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  • Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg

    Concerning people having a sense of direction and drivenness in life, I suspect
    you'd be surprised if you took a poll on this site, or anywhere. Part of the education
    process (not limited to university) is to discover something that seems our true
    vocation. People often go to university, work for a while, drift, then find it.
    Once you know what you want to do, you've got to take the next step. That's
    the hardest part. It's so easy to take the path of least resistance.

    Doc, who is a professional academic, could probably comment on this. Mikey_C,
    who appears to have returned to university, might be another.

    As for your life-affirming urges with respect to nubile young ladies and
    coffee shops, that's simply because you're normal.

    LSN
    As an academic professional, I encourage your life-affirming urges. :D

    Seriously, though, I do find that many people who are single-minded from day one at the university are enormously successful, but I also see some of those same types who get what they always wanted at 24, and then have no other ambitions. Conversely, I've seen a lot of people drift through their experience and then drift through life, but I've seen just as many turn out to be succesful after they realize they are simply looking for what moves them, inspires them, or just captures their interest.

    Wait there was a point...

    Things happen in their own time. If you get what you want before you're ready, you don't appreciate it. If you don't know what you want, you won't know it if you find it.

    I have students who want to want something very badly, but they don't yet know know who they are. Consequently, they often doom themselves to letting their pursuits, often fleeting, define them, rather than letting who they are define their pursuits. Since I like to think you are more than just what you do for a living, you need to know yourself.

    Dee, I know you're introspective enough to know who you are-- your self-deprecation shows that (from one self-deprecator to another). That doesn't mean you know exactly what you want. Big deal. The good news is that the former is much harder knowledge to gain than the latter. You just have to be ready to pursue something fiercely when you recognize it's what you want. If you know, deep down, who you really are, you will be ready for the opportunities when they come.

    On an optimistic note, remember that there are many people who didn't make their mark on the world until they were near elderly, or in their second career. If you compare yourself to the standard of the sixteen year-old magazine editor, you'll never feel good about yourself. Besides, in my experience, among those types of people, MM is a clear exception. The real interesting people are those who have a journey, and a subsequent story to tell. In my line of work, the most boring people's stories usually begin with, "I knew I wanted a Ph.D. when I was seven..."

    whoa-- now I'm rambling. Get the second cup of coffee in your system now, Doc.

    Please resume poetry.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
      Part of the education process (not limited to university) is to discover something that seems our true vocation. People often go to university, work for a while, drift, then find it. Once you know what you want to do, you've got to take the next step. That's
      the hardest part. It's so easy to take the path of least resistance.

      Doc, who is a professional academic, could probably comment on this. Mikey_C, who appears to have returned to university, might be another.
      Just catching up on the posts here - looks like I've been invited to comment!

      At the age of 40, I'm actually studying for my first degree. As I revealed elsewhere in chats with the Adlerian, I had something of a "mis-spent youth" as an ex peace-camper turned permanently stoned drop-out among like-minded (or out-of-their-minded) persons. This was fun for a while, then turned stale, so I got a job which more or less suited me, and, I'm ashamed to say, took "the path of least resistance" for many years. There doesn't seem to be much wrong with that when you're doing it, but its a bit scary to look back and find ten years you can't really account for 8O

      Personally, I'm not sure that the "true vocation" thing isn't a bit of a red herring. Now, I'm looking at the world, seeing what needs to be done, and then looking at my skills to see what I've got to offer, which is why I've gone down the route of deepening my involvement in trade unionism. If I have any advice to offer, it would be to look at things like this. I have no doubt that there are some people with "true vocations" out there, but equally sure that you can't will one to appear if you don't know what it is.

      I also agree very strongly with LSN's point about being who you are. Roles are too boring; some people just can't wait to assume them. Whatever you do, you've got to take yourself to it and make it your own.

      Re. Richard Neville. "Playpower" was one of the texts of an earlier generation that we used to justify our own lack of involvement in the world of industry. I'm still actually quite envious of that 60s generation. It seemed that many of them managed to "have their cake and eat it" by living the most outrageous lifestyles in their formative years and then using the skills they had acquired in the alternative press, etc, to land plum, well paid jobs at the end of it all. I think the economic circumstances had a great to do with that (but there was also an incredible amount of talent about; look at MM and his mates, for instance). Nowadays, however, I get the impression that there's more pressure to be a grey corporate drone from day one if you want to get on in life.
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Doc
        . . .

        On an optimistic note, remember that there are many people who didn't make their mark on the world until they were near elderly, or in their second career. If you compare yourself to the standard of the sixteen year-old magazine editor, you'll never feel good about yourself. Besides, in my experience, among those types of people, MM is a clear exception. The real interesting people are those who have a journey, and a subsequent story to tell. In my line of work, the most boring people's stories usually begin with, "I knew I wanted a Ph.D. when I was seven..."
        . . ..

        Please resume poetry.
        To return it to poetry, and at the same time make a comment on the subject, here's
        an exchange from the end of Act I of Edmond Rostand's drama en vers ,
        Cyrano de Bergerac that could serve as Dee's credo:

        Originally posted by Edmond Rostand
        Le Bret: Mais oأ¹ te mأ¨nera la faأ§on dont tu vis?
        Quel systأ¨me est le tien?

        Cyrano: J'errais dans un mأ©andre;
        J'avais trop de partis, trop compliquأ©s, أ  prendre;
        J'ai pris...

        Le Bret: Lequel?

        Cyrano: Mais le plus simple, de beaucoup.
        J'ai dأ©cidأ© d'أ?tre admirable, en tout, pour tout!
        This approach seems reminiscent of Don Quixote, it's true. As
        Cyrano says later in the play, the windmill may cast one into
        la boue, or les أ©toiles.

        I've always liked those passages in this play.

        LSN

        Comment


        • A comment about the rhyme words of the concluding couplet:

          g - show
          g - throe

          These words share a final vowel sound, but the preceding consonant
          is different. To my ear (which was trained on an unfortunate combination
          of French and midwestern American English), this is a somewhat weak
          rhyme. The different consonant sounds seem to lend a slightly different
          quality to the following vowel. At least 2 of you are from the U.K. (not
          sure about HawkLord) so our accents and tone qualities for the words
          are undoubtedly different. My question: does it sound like a strong rhyme
          to all of you?

          It isn't necessary that the rhyme be "strong" by the way. Good effects
          can be obtained by using weak rhymes. I'm just curious, because it produces
          a slightly discordant effect to my ear. No criticism intended; just a point of
          detail.

          U.K. and American English have a number of places where their tonal
          qualities differ. That's true with respect to the Irish dialect of the language,
          too. American English is much "flatter;" one co-worker from the U.K.
          once opined to me that Americans sounded to him like retarded people,
          because we don't seem to put proper emphasis on our words when
          we speak. :lol: I suggested to him that perhaps we are retarded,
          which caused him to apologize profusely (and unnecessarily).

          LSN

          Comment


          • Now you really are speaking a different language! :)

            I found an English translation which reads:

            LE BRET:
            But what will these things lead to, don't you see?
            Where's the method in it?

            CYRANO:
            I was wandering in a maze
            I'd too many complicated paths to take:
            I took...

            LE BRET:
            Which?

            CYRANO:
            Oh! Of them all, the simplest one.
            I decided to be brilliant at everything, with everyone!
            Is that close enough?
            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
              Now you really are speaking a different language! :)

              I found an English translation which reads:

              LE BRET:
              But what will these things lead to, don't you see?
              Where's the method in it?

              CYRANO:
              I was wandering in a maze
              I'd too many complicated paths to take:
              I took...

              LE BRET:
              Which?

              CYRANO:
              Oh! Of them all, the simplest one.
              I decided to be brilliant at everything, with everyone!
              I'd argue with the translation of the last line, unless my old
              Livre de Poche edition is faulty -- which I doubt.

              I'd translate the meaningmore precisely as, "I decided to be admirable
              in all things."

              Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer

              Is that close enough?
              It gets the sense, more or less, but it lacks elegance. A pity
              I don't own an English translation, or I could check how people
              usually translate this verse. The play's very nice in French, by
              the way. But my god, you've got to be a fast speaker to wade
              through Cyrano's lines in the time allotted for the play.

              It's not Shakespeare, but for Romantic drama, it's pretty damned
              good.

              LSN

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                I can spot a Buffy quote when I read one. That's from a scene in The Zeppo where Xander is asking Oz (Hey, synchronicity!) about being cool, and X says that being in a band is like a "business class ticket", etc. Am I right? Love that episode. The final scene is just genius...
                You got it right down to the exact conversation in the scene Dee. That's way cool. :) Zeppo was a great episode!

                About the final rhyme in the poem I'm happy to go with show/throe which sounds fine as a rhyme to my ear. In terms of getting a final punch on the last couplet it's going to be a challenge in terms of it's meaning, but I'm happy to give it a bash if no one else is too worried.

                Comment


                • Yeah, I can cope with throe. It threw me a bit, as its a word one normally only sees in plural form. I have a feeling that it may be rather directive, but we shall see. And sempiternal! Only place I've ever come across that one is in Eliot's "Little Gidding". A good precedent, I suppose, although no doubt a tad too heavy on the geiger counter for some readers we've been hearing about!
                  \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Mikey_C
                    Yeah, I can cope with throe. It threw me a bit, as its a word one normally only sees in plural form. I have a feeling that it may be rather directive, but we shall see.
                    I can cope with it, too. I was inquiring whether it seems like a rather weak rhyme to you
                    guys, too. If all of you think it's a good rhyme, I won't debate the point -- after all,
                    it's you guys' language, and you only loaned it to us! :lol:

                    Originally posted by Mikey_C
                    And sempiternal! Only place I've ever come across that one is in Eliot's "Little Gidding". A good precedent, I suppose, although no doubt a tad too heavy on the geiger counter for some readers we've been hearing about!
                    I'm glad you liked that one. I was saving vernal/sempiternal for just such an occasion.

                    I seem to recall encountering it in a literary essay by Anthony Kerrigan many years
                    before I'd read "Little Gidding." I had to look it up, although the apparent Latin roots
                    caused me to be fairly certain what it meant. I decided I liked the word, but I could
                    rarely find an occasion to use it. When we were selecting words, the vernal/sempiternal
                    pair seemed like just the thing.

                    LSN

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Mikey_C
                      Yeah, I can cope with throe. It threw me a bit, as its a word one normally only sees in plural form. I have a feeling that it may be rather directive, but we shall see. . . .
                      Considering the absence of a final-s on the word "throe," there's a version of
                      the rhyming rules that I've used from time to time in these things. The variant
                      rule says that a final-s "doesn't count" when making the rhyme. So if "throe"
                      as opposed to "throes" causes you too many contortions, I consider it perfectly
                      acceptable to add a final-s.

                      I haven't decided whether I'm going to do that, but it doesn't bother me, and
                      I've exercised this sort of option before.

                      LSN

                      Comment


                      • A pity we can't make the "MWM verse collection" thread a moderated thread,
                        where the 4 of us are moderators. I'd like to reserve that thread for the collected
                        verse productions of these games. No big deal, of course.

                        LSN

                        Comment


                        • Here's the first sonnet in this sequence.
                          I didn't exactly take the effort too seriously. :lol:

                          LSN


                          Lugubrious Meditation on Pointless Asphyxiation, آ© 2004 by LSN

                          How long will mortals hawk a bogus tale
                          And myth upon reality impose,
                          Lamenting when their futile efforts fail
                          To silence all who foolishness oppose?

                          Gross ignorance some savant may redeem,
                          Dispensing truth to ward off future loss
                          Of dignity and precious self-esteem
                          To nature's whim or billow's deadly toss.

                          But nought can save a fool who lets the rain
                          Run up his nose on wintry days and vernal.
                          To watch him drown full-knowing gives one pain
                          That weighs the soul with sorrow sempiternal.

                          Humanity doth put on quite a show,
                          Inspiring mind's disgust and belly's throe.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                            Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                            Is that close enough?
                            It gets the sense, more or less, but it lacks elegance.
                            No doubt. At this point my favourite film of all time is in the French language, and many others that I love are also entirely French. Although I'm sure that the subtitles do their best, it is a source of some frustration to me that I lost interest in learning the language when I was at school and had the perfect opportunity to pick it up (well, not "perfect" because the teacher was evil, and I sat next to people I was trying to impress with jokes... and one of the exchange students who volunteered to help us wore a red mini-skirt and black stockings which was rather distracting... but that's beside the point). There's nothing to stop me picking up where I left off I suppose, and there's no point regretting something that happened over ten years ago, but Francais is rather like a party I've lost my invite to. :( I imagine this will prove quite problematic when Ludivine Sagnier finally decides to sue me for drawing unflattering cartoons of her. I may need one of you bilingual chaps to help me plead my case...

                            [Ahem] We now return you to the poetry already in progress...
                            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                            Comment


                            • Epigraphs for our verse collections

                              For those of you who have been generating verbal artifacts to satisfy these
                              games in verse, I thought you might be amused at the epigraphs I am affixing
                              to the head of the "MWM Verse Collections." They come from Shakespeare
                              and Byron. Here they are; they seemed to strike the right sort of notes.

                              LSN

                              ---


                              When people say, 'I've told you fifty times,
                              They mean to scold, and very often do;
                              When poets say, 'I've written fifty rhymes,'
                              They make you dread that they'll recite them too;

                              Don Juan, Canto I, CVIII

                              FOURTH CITIZEN:

                              Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad
                              verses.

                              Julius Caesar, III, 3, v 30

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer

                                No doubt. At this point my favourite film of all time is in the French language, and many others that I love are also entirely French. Although I'm sure that the subtitles do their best,
                                Your kilometrage varies on subtitles. The translations are sometimes risible.

                                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                                it is a source of some frustration to me that I lost interest in learning the language when I was at school and had the perfect opportunity to pick it up (well, not "perfect" because the teacher was evil, and I sat next to people I was trying to impress with jokes... and one of the exchange students who volunteered to help us wore a red mini-skirt and black stockings which was rather distracting... but that's beside the point).
                                You should have asked the exchange student for special tutoring!

                                Was the evil teacher English or French? If French, I have some suspicions
                                about what was wrong. :roll:

                                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                                There's nothing to stop me picking up where I left off I suppose, and there's no point regretting something that happened over ten years ago, but Francais is rather like a party I've lost my invite to. :(
                                You ought to consider finding a job in France. You'll learn the language quickly
                                if you have to use it all the time. My German improved remarkably when I had to
                                spend several months there on a task several years ago. The "total immersion"
                                method really works.

                                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                                I imagine this will prove quite problematic when Ludivine Sagnier finally decides to sue me for drawing unflattering cartoons of her. I may need one of you bilingual chaps to help me plead my case...
                                We assume that you'll throw yourself on Madame Sagnier's mercy, and that she'll
                                be impressed by your sincerity to the point that -- delicacy forbids I go into intimate
                                details in a family forum such as this one. :lol:

                                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                                [Ahem] We now return you to the poetry already in progress...
                                I still haven't given up on the notion of getting you to volunteer some
                                verses. :lol: Probably not this time, I know.

                                LSN

                                Comment

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