A few years ago, a Texas lawyer named Keith Jaasma gained some notoriety for his poetry. Mr. Jaasma would take U.S. Supreme Court opinions and boil them down to haiku compositions that summed up the gist of the holding. For example, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, he summarized the opinion in haiku form as follows: Schools for black and whiteSeparate is not equalDesegregation I was charmed by Mr. Jaasma’s trick, and for a couple years now, I’ve been using it to help me break down things that are difficult to understand. The process of taking something complex and trying to pin down its core ideas in a 5-7-5 format can be a worthwhile challenge. Seventeen syllables are not nearly enough to capture all the nuances of a complex idea, and as you wrestle with that constricting form, you can’t help but analyze every part of whatever it is that you’re trying to “haikuify.” You think just as much about the parts that you are leaving out of the poem as the parts that you manage to fit in. And for the parts that you decide absolutely must fit into the poem, you find yourself grappling with different ways to express those parts. You search for shorter words that will substitute for the longer, fancier ones that you find in the text you are working with. You have to decide whether each line of the…
The Approaching Zion Project: Gifts
For the third (and, I hope, final) time, I read this chapter on an airplane, taking notes as I read it. And there are just a couple quick things I want to highlight and discuss, and one sentence that really troubled me.
Priesthood Session Notes
Since we’re not doing open threads during the sessions of conference, we’re trying to start comment threads at the end of the session, so that once you have heard and thought a little about the entire session and the individual talks. So take your notes during the sessions, and let us know after the session is over. Here’s a few thoughts on Saturday Afternoon’s session of conference. I’d welcome your thoughts also.