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Mini Newsletter for Scanners

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:34 pm
by BarbaraSher
FIRST ENTRY Just for announcements and stuff you might want to see. I have a whole Scanner's mailing list looking at me in a folder--half ready, of course--and it might be duplicated with my regular newsletter so I'll just add Scanner stuff to my regular newsletter (which I fully intend to re-activate shortly...honest.)

A POEM FROM A SCANNER For starters, a nice letter with a touching rewrite of The Road Not Taken by Frost that might appeal to all Scanners:
Name: Scanner Poet Sandi Permission:
Ok to publish Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Barbara, Thanks so much for coming to Dayton; it was great hearing your talk and meeting you in person! I was very inspired by your latest book,REFUSE TO CHOOSE. In fact, as soon as I finished the last page, I immediately began my own scanner day planner

and wrote in it the following poem, an empowered scanner's response to Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken".

That particular poem has always been my favorite because I so strongly identify with the melancholy feeling represented by the poet's "sigh" at the end. All scanners live with the frustration of knowing that there are so many wonderful options to choose from in life and only limited time to do them all... but your book gives us permission to do just that!

So, I wanted to thank you for identifying the source of my frustration and giving me some tools to overcome it. Here's my poem:

The Roads Both Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and happy that I could travel both
and be one traveller; now I could!
I scanner planned them fast as I could
because my life's an opportunity for growth.

I knew both paths were equally fair,
and now my unique style had a name
because of the wisdom Sher had shared.
No longer feeling goal-impaired,
I surrendered all my thoughts of failure, guilt, and shame.

Both paths that morning equally lay
in leaves no steps had trodden black.
Oh! I kept the first for another day--
and now that I use the scanner planner way,
I know that I can always come back!

I shall be telling this with a sigh
some day ages and ages hence.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
plan to take thousands more before I die!
And that has made all the difference. -------

Please feel free to publish my poem in any way you'd like. Thanks again for your inspiring words!

Sandi Lerman (ESL Teacher, ASL Interpreter, ASL Teacher, Literacy Consultant, Workshop Facilitator, Spanish Speaker, World Traveler, Poet, Novelist, Singer, Actress, Aunt, Sister, Pet Owner... and now, maybe Motivational Speaker???)

This is so good, it deserves an update!!

Nice quote

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:49 pm
by BarbaraSher
(I think I found this on this board, but it's all a great blur. If so, thanks to whoever I lifted it from.] "In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

Catnip for Scanners

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:51 pm
by BarbaraSher
I hesitate to mention this site. It could play havoc with your sleep patterns. But I'll feel guilty if I don't share it: (Oh, the inner conflict! I feel like I work for the tobacco companies.)

Edited this thing again (3July2014), just to mention that it's stayed very up-to-date and is still quite wonderful.

possible income for Scanners

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:33 pm
by BarbaraSher
I found an article in a recent issue of the New Yorker about the launch (by New York's public libraries) of an all-points Web site,

You can look up 'insects' and 'ancient Egypt' but what caught my interest (and the author's as well--Ben McGrath is his name) is the result of a search for

'live homework help.'

Between 2pm and 11pm, that links to, and "to any of twelve hundred tutors around the country sitting on their sofas, or in cafes, and, for all we know, sipping margaritas, while despensing advice on trigonometry or mitochondria or intransitive verbs."

I didn't click on any of it, but it would seem worth our while to check out what is needed to become part of that national group of twelve hundred tutors--as well as finding out if any other cities are offering something similar.

The article is intriguing but indefinite about this: "On a recent Friday night, Yasmin, a graduate student in animation, sat on a futon in her boyfriend's studio apartment, in Brooklyn. For roughly ten dollars an hour, she had signed on to counsel students looking to get a jump on the weekend's assignments." It also says that the student who was asking for help was logging on from California.

If you're interested, you might want to give it a look. I'm ashamed to say I didn't get the date of the article in the New Yorker--just tore out the page, assuming that info would be on it. Since I sometimes pinch New Yorkers from my doctor's office, I don't know how recent it was. Sorry about that and good luck.

->> UPDATE: However, I looked up some of those links today, Thursday, July 3, 2014, and they seem to be alive and well.

The idea that comes to me, for some reason: Wouldn't it be great for retired people, or other 'at-home' or 'shut-in' people, to volunteer to be tutors? That would be a first-rate end to isolation. Not only because of the contact, but because of the self-esteem-building nature of it: not just a hello from some kind person trying to cheer you up (Bad for your morale, establishes you as needy), but someone who values your knowledge and needs help (Great for your morale, respected for your value to others).

Now, where are the people who could spread the word to people who are too isolated who might be able to use telephone or online tutoring to this end.

Another thought: just remembering someone whose problem was that she couldn't get out from under a dysfunctional family she was trying to fix. Of course, it's usually not possible to fix your own family, but she just couldn't walk away. I told her to watch (on YouTube in 10-minute chunks) "Cold Comfort Farm," (not the bbs version, but the wonderful movie with Kate Beckens-something, and Rufus Sewall and other wonderful, accomplished actors). Her solution to her own screwed-up family out at Cold Comfort Farm is to find out what they want and see that they get it, and in the end she flies away with her good man in bi-plane (called 'SpeedCop' - the movie takes place in the 1020's) and everyone lives happily ever after.

A great fantasy. But what if there were a way to slowly, tactfully (so no resistance builds up in the subject) get complainers to get a taste of being, basically, gurus to admiring students on the telephone? I see great possibilities (for a rather narrow, infrequent problem, I admit).

Ah, coffee in the morning.

Now back to work.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:05 am
by BarbaraSher
Clever Scanner Scenario Thinker found it for us. Take a look: ... lk_mcgrath

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:43 am
by BarbaraSher
Tip for lonely Scanners: I spoke in a number of bookstores on my book tour a few weeks ago and realized something obvious:

almost anyone who works in a bookstore is a Scanner.
They certainly don't work there for the money. And if they were specialists they'd be doing something else.

So if you want to meet a Scanner in the flesh, head over to your local bookstore and ask someone for help finding books about your latest 'hit and run obssession' --and start a discussion about the best stuff you've found on that subject so far (or something else that will engage the good employee). You might meet the most interesting, loveable people you can imagine, judging by the talks I had on my tour. (Do it when the store's not busy.)

(We all know that you can often find great Scanners working in a library, too, right?)

Today's Job For Scanners

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:16 am
by BarbaraSher

I have two here that I suggested in another topic (and in Refuse to Choose)

Here's a simple idea that works for a lot of people: Do tax preparation.
Work like a beast for a couple of months and make enough money to live on all year. You don't need any certification and there's no need to be a CPA. (In fact, you can work for a CPA. Or, for that matter, for another tax preparer.) I know actors who do this for other actors, for example.

Also, consider being an organizer. It's not easy to make a living doing that but if you pick the right market it can be very profitable, and very interesting. This work has a lot of qualities that are just right for some Scanners: You fix the problem and then you leave, you get a peek into someone's life (which can be more interesting than reading a novel, and could lead to writing one!), each situation is new and requires new solutions - and you can probably create a lot of free time for yourself.

I know people who do organizing for models and professional athletes, many of whom live in a hopeless mess otherwise. (For that matter, they do organizing for CPA's!)

They're hired by modeling agencies, sports agents and personal assistants (or their agencies). Some are paid quite well. They can often work as much or as little as they like.

As usual, start close to home, start small, even start free. Document with photos or videos to show before and after and tell stories: that is to say, talk about other clients' problems (anonymously, of course) which is a great way to explaine what you're doing.

Build a record of your work.

Show your videos by speaking at libraries or lunch meetings or local community groups with a beguiling title:

(\"Organizing for Creatives/Packrats/etc.\" \"How To Do Your Taxes When You Hate To Do Your Taxes.\")

Build a mailing list from your talks. (Have a 'drawing' from a fishbowl - no water - of business cards, the prize being a free office makeover or something)

Give away some of your good ideas (it's okay, everyone will still want you to do the job) and tell stories of how you worked with clients to remind everyone that you take clients.

Once you've created a nice track record, head for the modeling agencies! Or speak in front of Personal Assistant organizations. (Other great markets: home and/or office organizing for overworked professionals like lawyers.)

(PS: I'm 3/4 finished with an eBook full of these ideas, mostly made up of great stuff that wouldn't fit in Refuse to Choose. Will happily accept any suggestions pm'd or emailed to me. If I use your suggestion, you will get a free copy of the \"Great Careers For Scanners eBook\". (It will be announced in my newsletter and will be available on (I'd could probably use a better title, too :-)

Do Scanners come from Scanner families?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 2:28 pm
by BarbaraSher
A QUESTION This was asked a few times on my book tour in slightly different forms, and usually by someone who had Scanner friends or grew up in a Scanner family: Do Scanners gather together or come in families? In theory they should, because I'm sure the Scanner brain is genetically determined. And Scanners should gather together as friends, too--in theory. But the people I'm hearing from are so surprised to find they're not crazy, stupid, lazy, shallow or neurotic that we have to conclude that most Scanners grow up very alone, not knowing who they are. It's a hard life, growing up assuming something's wrong with you. But sometimes I get letters from Scanners who come from families that understand them perfectly. Here's a cheery example: Name: Mary Ann DiSpirito Permission: Ok to publish Date: Sunday, March 05, 2006 Time: 05:06 PM Barbara, I saw "Refuse to Choose" yesterday and was delighted. I have often said that if Leonardo da Vinci were alive today, he would have been diagnosed ADD and had his creativity squashed. For generations, my family has been considered eccentric because we approach living much differently than the rest of the world. My brothers and I were encouraged to explore different interests--having several projects going at the same time was the norm in our home--and is still the norm in mine. You're absolutely right, we love learning, then when we have learned all we can (or wish to) about a subject, it's time to move on to something else. One thing I've noticed is that we are happier, can cope better with challenges, and live longer than those who contend we are abnormal. We have always maintained that we are the ones who are normal, not those who choose to unhappily embrace artificial standards placed upon us. I have pre-ordered "Refuse to Choose," and can't wait to find out what category of scanners I fall into. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing awareness to the rest of the world!

An important excerpt for Scanners

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:59 pm
by BarbaraSher
This is my favorite excerpt from a book I loved in college: Barefoot Boy With Cheek by Max Shulman: Asa Hearthrug, from Appalachia or some such place, has been accepted to college and is speaking to his freshman advisor to decide which classes he should take. The advisor has been telling him a story about a dinner party at the house of someone who didn't go to college, but became immensely successful and wealthy: \"...The house was filled with prominent people. A hundred-and-twenty-piece orchestra was playing. When we went in for dinner the table groaned with all sorts of expensive delicacies. And at the head of the table sat Kyrie, the monarch of all he surveyed. \"But during the course of the dinner a well-dressed young woman leaned over and said to Kyrie, 'Who was the eighth avatar of Vishnu?' and Kyrie, for all his wealth and power, did not know the answer!\" \"How ghastly!\" I cried, throwing up my hands. \"Yes,\" said Mr. Ingelbretsvold, \"You will find that sort of thing all through life. People come up to you on the street and say, 'Does a paramecium beat its flagella?' or 'How many wheels has a fiacre?' or 'When does an oryx mate?' and if you have not been to college, you simply cannot answer them.\" \"But that cannot happen to me. I am going to the University,\" I said. \"Ah, but it can,\" Mr. Ingelbretsvold answered, \"It happens to many who go to college.\" \"But how?\" \"You see, my boy, a great many people go to college to learn how to *do* something. They study medicine or law or engineering, and when are are through they know how to trepan a skull or where to get a writ of estoppel or how to find the torque of a radial engine. but just come up to them and ask how many caliphs succeeded Mohammed or who wrote Baby Duncan's Whistling Lung and they stare at you blankly.\" \"I shuddered. 'Oh, please Mr. Ingelbretsvold,\" I begged, \"what must I do?\" [Here's an edited list of what Mr. Ingelbrestvold told him to write down.] \"Ready. Here they are: Races and Cultures of Arabia, Egypt and North Africa; Ethnology of India; History of Architecture; Greek; Latin; Sixteenth-Century Literature; Seventeenth Century Literature; Eighteenth-Century Literature; Nineteenth-Century Literature; Twentieth Century Literature...American Government, British Government; Chinese Government...Lett Government...General Psychology; Pyschology of Learning; Psychology of Advertising...of Literature...of Art..of Behavior; Norwegian; Swedish; Danish..Statistical Sociology; Penology; Elocution; Speech Pathology; and Canoe Paddling. \"That will do for a start. As you go into these courses you will find others that will interest you too.\" ...[They discuss becoming 'well-rounded' and an irrelevant mystery story and finally, Asa asks an important question.] \"Just one more thing, Mr. Ingelbretsvold,\"I said. \"I don't know quite how to say this, but I think I would like to be a writer when I grow up. Will the program you made out for me help me to be a writer?\" \"Why, bless you, child,\" Mr. Ingelbredtsvold said, \"you follow that program and there's nothing else you can be.\" 8)

The Scanner Mascot?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:07 am
by BarbaraSher
In one of my favorite books, The Gobi Desert, by Mildred Cable, she describes the dangerous snakes and lizards of the Gobi and tells how carters and camel-men fear them, and then she says... "...but the impudent little desert lizard is everyone's friend. It lies basking in the sun, but at the approach of man it raises its body from the ground and scuttles away on outstretched legs. Musical tones, such as whistling or singing, will arrest its flight instantly and hold it attentive for as long as the sound continues. In yellow sand its coat is yellow, in grey grit it is dull grey, when the stones on which it lies are shiny black the lizard also black, and on variegated ground it develops a beautiful protective coat of many colors. " Adorable lizard. Don't you kind of identify with it?

Scanner Summer Camp questions

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:10 am
by BarbaraSher
I sent out a few emails with ideas to a small group of Scanners (if your email isn't here, I might have missed you) with a first-run bunch of ideas I've been having and the notion that I might not wait until October for the first camp in Corfu, but might run a pilot around the 3rd week of May. Whether you can come or not, let me know what *you* wish would be at that camp and later I'll post a questionnaire here with more specific questions.

Re: Today's Job For Scanners

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:14 am
by BarbaraSher
BarbaraSher wrote:I have two here that I suggested in another topic (and in Refuse to Choose) Here's a simple idea that works for a lot of people: Do tax preparation. Work like a beast for a couple of months and make enough money to live on all year. You don't need any certification and there's no need to be a CPA. (In fact, you can work for a CPA. Or, for that matter, for another tax preparer.) I know actors who do this for other actors, for example. Also, consider being an organizer. etc.
I am reminded (where? I can't find it right now) to include Indexer as a great job for some Scanner types. Tell me where it is and I'll do a better post here.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:41 am
by BarbaraSher
SCANNERS SUMMER CAMP PILOT TO BE HELD IN MAY (probably around May 17-23) I know that's any minute now, and I don't expect to see many Scanners showing up, especially since it will be in Corfu, Greece. But I'll be there to try out the program, especially the part where we sit around and fix your Scanner life (that's my favorite) after you recover from a night of revelry or watching the uncut version of Seven Samurai, and after your ocean or pool swim and Greek breakfast. Hi Good Scanners Here are my first ideas about the Scanner's Summer Camp. My original thought was for me to simply check out the Corfu campground this May and design the program with what I find, and then do a leisurely and careful set up for the first program in October. But now I wonder if it's possible to do an impromptu pilot program in May, around the 17th-23rd. I know it's very late to announce such a thing--today being April 26 and all, so I wouldn't expect many people), just to prepare for a good one in October. In hopes of keeping this program (and lovely eco-campground) alive, I'm thinking of charging real money for the camp whenever I'm there. (ca. $1100 for the week--specials for families, including everything but travel expenses and extra stuff from the store or bar), (less for the pilot program) and also setting up a self-sustaining structure so Scanners can come on the cheap at other times. My first rough ideas go like this: Mornings: Swim and Morning Meeting We'd start out with breakfast on the beach. Swim, eat, etc. and morning meeting (bring your wish&obstacle list) with me leading. This will last 1 or 2 or even 3 hours, depending on how many people are in the group. Various things will be covered, such as 1. Refuse to Choose-type stuff: What kind of Scanner are you? Searching for the Common Thread in all Your Interests, How to do Absolutely Everything that Interests You: the right kind of calendars for you, organizing, scheduling tools that fit your type so you actually get things done) 2. Special topics like \"How can my kind of Scanner earn a living?\" \"How to be a Scanner Coach,\" and/or other Scanner problem-solving. 3. Helping you buckle down an work on a present project you've been dodging :-) (Remember, Isolation is the Dreamkiller. Structure and accountability--aka schedules and friends who nudge you--are the secret to success.) Late mornings, early afternoons: Learn Something New. We might have classes in crafts such as freeform knitting/crocheting 'bookbinding, candlemaking, soapmaking, scrapbooking, painting, jewelry making' (Bring stuff so you can swap your leftover beads for someone else's half-finished board game. :-) Or: How to Act on Impulse Without Wrecking Your Life, How to Start a Home Business on a Shoestring, The Mummies of the Taklamakan Desert--that kind of thing. The knowledgeable staff can teach loads of things (I haven't asked them to do this yet, but they're very loveable and kind and will probably say yes) such as computer stuff: websites and graphics and weblogs, and How to build a Life's Work bookshelf; Some can give a lesson on the bass guitar so you can get ready for your debut as a Rock and Roll star with the very excellent cover band, The Strangeloves, (if that's a dream of yours), lots of Greek mamas and papas are eager to teach real Greek cooking, language classes, How to Live Overseas on a Shoestring, etc., Also there are locals who know great crafts that will soon be gone (we're talking to small-boat builders, fireplace builders). Much will depend on who's there (or who has been most requested in advance). Scanners try out their own program on us by running a short workshop or giving a lecture. We're also setting up facilities for an ongoing 'art show' where Scanners display anything of theirs that can go on a wall or a table, such as an especially gorgeous page in their Daybooks or a miniature room for each of their interests (or drawings of same). They can bring this from home or make it there. Halfway through the week we'll have the 'gallery opening' with ouzo on the house.) (You can have mine, I hate the stuff. Wonder if I can find some decent champagne?) Lunchtime (in the middle of above) would be Show and Tell/ The Amateur Hour After a proper moment of respect for the great amateurs in history, known and unknown, like daVinci, Ben Franklin, Isadora Duncan, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Cornelius Hirschberg) Scanners who wish to do so will have 15 minutes to enthuse or amuse us with their latest passion or describe an odd interest they've seen or tell a tale of a past 'hit-and-run obssession.' Afternoons would be free To wander, hang out, nap, look in booths set up by local merchants or Scanners (Scanners get free booths), take botanical 'learning' walks, or short boat trips into lovely coves, help someone write their autobiography, or create your own book club under a tree or, etc. Early evenings: Your Captive Audience/Open Mic Night This begins at dinner (where non-Scanners will also be present and may participate). Try out your monologue, use us as a focus group for your new pastry, or present your Wish and Obstacle and make it an Idea Party, put on a performance, describe the business you want to start and get ideas and advice. Nights: Greek dancing, party-time and/or film festival Mix with the locals, dance and break plates, listen to the band (or perform with them), see a film (al fresco or in our makeshift theater, depending on the weather) (Note: tents are free, and there are also two RVs and a two rooms with private amenities available at extra charge.) And, best of all, to finally find and spend time with your long-lost sisters and brothers, the ones who don't think you're odd at all. (Priceless!) Now, *all* of this will not happen, of course, (though the last one is guaranteed)but all above is the range of things under consideration. So please go to the Scanner Summer Camp topic and give us your input. The questions are: 1. On a scale of 1-5, how many stars would you give any of the above? 2. If you had the time and money, what would bring *you* to The Scanner Summer Camp in Corfu? 3. What would make the Scanner Summer Camp a success for you? That is, what would you like to take with you when you leave?   4. Is there anything you'd like to share or try out with the group ? Your responses will be most appreciated. Thanks.


PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:09 am
by BarbaraSher
(Friday morning is Thursday evening, NY Time. I have to keep repeating that so I'll show up at the studio on the right day. Here's the information: Dear Barbara I look forward to your participation in our talkback tomorrow: live to air Thursday evening New York time (7 pm); which is Friday morning for us (9am). "Life Matters" is a daily program of social issues and social change, which has been running for over a decade. It has a broad brief, from education to policy, relationships to sexuality, industrial relations to feature and profile interviews. It is always interested in mixing research and analysis with the lived experience of ordinary people. Every Friday, the entire program is devoted to a talkback discussion. "Life Matters" is presented by Richard Aedy, and is heard all across Australia on ABC Radio National - our public broadcaster. It is also repeated on Radio Australia, where it is heard across Asia. It can be heard live as audio streaming on the web; and the audio is also available as Real Audio for a fortnight after broadcast. The entire program is also available as an MP3 file. Details of all stories, publications, reports and so on appear on the website, as do details of local radio frequencies. The Life Matters page is at: While frequencies can be found via the main Radio National page: And the umbrella organisation, linking to all our networks, is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, can be found at: Kate Evans Life Matters ABC Radio National Toowong Qld 4066)

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 6:18 pm
by BarbaraSher
Okay, did it. The Australian ABC interview I did tonight will be available at: a day or so after the interview where it will stay for a week. It seems to have been directed toward indecisiveness (in the grocery store, for example) and I steered it into Scanner issues when I had a choice. Was a bit of a pushy New Yorker Yank, I fear, though half is still about grocery stores. The rest might interest a Scanner, however.