Opening Thought for 2009

Yes … it has been a long time since my last real post. You must think that I had given up on this site. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, I have used the nearly month away from posting on this site to gather my thoughts, write down ideas, and hopefully come back with another twelve months worthy of your attention.

Surely by now you have noticed that there is a new filter on our network. Interestingly, in my Nov. 21st post I ruminated about my frustrations with how I see students using school computers, but concluded by saying, “Blocking YouTube is not the answer.” Many students and teachers have shared their opinions about the new filters with me , and I have advised them to be patient and send the technology department a letter expressing their views.

For me, the new filters were a discouraging blow as they blocked access to two blogs that I maintain here at Over the past thirteen months, I have dedicated myself to creating a useful (and hopefully entertaining) LMC blog that had a modest but consistent readership … many of whom logged in at school. The new filters altered (destroyed is probably more appropriate) the look of the blog, as it removed all design elements and left behind a bland list of text links. The new filters also completely blocked the student Lit Mag site that showcases the work of student writers and artists.

This is of course, frustrating, but it is fixable. Technology is like that sometimes, and it pays to remember how much we depend on the people who repair and deliver that technology for many of the things we take for granted.

I was reminded of that when we were hit with the ice storms in mid-December and was left without power for eighteen hours. I was reminded again, just a week later, the day after Christmas, on my son’s ninth birthday, when I was lucky enough to be vacationing in Hawaii, and the whole island of Oahu suffered a loss of power because of a lightning storm. I am reminded daily of the power of people when I drive to work and I see the piles of snow cradling the road cleared for me to get to where I need to be.

This is important stuff that these people are all doing. Connecting wires, clearing roads, powering the world we all know. Every day, each of us is involved in participating in this global network that we take for granted. Even if you don’t have a cell phone, a computer or a television, you depend on the great cooperative force of the world around you. Unless you grow your own food, make your own clothes, and live completely off of the grid, then you depend, to some greater or lesser degree, on the people of this planet to get those things that seem to happen magically around you, done.

Which is my way of saying, I guess, to not take for granted all that we have. So often, especially in our society, we get to focus on the things that we don’t have, the things we lack, the shortcomings of life, because we have so much already. We become blinded so easily, by the luxuries and excesses, the conveniences and extras, that we forget how much work it takes to keep it all going. And we also forget how little it takes to make us feel good.

All it really takes is the warmth of a smile. A gentle and genuine, “good morning, how are you”. A small reminder from someone nearby, that despite the vastness, craziness and unpredictability of it all, that we are in it together. That ice storms and lightning storms and internet filters will sometimes get in the way of life, but that they too shall pass, and we will have come through it together, and in some strange way, be better for it also.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

About htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.
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