Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year Wrap-Up Survey

I saw this wrap up survey for the year that a friend filled out.  Thought I would borrow the idea.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?

I drove a huge truck over sketchy four-wheel drive roads in the San Juan Mountains.  I served my first semester as student body president.  I got my first Incomplete at Western.  I learned about logistics. 

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolution?

I don’t remember if I had a new years resolution.  So… maybe?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?


5. What countries did you visit?

None, I did get to go to Reno, Nevada and Riverside, California.  Those are kind of like other countries, right?

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?


7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The Conversation (capital 'T', capital 'C') with a friend.  I don’t really do dates.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Working better with a team, getting assigned to a “base” with no head LC, impressing Dr. Moran w/ a presentation.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Developmental Psychology

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I’ve been getting a lot of colds lately.  Hand stuff.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

S’s Christmas present.  Also, the snowboard I bought on accident.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Many many people that I am fortunate enough to get to work with.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My mothers.  Literally depressed.  It was bad.

14. Where did most of your money go?

I’m guessing the Apartment Vultures.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The future.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

“When I Close My Eyes” by Ozomatli

17. Are you...

A. Happier or sadder? Happier

B. Richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?


19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Knee-jerk reactions

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

It's gone and past.  Spent it with family, not a long enough visit, that’s new.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

Over and over.

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favorite TV program?

Bones, only recently discovered.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don’t think so.

25. What was the best book you read?

Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

It’s a tie between Ozomatli, Malcolm Palmer, and Nadine Zahr

27. What did you want and get?

I wanted challenge.  I think I got an ulcer.  Just kidding.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Meet the Robinsons

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Drank too much, got in trouble.  25

30. What would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Taking care of myself better.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

It’s morphed from jeans and a t-shirt to carharrts and a t-shirt.  Hoodie now that it’s cold.

32. What kept you sane?


33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I still don’t quite understand how homosexuality affects other peoples marriages.

35. Who did you miss?

Sara.  AKA “Tink”

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I really appreciate getting to know this one person better

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:

"Why do today what I can do tomorrow" may not be the best idea

38. What travel plans do you have for 2008? Which ones are you the most excited about?

Hopefully “Plan A” will work out and I’ll be all over the place.

39. Which dates in 2008 are you looking forward to the most? Why?

May 10, 2008 – My Graduation from Western State College of Colorado

40. Which season are you looking forward to the most this year? Why?

I dunno

41. What are some things you'd like to do in 2008, but haven't officially planned for yet?

Skydiving, join a church, visit my sister in new york, see my friends

42. Do you anticipate any major changes in 2008, such as a new home, job, family life, etc.?

An occupation other than student, maybe even making slightly more than the poverty line.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Figured Out

Epiphany of the day....

"I am an underachiever trapped in an overachievers lifestyle"

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Roof, The Roof....

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire...

Oh wait.  That's just a hot water pipe exploding.  Nevermind.

Did you know that steam can set of a fire alarm?  It's true.  I saw it in action today.

Let me set the stage...
It's 8:45 in the morning.  We are 45 minutes into a two hour final for statistics.  Two tests have to be completed in these two hours.  When the class assembled in the morning it was a nervous anticipation, you could feel it.  We've been through a lot together as a class.  Twice a week study sessions, study sessions together on the weekends.  Getting "talked to" because 75% of the class failed an exam.  We are the survivors.  Today was the culmination of all that work, the chance to make a few extra points, a chance to NOT FAIL.  Because really, that was everyone's goal, you could practically see the little thought bubbles above their heads "please, I just don't want to fail".

I digress.  Sorry.  

So we are sitting in this class, working on this test.  I myself was about to start the second problem that had 10 parts to it, hitting my groove, catching my mistakes, feeling pretty good about how this exam is going.  All of a sudden, loud loud noises.  Not just any noise, no, the distinct noise that only can deafen you and still convey the message that you have to get out of the building.  The fire alarm.

As one the class raises our heads in disbelief.  Is this really happening?  You have to be kidding.  It's quiet for a second, then the curses and murmuring start.  After a few seconds I say "I think this is the part where we calmly exit the building".  We all get up, leave our tests, and head downstairs.

Oh yeah, by the way, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!.  I think it was just getting up to 0 (zero) degrees F at that point.  So we wait outside, the prof takes off to do something and eventually we go back inside to continue working on these exams.  I'm glad it's over.  The only real "exam" I have this finals week.  Now to get back to all the other projects I have yet to complete...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

This Looked Cool

I saw this at Brutal Women.  It sounded awesome.  I think I'll do it.  

Here's the deal...

I will send a gift to the first three people who post a comment on this blog.  I don't know what the gift will be yet, but it will arrive within the next 365 days.  All you have to do is leave a comment, then put the same offer on your blog/website/whatever.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Because Education Wasn't Cutting It

Education today is billed as "the answer" for just about everything.  Low socio-economic status?  Get an education!  Community falling apart?  More money to education!  Freak el nino patterns?  Education!

When education is pushed and pushed and pushed as the solution, as how to achieve a better life, how to equip people to succeed, how to solve societies over-arching problems, how to elected w/ out a real platform, why take an opposite view?

I know christianity tends to run counter culture quite a bit, and they even emphasize enjoying it.  (I'm not knocking it, I do it, the punk movement did it, the civil rights movement did it.  Ok, so maybe the civil rights movement had a point.)  This choice to run upstream in this case, however, perplexes me.

According to WELS, according largely to christians overall, the solution, they key, the magic bullet is not education, but faith.  Faith.  Take it even further, define it a little bit more and you get a "child-like" faith. 

The exact example of a "child-like faith" given this Sunday was a four year old kid who asks their father what the shell of a turtle is for.  The father tells the child that the shell is so that the turtle can fly.  The turtle has only to tuck it’s head and legs into the shell and it metamorphoses into a flying saucer of some sort.

What I hear them saying, right after providing this example:

"isn't it wonderful?  A child doesn't look at their father and say, Dad, that's not true.  No.  that kid will take what dad said and believe it." 

Does this seem dangerous to anybody else?  Not just as given, but also applying this to one's spiritual life.  Strikes me as pretty sketchy.

At some point in life, that child, having not seen any turtles take off in flight will (hopefully) start questioning what their father told them.     We encourage that learning and growth, it's going to happen, it needs to.  The idea that turtles travel by converting into flying saucers is in no way beneficial to the child's growth.

The question is at what point in a christians life does an unquestioning "child-like" faith become detrimental?

It is really really easy to fool or mislead someone who has child-like faith, the ability to learn something and accept it as true. 

"if our reason & understanding contradict the clear word of scripture, then scripture wins.  Hands down."

 If a person believes that the bible is truly the unerring word of God, that it contains no biases, no twisted or accidentally misconstrued ideas or contents, if they believe that the person teaching them is not accidentally changing the message in any way then sure, go for it, have your child-like faith.  That's a pretty big step, at least for me it would be.

I think a large part of the danger comes from the opportunity for biases, for temporary beliefs based on recent activity or events, reactions to culture to be superimposed or adapted to the lives of those learning.  If  the "this is the word, and therefore it is right" logic is applied to anything when does the person become empowered in their own right?

Is it a pick-and-choose situation?  When is a person encouraged to have the child-like faith?  When does the church want you to think for yourself?  What is the criteria for identifying and responding properly in each situation?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Snow Snow Snow!!!

It's snowing!  Snow, snow, snow, snow...  Lots of snow, probably slightly higher than a foot right now.  It's rumored that the snow is going to continue until Tuesday and we are projected to get four feet!  The roads are closed, the mountain I'm sure is rocking, heck who wouldn't be up there for free ski?  Here are some pictures I want to share.

This is my car.  Covered in snow.  It actually got shut in the parking lot today by the plows.  That car's not moving until spring.

This is main street.  When I tell people that I live in Gunnison they always respond with a story about the crazy snow it gets.  This is my first chance to really see a snowstorm like this in action.  I know I'm fully geeking out, but it's cool that there is so much snow  the snowplows are forming a barrier with the snow in the middle of the street.

Trees are falling all over the place.  It's insane.  Not just little limbs but serious tree pieces.  This picture is of part of a huge tree that happened to fall apart while I was walking.  Pretty cool.  I'm glad that it didn't hit the car.

Crested Butte is getting a lot of snow.  This morning when I checked the snow report they got 20 inches in 24 hours!  I wish I had gear.

In other news, these are my newest thoughts (hair-brained ideas) on/for the future:

Option 1: I save, win, or otherwise legally obtain approximately $6000 and follow through on living and working in New Zealand for a year.

Option 2: Work on a cruise line.  I still get to travel, have a fun job, work recreation and programming, both things I love.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Written On A Snowflake -OR- Know When to Shred Stuff

I'm at work. Settling down into the front desk, the 80 square feet of space that will be my workplace for the next six hours. Surrounding me is an astonishing amount of holiday decorations. Everything is clearly christmas oriented, but some might be inclined to grant leeway for the attempt at a "Happy Hanukkah" sign and tinsel-ly star of david. Heck, there is even a tree, decorated as only work study students can. All of it gives me a distinctly anti-holiday feeling. What is more annoying are the decorations that refuse to stay put and insist on falling. Particularly the snowflakes. It figures that snowflakes would fall off the ceiling. In yet another attempt to reuse and thereby reduce waste the snowflakes are made of paper taken from the recycling bin.

One of the snowflakes fell off the ceiling. Deciding to pick it up and possibly even hang it back up I lean down, pick it up, and idly look it over as I stand up again. Oh, it's an email. Wait a minute, that is MY NAME on that email. What's going on here?

Intrigued I start to read what I can of the e-mail, inserting likely words where scissors have shaped this document into a crude replica of a snowflake. Turns out, it really is about me, most of it anyway. The recipient is a friend, someone here at the school. The sender is an acquaintance, I know them, have had conversations with them, and have written some correspondence back and forth previously, but not on the topic that they are talking about here.

They are talking about me. They are talking about church. [I have been attending this church, more details later] They are talking about this amazing opportunity, a chance for me to "hear the word of God in all it's truth and purity-straight law and straight gospel, no beating around the bush and no strings attached".  I suspected that this was going on, and really this isn't a big deal.  The big deal, the concern, the minor alarm going off in my head is all about her intentions.  Why is this person approaching this this way? Am I just a mission? Is this one of those "you are my friend and I don't want you to go to hell" things?

Should I talk to them about it? Would it be totally out of line to request to read the pieces of the email that I am not seeing? I would like to see how it ends. This edition anyway.

Why wouldn't you just shred something like that?