Dad but his school made him change from left handed to right handed so he didn’t think anything of it.
I always wondered why. I have sometimes thought it was, perhaps, because I talked too much with my hands — that I was too fey or gay perhaps. But now I wonder if I wasn’t having a milder form of the same limbic distress I have now. I’m going to talk to Dr. Shoja about it today.
I was stunned by a story told by a Stanford astrophysical engineer who was asked about the influence of the Internet on his profession.
He began by saying he had always felt he was teaching the intellectually elite at Stanford but he had a shock when he posted his course online one year for lay people. He had roughly two hundred students in his classroom and something like eleven hundred passionate amateurs online.
At the end of the year he gave all thirteen hundred students the same exam. The highest two hundred and eleven marks went to online students; the highest scoring student in his class placed two hundred and twelfth.
He realized the enormity of the non-academic intellectual resource available online so his university posted some major quandaries that had been stymying research in various fields and quickly found the solutions they were seeking from lay theorists and thinkers.
Hooray for the common man.

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