This is an odd fad that I have seen people use on social media. Somehow the program will sum up all a person’s posts in a year or some specified time frame into a conglomeration of words. Not sure how the program knows which words to pick out, but the upshot is meant to be a summary of attitude based on words used in posts the person made. There are programs online (WordClouds.com is one) where you can copy and paste an essay or list or whatever and the program will mash it into what you said. Or something.

I remember many times when I worked for my dad’s company training new employees. In addition to my working with them I had fashioned manuals for each position of production, explaining what the job was, why it existed with keystroke-by-keystroke instructions on data entry and submission. This was a painstaking process but greatly facilitated the assimilation of any employee we hired, thus enabling their joining the company a seamless process.

IMG_0448.JPGCoast Guard Cutter Returning to Base up the Cape Fear River

It also made my father very happy because if I happened to be out of the office and any questions arose these manuals were designed so anyone who could read could walk in, read this manual and do whatever the task was. Thereby alleviating any awkward “I don’t know” situation for my dad, which was a rare occurrence anyway. This was also how my mother taught me to cook. I once asked her, as a small child, how do you cook? “If you can read you can cook,” was her answer. She was an amazing cook, and I know there was way more to her cooking than just reading.

Life is kind of that way. You have to live through a substantial amount of experiences before any sufficient measurable wisdom is attained in order to see a pattern or theme I think. Some situations I wished I had an operations manual. Like when my son was born. His birthday was yesterday. I was telling him what that day (the greatest day!) was like. I especially recalled the day after when I was being prepared to go home. They brought my brand new baby to me and showed me how to give him a bath. I watched in horror as they slung him side to side in the little tub sloshing him all over with soapy water. Later when he was bundled in his little onesie and blankets they handed him to me. I looked at him a moment, then asked the nurse could they not keep him longer, say till he was ready for school? I was terrified I’d break him.

I didn’t.

IMG_0447.JPGLate-blooming Christmas amaryllis

But life doesn’t come with manuals. Which is why some may like being perpetual students. Being in school you are learning, but what does learning something matter if you never apply it to anything? And I know plenty of people who did not go to college and are smarter than many that did. That’s likely more a matter of personality than intelligence. Both help.

IMG_0449.JPGLulu’s wordcloud is always growing