Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bye bye, Scaffold of a Person

Long-time followers will note that I haven't been updating my Scaffold of a Person lately.  I started Scaffold of a person about a month after starting this blog, as a way to introduce my various loved ones to each other and give me the opportunity to honor them publicly.  The idea came about after I spent an afternoon with a new friend and I was too sick to come up with a respectable conversation topic based on the few details I knew about his life.  I called these few details his scaffold.  I then got to thinking about the scaffolds I'd build for everyone else in my life and decided to post them on the blog periodically.

I set up a spot on the blog and wrote a few sentences about someone that was on my mind at the time.  I decided not to make it a page on the blog that would have permanent memory, but rather a temporary gadget in which an individual's scaffold would hold brief literary form before disappearing forever.  I thought that this model was true to the very definition of a scaffold, and how it changes with time.  It was a lot of fun for me, and many of the folks I scaffolded were tickled about it.

However, this rather bohemian model for lack of scaffold retention is not without consequence.  Considering that one of the side effects of cancer treatment is temporary impairment of brain function, it is not surprising that I have no idea who have I and have not scaffolded.

My solution is to discontinue the Scaffold of a Person.  This is because I don't want to twice scaffold a friend I haven't seen in 10 years if I failed to scaffold my mother, for example.  Although I've forgotten just about anything that happened between Oct. 2010 and June 2011 (turns out that's not such a bad thing), I'm sure each of you are very clear whether or not you were appropriately scaffolded.

I just can't in good conscious continue scaffolding.  I want to be an equal opportunity blogger.  I suppose I could accept nominations for an individual to scaffold, but only if you are sure that I didn't scaffold them previously.  

My apologies to those of you who will miss Scaffold of a Person, and to those of you I should have scaffolded.  I blame my poor record-keeping, and, that's right, cancer.     


  1. In educational theory, there are three kinds of tasks: those a student can do independently, those a student can do with assistance, and those a student cannot do at all. "Scaffolding" is what a teacher puts in place when the student is in the middle category (aka the ZPD*) to aid the student's move to independent mastery and development of new tasks.

    I mention this all to say that you shouldn't apologize at all. When you got this blog up and running, you were bringing together a bunch of people who only knew each other here-and-there. What you scaffolded for all of us was a community of concern, support, and awareness. So it sort of makes sense that now the scaffolds can be taken away.

    * oh yes; the ZPD is very real - but I will let one of my colleagues explain:

  2. I felt I'd never be scaffolded because of my height. That's okay - I've accepted that about myself for years. Seriously, as Frank said, it was a great way to connect those of us who held you in common. Let's move on - but don't end the blog. What else can you blog about now? The intersection of microbiology and motherhood? That would be fun!

  3. I'm going to lay to rest in the tomb of great stories, along with your awesome scaffolds, excerpts from "Heather's Log of the Family Vacation to Yellowstone Park". (Heather at age 13). A few last excepts for ol' times sake:

    10:03 Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy. So he changed his name to Ed Azner.

    4:11 I have been beading. My pattern is black, yellow, blue, green. Cool. We have seen 43 oil pumps. We are staying in the mountains of Wyoming. Look! You can see the mountains on the horizon!

    11:00 Now we're sitting here, stopped, while mom and dad look for dad's wallet.

    2:45 I think this is the crookedest street in the world, not the one in San Fran. There is Beartooth Mt./Peak. The bathrooms are coming. The bathrooms are coming!

    3:28 On the road again. Lunch was good. This is a pretty drive. I'm going to crochet.

    7:50 There was a wicked disco song on the radio. We discoed.

    5:19 We need a campground! Yes, it's that time again. The first one we stopped at just a few minutes ago was $28 bucks. Ouch! We're still truckin'. Our camper's marching on!

    3:05 They (siblings) did not succeed in swimming in the mountain stream (cold), although now Hol & Hil are going to do something with lawn chairs & water. We got the tent up a second ago. Well, Bye now!

    3:45 It's hailing again. Mom is making hobo pack stew, because the fire won't go because it's raining. The thunder is here, but there is no more rain. I don't think. I'm cold and hungry, but supper's goin' to be gross, with cucumbers and all. Well, spew!

    7:45 Now all 4 of us are sitting on one bench saying the word "wimp". It sounds hilarious. Hil says it like "wheemp". What fun camping is with the Griswolds! Hil and Ry are whittling. The fire is going strong. Well, I think I'll go now. I don't want to miss any action. I might write later. Orvwa!

    Indeed Heather, your fire is going strong, you are the A in action, and with you I say Orvwa! to cancer. I love you.

  4. @Dad: I'm going to miss the hilarious vacation log entries. I'll just have to read my copy.

    @Lori: Ha ha!

    @Frank: Wise words, as usual. And your colleague's song is fantastic. Did she make that up?

  5. @Russ: For the past year I have been begging (OK, encouraging....OK, begging...) Heather to turn the mic over to you for more Heather's Journal installments. Thanks for ending it on a high note.

    @Heather: Ed Asner? Really? I thought I was a weird kid...(and, yes she made up the words, but the music is to the pop song "3" by Ms. Britney Spears - the content of which song, I since learned, is totally not OK for school)