Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Mar 30 2004

No Strength In Numbers Here

I spent the better part of the morning correcting (and then correcting again) some numbers I sent to some very nice people, who are just as busy as I am and who don't need to have me screwing up their day with number mix-ups. I can not understand how someone with decent intelligence has such a hard time with numbers. (It doesn't help that my vision is not topnotch, but this seems to be a brain thing and not just an eye thing.) I struggled with math in school, though I got extremely high marks in spelling and English and managed to consistently read at a high school level when in my earlier grades. When I would occasionally get the answer to a math problem in some weird way but could not use the accepted procedure and could not explain my methods to satisfy the teacher, my answer was judged incorrect, even if I got the correct answer faster than other students. Frustration leads to avoidance, as you know. So my math skills deteriorated even more after my brilliant attempts to "beat the system".

Further evidence of my inability to function in a balanced way includes the following: I enjoy drawing casual interior design layouts, and I love to look at maps, but if I go to a shopping mall and go into a store, when I come out of the store back into the mall, I can't remember which direction I was headed. I multi-task like crazy, but if I don't do certain tasks every single day, I forget how to do them. Phones are torture for me, and modern cell phones with soft buttons and multi-screen menus are the things nightmares are made of.

I read about Marge, and I wonder if I have this thing called Dyscalculia. I don't seem to have all the classic symptoms. I'm a great financial planner and saver, as long as I don't have to do any actual math in the process. I do see the "big picture" and was great at geography. I sight-read music well. I was so math-phobic that I never tried geometry, so I have no idea if that's a strength or a weakness for me. The list mentions tardiness, and I'm usually extra-early.

I loved learning (and still do), but it's torture for me to sit in a classroom. Are there any more of us out there? Maybe we have a mild form of dyscalculia or something.

If any of you reading this were among those who were involved in the whole number confusion from me earlier today, I sincerely apologize. To the rest of you, since you probably know someone a lot like me, please try to be good to that person. z=x+y may not equal much of anything to them, but I'll bet they calculate the value of your friendship as infinite.

posted at: 10:11 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Guilty Until Proven Otherwise

With a lift of the Stetson to Publicola, I was directed toward a news story that is now several days old. A New Jersey State Trooper named David Bogdan attempted to handle a situation that ended up with a vehicle's rightful occupants, also known as the good guys, in jail along with the guy who tried to steal the vehicle.

Please note that the thief, also known as the bad guy, took a vehicle that did not belong to him, plus endangered the life of the man in the back seat of said vehicle, virtually abducting the poor passenger. Excuse me, but if you woke up the same way this passenger did, would you think about it being a crime to get the thief (bad guy) out of your vehicle as fast as possible by any means, and maybe even be in self-protection mode enough to shoot at him if you had a gun available for self-protection? What was the abducted passenger supposed to do--tap on the thief's shoulder and politely ask him to please pull over and exit the vehicle? I'll be Officer Bogdan would not have done it politely either.

I'll bet those good guys (who were minding their own business when the bad guy wrecked their whole night) will have good and bad lawyers coming out of the woodwork to help them sue the suspenders off somebody. I'm hope Officer Bogdan meant no true disrespect to the good guys, and was being pressed to uphold some loony letter of the law, but I just can't think of anyone who will agree with his assessment that Mr. Garcia was wrong for disengaging the thief. (Remember the thief? You know--the bad guy?)

I knew that Cowboys and Indians had become a whole other game since some of us used to play as kids in the 1950s and 1960s. Now it looks like Cops and Robbers is a whole new game too. Who knew? The good guys are now arrested just like the bad guys. Another American legend bites the dust.

posted at: 06:38 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Quote Of The Moment
Compare the cinema with theatre. Both are dramatic arts. Theatre brings actors before a public and every night during the season they re-enact the same drama. Deep in the nature of theatre is a sense of ritual. The cinema, by contrast, transports its audience individually, singly, out of the theatre towards the unknown.
--John Berger
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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!