My Best Teaching Is One-on-One

一対一が僕のベスト

Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.

当然、先生方と共同レッスンも、特別レッスンの指導もします。

But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.

しかし、僕の一番意味あると思っている仕事は、講義が終わってから、
一対一と
個人的にその課題の勉強を応援することです。

It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.

まあ、コンピュータプログラムにすると、得意先の方に出来上がった製品を体験させるようなことと思います。
役に立たない製品はまだ製品になっていないと同様です。

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why Tarō Can't Communicate -- 太郎は人の話が通じないのは何だ!

(Test Question -- 試験問題)

Choose the correct answer:
正しい回答を選びなさい:

(1) What is your job?
  A: My job is an English teacher.
  B: I teach English.
You've seen this in the newspaper ads:
新聞広告で見たことがあるかもしらない:
× A: My job is an English teacher.
○ B: I teach English.
But this is wrong.
間違いです。

Here's the real answer:
正解は以下の通りです。
△ A: My job is an English teacher.
○ B: I teach English.
Here's an even better answer set:
もっと適切な回答があります:
△ A: My job is an English teacher.
○ B: I teach English.
○ C: I am an English teacher.
○ D: My job is teaching English.
△ E: My job is to work as an English teacher.
○ F: I work as an English teacher.
It is true that A is not the best phrasing for the assumed intent. 確かに A は推測の意味にしては、最適な言葉並びではありません。 It is also true that E is way too wordy. E は正に言葉が多すぎます。 But they are not without meaning. しかし、意味がないとはいえませんし、 and the assumed intent is within the range of possible interpretations. その推測の意味は可能な解釈の範囲の内に入ります。


The best interpretation of 
My job is an English teacher.
would be something like
My job is something that teaches English.
and this is not incompatible with the assumed meaning.

では、 
My job is an English teacher.
の最適な解釈は
私の仕事は英語を教える物です。
と言えば、想定の意味に反論しません。

There is a problem of semantics.
意味について議論はできます。

A job is a thing and an English teacher is a person.
仕事は物です。英語先生は人です。

So it makes a person seem to be a thing.
この文によって、人がモノにされようとします。

So it would not be the preferred expression.
推薦する表現になりません。

Not totally wrong, but not preferred.
完全に間違ってはないけど、推薦される表現ではありません。

But you can't explain this when you are focused on preparing students for the test. There's no time.
テスト中心勉強しているとこんなのを説明することはできません。そんな暇ありません。

And this is the problem.
ここでは原因が診えます。

Too much of current curriculum is focused on tests.
現在の教科過程は試験集中しすぎています。

Tests cannot test everything like this. Therefore, they cannot teach everything like this.
試験はこういうところを綺麗に探ることができません。したがって、こういうところを充分に明かすこともできません。

Students need time to read things that there will never be time to test.
生徒らは考査するための余間がどうしてもできないほどの、たっぷりな読書が必要です。読書するほどの時間が必要です。

And they need time for discussion, time to talk about the things they have learned.
そして、談話の時間が必要です。学んだことを話し会う時間を必要しています。

If there's too much test prep homework, there's no time to learn.
試験向きの宿題が多すぎると学ぶ余地がありません。

That's why Tarō can't communicate.
これが太郎くんの話し会いができないわけです。人の話が通じないわけです。

More on this subject here:
またここでこの話をとりあげています
http://reiisi.blogspot.com/2016/09/grammar-rules-in-japan.html.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Danger of Charity

I have been seeing bits and pieces of this news about rejecting homeless shelters, and I am feeling no small shame and anger at my fellow Utahns. Community after community is rejecting the building of shelters and other facilities for those who are less fortunate than themselves.

If it were rejecting homeless shelters in order to use the money for providing more people with meaningful work where they can earn enough to pay the rent and feed their families, I could maybe see that. But I don't think that's what's happening.

Dawn Armstrong posted a gentle plea to people everywhere (and especially in Utah) to quit trying to keep the homeless people at a safe distance.

I know that's an awkward way to interpret things, but it's what you are saying when you say you don't want a homeless shelter in your neighborhood:
Keep them at safe distance!

Is homelessness a disease?

Are they somehow tainted by their association with the road?

Or is it that they must have done something terribly wrong to warrant losing their homes, and you, heaven forbid, should not have to associate with people like that?

Maybe you think of the Brian David Mitchells out there. Somebody posted such a comment on Dawn's blog. I think, maybe, I overreacted in my comment on that post. Dawn was much kinder.

Maybe I'm overreacting still, posting this in my blog.

But, statistically speaking, your family is no safer with, say, your business associates, neighbors, friends, relatives.

Most abuse is perpetrated by people who are known by the victim.

I think that's why Jesus finds no moral quandary in teaching us to be good Samaritans. Avoiding the good deed makes us no safer.

(If I had time, I'd work out a lengthy discussion of why charitable behavior ultimately makes the world safer for both your children and you, but it's two in the morning here.)

Would I be playing too rough if I questioned whether you were more concerned about your property value than with your family's safety?

They. The homeless. Dawn is not the only one for whom the "they" means "we".

If you'll stop for a moment's sober reflection, you'll remember that the only thing that stands between you and them is a little luck. If you can stand to admit your dependence on deity, there, but for the grace of God, go we.

The disease which is destroying our modern world, the source of the violence that expresses itself in terrorism and the conundrum of religious warfare is precisely the us vs. them approach to economics, and to life in general.

Them is us. They are we.

[JMR201704071335 added:]

I know it's easy to be scared. But if they are not safe, neither are we. Nor ours.

[JMR201704071335 end-added.]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"We Only Contact Applicants Who ...."

I don't like to sell myself. Somehow, I think the work I do is more important than who I am. That doesn't make sense, of course, because the work that I do is who I am, or, at least, is the expression of who I am.

What do Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Donald Trump have in common with Willy Loman? What does success really mean? Why should people sell success or buy it?

Anyway, teaching English in Japan is not a job for people who don't like to sell themselves. Sure, you can (contrary to my earlier understanding) get certified. But then you are stuck with a different job, one which is mostly neither teaching nor English.

(In some senses, it could be called glorified babysitting, but that's too many distractions in one rant.)

If you don't get certified, you end up having to renew your contract every year, because Japanese laws don't allow the company to keep renewing a temporary contract. After three years, they have to take you full time or tell you to move on.

That's not exactly what the law is supposed to say, but that's the effect.

My interpretation is that that law essentially attempts to protect the jobs of the people who do meet the "qualifications" and get hired as full-time, permanent employees.

And I personally think that the correct solution is to kick the illusion of security to the curb and get rid of the permanent employee status. Any company can fold, and, when it does, everyone finds out their job was just temporary.

Anyway, I spent all of last Friday working up an on-line résumé on a job search site called Gaijinpot that specializes in foreigners who want to work in Japan. This morning, I realized I had let the nicely done (if slow) interface lull me into regurgitating my work history, which is not what I wanted the companies I applied to last Friday to see. It does not tell them that I am focused on teaching.

Okay, I'm not focused on teaching. I'm focused on writing a novel, now. And having to look for work is a serious distraction.

(This is the common complaint of artists everywhere, but, again, that's too many distractions for one rant. And the distraction is not actually a bad thing unless I let it be a bad thing. Distractions actually help creativity. Even though they push the finished product further off into the future, they help refine the product.)

I need to make a copy of my résumé for backup and clean it up, refine the focus, sell my accomplishments.


(I have a focused résumé online, uhm, that is, relatively speaking, focused. For me, it's focused. :-/)

Well, I realized something else this morning, something that moved me to rant mode:

All three companies said they would only contact those applicants whose résumés passed their initial screening process.

That means I have no way of knowing that they even got my résumé. For all I know, Gaijinpot's server may have gone temporarily off-line, and that error message I got about the server timing out may really mean that my résumé was never sent.

Without some sort of confirmation that the submitted résumé actually made it to the company I intended to submit it to, I have no way of knowing they even got it. I can only wait for an event I have no reason to believe will actually happen. And I don't know how long I should wait.

This is bad information protocol. A program written this way would die on you every time you turned around.

Well, I can call and bug them about my résumé. All the counseling about job search tells you to follow up, anyway, so I really should follow up:
Me: Did you get it?

HR: We said we'd contact you if we want to interview you.

Me: Oh. Sorry. That's not what I read. I read that I should assume that you really didn't want to see my résumé at all.
Okay, so asking, "Did you get it?" is probably the wrong way to start.

But submitting the résumé on-line to a company that says they won't respond unless they want to respond is probably not the best thing to do, either.

Should have reviewed my résumé before I sent it.

And I should have sent it directly. After calling them first. I should know this, considering the number of training sessions I've been through.

(But I've never actually gotten a job doing it the way the training sessions tell you, which means that the one thing you should never do in a job search is rely on some sort of set procedure. Which means that software and job search are not a good match, after all.)

Maybe I can make sending the wrong copy an excuse to sent a decent copy instead. We'll see.

Job search sites really, really should provide, in their web UI, some sort of feedback button that the HR person can hit to send an e-mail saying, at bare minimum, "Yes, we did get the résumé, and if we don't reply within n days, you should assume you didn't pass the first screening."

A company whose HR department can't provide bare minimum information exchange protocol may not be worth applying to.

Except that that is precisely the sort of company that currently owns the market for foreign English teachers in Japan. Which is one of the reasons I want my novel to find readers -- so I can hope it will find buyers if I finish it.

If I can't hope to pay the rent with my writing, I should focus on teaching, in spite of the non-optimal stuff that I have to put up with in order to do so.

Speaking of my novel, here's the current (second) draft in progress again:

http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2017/01/soc500-00-00-toc.html

And here's the (roughly) two-thirds-complete first draft:

http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-rough-draft-index.html.

If you like it, tell your friends about it. Don't worry about whether the publishers will be scared away, if I have to, I'll self-publish. Maybe start with an electronic edition and a link to my paypal account if I can't find something better.

If the IRS hasn't found a way to throttle that, too.

But if I know people are reading it, I will find some way to properly publish it.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Why Reiisi? どうして零石?

I guess it's time to explain the 当て字 (ate-ji) I use.
ボクが選んだ当て字のワケを明確にする必要があるかも知りません。

When I was a young CJCLDS missionary in the 関東 (Kantō) area about thirty-five (Wow!) years ago, I looked in my pocket Japanese-English dictionary under り (ri) and れ (re) to see if there were any interesting words with similar pronunciation to my last name.
(吃驚の)35年も前の、関東地方に配置された末日聖徒イエスキリスト教会の若き専任宣教師だったころの話です。ポケット和英辞書の「り」や「れ」の項目で、名字の発音に似た発音の単語を調べました。

I found 栗鼠 (risu), the Japanese for "squirrel". That would actually not have been a bad choice, I think.
「栗鼠」は出てきました。悪くない選択肢だったかも知れないのです。

I also found 零 (rei), the 漢字 (kanji) for "zero".
「0」という意味の「零」も出てきました。

You have to understand. I was only nineteen. My favorite genre of novel was science fiction and fantasy, and it had only been maybe six years since I had discovered Alice Mary (Andre) Norton's Moon of Three Rings and The Zero Stone.
わかってほしいことがあります。ただ十九歳の私です。好きな小説のジャンルはサイエンスフィクション・ファンタジーです。理化学を元にした空想の物語や純粋空想の物語の好みです。アリス・メアリー・ノートン(アンドレ・ノートン)の小説、三輪の月やゼロ・ストンを発見したのはたった六年前のことでした。

The zero stone is a deep black stone, blacker than any other black. It responds to psycho-kinetic energy as an all-purpose natural amplifier. (This is fantasy. We don't care about the laws of physics, okay?)
このゼロ・ストンは何れの黒よりも黒の濃い黒い宝石です。念力働きに答えて万能天然増幅器となります。(ファンタジーです。空想です。いい、ね。物理の原則は関係ありません。)

(And, in the end of the series, the protagonist Murdoc Jern's familiar, Eet, something like a cross between a ferret and a cat, swallows the stone and turns into what every young male geek wishes for, a beautiful female human companion who is already bound to him for eternity without his having to consciously work through the incomprehensible dance of the sexes. Heh.)
(ちなみに、その連続小説の末尾に、主人公だったマードク・ジャンのイタチと猫のハフのようなものだった使い魔のイートさまが、そのゼロストンを飲み込んで、すべての若き男ギークが切に望む、理解不可な異性との舞いを意識して行き来する必要なく、永久に伴侶となってくれる美しき女伴侶に、変身してくれるのです。まあ、ね。)

One word in Japanese for "stone" is 石 (ishi).
石ですね。

End of explanation. Well, except that it didn't end there.
説明はそれで終わりですね。いや、それでは終わられません。

All the missionaries thought 印鑑 (inkan, the hardwood inked seal/stamp that is traditionally used in Japan instead of a signature) were cool. One day, when I had a little extra money and was at a printer to order calling cards, I asked about the cost of having an inkan made.
宣教師は皆は印鑑をかっこ良く思っていたのです。日本の方が皆、署名のように使っているあの印鑑ですね。カッコエエですね。ある日、小さな印刷屋で名詞を注文していて、予算がちょっと余っていたのです。印鑑を作ってもらうことの値段を聞きました。

It was within my budget. On the spur of the moment, I made one for the characters, 「零石」。
予算の内にできそうだったので気分に乗って「零石」の字に注文しました。

End of story. Well, except there was more to it.
終わり。いや、まだあります。

In LDS culture, there is an expression "magnify your priesthood". I vaguely understood that it meant using your God-given talents, guided by prayer, to fulfill your priesthood calling in your own unique way.
モルモンという末日聖徒文化の中には「自分の神権を大いなるものとする」という表現があります。一応、その意味は、自分が神様からもらっている才能を、祈りの下、自分の特質を活かしてその神権召しを尊んで果たす、という事を漠然して理解していたはずです。

As I young missionary, I had this romantic image in my head, of becoming a "zero stone" in God's hands. Not that God needs any amplification, but I wanted to subsume myself in God's will.
若宣教師の私の頭の中に、神様の手に「ゼロストン」となるような、冒険心の想像が浮かんでいたのです。そもそも神様は増幅器なんか必要などもしませんが、ワタシが神様の御心に昇華されその一部となりたかったのです。

I did understand, sort-of, that God really does not want us to be His mindless robots. After my mission, I have come to understand part of why that is. And the adventure so far has been pretty cool, when I stop to think about it. (I need to stop and thank God for the adventure more often. Right now, I'm blessed and struggling with yet another turn in the trail. God has been pretty good to me, all things considered.)
神様の所有する、個人的な意志の無いロボットなどになることが、神様の御旨にかないませんと、なんとなくわかっていました。伝道終わってからその理由の一部をわかってきていると思っています。これまでの人生の冒険が結構楽しくできています。(神様への感謝を忘れるのが多すぎるけど、思い出したら文句は言えません。全般のことを考えて、今の難しいところがあっても神様からは良い物を受けています。)

Anyway, that's the reason for 「零石」、and reiisi.
さて、以上が「零石」及び reiisi のわけです。


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Google Recommends, I Don't

Several years back, a friend of mine told me I should buy into Apple's iOS -- invest in enough Apple equipment to start developing iApps.

Google, he said, was the new Microsoft.

I knew he was right, I knew Google wouldn't stay a true friend of Free Software forever. Really, the writing was on the wall, plain as day for all to see.

Google did not want to invest in the fundamental research that would allow a true Unix-style login on the Android devices, and that meant they had to prevent the ordinary user from getting root. They had to keep you from getting the power to perform even rather rudimentary administration tasks for Android devices.

Lot's of other blue-sky, sure. Anything that might eventually by piped into a profitable revenue stream. Guitars and wild parties? No problem.

But this rant is not about the difficulty of getting root on your device.

Well, Google did not ask me whether I wanted their recommendations in my youtube feed.

Wait.

They didn't even ask me if I wanted my youtube app to start getting push content -- a "feed".

I don't want a feed of any sort. I am plenty capable of feeding myself, thank you. I definitely don't want their recommendations.

In point of fact, all of their recommendations so far have been completely off-base. And they will. Just like almost all the ads we see on TV have nothing to do with us, really. People reaching out to touch our pocketbooks, that's all.

I don't want to live in an information bubble -- especially not of Google's making and selling, even as the cost of a free account.

I guess that's the crux of the matter -- "free".

Can I afford to go to an ad-free paid account? I'd prefer to run my own servers, really.

But the cartels of "content", of course, think they would just as soon have me freeloading, so that they can push their ads at me and tap my pocketbook.

(Which is so empty it echoes. Makes a pretty good drum. Heh. Tap that drum. I still don't like the music.)

Seems like you can't escape the gossamer chains (bent metaphor, yes) of the influence of moneyed interests.

That's not what money is supposed to be for.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Adobe Wants Me to Trust My Passwords to Intel, and Google Agrees

I'm thinking I want to amuse myself by looking at Google Translate's results for a test question.

I go to Google Translate, and Google warns me that Adobe Flash is old and says some function has been blocked.

Now it still shows me their translation results, which aren't too bad this time.

Anyway, I go to Adobe's websitse to check on updates.

Adobe wants me to install Intel's True Key password manager when I download the new update.

It's not just an option, it's a recommended option. The checkbox is checked: "Yes! I will install True Key by Intel Security and resolve my password handling burdens." (my translation from Japanese). I close the page and open it again and it's still there and still checked by default. Any way I come to that page, it's still checked by default.

Still checked by default.

Adobe really wants me to trust Intel with my passwords.

(The Japanese text, if you are interested, is 「はい、True Key by Intel セキュリティをインストールして、パスワード管理の負担を解除します。」 )

If I'm not paying attention when I download the update, I'm going to install True Key and effectively give Intel's software all control over my passwords.

Oh, and, by the way, every effort I make to get that page to display in English is mutely refused.

I show the front page in English and come here and it's still Japanese.

I remove "jp" from the URL and it rewrites the URL and puts it back in for me.

I explicitly type "en" on top of "jp" in the URL and it rewrites that, as well. Okay, okay, okay, language vs. country.

So I type "us" over the "jp" and try that. But that "Page Does Not Exist". (Ergo, they think that, if the country is not specified, it must implicitly be the US -- by defaults built into the website design.  Typical US-centric snobs. ;-/)

Good thing I'm fluent in Japanese.

Oh, hey, I'm fluent in Japanese. I really don't need AdobeFlashy web applications to amuse me with their really bad translations. (Erm, well, this time it wasn't so bad. Bad, but not that bad. And it translates for me anyway, so I have no idea why Google thinks I need Flash for that page. Well, probably, Flash smooths out the event handling with images or something equally inane and arcane. As if Javascript/Ecmascript events are not enough by themselves.)

It's not enough for Adobe to push McAfee Malware software on me, even though the school has Virus Buster licensed and installed on this computer already.

Draw your own conclusions.

But I don't appreciate the hard sell, just so they can pretend to be trying to overcome the security nightmare that is Adobe Flash.

(Fix Flash, Adobe, if you know how. If you don't know how, hire people who do. No, I'm not interested.)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thoughts on Personal History and Social Networking

[JMR201611191729:

You know, I'm not sure I believe anything I've written here.

And I'm not sure I want the person who inspired this post to read it. I think it's almost true, but not quite. But, having written it, I'm not sure I want to simply erase it.

Which is why I wanted to complain about social networking for exposing me to memories that I still -- apparently -- haven't completely dealt with. But even that is not necessarily a bad thing, because I do have to eventually deal with what really happened and what didn't and what I haven't yet set completely aside.

]

Sometimes I wonder whether all the social networking stuff is a good thing. It consumes a lot of my time and doesn't seem to make me any more money. But that's not reason for disagreement with SNS.

[JMR201611191736:

Well, I guess I don't wonder, really. What I posted today over on my political blog -- most of the SNS generates mostly noise, people shouting and tweeting and twittering, making mountains out of molehills, and not very many people really listening. And it becomes yet more excuse for people behaving unreasonably, and even criminally so.

I want to take a stab at doing it the way I think is right, but, for now, LinkedIn is the closest I've seen, and getting a little better at a time. Which, relative to the present post, is a little ironic.

Google+ also gets close, in a different way.

I should post about it again, but it's a really detailed subject.

]

The other day I came across a former girlfriend's profile on LinkedIn. No big deal, really, it happens all the time.

[JMR201611191757:

That is to say, it happens all the time to other people. Not so much to me. In fact, this is the first and only time it's happened to me to this point. And I may have gone searching more than just come across it. I'm not sure.

I have gone searching for people I know, or used to know, in the past -- mostly when I'm tired at work and need to be doing work and don't want to be doing work, and need something, anything, to keep me awake and keep the adrenalin flowing.

]

However, when we broke up, she told me I shouldn't contact her anymore.

I thought at the time we should remain in contact and just be friends. She thought otherwise.

[JMR201611191801:

This much is supposed to be true, and I can't say much more than that without treading on her stewardship.

]

We had moved too fast, really.

Yeah, we had some sort of chemistry, and we shared an interest in electronics and computers and religion. But we hardly knew each other before we shared our first kiss. I don't think I ever knew what her favorite movies were, nor her favorite books. I do know she liked to share her breath freshener with me, and I did not exactly care for all that minty sweet stuff.

[JMR201611191803: 

I have no idea how true the above is. It seems true, but it also seems too convenient, and seems not to describe what I was feeling for several years after.

]

I had entertained hopes that we could be the Pierre and Marie of software. Was (am) I an incurable romantic?

[JMR201611191806: 

I think this was true. At least I remember thinking things like this.

]

We got engaged even though we had no real basis for friendship. It turned out to be kind of painful to try to establish one.

[JMR201611191807: 

How can anyone ever have a real basis for beginning a courtship, friends or not?

Still, it would have been nice to have been friends first, to have explored our common interests (we did have a few) before we got our egos and fears about courting tangled up in what we believed about each other.

]

We were going different directions, she with her 8085 and me with my 6809, she with her MS-DOS and I with my OS-9 and Unix.

[JMR201611191810: 

I think I remember thinking things like this also, although I might, had I been more experienced, have been able to negotiate a little more interest from her in the 6809 if I had been able to show a little more interest in the 8085 and Z-80.

I was definitely too attached to Motorola processors, but I had good reasons.

How a company like Motorola managed to come up with the two best microprocessors of the '80s is a puzzle. Even the ARM CPUs are only about halfway there, and headed the wrong direction. How Motorola wasted the business opportunities with their CPUs is not so much of a puzzle. The markets of this world never know what to do with really good things.

If I could have distanced myself from my personal entanglement in the war between really good and good enough for yesterday, I might have been able to discuss electronics with her in a way that she wouldn't have found, well, scary.

On the other hand, having broken up with her, I should have quit trying to justify her opinions. I should have dug into my the projects I ended up leaving hanging out to dry. At least, if I had done so, I would be a lot closer to financially solvent now.

]

The battlefield in the house probably would have reflected the parallel war in the market had we married. Some people enjoy that. I don't.

[JMR201611191821: 

This may be the most ridiculous thing I have ever said.

Husband/wife relationships are always battlefields. It's not good, and it doesn't justify either of them thinking power is a replacement for love, but marrying two people who would not have problems negotiating their differences would be, well, to borrow a phrase from Japanese, 勿体無い (mottainai).

Sure, you need commonality, but without the differences there is no dynamic, no energy, none of the creativity that is the whole reason for relationships in general and marriage in particular.

The real question was whether there was enough interest in each other there to keep us engaged with each other. And she convinced herself there was not, and I could not convince myself it was within my stewardship to disagree with her on that subject to her face. Or I was not able to put my ego at enough of a risk to do so, which was another problem.

]

Well, there were no hard feelings. The first cut, as the song goes, was the deepest for a while. It took me a few years and a lot of dating to leave the memory of my fantasy of how I wanted it to have been behind.

And to realize I wasn't so much in love with her as with that dream of being able to be a creative team with my wife in the professional world as well as at home. And to admit that she was never into that dream at all.

Seeing her picture on her profile still awakens some distant echo of those old dreams.

[JMR201611191806: 

Hard feelings? What are hard feelings. There were a lot of hard feelings for several years, which I kept trying to hide myself from.

After she got married, after I talked with her mother one last time to be sure she that she really had, I was able to begin to really accept that much of what drove my interest were dreams from before my childhood that I had to let go of.

(How many times has God told me in so many words that the hardware and software I wanted to create are just too good for this world -- would give bad people way too much power?)

I can't blame her for sensing that.

I expect, when we cross to the other side of the veil, we'll remember that we were friends before we came to this world, and that she was trying to get me to give in to the restrictions God put on me about that back then, too. If that is the case, I suppose it would have been a bit unreasonable to ask her to put herself at the kind of risk she would have been in, nursing me away from that.

In comic book worlds, yeah, girlfriends of superheroes do that kind of thing for them.

In the real world, we are all superheroes, and we are none of us superheroes, except for Jesus Christ Himself, who was so much more than a superhero.

And yet, my wife, for all that she is wrong about so much, is doing exactly that for me now. And it is putting more stress on her than she deserves. And I keep forgetting that and demanding she be superhuman when I think I need her to be.

(It's only fair that she be wrong about so much, since I am, too.)

]

I have since decided that a broken heart is actually a good experience. It helps you to realize that the things you set your heart on are all ephemeral. It's important to feel deeply about things, but it's also important to be able to let go when you learn that there are more important things.

And it's important to be able to separate what you wish were real from what really is real.

[JMR201611191843:

Okay, I think I got those two paragraphs right.

]

Should I have LinkedIn ask her if she wants to establish a social networking connection?

I think not. I can't think of much we could talk about. [JMR201610310109: And I don't think she'd appreciate it. ]

Some parts of the past are best left in the past, even if modern technology would allow us to do otherwise.

[JMR201611191845:

But I'm going to have to think about this carefully because there are more than two people involved in this game. Spouses and children are not uninvolved, and I have to get settled on the issues that she forced me to start facing some thirty years ago, or I'll never be able to provide for my own children's spiritual needs. And my wife's.

And I may have trouble continuing to make enough money for food and rent for myself and them, as well, because part of why I never made myself permanently employable is precisely my lack of desire to deal with a world that doesn't meet my ideals. And I seem to have reached an end to the workarounds I have used until now.

I suppose LinkedIn is not inherently evil, anyway.

]