Categories
Ling- English Manage yourself

the evolution of the soul

In an exquisite case of synchrony, I happened to read this right after Vonnegut’s letter:

I have always believed, always, even when I was a precocious little girl crying alone in my bed, that our purpose in this life is to experience everything we possibly can, to understand as much of the human condition as we can squeeze into one lifetime, however long or short that may be. We are here to feel the complex range of emotions that come with being human. And from those experiences, our souls expand and grow and learn and change, and we understand a little more about what it really means to be human. I call it the evolution of the soul.

It is from a letter Julie Yip-Williams wrote to her daughters before colon cancer took her life.

I love how reading sometimes echo each other.

source: https://lettersofnote.com/2021/03/01/live-a-life-worth-living/, accessed 220104

Categories
Ling- English Manage yourself

Kurt Vonnegut: a simple way to learn more about what’s inside you

In 2006, a high school English teacher asked students to write to a famous author and ask for advice. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to respond. And his response is magnificent:

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

 

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

 

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

 

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

 

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

 

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

 

God bless you all!
Kurt Vonnegut

source: https://www.timelesstimely.com/p/ars-gratia-artis, accessed 220104

Categories
Ling- English

Netflix CEO explanation

Price change and service changes in quick succession… and the ensuing customer dissatisfaction.

An excellent current-events case to bring to the classroom.

via the netflix blog:

I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. I’ll try to explain how this happened.

 

Graduating and looking for a job?

Dear [Interviewer’s Name]:

Thank you for your letter of [date of rejection letter].

After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me employment with your firm.  This year I have had been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite [Firm’s Name]’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time.  Therefore, I will initiate employment with your firm immediately following graduation.  I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future candidates.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

(thanks, Mikey)