Daniel O'Connell on Letterboxes and PDP

Daniel O'Connell on Letterboxes and PDPYes, the PDP chap is back again, after a serious writer’s block that consisted of too many ideas swirling around too many serious subjects, and coupled with too little (word)space to help this Irishman make a decision and put a point or message across – whoever said PDP is just for students has not, in fact, become an adult yet!

What triggered this break from the doldrums is a word that some students may apply to PDP: “Boring.”  Anyways, it so happened that yours truly was utterly fascinated by an article online from the UK’s Guardian Newspaper, in their Life and Style section entitled: “Boring festival brings unexpected intrigue” (Pidd, 2012) - apparently a reference to a conference that occurs every year, namely, the “Boring Conference.” Now for those of you with the passion to learn about the unnoticed aspects of life, this is a must. There are serious lectures on a wide range of mind-numbing topics such as the history of self-checkout machines, letterboxes, shipping forecasts, nails (sorry ladies, the carpenter ones!), the features of a keyboard, and so forth. Moreover, there are exhibits that can include, for instance, boring undressed salad cucumber chunks on sticks, piles of white sliced bread, dry crackers and label-free bottles filled with tap water.  Standing nearby are seriously boring experts to assist you into a deeper coma as you browse from tedious table to table. Yes, a festival for the seriously deranged, depressed,  or tormented. Or, is it? This writer was hooked.

A middle-aged civil servant from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, whose hobbies apparently include promotional pens and pencils, was quoted as saying that, “the conference was about making dull things shine.”  Now, I don’t know about you (who reads this), but that’s a skill in my humble reckoning! I, for one, want to know how one can lecture about letterboxes and make it shine. If one can do that, then it is certainly feasible that one could propel the beauty of PDP to students, who sadly, on the whole, would prefer to write a seminar paper on cardboard boxes instead. This writer feels an affinity with the letterbox lecturer in that we both love our topics, and we are both engrossed in our grail-like quest to make the seemingly dull shine, especially in this era of rampant IT.

To that goal, I shall place the Boring Conference in my agenda, and with bated breath, seek out the letterbox man. After all, one’s mind – like a parachute and PDP – must be open in order to function.

WUP 06/12/12

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