So glad you have signed up to receive the For Random Learning Comes Newsletter! This is the thirty-eighth edition.

Previous editions can be found on the blog's Newsletter page. I send it out weekly, so if you don't get my email on Saturday morning, please let me know! (Check your junk and spam folders too.)

My five latest posts are at the end of this newsletter, latest first.

I wrote just one poem this week.

This rather gloomy poem is called To Search, and it describes the feeling, when you realize, that all your efforts to get noticed online have been futile.

Now, I know that there are many experts out there who make their living, by helping people to be seen. I do not mean to say that their valor goes unnoticed. I only mean, that the system itself has major flaws, in that quality does not always rise to the top (of the search rankings), like sweet cream in milk.

Often, I think of social media and the internet and email as a modern substitute for regular snail mail and the various publications that we received physically, in years gone by.

It would have been horrifying, back then, to think that one letter could be preferred over another, or that one message would not be delivered, simply because not enough people clamored for it.

We used to go to a volume to look up a subject, assuming it was one, that was deemed important enough to grace the pages of an encyclopedia.

Now, we drop random words, phrases, and questions on the one hand, and all the information in the world, on the other, and a robotic thresher separates the wheat from the chaff and spits back something at us it believes to be most relevant.

Something, that may or may not have any relation to what we were actually looking for. It's true, search engines and social media have certainly gotten better at guessing our desires over time. But only at the expense of exerting some sort of algorithmic preference, a riddle indecipherable to the humble minds of men, which keeps the informational prom queens of our time, and chucks out the wallflowers.

Anything that is not a top result to that query, appearing on the very first page, is consigned to the limbo of silent obsolescence. In our glee to embrace the new, we have forsaken our expectation to be treated equally and fairly in our correspondence.

We do not actually choose for ourselves, anymore. We choose from among the choices we are given. And we have relatively little say, over who will end up on that list.

On that cheery note...

I'd love to hear your reactions to my posts, so please put your thoughts in the black comment box beneath each post! The more the merrier!

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Thanks again for your continued readership and support. It means a lot to me.

Have a great week!

Andrea

The links below will take you to the five most recent posts.

The blue logo takes you to the homepage. The section on English Majors has the most recent stuff.


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To Search

A pair of binoculars, hanging inside in the frame of an outdoor window, with an adirondack chair and firepit outside. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
I wrote this poem with the typical complaint of smalltime bloggers or website owners in mind. This is a complaint, not a cry for help. I mean to say that there is something wrong, when the system's complexity obfuscates the very purpose it was meant for. Also, to see what a very long way the internet still has to go, …

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The Lawman

An incomplete set of dollar coins with presidents on them, as well as Sacajawea and Susan B Anthony on a few. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
This poem reminds me of the Lewis Carroll classic, The Walrus and the Carpenter. Especially the stanza that begins, "The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things..." Like that poem, this one is filled with absurdity and euphemisms and wishful thinking. And crocodile tears, about leading the gullible astray. Thanks for coming by to read. "Just …

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Veto

A blue and white bouquet and lamp in the foreground and a black and white print made by my daughter Madelaine LeDew in the background. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
Many of us have experienced buyer's remorse, the feeling of sorrow after having bought something rashly. But I think there also exists a type of remorse over missed opportunities, over roads not taken. I recently made a responsible, reasoned decision. And almost immediately, I found myself full of regrets, for downplaying the romantic, impulsive side of me, that might have …

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Good Will

A cormorant or heron perched near the top of a tangled cypress tree, looking out beyond its branches. Copyright Andrea LeDew.
I hope you can overlook the mixed metaphors in this poem about the year nearly behind us. I'm sure I'm not alone in being ready to see it in the rear view mirror. Thanks for coming by to read, and my sincerest Happy New Year! I say goodbye To a well-worn year, A year, a bit frayed at the edges. …

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Fifteen: A Christmas Story

Downtown street with Christmas lights. Copyright Andrea LeDew
Here I tell the story of three long-lost friends who re-unite for Christmas, and their journey toward closure, regarding the ones who will never reunite with them again. Thanks for coming by to read. Mama Jean didn’t know what to make of it. Driving a thousand miles Down South, watching the grit and crystalline ice-sand of the road give way …

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