Friday, March 20, 2009

Y and K?

In a meeting last week with members of the university administration, I heard concern and dismay over the increasingly diminished writing skills of undergraduates.

One of the academic deans explained it this way: "My own sons reply to my questions by texting. If the answer is yes, they text me a "Y." If the response is "OK," they send back the letter "K." Apparently it takes too long to type a whole word.

While I've been aware of shortcuts and the briefest of replies, especially from younger people, I admit that I was startled to hear that some exchanges are down to a single letter.

If whole words or entire sentences are too much trouble, are these same "writers" even reading books anymore? Is one "entire" chapter too long? I contemplate this trend, and wonder what sort of chaplaincy activity I might create to combat it. I welcome your ideas, K?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This blog takes a moment to wish everyone a Happy Pi Day, remembering especially Noah's senior recital at Oberlin on this date, during which he played an improvisation on the scale degrees of pi. (Marchand, J.S. Bach, Saint-Saens and Vierne stood waiting patiently.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It may be obvious from the silence here since my last post, but I'm just swamped, a bit overwhelmed by how much I've taken on outside the parish with provincial duties and assignments related to General Convention. And of course it's Lent, with more going on at church than ever. But the day got a shot of new energy, thanks to a thirteen-year-old.

My young friend came to my office to discuss a Global Studies project he'd like to do. He proposed that he and a friend put in ten hours volunteering at the Agape Cafe (a mission of the Episcopal Chaplaincy), raising funds for its continuing operation, writing an article about it, promoting awareness at school of hunger issues and homelessness, talking to legislators, and making a video.

I'll be ready for them when they come to the Cafe, and I hope that they get back at least as much as I imagine they're going to give. Thank God for them!