Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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By the Dots– or should I say Dashes (and Parentheses)

Todays’s Daily Post prompt:  “By the Dots:  We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!”

I admit it — I use a lot of dashes.  (And parentheses).

I think other punctuation marks, like commas, provide a practical service to readers by directing them to momentarily pause and to mentally group together a number of elements of the sentence.  Commas provide clarity and an easy flow to a sentence.

However, other punctuation might provide more of a service to the writer.  In my case, the use of dashes and parentheses allow me to employ dramatic timing and provide a subtle way (or maybe not-so-subtle) of drawing other points into my text that would not necessarily fit otherwise.  That is, dashes suggest something new is about to be revealed and parentheses provide a place holder for embellishments and explanations.

Like any good thing, dashes and parentheses can be overused.  When there are too many, the flow of the writing may be slowed — even made jerky (like being on a bumpy road) — just like this.

Now’s your chance to chime in — what do you think?  Is there such a thing as too many dashes and parentheses?  (If you are so inclined, put your thoughts in the comments section below).


ljgloyd (c) 2015


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My Curriculum for a New School

pencilToday’s Daily Post’s prompt “You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?”

The curriculum I would create would not include courses that I actually hated when I was in school.

-I hated math. No math unless the student tested high in this area or has a love of Sudoku.
-I hated physical education because I had to deal with gang members who bullied and intimidated other students in group sports.  Physical Education should involve the use of a personal trainer and a security team. Students should have the option of selecting a solitary sport like a martial art or swimming.

What did I like in school:

-I loved learning German,  but I came at it in high school which is way too late so it did not “stick”.   Foreign language should be a requirement, but students should be counseled not to take languages like German, Bantu, Algonguin, or any other languages not useful in their geographic area.    Spanish, Mandarin or Valley-Speak would have been more useful for me.

Other courses I would include
-Writing….. lots and lots of writing, both scholarly and creative, on any subject of interest.
-Biology where students don’t have to work with lab partners who do no work but still get credit.
-Astronomy ala Neil DeGrasse Tyson with an emphasis on Martian Studies
-History when one could study cultural implications and trends rather than the lives of stuffy old dead guys.
-Literature, graphic novels excluded.
-Mythology, for an excuse to watch old Xena and Hercules episodes.

Elective courses:
-Group Dynamics, Sensitivity Training and Conflict Resolution (in light of the previous statement regarding bullying in phys ed)
-Ethics, with a focus on Judeo-Christian values.
-Environmental Studies, with an emphasis on undoing the ways we have jacked up the planet.
-Herbal Medicine

Oh, and Drumming to fulfill a music requirement.



Losing the Fire

duendeToday’s Daily Post prompt says: “Express Yourself!  Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively?

I used to express myself through a variety of media.  I used to paint, I used to bellydance, I used to take a lot of photographs, and now I mostly write.  And even writing I have not done much lately.   So easily derailed from my creative path am I by life circumstances  that I wonder if I really do have the passion for any of it anymore.

When I was involved in past creative pursuits, did I do so simply because I was a narcissist who wanted attention?   And when I didn’t get it, I moved on to another medium?

Maybe each expressive genre has a short shelf-life within my attention span.  It is invigorating to work with a new medium, but then after a while when I reach the extent of my ability with a given medium, I get discouraged and move on.

Maybe I am just not an creative person at heart.  It IS a lot of work to write, paint, take pictures, and especially to dance.  (I am not as young as I used to be).  I used to have a firey passion for the arts when the duende* spirit took over.    Maybe the duende spirit has fled to someone more worthy and it has taken its fire with it.

Maybe I just need a good night’s sleep and the passion will be back.  Perhaps I just need to apologize to the duende.

I’ll let you know what happens when I wake up.


*”Duende or tener duende (“having duende”) loosely means having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity, often connected with flamenco.  The artistic and especially musical term was derived from the duende, a fairy or goblin-like creature in Spanish mythology.” — Wikipedia

Image: “Duende” (manipulated photograph)  by ljgloyd (c) 2006, 2015