by Jay O'Toole
From October, 2016 to June, 2017 I need to achieve 18,000 credits to graduate.
This has been a challenging month in which to get started.
We only had eleven days to do a bunch of new things.
I think some things like a journal in a book format are not available to me, since I need to upgrade my membership.
I am a little slow off the blocks, not because I haven't wanted to do the things asked, but because I am still learning my way around WDC. (I have 30 tabs or more opened on my laptop and haven't had enough time to read them all in order to learn what to do.)
In some ways jumping into the Rising Stars Program has been for me a similar experience to graduating high school and going to college. I graduated from high school with a 4.0 because my teachers piece-mealed out the assignment every day and I was able to focus on one thing, returning it the next day for proper credit. College was a matter of receiving a syllabus on the first day of class, having my brain explode from the overload of requirements, and then spending the rest of the semester putting my brain back together, learning how to do one thing at a time. As a consequence I immediately dropped to a 3.0 average.
Sadly, I am not a fast reader.
Why? I tend to pour over every word, looking for layers of meaning in what is being said.
"Why is this?" you ask. Well, though I have never been formally diagnosed as being Autistic or Asperger's Syndrome, I have been diagnosed with AD/HD. Yet, I sense that my lack of surface social understanding puts me in the direction of Autism, if not fully into the condition.
As a rule all I have to use for the purpose of understanding other people is the words they say or the things they write. Therefore, pouring over every word has been a lifelong learning process.
On top of that I have the equivalent of reams of paper in my head from the notations of social experiences throughout my lifetime, that I may drawn some modicum of success in each new social setting from things I have learned in the past. For instance, when I arrived at WDC I started seeing the letters, "GPs." I came to learn, that these letters mean, "Gift Points," but I'm still not very sure how that translates into dollars and cents or even how that works, socially. However, I have learned from personal experience, that...
100 GPs is basically a "tip of the hat," meaning "Thank you for reviewing my work," or "Thank you for reading my review of your work."
500 GPs means, "That was a really good review," or "I really had a lot to say. Thank you so much for reading it."
1000 GPs means, "Your review was over-the-top GREAT!" or "I have been writing for over an hour, and I am so glad you have taken so much of your time to wade through all of my words!"
10,000 GPs means, "Somebody hit the Mother Lode of Goodness for some reason!!!"
There are times when I send a message without GPs and wonder, "Did I just offend somebody?"
There are other times when I write, "You're welcome!" and I wonder if I offended that person, too. Why? Because in English we are taught, that the proper repartee is to see "Thank you!" followed by "You're welcome!" However, in other cultures, like oriental cultures (as I have observed,) the teacher is to express a concept and the learner is to have the last word of "Thank you, Teacher!" When I was an ESL teacher with Chinese students in one-on-one environments of learning, every time I would say, "You welcome," the student would always have something more to say. From these experiences I learned, that teachers were placed on a pedestal and the students wanted to have the last word in order to show deference to the teacher, who was held in highest regard.
If I am wrong about that last little piece of information, then I came about it honestly through observation because it was not a written rule of which I have been aware.
I have been told here on WDC, that my reviews are very good. This is something I really like to hear. I write reviews with the kinds of information I would like to learn about my own posts.
"Is my grammar, punctuation and spelling good?"
"Is my process of storytelling good?"
"Is the form of my poetry excellent?"
When there are issues with a story or poem, that I am reviewing, then I often write many words because it is not enough to correct a writing issue. It is VERY important to maintain the dignity of the write as well. I can assure you, that I want my dignity maintained. (I learned "The Golden Rule" as a small child.)
Usually, when I start something new my first attempt is rather unwieldy and requires more time than the subsequent attempts. My closest friends know I have a hard time "getting a car started, but I am great at driving down the road." When I started the contest, "I Write in August, September and October" it took me until the third week to "get all the bugs worked out" of my posts.
As to the Poe Crossword Puzzle, I don't know much about him and Google was not giving me the answers I needed.
I wanted to attempt the Mark Twain post, but I was just not able to get it all together, timewise.
You see, during the days of October 20-31, 2016 I have been "coming down" from one acting job, while preparing for my first ballet appearance. (Acting is very good for a person like me, who doesn't naturally "read people," socially, though I have learned many facial expressions, that I keep in those reams of paper in my head.)
During this time I have finished the most detailed needlepoint of my life as a gift for my wife's birthday. (I have worked many late nights, for the months of September and October to accomplish this task.)
Finally, my family and I placed second in each of our age categories for the Super Hero 5K Run on this past Saturday, which has played out like a marathon recovery in my body to some degree, since I didn't properly train for this 5K.
Though these words may appear as excuses, they are not intended that way.
I hope the reader will understand a little more why I have been slow off the blocks.
I want the reader to know, that I plan to work most of the day to accomplish as many of my tasks as possible, and that it is my intent to get more accomplished in November and beyond.
I plan to upgrade my account as quickly as possible in order to be able to use more of the tools for the Rising Stars Program.
Thank you so much for reading! :D