Education, for the most part, was painful, dull, a prison — sitting at a desk surrounded by four walls with no windows. I can think of only a handful of teachers that made education interesting from elementary through high school. It wasn’t until I entered the gates of Berkeley that the university’s motto “Fiat Lux” kindled a passion inside me for knowledge. And it wasn’t just a passion for knowledge, but a passion to learn how to write and think…for myself. It was this challenge that led me to major in Rhetoric — a very difficult and challenging liberal arts program that focused on ancient classical literature and persuasive writing.
This period in my life was truly beautiful…”Mens sana in corpore sano”. In the morning and early afternoon I would attend class. In the late afternoon I would spend hours on the green field playing baseball. In the evening I would go on campus to one of the beautiful large libraries to study. Ah, the libraries on this campus were truly divine — the musty smell of the past…the quiet echoes…the purposeful architecture and decor…a place…a temple…constructed so those within could appreciate and worship knowledge. This beautiful place was built to pay homage to great minds from the past that cared enough to speak in hopes we will be supple enough to listen.
It was in the depths of library halls or basking in the dreamy sunlight on some grassy campus knoll that my passion for knowledge began to over-shadow my passion for baseball. Over-time, ironically, it was the baseball field that began to feel like prison — mechanical, repetition, compulsory, a burden. I was no longer interested in devoting so much time and energy to a game with defined rules. I didn’t want to become a full-grown man still playing a child’s game. The world was so much bigger and wider and freer than the walls of a baseball field. And so I let go a big piece of who I was. Feeling alive and free was now more about thought, contemplation, observation, and exploration — it was about noticing the light.
I think this might make the basis for a great blackout poem.
lol…not sure how to do a black out poem…although I have seen it done.
HOW TO MAKE A BLACKOUT POEM FOR WORDPRESS
1. Make a link to the source of the passage of prose you want to use as the basis of your poem.(FILE 1)
2. Paste this passage of prose into a word processor. Highlight the words you want to use in your poem with a standout colour. (e.g. Pink or green.) Save as “xxx – highlighted. (FILE 2)
3. Copy and paste a second copy. In this second copy delete all the unwanted material. Without changing their order, rearrange the remaining words into the lines and stanzas you want, then remove all the highlighting. Add a title (if you want to give your poem one) and the date (if you want to remember in the future when you wrote it). Then save. (FILE 6) You will be pasting this as the text of your post.
4. Return to your first copy and make a PDF copy for the permission e-mail. (FILE 3)
5. Copy and paste a second copy. In this second copy highlight in black everything you want to “black out”. Save as “Blackout for xxx”. (FILE 4) This blackout copy needs to be used to produce the jpg file that you will upload as an image in your post.
6. Maximise your word processor window, then scroll your blackout copy until it is as large as possible without losing any of it, then use the Snipping Tool to make a jpg of your blackout copy. Maintaining the aspect ratio, resize the image to a width of 400 pixels, using Paint or any other software that will perform such a task.
1. A shortcut to the original text.
2. A highlighted version in WordPerfect. (For making the poem and a PDF version. Will metamorphose into the blackout version.)
3. A PDF highlighted version. (For the permission e-mail.)
4. A blackout version. (For making the jpg version)
5. A jpg of the blackout version.
6. The poem.
Good lord…what a process 🙂
Thanks Ben…I may give it a try…but this really isn’t a poem.
Which is just the point, I suppose. :). I could have a shot … ?
lol…go ahead if you want:)
Thank you. Let,s see what we get. 🙂
Sounds like a very romantic life 🙂
Amazing how certain chapters in our life are such huge turning points for us. Maybe this is what you meant when you said certain things in college stayed with you…
Romantic…lol…that me…romanticizing the past…
Yes, this certainly was one of those pivotal moments…where I am and who I am now is quite different from where I would be and who I would be if I had made a different decision…including what to major in…although I didn’t tell you all that I minored in Businesses…lol…a slight censor 🙂
Hahaha, that’s okay we all do it…when we have something to romanticize about anyway =P
I am glad and lucky you overcame your passion for base-ball. We might never have enjoyed your writings.Tell me, was it a close shave?
Here we have a similar game called cricket. People hitting a ball with a stick and then they run around. I still don’t understand it completely but would have by now (after so many years).if I was interested.
LOL…not sure what you mean by a “close shave”…perhaps you mean was it a tough decision??? It wasn’t too tough…it was a heart decision…but all those around me thought I was stupid…my mom called me a stupid idiot…lol.
I am glad you enjoy my writing thus far…as I enjoy yours. Cheers Mate!
Great post! v.
Thanks V! If I recall…you have spent some time out there in California…so some of the pictures perhaps reminded you of the beautiful bay area.
Exactly so. I lived in Palo Alto, then Sunnyvale, them Mountain View from 1979 to to 2010. Your entire post, not just the pictures, reminded me of those places and that atmosphere.
I lived in Palo Alto Hills (you know the area right…near Foothill park)…from what…age 7 to 18…then 18 to 22 in Bezerkely…lol…lets see…we were breathing the same air and stomping the same ground at the same time:)
“Education is a wonderful thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde…
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This is a wonderful post. Tincup. I would like to copy Ben’s instructions to try out in the future. First time I have heard of blackout poetry.
That black out poem and instructions? I’m clearly way out of my league here. 🙂
It’s quite straightforward really. You can check out the result of the process at http://bennaga.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/inner-voyage/
Thank you, Ben, I sure will. 🙂 I’m honestly curious to see how it turns out.
Be sure and read the comments there in order to get a fuller picture.