A Catchy Title

This morning I had a few problems, this evening I still have a few problems, and I also have started and finished 20231128_ENG-132_the-problem-paper.pdf.

I had attempted the paper twice already- 1500 words wasted– No, no I won’t. They’ll be saved here on the Macbook, to be retrieved and published at some far distant date when I’ve otherwise run out of words for a given day perhaps… The first attempt to come up with a topic were through the in class prompts. I really have to hand it to my teacher, whom has aptly engaged his passion in the classroom. Well prepared and engaging in every discussion throughout the film class that I can barely recommend it enough. The class is offered each Spring and also each Fall at the Michigan Theater, be sure to show up at six o’clock to watch his presentations before each movie- just sit in the back and don’t try to participate in the discussions unless you pay for the class! On the plus side, if you pay for the class you get free drinks for the duration of the semester and a free popcorn bucket to keep- over the years that could add significant ROI as far as my college career goes…

I wrote the title first, maybe three weeks ago. On the template provided it states “A Catchy Title” on the first page, obviously a place holder and my first paper became: 20230925_the_puppy_paper next was 20231023_ENG-132-The-Prison-Paper, and I seemed to have a thing going with the P’s. Then, to try to find a problem, and a solution that could fit into 1500 words that I felt comfortable using to persuade an audience… and hopefully pull off a decent grade too!  The first try was “World Peace” (haha, not kidding 1000 words in my bitfile,) then “Solving Governments’ Problem” (another 500+ words.) Those were yesterday’s problems. Today, the problem was my last chance to prevent a big problem tomorrow: being kicked out of class if I did not appear with a draft ready for peer review.

I woke this morning (I think I already mentioned that in this mornings post…) and really, I wasn’t feeling good about continuing either of those pieces, and still I was drawing blanks for a topic. I’ve had to regurititate bad ideas for the previous three assignments, the buildup of writing pre-packets to then easily combine into a persuasive paper (aka, for people whose mind’s work that way,) yet, it has been a good exercise and I’ve taken notes (and copies of all his templates and assignments- thanks!) as it has proven to be an effective technique for a majority of my peers in class. Also, the regurgitated bad ideas were the teachers own faux arguments he’d often throw to the class as fodder for discussion about choosing topics: Electric Vehicle Batteries (“I don’t know.. you’ll have to research it..” he’d say…) or the silly notion of outlawing and criminalizing people that don’t scrape snow off their cars (and I have new goal to go this winter without scraping it… I may just not go anywhere on snow days…) So that part was fun, to tease him with poor output using a poor idea because as I’d also told him, I had no idea what I was going to write about: it was a problem.

Bad form feels so good


unnecessary notation included… okay, the pup is waiting to go upstairs, that has been one downside of his kennel up in my bedroom now, I don’t allow him to go upstairs without me. Well, downside for him, not me I guess. Tonight Soulless learned about reflections. Earlier today he started barking at the sight of himself in fireplace and then the oven glass. Then later he’d bark diagonally at the fireplace at the reflection of the oven. For dinner, I had stew and I happened to use the very first bowl that I’d ever fed him with- my large metal cereal bowl.

He enjoys cleaning my plates and he was eager to get his share of the gravy (as he ‘patiently’ waits on his blanket at the side of my chair,) yet when I put the bowl down he slurped the first half then got spooked somehow and wouldn’t go back near it. After the show he’d put on about smelling the stew while it cooked (okay, heated,) I was shocked at it and offered the bowl again. He tried at my prodding yet snuck up on the bowl slowly.

Curious I got down on the floor and mimicked his behavior- from the angle of just peering over the edge of the bowl in the bottom edge’s curvature to the base of the bowl was an upside down and highly distorted reflect- not much more than bright lights and shadows in a kaleidoscope of motion. I used my finger to clean the bowl which he in turn was more than happy to clean for me.

Just now.. or minutes ago, he was barking at the fireplace again- just here by my side at my workstation- and I turned to look and his reflection was looking squarely at me. I intensified my gaze and he responded with a full throttle aggressive bark! Shocked, I spoke his name and started he turned around and saw me and was immediately confused. He’s been barking at other dogs in the reflections and apparently other people (mirror me.) Back down on the floor for a 101 in how reflections work- good news, neither of us are vampires. Also good news: puppies are like infants or maybe toddlers, always learning- training is more difficult- but the teaching is easy.

So, now still have problems, but this paper isn’t one of them. Again to any future JC students: Sign up for Marra in ENG-131, ENG-132 your freshmen year then ENG-210 the next fall. This guy could be the Ratatouille of English: anybody can write a paper!

Okay- the paper is wrote, the blog is updated and the dog is sleeping at my feet. Oh, and an early Christmas gift to me this year: a stranger shoveled my driveway this morning. There was enough snow that this afternoons sun would have melted it, but not melted it away- unshoveled drives are a harsh mix of snow and ice now. Yet, my drive was saved by Jimmy. Shoveled clean, the same amount of sunshine warmed the blacktop and warmed it dry.

Okay, maybe a touch more than a stranger. The other day Jimmy was walking down my street and saw me in the yard playing with Soulless, he had stopped to comment and Soulless took that as an invitation to greet him (some training goals have yet to be acquired.) Once I’d wrangled the pup, Jimmy maid a comment as too the pile of brush near my driveway and made the very appropriate comment that I’m lucky if I haven’t gotten a ticket for it (a city ordinance violation.)

I think he thought I was going to blow off his comment, but I couldn’t he was right- I’ve been very luck I told him. Last year that brush pile had grown into a twenty foot tree in my backyard at the corner of my neighbors fence, and I was lucky it didn’t damage her fence- or get a ticket then for a fence line tree. I told I thought the City might have known I’d gotten hurt the year before, because they also didn’t give me a ticket when I had a large aluminum ramp installed. Mostly though, I told him, I think the City hasn’t given me a ticket because for as bad as it’s been, I keep making it as much better as I can each year.

I looked at him while I spoke, calmly and stood guilty as charged- my neighbor had called me out for my brush pile. I told him that I planned on cleaning it up at some point, maybe even get a small burning pit to dispose of it myself. He nodded and we chatted for a few minutes before he went on walking down the street.

This morning just after I posted here, I was rearranging my monitor scheme one last time- now the MacBook is flipped open so I can use it’s keyboard and monitor, while also using the 47″ screen behind it at a second expanded desktop space. Oh, I can see why people like Mac’s. Maybe more on that later. Then I heard a scraping sound in my driveway and could see what was going on through my curtains: who was shoveling my driveway!

To the door I pulled up the shade then opened the door and could barely get out the words “Thank you” before he shoo’d me away with a “Go, go, go back inside” as he shook his head and went back to His work.

I came back inside and sat down at the MacBook and opened up my (teacher’s,) paper template. A catchy title? No, A Problem Paper. With a little bit of help, it was no problem today.

Enough- let me save something for tomorrow maybe.


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