The process of building, of understanding and the incremental understanding of building a sound foundation is what happens to a person while they live on Skid Row. Many people do not remember the complex things we learned as a kid-how to walk, how to speak, how to pronounce words. We remember the long and short vowels. We do not remember some of the rules of pronunciation. I believe all of it comes under the headings of Child Development.
I read some passages about Child Development when I was triathlon training. Many books of that nature when in the library at the family house. My father left all of his graduate study reference and text books. They came in handy when I thought I was finally going to rebuild my life.
My father was an educator and he taught me how to educate myself, teach myself, and teach myself how to educate myself. I believe it was the most important educational curriculum in my life.
I have been thinking about Xerox lately. Perhaps it is because I have been exposing myself to increasing amounts of information. I have always known how to access information but I did it the hard way. What is so funny is that I was on the internet as early as 1969 when we went "online" in computer class. We used a cuplet, dialed a number and used preprogrammed tapes that we fed into a computer.
We learned the Basic computer language. I used that same input protocol when I was the message board operator for the Los Angeles Dodgers when Peter O'Malley hired me after my freshman year in college.
I have been getting more organized physically. Now I am getting more organized in the information area. I still remember the areas of information flow that Xerox talked about. Most people who were at Xerox do not realize how lucky we were to have a curriculum, which included the accessing , delivery , storage , and retrieval of information.
I have been working on things in their distinct categories, concentrating on each discipline by itself. For instance, I began my blog with writing, then added photos. I worked on improving those photos. I had to collate information for certain reasons. It was all therapeutic. It was also a review course. It was a boot camp of sorts. Suddenly I realized that this computer was much better than the Xerox 9700 which was the ultimate "one man office" in the early 1980's.
If you knew how to use it, you needed no secretary.
One does not have to figure out how to progress, I am finding out. Each discipline learned on its on eventually is integrated with others. Vertically, horizontally, forward and backward. It is a beautiful thing to experience. I am experiencing it now as I am integrating disciplines and efficiencies are starting to build. Efficiencies are giving way to rapid feedback due to the time escalation of the delivery and reception of information.
It is happening in a variety of ways-comments on the blog, emails to me from the blog. Old friends have found me from the blog and in some cases have encouraged me to develop skills that can be honed from blogging:Research, writing, editing and other disciplines within the multimedia word, by themselves, and eventually in a natural integration as one grows an develops ones capabilities.
Projects are easy to start. Multitasking can be done on separate projects with the proper form of system integration. The results can can shorten the "development
With all of that comes confidence. I am feeling a level of confidence I have not had since I was 13. It is all from a process that started ten years ago.
The University of Skid Row, with increasing efficiency in the use of its resources, is expediting my learning curve and increasing my productivity.
As Justice Felix Frankfurter said, "If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.". Judge Higgonbotham would quote him in the beginning of each class.
Confidence development is the most important course in Skid Row. Nothing else is as important as confidence. Nothing. Makes sense. Even in economic statistics the have the "discouraged worker effect" in labor statistics. That is when people are so discouraged that they do not even look for work.
In Skid Row, people must avoid being discouraged. That is the key. That comes from having people encourage eachother to hang in there. They have to believe. I talked about that. That is the hardest part. I have seen how people excited from learning how to use the computer. I have seen the confidence that comes from it. I saw, years ago, how kids felt empowered when they learned how to make the tennis ball do what they wanted it to do. I monitored my confidence level when I triathlon trained. I recalled those traditions and the history of all of those traditions from my school days. I used them all sense being down here.
I am experiencing that "confidence rush" everyday as I teach myself new things and while I am teaching myself new things, I am getting immediate feedback from all over the world. I am reacquainting myself with worlds that are far away. I do not have to worry about the distance. The new media has changed that.
It is nothing new. Just magnified. When I was in college I used to fly home from Philadelphia all of the time. I did not look at distance in terms of milage. I viewd distance as the amount of time it took to get someplace. 4 hours, not three thousand miles.
I opened a live cam that was in Brazil today for people in Skid Row to see it. They loved the statue of Jesus Christ, Corcovado. I did the same with the Eiffel Tower and the London Bridge. These are places that have felt out of reach to all of these people. Places that they only heard of. The internet gave them the confidence that those places are in reach--certainly closer than they thought before today.
It spurred them to run back to their computers and find out about other cities and see parts of the world they have never experienced and thought they would never see.
I get feed back everyday. It pushes me to go further. The positive feedback, in various forms has made the process endurable. Feedback would come and its magic would propel me further to fight harder to breaktthrough invisible barriers.
When I would get tired, some new feed back would emerge. Miracles from cyberspace fed my soul and my spirit. They bred life and hope into me. It has given me something that I have not felt in decades. I only know to feel it because my father taught me what it took to feel it. He was an educator.
By the way, I have two interviews. I just received word today about another one. Feed back. I believe that this computer, on Skid Row, can serve not only as a tool. I have witnessed and I have experienced the power of it as a weapon for positive change. And I know the surface has not even been scratched.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo can do miracles in Skid Row. They could do what the government has not done. They can use the computer and information services as a way to build confidence and that will go a long way to end homelessness and poverty.