pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Random Access Memory and Another Neat Word

I well know that IF something is ephemeral, it is short-lived. Here's a related word, in context...

The Sanskrit word for the world is jagati, while the word for changing or evanescent is jagat: the world's evanescent nature is actually built into the very definition of "world." Yet behind this shimmering ephemeron lies the deeper, sacred reality -- Brahman, the infinite, transcendent reality that covers and pervades all things.
    -- Pravrajika Vrajaprana, "Contemporary Spirituality and the Thinning of the Sacred: A Hindu Perspective", Cross Currents, Spring-Summer 2000


That really jumped out and grabbed me. For the past two days, the excellent teacher re-certification workshop I attended up in Johnston, a Des Moines suburb, has been bombarding us 21 participants with stimuli -- visual images, poetic images, music theory and technique, intriguing interpretations, conflicting world views, goals, age and gender issues as related to something that my friends and relatives, upon hearing the title, decided was a "goof off" class... "Simon and Garfunkel: The Poet-Musicians of Folk Rock"

The teacher, who had all but TWO of the state's offerings for continuing education that I found enticing, offers courses that are relevant to a broad spectrum of teachers from many levels, and tailors them to enhancing the classroom experience for Iowa's students. His offerings always fall in the "fine arts" categories.

At lunch today, I told him I had a random access mind, and thought he did, too. Nobody was able to throw him off. He could talk music theory (and, even more importantly, explain it to us musically challenged people so that we could make sense of it, and by the end of two days, recognizing it when we heard it...) make poetic and literary references with the several language arts. English, and English lit people, historical references, Biblical tie-ins... and he'd done an impressive amount of research. The discussions were INTENSE.

So, who took ours? retired people, new hires. Mothers who would be going back in a few seasons when the current crop of offspring reached school age, and current teachers of elementary, special, alternative and secondary classes. What fields? From administration (retired -- accompanied her sister, a music teacher...) history, PE, literature, remedial, vocal, music, theatre, art, reading, Spanish, and a few others I can't remember. Some did not know anything about the topic; others were so knowledgeable that the class quickly got out of hand. (Like, when I asked, in all innocence, if Frank Lloyd Wright was the first architect to bring the outdoors into the house, so to speak... Carl, off the top of his head, described his main tenants of design, told numerous sites where one could still view examples of his work, and detailed the best way to see some of the ones he'd already visited... I took notes. I was fascinated.)

I thought of Uncle Bob, an architect by training, coming to my farm and designing my ideal home for me. He stood at the old yellow table Mom and Dad got when? When I was eight? as a temporary dining room table. I put both leaves in it and he unrolled a sheet of blue paper that covered every available surface. Then he squinted, stuck out his tongue (my DAD, his younger brother, used to do that very thing when he was concentrating hard) then drew a perfectly straight line from edge to edge of the paper, representing the front wall of the future house. He did it free hand, without a wobble from start to finish.

I forget which famous artist did it, but one of them, when faced with a competence exam in Paris, I believe, went in, drew a perfect circle, free hand, then left, sure he'd be accepted.

Now, THAT'S RANDOM... (Not sure I'm firing on all synapses, here....)

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