I stand amazed at times how much my life experiences hold interest to my much younger student peers. Since my first academic go-around in the early 70’s was no “cake-walk,” and life that followed was “difficult.” And, it took another fifteen years or so to really come into my own;  it’s complex to make people understand that just because they get a diploma – life can be a very ungainly path to walk.

Of course, I didn’t start a college setting till I was twenty-two; the military came before that, and I really continue to feel that gave me an edge … but, not much of one. I believe learning to stand on your own feet is as an important lesson as any I know of to help you get through what life is bound to throw at you. That’s the knowledge I try to pass on.

I’ve not known too many folks that have really “come-of-age” within themselves that the “school-of-hardknocks” hasn’t played a significant role in true identity. 

I try to relate my story to that of Homer’s “Odyssey;” the trek to get home is long and filled with quagmires.

I pray they listen!

As always,

Best,

G.  

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What a great semesterr it’s turning out to be. I’m taking two English literature classes that are just amazing. My poetry class is wonderment, and, as usual, LATIN is kick’n my butt. As I say; at 66 I’m gett’n smarter by the minute.

What a great “side-passion” continuing education is. And, it doesn’t have to be structured “academia.” Join a reading group, quilting, fishing, river conservation, stamp collecting, etc., anything that will get your mind in motion and off the mundane of everyday.

Go out and see things, talk with people you don’t know about interests; leave the “telly” off for the weekend and rent a canue, go to the beach fish’n pier and see what fish’n folks are fish’n for. Take in a rodeo, or a bike race or even better take a “short” road trip.

Go down to the local museum, or gallery. As Froto said, you never know where your feet will lead once you step out the door.

Thanks and have a great dae!

G.

I was reading a piece by Warren Buffet the other day, and the subject he and other philanthropists were contemplating was the setting up and organizing a university course on philanthropy. He wrote; ” it’s not so much how much your able to give that is the point; it’s that you find something you care enough about to give.” Also noted was the point of a person’s “giving” did not have to be monetary. It could be time: labor, mentoring, tutoring, anything that would go forth and effect others in a positive way.  

One of the most important reasons I founded my own foundation (listed under my blogroll) is due to the fact the young folks that attend university with me are such great philanthropists with their own time. GSU, and I’m sure this is true with most universities, works tirelessly with the school’s Student Organizations on: food drives, the United Way, the Cancer Society, and so many more. GSU has a lot of student ORGS and they cover a lot of needy areas and causes. I’m proud of them!!!

I know a lot of folks think going to university is all about the movie “Animal House,” and I’m not saying that there aren’t some “parting fools out there …cause, I used to be one; but, they also do a lot of great work to; not only for my medium-sized town, but the country as well.  I’m proud of them!

Why don’t you look around your community? See what you can do to help your community be better. I realize everyone’s not retired, or doesn’t have a lot of money,or have a family their busy with. A lot of the folks at my local library volunteer a couple of hours a month to teach reading skills, one older couple does the farmer’s market every Saturday and hands out free children’s books donated by our local library. Theres all sorts of opportunity if you just look. 

I’ll be proud of you, and maybe it’ll lighten your own load!”

That’s about it for me. I’ll be back next week.

U B WELL!!

G.

That may not be a big deal to some folks, but, 2 me, I believe it’s a rare and opportune moment in my life.  This marvel of my ability started in 1973; I was a freshman at GSU. Just back from the wars and ready to party. College, that’s what Georgia Southern University was at that time, a small home-town college. But, the beer was cold, weed was flowing and the women were well “playful.”

I flunked out in my second quarter. That didn’t take long ….. did it?

 So that was the start of a life long search, …. kind of “quest in search of the golden goose.” Little did I know then, this search would take me full circle right back to GSU – forty years later. Now, I’ve finally made it to within 20 semester hrs of gaining that piece of paper that tells “me … I am officially EDUCATED.” 

For what that’s worth?

Well, for me, it’s a goal long sought after. Fortunately, I didn’t need that “parchment” to make a relatively good living in this country I call home. Would I have been better off having gained a degree in my 20’s and then taken on the world …. that, nobody will ever know. The one really great thing about this country we live in: Everyone has the potential to become financially prosperous or “homeless.”

I was having a conversation with a young lady at the university – her being in the student advisement dept and all – about this exact subject: If I should have turned “right” instead of “left” way back then. All I know is if I had maybe I wouldn’t be here today, going to university and having the ability to form and project my own scholarships to help financially the students I go to class with everyday.

Odd – how things work out!!

That’s about it! If you have time,  please visit my website “linked” to this webpage there at the top. It’s called “George K. Brannen English Scholars Fund. org,” and you can get to it via this page or the web. If you would care to help me with it … me and all the students it represents would appreciate you. If you feel that’s not right for you, then maybe it will inspire you to do something on your own. It really doesn’t take a great deal of $ (just a commitment on your part) to create a scholarship, and most colleges and universities are more that happy help with matching funds or whatever and for you join them in their mission. Especially now, with the financial situational cut-backs from Congress; those folks have really put our educational system in a bind.

Bye for now!     

G.

My mother was adept at the art of cursive script; a talent for writing with the hand to produce wondrous letters that would just hold me in awe to watch her work her ability on paper. I’m pleased to sit in a class room and “ponder” the wonders of today with younger folks 40years or more my junior. They’re all so quick with the latest electronic gizmo’s that do just about anything, and all in the “flash of the eye.” Technology is a wondrous tool. I’ve found most of the students don’t know anything about a world without some type of PDA of the latest “Apple” smart-what-ever. Most can “thumb” faster than I can write. I suppose that’s the new language.

Each generation feels a loss of an art form when time and “the new” go past’m. I think for me, it will be the ability to write cursive. I guess with that being said, I should take more pride in my ability. … I don’t.

I look upon some of my peer groups attempts at hand-writing, and mostly I see “broken print.” And you know –  it’s not their fault. I feel we as a society are giving the past away all in the name of progress. This is “post-modernism” at its best. Its been happening since the dawn of time.

I’m not sure if I have an argument that differs from any of the other arguments that have come before mine!

THE AVANT-GARDE … so much to learn, so little time!!

Gooddae!

G.