This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.
I vary the sentence length, and I create music.
The writing sings.
It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences.
And I use sentences of medium length.
And sometimes when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
So write with a combination of short, medium, and long sentences. Create a sound that pleases the reader’s ear. Don’t write just words. Write music.
Gary Provost was born in 1944 and died in 1995. He was the author of many books across a range of genres including four award-winning young adult novels. Provost was also a highly sought after writing instructor and published a number of writing advice books including Make Every Word Count (Writers Digest Books, 1980). Read more about Gary Provost at garyprovost.com, a site established and maintained by his wife Gail.
Thank you for the warm welcome to speak before you all today.
Once upon a time, Kāl khrậng h̄nụ̀ng nān mā læ̂w, the Burmese and Thai have been in conflict stemming from ownership of religious artifacts rooted in Buddhism. As a result, deep-seated political impact makes it difficult for normal people to get even a student visa in Thailand.
Foreign nationals from other countries receive different standards based on the status of relations between countries. Therefore, there are different standards in immigration processes. Bringing it back home, I am fortunate enough to be a father, in a double-income household, where we are lucky to have two people helping us raise our young.
After a year or so, they are in the process of building three languages: their own native language, English, and Thai. Hopefully, I’ll take them from a total of three years of education, to the GED and enter university. However, there are people who need them back home in Burma.
There are the questions within their mind as they go about their day-to-day as they live in a society that looks down on them.
In a society where, when asking for help, people have become more and more shy.
Should I stay a year, save, and then return to my mountain tribe to care for my beloved elderly?
Or, should I develop my skills to max out my monthly earnings, create an annual rotation of family members caring for our elderly, and our generational home?
They don’t believe it when they see an outstretched hand in front of them,
And sometimes, I see suspicion lurk beneath.
Or something else.
What’s right and good
Too hard to see.
What it takes, as I reflect upon my leadership path,
Is waking up each day and looking them in the eye.
Smiling while acknowledging,
Wishing them a good morning and good day.
Explaining that as I am the oldest in the household,
I am at their service, as the bottom of the totem pole.
I will be ground to dust as I age and pass,
With each newest generation at the top, and each aging person in support and love for the next,
While being certain to look at the growing forest around you,
For they represent every one of the ten billion plus living souls on this planet.
Recently, two more souls dropped into this situation. A Burmese English teacher and his wife, exiting their home country as the political and social climate continues to destabilize. Unable to receive accreditation or even simple high school certification documents, they are here to stay, vowing not to return. He will be a teacher in Thailand, but who will hire him and sponsor his visa? Who will help him earn and then pay for a university degree that would help them obtain a visa that means sanctuary?
Without any organizational help, this husband and wife must labor and work.
They must apply for an immigrant laborer visa and the mind of a teacher would be swirling as he labored with his hands.
The hypothesis to solve this sticky scenario is:
Open educational opportunities and language acquisition
Enable pathways and passage to barriers of entry.
Methodology and skills-building aside, how many years would it take for this couple to function as a social and educational gateway for people like the ladies who love and care for my sons,
for students who want to learn?
For people seeking refuge?
For minds yearning for different dynamic work?
To break each barrier, the categories are four:
What can I and can’t do? Yet? Why?
What’s stopping me?
What funds do I need?
What documentation in society enables me passage?
What do I need to be able to do?
What skills do I need to be successful in?
What do I need to be able to do at the drop of a hat?
Rube Goldberg experiences and reflection in leadership
After showing a half-cylinder strut/support structure
Mindfulness time – 3 mins in a TeePee
Teamwork, collaboration, tone, vibe, understanding, environment, bringing people together
Needing simple things like a proper copy machine.
Website hosting costs.
Whiteboard markers. Oh the whiteboard markers.
Toilet paper. So much toilet paper.
There is a chasm between people these days.
What one person can do with a computer, a family struggles to find workarounds.
Over the last five years, I’ve tended to hire the people who are in most need of a job.
A place to be welcomed and listened to.
An environment in which growth mindsets reign
And keen awareness of a person’s desires that power them through each day…
If you’re sweet and kind and can tell yourself, “My job now is to teach, to open doors for those daring to cross its threshold.”…
You’re tidy, clean, an arranger, and an organizer. You have a big heart but have your personal tendencies as well. You’re a little crazy sometimes, but you have learned with time, experience, and care, to breathe in and out and maintain composure.
You like to sing tunes, and have a smorgasbord of rhymes stored in your head that come about suddenly from time to time and are filled with affectable ethics, morals, and tidbits of knowledge. Teaching basic arithmetic, scientific concepts, and sustainability are as natural to you as teaching a child to recognize shapes and animals. You’re savvy with online educational platforms and have experience adapting content relatively fluidly and with sometimes, personal style. You also like to tinker around with furniture and interesting adaptations of resourcefulness to create better surroundings.
You’re human and seeking an environment of growth, acceptance, and kindness, willing to focus on strengths to bring about positive outcomes.
We’re flexible and adaptive, and reasonable.
We can’t pay much.
Need people who want the endgame sync.
I think being a leader is being the bottom of the totem pole.
A person in the group who everybody hates the most.
It’s the guy that has to be separate from everyone else when everyone else is having fun.
It’s the person who finishes everything and makes sure that everything is going well.
So that everyone can have peace of mind in whatever they are doing.
They can have all the tools that are necessary at arms’ length.
This was a homework assignment I gave to a student.
No, not one of the deepest questions known to people, but just a simple grammar assignment:
to construct one question.
The student produced three words:
Who are you?
This was my response:
“Who are you?” is actually not a simple, easy question at all. You have found one of the most important questions we all know.
We ask this question, but convert it to:
“Who am I?”
And then, this question is directly connected to:
“What is the meaning of life?”
“Who am I?” is a question we ask ourselves in the deepest and darkest times. The answers to it come in bits and pieces when we are happy. It is those challenging times where prove our mettle, our worth, and the value of our deeds. People find what they are made of when a storm swirls around us,
a way out.
“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”