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Educlaytion - Part 20

eduClaytion Went To The Oscars

I never planned this type of running log. It just sort of happened. I managed to get real work done with one eye on the tube. Here are some of the thoughts that spilled out of my brain and onto the screen.

I'm willing to brave the fire for you, dear reader.

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8:06—The Red Carpet is as close a rendering of Dante’s Fourth Circle of hell as you’ll ever find.

8:07—Oh yeah, that’s why I never watch this stuff. How could I forget.

8:??–Beware Christian Bale. Stay out of his lighting and steer clear of his beard. He hides death in there.

8:13—Just when you think Nicole Kidman can’t become any more unlikeable she looks at husband Keith Urban when asked if she gets excited about Oscars anymore and actually says, “I’ve never been nominated since I’ve been married to Keith so…” He must feel great.

8:25—Halle Berry calls herself “slave to fashion,” looks like she has to pee.

8:33—Opening montage. Hilarious!

8:41—I don’t suppose Devil will get any awards, but it was one of my faves last year.

Are those barnacles?

8:59—Supporting actress winner from The Fighter is super annoying and classless. I can hear I’m Gonna Knock You Out playing in my brain. She better never win anything again.

9:00—Just realized that The A-Team got zero Oscar buzz or nominations. Ridiculous.

9:14—Aaron Sorkin wins best adapted screenplay for Social Network. You know that’s right.

??–Apparently Matt McConaughey didn’t get the memo to not tan/bronze. Pasty white is in this year, and I am trendy.

9:53—Oops, forgot I was keeping a running log. My ADD doesn’t play well here.

10:00—How ironic that Cate Blanchett announces award for Costume Design while wearing a Happy Meal box.

10:12—Know what would’ve made this show more interesting? An Inception style stage.

10:16—This short film guy’s really funny! “I should’ve got a haircut,” he says.

Luke Matheny. Short Film. Funny guy.

10:18—Auto tune the movies is funny too.

10:22—Well, we made it this far without an overt political statement, but it still wasn’t that big of a deal. Enjoying the lack of political grandstanding.

10:45—This just in: Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t sing nearly as good as anyone else at the Oscars. Including Chuck (Zachary Levi from Tangled).

10:53—The In Memoriam part is always one of my faves. Bittersweet. But that will be enough Celine Dion for this decade.

10:57—I don’t know what this means, but I’m pretty sure I would look alright if I had Halle Berry’s hairstyle.

11:16—I was right about Natalie Portman winning, but it would be funny if the award went to someone like Angelina Jolie for Salt.

11:19—Ok, Portman is still talking. Blah, blah, blah, go away.

11:20–Congratulations to Nicole Kidman who has made it through the entire evening without taking her clothes off.

11:26—Okay Colin Firth. Great line: “I have a feeling my career has just peaked.” The world loves you for now though.

11:32—Anne Hathaway has more outfits than Rupaul.

11:43—It’s over. King’s Speech wins something else. This concludes the most consecutive, non-sports TV I will watch for the next year.

If it’s any consolation Inception, Social Network, & the rest, the Pittsburgh Steelers know exactly how you feel.

~*~*~*~

Takeaway points

It would’ve been nice to hear maybe one overblown Hollywood type thank a fan or regular person. Remember us? We’re the ones who spend money we don’t have to see you perform lines you could never write.

The show was pretty tame, so no classic comedy moments, but I’m happy because we also didn’t have to deal with…

Annoying political rants. I really despise that stuff, the normal Academy fare. The absence of said soapboxing just happens to coincide with the absence of Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Leo, and Matt Damon, great actors all but bothersome as social commentators. Yes, there are some who know what they’re talking about.

Gotta give my mom credit for recalling this classic moment from 1973 when Raquel Welch and Gene Hackman were announcing the winner for Best Actress. Here’s the short clip on YouTube. You can skip ahead to around the 45 second mark to hear what Welch thought of political rants.

Here’s the background on Welch’s “I hope they haven’t got a cause” comment. Maybe she had a point.

Maybe I’m way off.

What do you think? Do you even watch?

What memorable moments do you recall from last night or previous years?

We can connect on Twitter (@ClayMorganPA) where you can also read the rest of my comments from last night.

What If… Interview With Dallas Jenkins

Lots of folks are thinking about movies on this day after the Academy Awards. What better time to share an interview with an industry insider.

Dallas Jenkins has been making movies for over a decade. You can check out his IMDB page. I met Dallas a few years ago in Pittsburgh and can tell you he’s a great guy and gifted filmmaker.

His most recent movie What If… comes out on DVD tomorrow. In this interview Dallas talks about this latest film, faith in Hollywood, and the ever-changing student culture.

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What are the best movies you’ve seen in the past couple of years?

I’m a huge fan of Juno; Jason Reitman is a favorite of mine. I loved District 9 last year, also loved 500 Days of Summer.Social Network was this year’s best film in my opinion.

Describe your latest movie What If…

What If… is basically It’s a Wonderful Life meets The Family Man. The basic storyline is similar to those films, but the twists and turns are different, and of course my film has a strong and explicit message of Christian faith (though not in a preachy way).

Kevin Sorbo plays Ben, who gets a chance to see what his life would look like if he had followed God’s call for his life 15 years ago instead of leaving his college sweetheart and path to be a preacher. John Ratzenberger plays the angel who knocks him into this alternate reality. Ben wakes up Sunday morning with a wife and kids getting ready for church, where he’s the new preacher. How he navigates through all of this and finds the joy of faith and family is the thrust of the story.

How have things been going since the release?

The movie came to theaters in August of 2010 and did okay. Not great, not bad. Got some great response which will hopefully give us some good momentum for the DVD release in March.

If you could take over Hollywood and make 2 or 3 immediate changes to the industry/culture what would they be?

Well, the beauty of Hollywood is that it’s a free market, so no one can really change things on their own! That said, I do wish that the industry wasn’t so tied to routine and trends; they don’t like taking risks. I also wish that they could figure out a way to market to that “in between” crowd, the people who don’t necessarily watch church movies but are also looking for something more faith-based than what the mainstream pumps out. And of course I wish the Hollywood culture was more politically and spiritually diverse. As a conservative and a Christian, I’m a double-whammy minority.

What do we need less or more of in movies?

Christian movies need more reality and darkness, but mainstream movies need more positive depictions of faith, marriage, family, etc…

Are you finding different challenges to communicating with students (especially college) today than a decade or so ago?

I think students are getting more cynical, and since I tend not to be a cynical person, it’s harder for me to communicate. To introduce a hope or faith that’s impactful, you have to first accurately capture the world in which that hope is needed, so it’s important for storytellers to understand their audience.

What is next for Jenkins Productions?

Well, Jenkins Entertainment is now connected to Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, a big church where I’ve accepted a position to head up media, production, and ultimately movies. So we’re going to be developing our first film sometime this year. We’ll have an announcement about it soon. In the meantime, we need What If… to do well.

You can order a copy of What If… by going to http://thewhatifmovie.com/.

Check out a preview of the film at http://jenkins-entertainment.com/.

You can also find Dallas on Twitter @DallasJenkins.

Posts That Pop

Still thinking over names for this Saturday spot. Ironic Mom, who’s currently stalking Oprah, suggested the above title. Keenie Beanie and I came up with something else that sounds like ExClaymations. Still thinking over the possibilities.

Anyway, here’s the roundup. Pay no attention to the twitchy, sleep-deprived, pasty white guy in front of the camera. ;-)

Dr. Kelli Marshall writes a blog on pop culture and teaching called Unmuzzled Thoughts. We found each other through our mutual adoration of Gene Kelly. From what I can tell she’s as funny as she is smart and–in a move that totally endears her to me–uses social networking technology like mad in her classes. One ongoing feature is “Favorite Student Tweets” where she gathers the best of what her students have to say on the movies they’re watching for class. Here’s the selections from Singing In The Rain week.

Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writer blog featured 10 Ways To Improve Your Likability Quotient. Great tips on how to display proper Netiquette (internet etiqutte) while establishing your presence. Kind of like the Golden Rule for the interwebs.

K.B. Owen wrote Show Me The Money: 19th Century Bank Robbers & Counterfeiters. I’m a big fan of people who can make history really come alive and these anecdotes do that.

Check out Strength, Thy Name Is Woman! from Wendy at Herding Cats In Hammond River. Really neat post about some cool inventions that have changed our world. And they’re all done by women. I will now forego all women jokes for the next 3 hours in honor of this fact.

Why You Aren’t As Successful As You Want To Be by Chris Brogan. Warning: Don’t read if you don’t like blunt advice from strangers. But he’s right.

I actually found the Brogan post from a recommendation on Twitter by Jesse Desjardins, a top notch communicator who makes “presentations that don’t suck.” Here’s one of his finest pieces, a killer slideshow on how to not suck at PowerPoint.

What did you find this week that merits mention? Let us know in the comments?

Any more ideas for what to call this weekly feature?

Connect with me on Twitter @ClayMorganPA.

Classroom Hollywood

Cover of "Blackboard Jungle"

Cover of Blackboard Jungle

Since I filter much of the world through the never-ending reel of movie references scrolling across my brain, you can imagine how many classroom scenes have flickered in my mind during my teaching career. We love a good story of inspiration, and classrooms provide plenty of those where lives are literally saved by mentors and leaders who challenge the perspective of young individuals.

Hollywood has pumped out a fair share of educational epics, but the groundbreaking movie on classroom angst appeared in 1955. Blackboard Jungle stars a great cast including Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, and a young Sidney Poitier. Another key player is Vic Morrow who died in a helicopter crash while filming a Twilight Zone movie in 1982. And I bet you wouldn’t even recognize little Jamie Farr.

Blackboard Jungle also launched the rock n roll revolution in America. The film features Bill Haley & The Comets and their hit song Rock Around The Clock. Teenagers in the 1950s got crazy (especially in England) during the performance version of the song in the middle of the movie. Mini riots broke out in theaters!

If you’ve ever watched classic films from that era, you’ll notice how far ahead of the times Blackboard Jungle really was. I definitely recommend it, but I also figure most of you have not seen it, so let’s talk about films that many folks have watched.

First off, let me tell you what movies are not included in this week’s poll. These teacher movies could form a field all their own, yet I went with other options.

My favorite movie not on this week’s list is The Emperor’s Club (Full Screen Edition) starring Kevin Kline. If you liked Dead Poet’s Society, you’ll like The Emperor’s Club. Great film. Not enough people know about it.

I’m sure some of you would also expect me to include Stand and Deliver (1988) and Dangerous Minds (1995). Sorry. Nothing against either of those movies except space here.

So what are you picking from? Glad you asked.

Freedom Writers (2007)–I’m not sure how many of you have seen this Hilary Swank film, but you won’t be disappointed. This movie is based on a real school and teacher during the Rodney King riots in LA. The actual work of the students is in print and bookstores today.

Dead Poets Society (1989)–Carpe diem baby. This one made a big impact on me. I saw it when I was a young teenager and for the first time dreamed of being a teacher.

Finding Forrester (2000)–Not only do we have a cool mentor-student relationship, but we also get Sean Connery (in his last memorable role), and a story about writing! I’m a big fan.

Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)–The best reward for a noble educator has to be students who return later in life to express gratitude to an teacher who made an impact on their life. This movie explores the sacrifices we make and what really matters in the end. Great stuff. Also, my mom loves it.

Lean On Me (1989)–Morgan Freeman was picking up steam heading into 1989 when he absolutely exploded. In that year he starred in Glory, Driving Miss Daisy, and Lean On Me. The latter tells the story of a tough leader, Principal Joe Clark, who does whatever it takes to restore sanity in a mad world. With all the current controversy about unruly students and the handcuffs placed on teachers, I often wonder what Joe Clark would’ve done.

Which flick gets the passing grade?

The Friday Flick Faceoff features films that share a common thread. Cast your vote anyway you like and don’t worry if you’ve seen all the movies or not. Love to hear why you picked what you picked though!

Find me on Twitter under my new handle @ClayMorganPA!

That Night I Came Off The Bench

This story follows a previous tale told. Check out part 1 here.

~*~*~*~

The cast on my right arm went all the way from palm to just past my elbow–plenty of fiberglass real estate for signatures–and locked my busted limb at an almost ninety degree angle. As a left-hander I continued to write and eat normally. Shooting basketballs was a different matter.

B-ball had only been a hobby until that time. My injury coincided with a growth spurt that left me near 6’3 and skinny as a rail for my senior year. I had not played basketball during high school even though my friends all did. Once I became the second tallest kid in school more parents suggested that I join the team.http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Before breaking my arm, I used to shoot from the gut. Both arms extended at once, the left pushing and right guiding. That bulky cast took my guide arm out of commission for weeks.

After a few cramped days indoors, I decided to pick up a ball again. If I released the ball from overhead I could use my right arm to guide the shot despite being incapacitated. With that adjustment I discovered a new release point and launched hundreds of balls in that way before the big day when that dirty, itchy cast was sawed off.

As soon as I got home I grabbed a ball and hit the street. I’ll never forget the first shot I took. I reverted to my old release, hands pushing from the hip.

Your elbow gets locked in a bent position after being stuck that way for so many weeks. My tender arm was not ready to be yanked straight when I forced it that day. I clutched my arm and crumpled in pain. Practice ended after about ten seconds.

I never shot a ball that way again.

~*~*~*~

When the season began I played center behind our 6’6 starter Scotty. I learned the game as we practiced our plays over and over.

The main play was called “shuffle.” I can still run that thing in my head all these years later. The job of the center was to jump out to the foul line towards the top of the key, back to the hoop. After receiving the ball there you could dish to a sprinting guard or turn and shoot.

Coach wanted every player to be prepared, even the newbies like me. He cranked the heat up over 90 degrees during practice. We ran every team into the ground that year and went undefeated at home. I also learned that those crazy screaming coaches on sidelines can be great guys.

My big chance came on the road one night in January when Scotty got injured. I was in. Continue Reading…

That Day I Shattered My Arm

ein zweihändiger Dunk

Image via Wikipedia

Apparently the NBA held its all-star game this weekend complete with the famous Slam Dunk competition. I don’t care as I’ve grown to despise that league, but once upon a time I loved basketball. A really lot. You could even say that the sport sort of changed my life. Here’s one of my stories.

~*~*~*~

My doctor strolled in and clipped the x-rays to the viewbox. “It’s broken in four places,” he said to me and my mom.

I was a junior in high school, and mom happened to also be the technician who took scans of that busted arm after my aunt drove me to the medical center. Well, that’s just perfect, I thought.

My skinny bones had all been in tact three hours earlier when me and the boys shot hoops at the beginning of gym class. Someone decided they wanted to jump off of a chair and do some slam dunks. We followed. I threw down with ease while a couple others still couldn’t get there. I might have been gloating a little.

Someone said, “let’s see you do it with two hands.”

Remember that show The Wonder Years with Kevin and Winnie? As I look back on what happened next in that gymnasium, the adult narrator that I’ve become describes the scene in that same pithy voice.

If those other guys thought I couldn’t dunk with two hands I would show them. I would soar through the air like Jordan and bring down the thunder like Dominique.

I grabbed a ball and stared down the lane. The chair was positioned sideways with its back to the right. I would have to be mindful of such an alignment because I was left-footed. I considered the slippery legs of the steel mount as well. You had to hit the seat and push off just right, center flush, or the chair would shoot away and you’d kiss the court at 50 miles per hour.

No problem, I thought.  I’ve got this. Continue Reading…

Stuff I Like

Welcome to the first installment of my roundup. Each Saturday I’m going to give you links to whatever gems I discover throughout the week. A couple different things about the way I plan to do this:

1. This feature won’t be a best of the week type deal. Whatever appears here could have been created at any time. I just happened to find it now.

2. The content here can include links to blog posts, video clips, articles, a great website, or any other worthy thing.

3. I’m not locking into a set number of finds each week.

4. I want you to be a part of uncovering gems. Help me find good work to promote.

I try my best to be interesting in all that I do and never want to waste your time. I plan on that same quality here.

Here’s this week’s mashup.

  • In Praise of Young People from The Problem With Young People Is… earned a spot on Freshly Pressed this week. Hilarious stuff.

What internet goodness did you discover this week? Leave the link in the comments!

Any thoughts on what I should call this weekly feature?

The Canadian Connection Edition

I’m super excited to present to you this day the one and only Ironic Mom direct from Calgary. Sure, I give Canada a hard time here and there, but you know I love the country that gave us so many great bloggers. And hockey. And Sidney Crosby. And [cue Handel's Messiah] Mario Lemieux. I’m a Pittsburgher, what can I say?

Leanne is brilliant, one of the funniest writers I’ve ever read. She’s been getting noticed lately too. Check out her recent gigs for radio, TV, and the Calgary Herald among others. She also helped name this very feature she’s now writing for, the Friday Flick Faceoff.

Hopefully picking from such a wide range of movies gave her mom brain some time off. She did a great job. So grab a warm cup of syrup and let’s figure out what this faceoff’s all aboot.

~*~*~*~

While Canada does have a growing film industry, it also frequently lends its people and places to Hollywood. Some of the Canadians who invade the U.S. film market are James Cameron, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Keanu Reeves, Hayden Christianson, William Shatner, Kim Cattrall, Elisha Cuthbert, Leslie Nielson, John Candy, Michael J. Fox, and Pamela Anderson.

There are many great films with solid Canadian connections. Here are five:

Unforgiven (1992)

Unforgiven, a multi-Oscar winner, was filmed in Alberta, basically outside my back door. This is also where Brokeback MountainLegends of the Fall, and The Assassination of Jesse James were filmed. Welcome to the True West. But I had to highlight Unforgiven. Clint is a giant legend, as are the Canadian Rockies, a virtual character in the movie. Besides a formidable landscape, Unforgiven has all the classic characteristics of a great western: bad boy, heroism, courage, and morality questions.

Juno (2007)

This quirky film about a teenage pregnancy crosses genres and defies stereotypes. As a teacher, I appreciate when films show teens to be intelligent and reflective, which this movie does brilliantly. Juno was not only filmed in Vancouver, but was also directed by Canadian Jason Reitman (who both co-wrote the screenplay and directed The Air Up There); he’s also the son of Ivan Reitman, Director of Ghostbusters. If that’s not enough Canadiana for you, the lead was played by Ellen Page (who, more recently, was in Inception) and co-starred fellow Canuck, Michael Cera, who’s been on Arrested Development.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

While this version of Austen’s classic does not include Colin Firth (whom I’d personally like to offer Canadian citizenship to), it does include New Brunswick-born Donald Sutherland, and he plays Mr. Bennett brilliantly. Sutherland has been in multiple roles, including Reverend Monroe in Cold Mountain and Hawkeye Pierce in the movie of MASHPride and Prejudice, though not the BBC version, is still a classic story, well told in the 127 minutes Hollywood gave it. It’s worth a view to listen to Sutherland’s voice (who, by the way is the father of Keifer Sutherland of 24, who has his own distinctive timbre). If you can’t wait to hear Sutherland Sr., click here to listen to a voice I’d love to curl up in.

Dances with Wolves (1990)

Although this movie is most known for Kevin Costner, Graham Greene was nominated for his role of Best Supporting Actor, playing Kicking Bird. In addition to this, Greene, who’s from the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, has been in The Green Mile and Die Hard. Other Canadians in Dances with Wolves include Maury Chakin, the crazy officer that sent Costner’s character (John Dunbar) to his far west posting, as well as Tantu Cardinal, who played Kicking Bird’s wife. In addition to all these north-of-the-49th actors, some critics credit Dances with Wolves with reviving the Western genre.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Canadian Nia Vardalos both wrote and starred in this fun Rom-Com. Vardalos is from my hometown of Winnipeg, and to support the stereotype that Canada is as unpopulated as you think it is, last week I sat next to a woman while getting a pedicure; she was a Greek-Canadian from Winnipeg, and Vardalos’ father had given the speech at her wedding.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding, partially filmed in Toronto, is perhaps best known for fantastic writing (Vardalos was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay). Some of the great lines include “There are two kinds of people – Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek,” as well as “Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” Classic.

~*~*~*~

I’ve learned so much about our neighbors to the north! I have no idea who will win from this great selection. Have at it!

[UPDATE: So close all the way to the end, this one came down to 1 vote!]

The Friday Flick Faceoff features films that share a common thread. Cast your vote anyway you like and don’t worry if you’ve seen all the movies or not. Love to hear why you picked what you picked though!

Find me on Twitter under my new handle @ClayMorganPA!

Who Would You Be If You Couldn’t Be You?

One of the biggest questions we all ask in life is “who am I?” The historian part of me knows that much of that answer comes from events in the past. I love talking about questions of meaning and purpose with people. Some folks know exactly who they are while others struggle to find a personal identity. Some recent reading has me pondering these thoughts in a different way lately.

Who would you be if you couldn’t be you?

In response to a recent post on this site, Aunt Bethany left a comment that really got me thinking. Here’s what she said:

“One of the biggest challenges in the world is attempting to find who you are when you can no longer define yourself through work or what you’re “good” at. Imagine if you could no longer teach, or write…or if I couldn’t be a musician anymore…THEN what?”

Great question. How are we defined? I’ve known for a few years that I was made to write, teach, and speak. That’s what I got. I may have a nice swing in the batting cage and maybe I can even carry a tune here and there, but those are not things that define  me. I am a communicator. That’s what I excel at. I often wonder what I would do if lost the ability to speak or type.By MDCarchives (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

With thoughts like that bouncing around my brain, I read an article by Garrison Keilor in Men’s Health. Keilor–one of the great writers of our era–wrote the piece to describe the stroke he suffered in 2009. He recounts the day the doctors showed him a scan of his brain and how grateful he felt that this “beloved organ” had not been damaged.

“I don’t care about my stomach, and the heart is only a muscle, and my lungs, scarred by 20 years of smoke, are doing the best they can, but my brain is where I live.”

As I finished the article I realized there are many ways to “lose” who we are. In addition to mortgaging our future, selling our soul, and abandoning our dreams we can also be stricken. Whether the oncoming disaster is a speeding vehicle or debilitating clot matters little.

So, I’m big on setting goals and moving forward. No reason to fear circumstances beyond our control, but I sure want to take hold of those things I can direct.

In the midst of these musings I received a book on goals from a site called AudioBookWorm.Com. I’ve been a member there for a while. They do books on CD like Netflix does movies. I filled out my queue a while ago, but this recent work showed up at a good time.

I’m not real big on self-help books which is often a racket, but I do check out positive thinkers from time to time and occasionally find a good one. I always liked Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The author of this particular CD was Zig Ziglar, a name I’d heard although I didn’t know anything about him. He made his name as a writer and speaker for decades. His most famous work is See You at the Top: 25th Anniversary Edition.

This audio version was actually a recording of a talk Ziglar had given about 20 years ago I think. The intro sounded like some hokey 1980s synthesized number that could’ve been playing in the background of a Brat Pack movie. Zig’s got the thickest southern accent you ever heard, but he’s a gifted speaker and made lots of good points.

It’s good to always rethink who we are and what we’re attempting to do. I’m trying to get in the habit of writing down specific goals and putting a date on them. That’s a great way to challenge myself. The point is that I don’t think I can imagine myself as someone who didn’t write or teach.

I’m curious about how you think of yourself. I’m always fascinated when someone tells me how they view me. Have you ever heard someone describe you in a way you never saw yourself?

Some people don’t like who they are to which I say, “Who do you want to be?”

Google led me to an article recently that had an interesting poll about goals. I can’t remember where I found the thing, but I’m recreating the general idea here. As I often ask students, “What would you try if you knew you couldn’t fail?” I would love to hear some of your thoughts.

What are some of the roles, things, abilities that define you?

Deep Thoughts and Lost Tweets

When I was a teenager, one of my favorite parts on Saturday Night Live was Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey. The segments were short and usually hilarious. Soft piano music would play as words scrolled past some tranquil scene of a pretty sunset or sleepy meadow. The familiar narrator’s voice would calmly describe something absurdly funny.

I don’t remember the exact phrasing, but one of the more memorable Thoughts was how if a kid asks why it’s raining a cute thing to tell him is that “God is crying.” If the kid asks why then another cute thing to tell him is that it’s “probably because of something you did.”

These days you can find the whole collection and history at the official website.

I used to wonder how someone could come up with so many ideas like that. Then I grew up and realized that something similar happened to my brain.

See, I’ve got my own deep thoughts, but this is the 21st century and we have social media to express ourselves. I’m specifically thinking of Twitter.

Twitter is a fun community, but you don’t have to know anything about that world to understand what I’m talking about here. In fact, I’ve only been involved for a few months. Anything you say is called a tweet, something I’ve done about 1,400 times since September. There’s lots of conversation and exchanges of links, but there’s also the simple one liners that many people serve up.

I’m no Jack Handey, but here are some of the things that have turned over in my mind in recent months. Without Twitter, western civilization would’ve been deprived of these lost tweets.

“I feel for kids with peanut allergies around Halloween, but then I remind their parents of the dangers and get their candy for free.” ~ November 4

“I couldn’t be more easily distracted right now if I was a kitten with ADHD in a meth lab.” ~ December 8

“Wow, the price of Swedish fish has really gone up! Rip off. Must be because of the oil spill.” ~ November 27

“Just realized I am dressed like Billy Mayes today. Haven’t shaved this week either. Maybe I should try to sell something.” ~ September 28

“My niece asked if we could play Barbies. I guess chasing them down with Tonka trucks isn’t what she meant. Accessorizing.” ~ October 30

“Kids on leashes. I’m looking at one. It’s kind of ridiculous.” ~ November 6

“If I thought someone was trying to kill me with a car bomb I would just have a remote starter installed so I wouldn’t get blown up.” ~ November 23

“Fleas are jerks.” ~ October 2

“Smart cars look ridiculous. Especially when you’re 6’3.” ~ October 4

“Well so much for movie night. Just showed up but the place caught on fire.” ~ October 23

“I’m pretty sure I just saw Richard Simmons at the grocery store. Wait, maybe it was Gene Simmons. Always get them mixed up.” ~ October 26

“This just in: Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton are feuding. In other news, everything else in the world is more important.” ~ December 13

“At age 33 Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Today, at the same age, I’ve mastered the breakfast sandwich.” ~ December 15

“Some beards look ridiculous. And I’m not just saying that because I can’t grow one. Probably.” December 16

“I think a really lousy superpower would be if you could grow a mullet at will.” ~ December 21

“You never really see anybody building a snowman in a cemetery but I bet my grandma would like that.” ~ January 12

But Twitter offers way more than just quirky musings. Real connections happen in the Twitterverse. I have ongoing discussions with a variety of people from anywhere on earth and found some of the best peeps I know through the massive site. Check out this tweet from long ago when I first met Ironic Mom.

“This mom in one seriously talented writer. Children, Swearing, and the Middle Finger: http://t.co/Dk October 5

I had forgotten how many connections I made in a few short months until digging through these old tweets. Sure glad I did! Facebook is nice for talking to friends, but Twitter is a great way to meet people with similar interests. Don’t worry about not understanding how it works. None of us did at first either, it’s not hard, and we’re eager to help.

~*~*~*~

What are your deep thoughts or lost tweets? Find me on Twitter @eduClaytion.

You can put tweets, video and more into your personal comments! Every WordPress user should read this simple tutorial!

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