My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


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


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


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.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Epiphanies about Violence and Lies while Stack-diving at a Junkudo Bookstore

Did a little reading in the stacks at ジュンク堂 (Junkudo). I had gone to buy a book for my mother-in-law -- 道場洋三 (Dojo Yozo)'s latest book 『おはようパーソナリティ道上洋三の山あり谷ありダイアリー』(Ohayo Personality Dojo Yozo's Diary with Mountains and Valleys or something like that).

Finding that, I decided it'd been enough years since I'd gone stack diving at Junkudo, and I made my way into the deeper environs.

Books from members of the entertainment industry.

"Soft" porn next to that. (Collections of pictures of famous people, mostly female, generally including some nude and/or partial nude shots. I suppose they think they are baring their souls to their fans.)

Business. IoT is all about business. You can tell that by the fact that so many of the books on IoT are in the business section. That means that it's all basically smoke and mirrors. But we knew that.

Great opportunity to sell ARM processors.

Wish I had a million dollars to develop the low-power CPU I want to develop. I could quit my current job and at least get a series of simulators (in C) put together with assemblers and Forth interpreter bootstrap/monitors, and then implement real processors in some form of programmable logic. (Wire-wrapped LSI would be great fun, too. ;)

And maybe have them built in time to ride the tail of the IoT wave into actual use.

(I'd start with a re-worked 6809, and then build 16 bit and 32 bit versions of the thing. All would have DMA and MMUs. Multiplication, division, and floating point would be synthesized, but the CPU would have special writable microcode so that the synthesized instructions could run at higher speed than main memory. The central feature would be specific support for dual stack architectures, separating the return addresses from local variables for safety and speed -- with special use specific caches between level one cache and the processor, ... daydreams.)

Novels. Maybe someday some of the novels I am writing or plan to write will be among those. Maybe I'll even be able to do some writing in Japanese, or translate my own works. Someday.

Self-help books.

Books on math and other academic subjects.

Hobby books. Lots of hobby books. Japan is a great country for hobbies, although, with all the overtime they work on average, it's hard to see how they have the time. (It isn't just the フリータ (friita) who are doing hobbies. (Freetimers, a term derived from free lancing, but indicating people who work odd jobs and part time, just enough to get by. I could almost be called a friita.)

The usual travel and cooking.

Up to the third floor. (This is in the store in 堂島 (Dojima)).

Whoa! Linux books and other books on free/open software technologies outnumber Microsoft technology books!

Bittersweet. The Free/open software world has been at least partially re-purposed by Google and Red Hat and Oracle and, soon, Microsoft. (We could say that Apple co-opted free/open software, but they have been a bit more circumspect in their admixtures, at least some of them, than Google.)

Foreign novels.

I got lost in re-reading The Girl on the Train.

Very poignant picture of relationship/domestic violence, and how it is so often just one step short of serious crime. And so often that one step is not enough separation.

I think one of the characters in the book said something about the relationship between violence and lies.

I found the ending of the book a little unsatisfying. The surviving primary protagonist is fighting her own feelings of guilt. I would have preferred the author had given her and her rival both a chance to come clean. It would help them end the chain of violence, and the self-defense defense would not have been injured by a more complete telling of the events.

Well, anyway. It's not my book.

I dug a little in the foreign novels, across from Harry Potter and such, and found that Johnathan Livingston Seagull is back in print. New edition. Part four restored.

The new part four definitely does complete the book. I had always felt it was incomplete.

But I'll admit that it would possibly not have been as popular had part four been in the first printing.

I bought a copy. My brother's copy that I read when I was in my teens is, well, in my brother's possession. And I want it available in the house, should my children decide to read it.

Like all things humans write, the allegory has limits, but it does speak to our innate desire to find and create meaning. And, even if filtered through the allegory, it speaks to the reality of our eternal nature.

It's easy to get a little high reading it. Maybe that was why, when I got off the train at my station, I was having an epiphany about violence and lies.

They go together.

Liars tend to be violent. Violent people tend to lie.

Truth is said to be hard. Beating your head against truth is one of those recurring memes.

But the real violence is done by lies. And there is a reason for it.

Truth doesn't need external support.

Lies do. And the usual external support for lies is -- bravadaccio, bragging.
Violent activity.

You knew that.

I knew it, too.

Maybe it was the being high on Seagull. Things seem to have so much meaning when your high, even if the high is natural.

(Natural highs are not all that hard to get to, if you keep yourself open to your own emotions. No need for drugs, including alcohol or even the lesser drugs.)

But the epiphany is worth pointing out.

If you find yourself recognizing that you are too violent, try to figure out where you are lying to yourself. Then quit lying to yourself.

If the truth seems hard, that is actually an illusion. Maintaining the fiction is just that much harder, incurs just that much more violence.

Truth seems hard sometimes, but untruth is more violent in the end.

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