Kind words of encouragement make a huge difference

In a previous post I said I will follow up with a whole “high school essay” on the topic Dana Michaels has introduced. I’ve composed the essay in longhand, using pencil and paper. Thereupon, I’ve translated it into text using voice-to-text software. It took me a while to find the WAV file that I had created, using my Zoom H4n audio recorder, to create the recording that I would next translate into text.

Given that this is an essay, I want to share the fact that among my favourite places visit, including on a bike ride from my home, is Port Credit in Mississauga. It's a community that has figured out what to do with its Waterfront. Jaan Pill photo

Given that this is an essay, I want to share the fact that among my favourite places to visit, including on a bike ride from my home, is Port Credit in Mississauga. It’s a community that has figured out what to do with its Waterfront. Jaan Pill photo

Once I found the WAV file, with the aid of my Adobe Premiere Pro software, which I like to use when working with WAV files, I next had to figure out how to use Dragon Dictate to translate the words into text. I figured out the procedure after I had consulted some instructions that I found via Google.

In this photo you can see the graphic representation of precipitation, that is missing from the photo immediately above. The robust skid marks, combined with the snow and rain, appears to be the standard current representation of the matter at hand. That is: Slippery When Wet. Jaan Pill photo

In this photo you can see the graphic representation of precipitation, that is missing from the photo immediately below. The robust skid marks, combined with the snow and rain, appear to be the standard current representation of the matter at hand. That is: Slippery When Wet. I like how the driver’s head has the same appearance as the dots that represent snow and rain. As in many aspects of life, context is a key part of any representation of any aspect of reality. Jaan Pill photo

The software did some training, so that it would be calibrated to my voice, using a small segment of the WAV file. When that was done, the entire text appeared in front of me, and I did some further editing. The edited text follows below.

In Toronto, you can still find some vintage Slippery When Wet Signs. The newer version of the sign has graphic representations of snow in the space above the car. Jaan Pill

As noted in a previous post, in Toronto you can still find some vintage Slippery When Wet Signs. Another version of the sign has graphic representations of snow and rain in the space above the car. In this version, the driver is assumed to be male and appears to be wearing a 1940s-era hat. The bird poo on has a characteristic gestural, Abstract Expressionist quality that denoted energy and spontaneity. Jaan Pill

This is a beautiful image of a sugar refinery in the midst of other industrial facilities. I like this photo, which addresses a theme - the WHO guidelines on recommended sugar intake (no more than 25 grams a day) that I've written about extensively in previous posts. I say that as a person who does still enjoy one or two home-baked cookies. Once in a while. Very good. Jaan Pill photo

This is a beautiful image of a sugar refinery in New Toronto in the midst of other industrial facilities. I like this photo, which addresses a theme – the WHO guidelines on recommended sugar intake (no more than 25 grams a day) that I’ve written about extensively in previous posts. I say that as a person who does still enjoy one or two home-baked cookies. Once in a while. Very good. Jaan Pill photo

What follows is the essay I have written. I guess you have to refer to the previous post to get a sense of what Dana Michaels said. This being an essay, it’s totally different from a news report. Only some people will read an essay, I imagine, while more people will likely read a news report. So if you want to know what Dana Michaels said, you have to go back to the previous post. There’s nothing easy about an essay. If you want to read an essay, you have to do some of the work yourself.

My essay

For any person organizing a reunion, kind words of encouragement, such as your recent comments – I’m referring here to comments from Dana Michaels – about my blog, and about the work of the MCHS 2015 organizing team, are tremendously valuable.

It was getting late in the day. The light was fading. But I got the image. The skid marks that look like the car is trailing strands of spaghetti did not stay around for long, on these signs. The more robust representation of skids marks, or a car swerving out of control, has become the standard representation of the concept of total loss of control. Jaan Pill photo

It was getting late in the day. The light was fading. But I got the image. The skid marks that look like the car is trailing strands of spaghetti did not stay around for long, on these signs. The more robust representation of skids marks, or of a car swerving wildly, has become the standard representation of the phenomenon at hand. Jaan Pill photo

In thirty years of intensive volunteer work, focused upon what is at times called community self-organizing, I’ve achieved a small measure of success and have learned many new things of value.

One of those things is that words have tremendous power, for good or for ill. Your comments are good words, and they have the power to fill one’s sails; they have the power to move the project strongly forward.

Organizing team

I much appreciate, as well, that you can see the value of the work of the organizing team, even given that you will not be there, at the reunion itself.

Reunions have tremendous value, but it’s not every MCHS graduate from the 1960s who will be able to make it to this one.

That being said, every person who connects with the MCHS of the ’60s has the opportunity to be part of the network of alumni, which has always been in place, since the school was opened, in 1961-62, and which has the capability of further growth.

Social media

There is value in the existence of such a network, even among those of us who only meet online, or through emails, blog posts, Facebook, or other social media.

The networks of contacts that exist among MCHS alumni enable people to know what is going on.

The connections that are created help to spread the word about upcoming events such as the MCHS ’60s Reunion.

Let us keep in touch. Let us all celebrate the work that we are doing together, on one level or another.

Above all let us celebrate the power of kind words, well spoken.

Conclusion

In conclusion I would say, in what has turned out to be, in the best sense of the word, a high school essay, is that it’s great to have a positive outlook in life, and to seek out what is good, and what is true.

In fact, I like high school essays.

It was in high school in the 1960s that I found my voice as a writer. Until that time, I wasn’t aware that I was in possession of such a thing. It was the response of readers that told me that I have a voice.

Dealing with obstacles to the achievement of goals

I am a fan of positive thinking as a goal of day-to-day life. I also like to adopt an evidence-based approach to life, however.

If there is a particular quality or configuration of energies in life that warrants reverence, in my experience, it is evidence.

In a previous post I’ve referred to evidence that suggests that positive thinking has to be tempered with an awareness of what the potential obstacles may be, that stand in the way of reaching one’s goals.

A person needs to demonstrate the capacity to formulate clear and practical steps to address the obstacles, in order that the positive goal that a person envisions can be achieved. Otherwise a person is dreaming, and not getting much else done, aside from the dreaming and the imagining.

 

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