Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Right now I'm working at a computer learning center. Part of what we do is send our instructors to company sites to train their employees, and typically the people who took the class fill out a little paper evaluation. Part of what I do is enter those evaluations into our system so we have them digitally. (This, ladies and gentleman, is what we call busy work).

We just sent 5 or 6 of our instructors to run some classes for Weld County School District (Weld County teachers were strongly recommended but not required to attend classes like Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint). As I've been entering the evaluations from this particular session, I've chiefly noticed two things:

  1. Teachers make giant smiley faces in all the comment sections, as compared to everyone else who... well, don't.
  2. Teachers make excellent and consistent smileys.

But there was one evaluation which stood out to me this morning. Iris (who identified herself as an English teacher, big surprise) felt led to pen a lengthy paragraph about the demise of education and the rise of technology in the little section marked "Comments/Suggestions to improve your experience?" I was baffled and moved by her (somewhat misdirected) eloquence, and sad that this little Microsoft Vista evaluation form, that probably only I will ever read, would be her only forum. So I have decided to share Iris' comments/suggestions with you all. Perhaps it will inspire you. Perhaps it will challenge you. And perhaps... it will make you laugh.

"I am sad that great literature and the newest technology are truly moving in opposite directions. We are now forever handcuffed to technology while the great foundations of our historical, literary, and artistic past continue to die protesting but quiet deaths. We have inherited fragmented education (thank you, technology!) where students no longer read complete novels but instead, they jump on spark notes... and text messaging continues to erode essay writing. There is a price tag..."

I just don't know what else I can add to this. I was so surprised to find such lofty language and such passionate expression in so simple (and, it could be argued, inappropriate) a setting that much of its seriousness was diluted by the sheer random humor of it.

Wildly emotive comments? Spontaneous, dramatic suggestions? Do share.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I started a new pack of birth control today. Maybe you didn't want to know that, but let me explain. 1 pack is 4 weeks long, exactly 28 days. It struck me as I was staring at the neat little rows of round yellow pills that I would be taking the last few pills in South Carolina.

Let me walk you through the unfolding of the event which I have been simultaneously dreading and eagerly anticipating. You follow the first row, day by day, to pills 4 and 5 (thursday and friday), when Stephen and I will be camping in Aspen to see Ben Harper and Nickel Creek in concert. We planned this months ago.

Jump down to the second row and follow the little pills all the way to the end. Second to the last pill (September 8th) is my 22nd birthday. 3 months ago I insisted that we stay here AT LEAST until I had celebrated my birthday with my family. Sunday my parents are throwing a going-away party for us and my dad is frantically trying to finish a painting project he's been working on nonchalantly for a long time.

Next row. Pill number 3 is my last day at work. Pills 4-7 I'll be cleaning and packing and crying. Sunday I'm singing on the worship team for the very last time at the church I've been in since I was 10 years old.

And now, the last row. Pill number 2 is Stephen's last day. Third pill in this row is moving day. My dad and sister are going to spend pills 3-5 driving down to our new house with us and helping us get settled. By the last two pills of this pack, I'll be living in South Carolina. If we could jump to the next pack, we'd see Amy and my Dad flying back home on the second pill, and me being in transition for 26 more pills.