Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is this my "evil plan?"

I brought Hugh MacLeod's Evil Plans along with me on this trip. I'm in London, by the way. I'm off work because the students are on srping break.

Hugh lived in London for a time. Actually, he writes about the tension that comes with living in big cities. There's tension with life that comes with city living, and there's tension to make enough money and to be able to afford to live in a big city and do the things that successful people in big cities do.

I can relate to that. During the previous height of the dot com years  I lived in Marin County, Califronia, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Everyone I knew worked for some start up or the other.

I left MIT in 1998 and began working at an exclusive private school in Marin County that enrolled children who had parents other people name-dropped about. I wasn't making even close to the money my dot come pals made, but I enjoyed going into San Francisco for after work meet ups South of Market (SOMA). My friends and I habitually met up at Thirsty Bear because it was close to FlySwat, which is where my close friends from MIT worked.

I lucked out because I was able to rent a house from the school I worked at. It was a nice house, just a mile from school, and George Lucas was a neighbor. (I only saw Lucas when he was driving out his gated compound. Once, when I was returning from a morning run, he was standing outside the gate of his compound, which startled me. Here he was - in the flesh. I stammered out a "hello" while all the time being struck by how short he was. It's funny how the mind works.)

I fear that I've not quite gotten this post on any sort of track. Let's see where we'll go.

I think that I'll talk about this blog.

About eight of so years ago, I bought my name: rolandallen.com and roland-allen.net. There are other "Roland Allens" out there and at least one of them, Roland Allen of the Kansas City Band, The Roland Allen Band, probably was late out the gate getting hold of our name.

There's a professor at Texas A&M who shares my name, and at least one person who is or was on death row.

I spent some time at Yale, which isn't that important. The relevant information is that I met a priest at an Episcopal church in New Haven who told me about Roland Allen, the British missionary. The next day after hearing about the Reverend Roland Allen (which, by the way, I came close to being called  - definitely another post), I went to the bookstore at Yale Divinity School and found a couple of Roland Allen's books, which I bought. I can't tell you how impressed visitors are when they see your name on the spine of books on your bookcase!

I've actually gotten e-mails from people who are interested in that Roland Allen. I feel badly when I write back to tell them of his death, well over a half century ago, and before I was born.

But back to The Roland Allen Post. I plan to stick with this blog and I want to make it good, even though it is "multi-focused." I write about things that interest me. I'm interested in more than one thing.

I write about college admissions because I know it so well. I write about literature, especially Flannery O'Connor, because I like to read and Flannery O'Connor speaks to life matters in a way that I like. I write about culture, poverty, suffering and diginity because I enjoy people, their cultures, and I care about human dignity.

Blogging is independent self-publishing. I've set two rules for myself : write about things you know about; and write about things that you care about.

I guess that I hope to see this  blog evolve into my "evil plan."

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