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A comment Francisco made has gone turbid in my brain today and has caused rather disturbing synaptics…
Francisco remarked that people are lazy when they use “I mean…you know” as they begin and end sentences. Like, totally, Francisco(!) They open their mouths, they have their brains send messages to their vocal chords, they make sounds that come out as words, yet they think nothing before they speak and, as a result, say nothing. Wasteland as replacement for thought. Too lazy to actually word a thought of their own. How sad is that? And how aggravating, and how scary. Scary because we can’t assume that people don’t want to think, period. We must assume that, perhaps, people can no longer think and so, no longer do.
But between the “here” of not wanting to think and the “there” of not being able to, there is a vast desert of skewed thinking where appearances take over and reality matters not a whit.
Thinking requires some sort of reference to parameters. Putting thoughts into words doesn’t mean parameters get left behind. Suppose one thinks of the word “definition”. When we “define” something, we name it, distinguish it from something else, determine what it is within the boundaries of its nature, make it clear and explicit. We do this because we want to be understood.
And when we do not define something, we do not want to be understood. Period. We just want our noise-making to be a precursor to further noise-making. Example: I will first define something for you, then I will not.
Someone asks me to define my poetry therapy group and I oblige: my theoretical framework comes from the National Poetry Therapy Association and my groups run for an hour. I’ve adapted them for in-patient Psychiatry, and the only requirement is the ability to read and write in English. We read and react to (short) poetry, and we write poetry from prompts. A definition like this might fetch more questions which I will be happy to answer.
Someone asks me to define my poetry group and I do not oblige: like, well, you know, I like choose a poem and we read that in the group and like, by then half the people have left the room, you know, and then those who stay have to write but like they don’t want to, I mean, you know…
The point here is that it’s appalling how something meant to be taken seriously can very well be divested of its nature, its definition, and become mindless, useless trash.
Through the laziness of the one putting the thoughts into words.
Another example is the definition and “un-definition” of the word “student”.
By definition, a student is a person who studies. Studying is the “boundary” of the nature of students.
Once students cease studying, they can no longer be defined as students. Once students start protesting in the streets, they are now defined as “protesters” because they are no longer studying. You’ll say “no, no, they’re still students, they’re temporarily protesting”. Uh-uh: they are either students or protesters. They are not both. A definition is a definition. If the definition is disregarded, then we are looking at something undefined.
Once the undefined becomes acceptable, then the concept of the “undefined” can further be corrupted into something that is desirable, eclectic, original, outside the box, you get it…The smoke-in-mirrors effect of draping over the laziness at the origin of this lack of definition, this lack of boundaries.
Example: when one thinks of a student, one thinks of somebody who has a teacher. Because the concept of studying is tied to the concept of learning from one who already knows. It’s part of the parameters of thinking about students. You think about students, you think about teachers.
But now, further to laziness, we have what is referred to as “self-learning modules”, or teacher-less studying. Outside the boundary of definition. And this is supposed to be avant-garde and intelligent. Truly.
Far as I’m concerned, go tell that to think tanks and don’t bother me with it because it’s absolute garbage!
Nursing students are being sent by the dozen now with no teacher and the learning they do comes from nurses who accept to teach them, for nothing on the unit, for no teaching salary! Of course I’m not one of those “accepting” fools and in fact, I don’t even want them in my poetry groups! They are idiots. They have not been “shown” how to behave and how to take up their places in hierarchy. They are annoying. They are stupid. They think that because patients are psychiatric, they can’t have physical ailments that are for real. They are immature. They are left to their own very meager, very inadequate devices. They are hugely and sorely unprepared for clinical work with only the reluctant supervision “we“ provide.
In short, they are not students. They have no teacher. Students without a teacher are visitors. You can’t be both a student and a visitor. Unless you are “undefined”, of course.
Go ahead now, get sick! You’ll be cared for by self-taught visitors. Good luck!
Of all known institutions, I attend only two: church, in my heart, and school, in yours. Both are subject to demolition. - Lucie Adams, 2007
It is only for poetry to know how many stanzas fit into one caress. - Lucie Adams, 2008