Go out and talk to someone

Got a call from my mom and girlfriend today. We just talked about a few things, I won’t go into details, but the important thing is that they called. It’s wonderful to hear their voices and get to have a meaningful conversation with them, which I think is lost a lot these days.

I’ve highlighted my woes towards technology in my Christmas Blogs, but just so I don’t sound like too much of a backwards “Puritan”, let me say that all technology is not inherently evil. I write a lot, and not just my blogs, and if it weren’t for the Internet I would have never discovered Avatar, Warhammer 40K or many other things I have grown to like. I think my life has improved from these things, and it has certainly helped my creativity.

That being said, all the Element Bending and Super Soldiers in the world cannot replace interactions with real, physical people. I might be introverted at times, but I enjoy talking to people and getting to know them. And there is quite a lot that can be learned just by listening to someone talk; you can learn their emotional makeup, their verbal tics and personality just through their voice and the conversation you have with them.

It’s a lot harder to learn anything through social media.

As a writer I’m good as channeling character emotions through conversation and dialogue, but when I’m speaking to someone on Facebook or texting I cannot make motions to emphasize my words or change the inflections of my voice to hint at worry or sarcasm. For people who know me well it’s easier, but suppose it was someone I didn’t know? How would they know when I’m just joking or when I’m being serious? The answer is, most often they don’t, and thus I have a very good chance at offending someone when I try to be funny or sympathetic. And that’s terrible… Superman references aside, it really is. How many friendships were wrecked because someone tried to break up with someone else over Facebook or text?

Also, one of the biggest problems of social media is that you have to spend a lot of time staring at a screen. I’ve already displayed my distaste for people spending too much time on their electronic devices and not enough time talking, so I won’t repeat my rant, but it’s still a relevant issue. Screens and isolation are bad, and you need to spend time less isolated from other people and getting to know them, face to face.

Social media can be helpful, but not for use all the time. Nothing beats genuine human interaction, as it reminds us that there are still people out there and we still have to have human emotions with one another. So I encourage you all to go out and talk to someone face-to-face, be they friend or relative; you’ll feel much better and more connected to the world.

Everybody’s got a niche

Yeah it might be cliche but usually the truth is. Two of my classes this semester allow me to express my interest in education specifically charter schools like KIPP. In my Spanish class the final is a ten page research paper on the problem with public education and if charter schools like KIPP are actually fixing the problem. In my Econ Public Policy class I have to write two policy briefs also on KIPP and public education. Once those get off the ground and running I will be able to combine information and use resources over again in all three of my assignments.

My niche is KIPP and being able to write about how it helps me and its current students succeed in their own field of interest. Why, because even though KIPP might be here to prepare you for college they understand that college is not for everyone. But the skills to go to and through college should be for everyone. That is why it is my niche, KIPP allows me to help others while all the while continuing to help me and inform others of KIPP.

Valentine’s day, and the Weather

I’m not going to say what I got, because my girlfriend might be reading this and I don’t want to spoil anything.

Anyway, Valentine’s Day. For me, it’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a bad thing because I’m over here and all my family and loved ones are back in Oregon, so I can’t really talk to them or spend a lot of time with them except for the brief moments of skype or Facebook IMs. That makes me sad, because I would like to spend more time with them.

On the other hand, Valentine’s Day is a good thing because I can spend time recollecting on why I love my family. They’ve supported me, encouraged me to do the best I can (although sometimes it feels like there’s some disconnect between what I feel is my best and what everyone expects to be my best. I chalk it up as normal stress, but sometimes it feels like a giant sky bison is fighting a lemur while being cheered on by

It makes sense in context… also, Chakras

sheep and then a six armed Indian guy floats by and sings about Chakras… okay, I’m getting distracted). Anyway, my parents are awesome, and my whole family is awesome. I might not see them a whole lot, but I’ve gotten to thinking “Well, I might not see them a whole lot, but that means that I have to make the time that I am with them as special as possible”. and that’s what matters in the end; that we spend as much time with the people that we love, and even if we don’t have a lot of time together we get a chance to make it really special.

If this is sounding depressing, I blame the weather. I like snow and all, but I don’t like having to walk around in it day after day, always having to be careful in case there black ice somewhere beneath the snow drifts (although seeing the “snow gophers” is always amusing. I’d get some pictures, but they’re camera shy). I heard we’re supposed to get 50 degree weather and rain next week, and my inner Oregonian is going “yay” because admittedly I have more experience with rain than snow (and I won’t have to worry about slipping on ice). So to all potential Wabash students out there reading this blog, if you love snow I’d say come here to Wabash, if you don’t… well, still come here to Wabash, because Wabash is awesome and the snow will melt eventually.

Oh, more Valentine’s stuff. One thing I don’t care for about Valentine’s Day is the mass commercialism that seems to permeate 99% of all holidays. I do not enjoy seeing copious amounts of pink and red merchandise bombarding me, and I especially don’t like the heart shaped chalk they call candy and the magazines that tell you to “spice up your love life”.  I find it insulting that companies will browbeat and push people into accepting their definition of beauty. It’s even more insulting if a guy tries to make his girlfriend see things in the way that the magazine advertises; my girlfriend is perfect the way she is, and I don’t want her to change into some “idealized” definition of beauty because then she wouldn’t be the girl I know and care about.

Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day. Stay true to yourself, love each other, don’t run with your spears and enjoy your time with your family.

First Test of the Semester

What a quick but exciting week! Well the snow we could have done without, really who schdules the snow. We would really like to see the green of the grass sometime soon.  Well I went to Indy this past Monday to a marketing firm to learn about entrepreneurship then Wednesday the basketball team beat Ohio Wesleyan. What a great day to have senior night and last home game for the basketball team, beating Ohio Wesleyan who was 14 in the nation. Not to mention my first test this semester in Econ Public Policy which could have not gone better. Or I hope so.

That class just reassures me that I want to be either an econ minor or major, especially public policy analysis. All that really means is that before any policy is enacted by the federal government or state government all of the benefits, costs, utility, and possible effects of it have to be weighed. It’s a lot theory and just as much math which for me is perfect because too much of any one thing is not good.

Friday is here and could not have gotten here faster. TGIF at Sigma Chi then tomorrow wrestling match at Chadwick so the weekend is pretty packed. I also have a buddy coming from my high school to look at Wabash. As I did with my other friends who came and visited, I will speak highly of Wabash but most of the talking will come from Wabash and what it means and stands for. Can’t wait for that.

Everybody’s waiting for the Weekend!!!!!!!



Vests, Knives, and Pocket Watches

Whenever I think of the 1940s, or early 20th century, what comes to mind are a men’s vest, a pocket watch, and a wood handle pocket knife. The pocket watch may not have been as common due to cost, but the three kind of symbolize the statutes of a gentleman to me. Things like “dressing to impress,” everyday usage for a knife, and the watch just to show a difference in technology. They remind me of a time when Boy Scouts was popular and revered, women always wore dresses, men tipped their hats, and kids actually played in groups… outside.

I wonder what happened to things like this at times. People don’t read books anymore, it is frowned upon to learn dead languages instead of Spanish, people dress like Justin Bieber, and TV seems to have a Real Housewives of every major city. We need to face the facts, we are a much more materialistic society today, and quite frankly we have forgotten or abandoned many of the simplistic ways of living.

It is a shame in my opinion. Change isn’t always good, sometimes the clock needs to be reversed.