September 6th, 2007

A working comma, two affirmations, and class...

Thanks to my friend and reader, Kathy, in Texas for this. I just love the whole notion of it. The fact that he (Oscar Wilde) was gay, or paederastic as it were, has nothing to do with my liking it. But it doesn't hurt...

Oscar Wilde was a poseur and what he said was never necessarily true. However, he was visiting at a friend’s summer house, and one morning he did not show up until it was nearly lunchtime.

His friend said, “What have you been doing all morning, Oscar?”

“Working,” said Wilde.

“Accomplish anything?”

“Oh, yes, I inserted a comma in a poem I’m writing.”

He then disappeared all afternoon.

When he showed up for dinner, his friend said, “More work?”

“Yes,” said Oscar. “I removed that comma.”



I had a couple of affirmations today—one from my friend Courtney and one from my friends at the Center for Excellence in Curricular Engagement.



Before this past holiday weekend, my friend Courtney, with whom I went through the Master's in Technical Communication program (she started after me and graduated before me, but I'm not bitter) instant messaged me and said, "I need something to read over the long weekend."

I think I may have suggested A Prayer for Owen Meany, with it recently completed and fresh on my mind, but she said, "I want to read an introspective kind of book. I'm in one of those kind of places right now."

I said to her, "Then I would recommend Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Have you read it?"

"No," she groaned, and said she either had the book and hadn't read it, or has thought about reading it several times, but just couldn't get excited about it.

I said, "Well, there are so many lessons in that book that have helped me throughout my life, lessons like 'deferring a want to a value,' 'criticism=loyalty,' and 'Quadrant II activities.' If you do read it, and want to get together at times to discuss how I apply a particular concept of his in my life, then I'd be happy to do that with you along the way."

"Okay," she said. I'll read it.

Fast forward a week, and read this e-mail I received from her today.

John Martin, thanks so much for diligently describing every detail of your life in your blog!  ;-)  Had it not been for you, I'd have never thought about reading Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which is currently the only book that has ever profoundly impacted my life.

My gosh, I'm amazed to find almost every sentence so compelling and applicable (suppose timing has a little to do with that).  Hope you don't find this too overwhelming, but I hold you partly responsible for this positive turning point that I'm experiencing.

You're the best, John Martin!

~ Courtney

That warms my heart through and through.



I edited from home today, working on Joe's 128-page Lotus Notes Adapter Installation and Configuration Guide.

I met Patti and Myra from CECE today at Pullen Park for a fly-infested little picnic. As soon as I took the lid off the Vegetarian Hummus and the Crab-Spinach-Artichoke-Cheese spread, they descended upon us—well on the food, really.

Without getting into too much detail at this point, I'll just say that both Patti and Myra expressed serious interest in having me join their team in a full-time employment situation. The position might start off as a temporary (two-year) one, but the prospects are good for it to eventually morph into something permanent. I'm very excited about the possibility.



Verbal Data Analysis class was interesting enough this evening. I completely missed one reading that we had assigned, so was not able to contribute to that discussion, but it was only about 5-10 minutes of the one hour, 15 minute class, so it wasn't too bad. 

Once home, I did an exercise, which was assigned to test our understanding of the difference in the various kinds of population sampling strategies that can be used in research studies: convenience, typical, best case, criterion-based, stratified, random, and compressive. It was due by midnight tonight, and I made it just under the wire.

Life is good.