Monday, January 25, 2010

A Weird Time of Year...

So second semester started today. That means new classes, a new lunch, and lots of work for me. It also means my old classes are no more. This is always a weird time of year for me. Part of me wishes that it would stay the same. That second period I would get to go to Latin III and have fun. But part of me is incredible excited to have the chance to experience these new classes. It is a feeling I rarely get to enjoy right now, the thrill of knowing that I will get challenged. This does give me pause however. Do I want to be challenged? I think I do, but can I handle it. I have heard horror stories about tenth grade English. Will I be able to survive that on top of an intensive study of Medieval Europe? I honestly don't know, but I hope I will be able. Trying to just melting into my work usually helps. If I have a clear goal in mind, it seems to go better. So here's the goal: Survive second semester and try to gain a little wisdom on the way. Hopefully.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Search it Carefully

"When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth." -George Bernard Shaw

This is a quote that has really found a place in my heart. I am a very snarky teenager, as my mom is so fond of saying. But to me, that is a compliment. When I use comedy, I try to use it as a message. I make fun of things not to hurt people, but to try to point out idiocies in their statements. I find humor is a particularly good way of doing this because it leaves my message open to interpretation. Half the time, they can't tell if I'm on their side or not. And this quote holds very true through that ideal. Every time I hear something funny, a joke, a comment that makes me laugh, I search it for that hidden truth. Some of the time that truth isn't so hidden, but very once and a while I find something that truly opens my eyes. So I guess what I am trying to say is that when you hear a joke and it sounds a little offensive or off-color, don't dismiss it out of hand. Carefully listen for that hidden grain of truth.

truth |troōθ|
1) the quality or state of being true

Thursday, January 21, 2010


There are somethings that I can never really comprehend. Birth and death are at the top of the list. But to see it on such a scale as in Haiti, I am struck speechless. And after leaning that something like that has happened, our natural reaction is, "I'm one person, what can I do to help?" That was the first thing that crossed my mind that Tuesday. And so I went about my life for the next few days, not feeling too good about myself, but not really able to figure out why. Then one night, I was tired of feeling like that, so I packed up my pay-check and sent it off to Doctors Without Borders. And after that I felt better. Now, a lot of people would say that I should still feel horrible for what happened. And I would agree with them. But in times of crisis, when every bit of help is needed, I think it is better to do the most that you can and then go about your life as best you can. Because if the whole world stopped and mourned overtime something tragic happened, the victims would have no one to help them. So do your part, help the people of Haiti. Please. But don't think that you can't make a difference. You can.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Totus Tuus Sum

Last weekend the chorus I sing in had it's annual winter concert. The song we finished with was Totus Tuus by Henryk Mikołaj Góreck. It is a beautiful piece about dedication to the Virgin Mary. Translated it means, "I am totally yours, Maria." And having sung it hundreds of times…I have spent a lot time thinking about what it means to give yourself totally to someone. It is giving your entire body and spirit to someone else, to do what they wish with it. That is a very powerful concept. And I have been wrestling with that concept, if not on such a deep level. Recently, I have been going through a bit of vocation crisis, as it were. Most of my friends are deciding what to do with their lives right now, looking at colleges, learning what they want to do in life. But I am at a loss. Most of my life I have had a very strong sense of purpose, I knew what I wanted to do, and how I was going to achieve it. I am not really sure what I want to do with my life, and this is making me a little uneasy. I feel like I need guidance. So I guess I will just, as my mom says, Offer it up, and hope by giving myself totally to the world good will come from it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Anti-Statistic

Recently, my friend wrote an interesting piece that asked this simple question, "What do you do so that the numbers no longer apply to you?" And it is that question that really struck me. Everyone is part of a statistic, if only as simple a one as living in this country or being born on this day. But we are each also an anti-statistic in that there is a part of us that goes against all of what society says is a normal. For me, a lot of me is nonconformist: I don't like sports, I'm not interested in celebrates, I don't like many things that society deems appropriate. But on a deeper level, when I look at my motivations, I find something that is equally different. When I look at what drives me, I like to think that I do not do things for wealth or fame, but rather for the feeling of accomplishment. For what I treasure most in life is seeing my work and ideas being used by others. I love sitting in the back of the room and watching life unfold, knowing that I helped make it possible, but not wanting any praise for it. So I guess in the end, I give you the same question, "What do you do so that the numbers no longer apply to you?"

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Collection of Prejudices...

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." -Albert Einstein

Common sense. Some people have it, some people don't. I am one of those blessed people who lack it in only a small way. I'm not 'street smart' as my friend is so fond of saying. But I know enough to get around in life without getting killed. But what really astounds me is that most of my friends, including me if I'm being honest, have prejudices. We at the advanced ages of fifteen and sixteen. And it is because these preconceived notions about different types of items, situations, and people that we live our lives the way we do. Some people may say this is a good thing, that we are able to form opinions at such a young age. But when I look at it, especially in my own life, I tend to see these things as a much more negative thing. Yes, independence is good for you, but if that comes at the cost of pre-judging people, is it truly independence. Because these patterns of judgement that we develop now will guide us through the rest of our lives. And if we don't spend the time and energy necessary to make sure we give everything and everyone their due before we pass judgement. So maybe next time we see something that our cultural conditioning says is inappropriate or wrong, maybe we can take a minute or two to consider it before we add it to our list of 'Things We May Now Judge.' I know I will certainly try.

prejudice |ˈprejədəs|
1) preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience