Kelley's Konundrum September 17, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

4:49 PM

The Mystery of Transmission.


No I'm not talking about transmission of diseases transmission of love transmission of hard feelings, I'm talking about car transmissions. And transmission of personality, which I'll explain later...


The first transmission definition is in my car, Elsie--my 1992 Honda Accord, purchased in 2005 from a guy in New York who'd only put 70,000 miles on since she was new. (New Yorkers use a lot of public transportation, right?) and she's been GREAT, up til now. Now I think Elsie needs a new transmission. And a new air conditioner and a new suspension. Pppppppppth. 


But she only has 128000 miles on her, plus a bunch of other new stuff--new catalytic converter, new muffler, new radiator--all put on in the past few years. I do not want to get rid of her


And now I have to sell her anyway. 😫 Her A/C is still broken, but the suspension? Turned out to be a bent wheel. The transmission? One of those underling mechanics who 'thinks he hears a clunking inside' it, but the actual mechanic/owner who was out of the office at the time, hears nothing. Bah. 


Too late--we took the information we had at hand, and found an (old) new car. Or a (new) old car, since it's new to me.. And younger than Elsie--2002 instead of 1992. So this one is at least the first car I've owned born in the 21st century! It's exciting, and she's very pretty. Right now her name is Beulah, but I might change it when her windshield gets replaced.


The other transmission definition came this week. You all know that I like flowers and that my Hondas for the past two or three Hondas have had lots of flower stickers all over them. I love it! Went a little less crazy with Beulah however. I just put hay left of a purple flower on one windshield corner and then I really pretty blue Morpho butterfly sticker on the other windshield corner. I replaced my I love Steinbeck bumper sticker in a new place on my new bumper, and then I got a new bumper sticker that just says 'be kind.'


So my husband said, "If you ever get a new, new car, you can't put stickers on it." Right now, as he is the main financial support of the family, I had to agree. "But," I said, "when I become the next Suzanne Collins or Stephenie Meyer, the new car I get will have stickers." Because that is how I express my personality--the 'transmission' of myself to what I drive. Think about it--a LOT of people transmit their personality, by driving a car with a fancy name, or title, or color--maybe through their big bulky tires or shiny chrome wheels. For me, it's flowers and bumper stickers professing my love for John Steinbeck.


You express your personality your way, I express mine in my way. Tomato, tomahto. What do you think? Do you transmit your personality through the car you drive? 

What car do you drive?


I'd love to hear what you think! Until then, Stay Mystified!

Last week's VIDEO version of blog


Kelley's Konundrum September 3, 2017 : That Mysterious Near Enemy, part 1


I heard about this concept in a Louise Penny murder mystery--she's my favorite new (new to me) mystery writer. Her books are very character- and setting-driven, and the whole book is spent really looking into what makes people tick, and the books have inspired me to delve a little deeper with MY characters too.


So here's the idea. There are three psychological concepts called near enemies, and they come in pairs. These ideas look the same on the surface, but on closer inspection and understanding, one of the pair is healthy, the other destructive.


I'll give you the pairs, then today I'll just discuss one. As in, Part One.


Here they are:






Today we'll talk about compassion and pity. They can both look the same, right? Look at the concerned face of anyone scrolling through Facebook posts and hitting on one asking for prayers about every 30 seconds. Then look at the severity of the reaction dependent on how well you know the FB friend.


What's the difference? They're at many Emotions involved, feelings for another person, feeling bad for another person, and they look very similar. I think the difference is empathy. Vs. judgment.


Think about it from a personal perspective, and reflect on one of your own life trials. I have multiple sclerosis, which you all know. It sucks. I hate it. But I deal with it, just like you deal with the hardships. But I don't want people feeling SORRY for me. Don't pity me--that's the destructive part. Pity, I think, is a form of judgment, more of a kind of "I'm so, so glad I'm not you", as opposed to compassion, which to me looks like "I've been you, or I can sense what it feels like to be you, and I'm here for you to help in whatever way you need, or whatever way I can."


In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I think we saw people in Texas show extraordinary compassion. This first story shows that:


The second story was new information to me, and hopefully will be a good reminder to anyone who sees it, to do a little research to find the best way to show their compassion, not the objects of their pity:


What do you think? Do you know of times you're reacting out of pity rather than compassion? Can you do anything about that? I'd love to hear your opinion...until then: Stay Mystified!



Kelley's Konundrum Sept. 9, 2017

Saturday, September 9, 2017

5:11 PM



The Mystery of Endorsement

When do you just love something, and then when does your love become a commodity?

Teachers As Commodities


I read this article last week, and because it's about teachers, I of course posted it wherever I could...😜


When I taught high school, I was pretty much broke all the time. Not much has changed now that I'm a writer, but I vividly remember those penny-pinching days vis-a-vis supplies for my classroom. Really, vis-a-vis most stuff. Teachers don't get paid what they're worth, dontcha know? There was never enough of anything. That rumor you've heard about teachers spending their own money for supplies isn't fake news or mythology: it's true. And technology? Fuggedaboutit. I used an actual overhead projector until 2006. 



So anyway, I read this article, posted it, and then started thinking about it. On the one hand, big companies giving supplies to teachers fills an obvious need and also promotes innovation. But what about that? Could it also promote...collusion? Undue influence? Teachers have a very specific understanding that what they do in the classroom should coincide with their philosophy on what is best for kids and their learning. But what if it doesn't?


I have experience with this  concept in a teacher/administrator relationship. I had an administrator later in my career who wanted me to change several of my classroom policies, based on some study and this bandwagon people were hopping on, and while I felt those policies might be good for a small segment of the student population, they were CERTAINLY not good for the whole group. This is where the administrator and I clashed, and guess who was in the position of power and influence? Yup. Not me. My feelings on this administrator and this philosophy are as follows: the changes and the bandwagon leaping were both being used as rungs up the ladder to power, and therefore were a commodity. The person on this ascent (AKA The Administrator) may have cared about what's best for kids at this point, but the superintendent' job trumped all that.


I think it could happen to teachers just like it happens for doctors: when incentives are attached to pharmaceuticals, it's been proved that doctors are more likely to prescribe those pharmaceuticals. And what if what's best for that patient is a different pharmaceutical?


Or...and here's the shocker...what if it's best for that patient to take NO pharmaceuticals. Maybe instead they'd feel better just by changing their diet. Or <gasp!> moving around a little more. I'm not saying you should NEVER use a prescription, because that would make me a big hypocrite (I have to get injections 3 times a week), but you can't tell me people aren't overdoing it. And some of that comes from overprescribing it. And that could come from the swag--even from the doctors who legitimately got into medicine because they just wanted to help people.


I think that COULD happen to teachers, too, if we're not careful. A 3D printer that a kid uses to build a model house, that's an awesome thing. It could increase innovation, motivation, creativity.


But so can a stick. 


A lightning-fast laptop with every bell and whistle can help students do their homework. 


But so can a pencil.


Is it a problem? Well, that's the mystery... 


Paper vs. Laptops 


I'd love to know what you think! Until then: Stay Mystified!


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