Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And another thing...

And another thing…

I apologize for the random flavor of this message.

…The transition to this new place and new job is really beginning to take an emotional toll. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but the adrenaline of being in a new environment is starting to wear off, as the reality and routine set in…

…I totally missed ringing in the 4th anniversary of having a blog. I don’t know where time goes sometimes. It seems like yesterday when I was still living in Colorado and started this site. A lot has happened since then, but then some things never change…

…Friendships are a funny thing. Sometimes you may think you have met someone whom you believe you will always be friends with…and then it turns out that you lose contact with them…and sometimes you have a friend who is in and out of your life in a flash and you never know when you will see them again…I don’t mean to get sentimental, but I’ve spent a lot of time looking back and reflecting on my friendships. I am amazed by how I’ve lost touch with people I swore I’d never lose touch with. That doesn’t really sit well with me…

…It is great to see the self-destruction of the Republican Party in American politics. I would never advocate for everyone in American politics believing the same things, but I am glad that the alleged Party of morals and the American way is being shown for what it is…a group that is lead by self and special interests. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Democratic Party is also a group lead by self and special interests, but their hypocrisy is not on the same level as the “family values” party. You cannot visit Raw Story or even ABC News without seeing another detail or story about this demise. I think that the Democratic Party is not far behind, as I believe the American public is tired of both parties…

…It amazes me how much members of a profession that is taught (and required) to respect differences, still has no problem making judgments based on appearance…

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Getting in the Flow

The transition has been moving forward. We’ve had our ups and downs, and I am sure they will continue. On my mind a lot lately has been the hassles of organizational politics. Since I left my last job, I have vowed to stay as far away from gossip and bad politics as I can. My hope is that I can stay out; I think I’ve been doing well so far.

The flow of life is so very different here. If I want to go eat dinner at 3am, I have more choices than Denny’s or IHOP. If I want to go see a movie at 11pm, I can do it. If I need to go to a store on Sunday…it will be open until at least 9pm. It really is a change.

I recently picked up The Story of B by Daniel Quinn. It is one of the few books that have had a significant impact on how I view the world.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Exciting New Blog

I just read over at Sonafide that there is a new blog on the block that is geared towards the more "progressive" or "liberal" christian. The blog is God's Politics and is from Jim Wallis and others.

Hopefully this blog will increase the visibility for the other side of Christianity.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Life and Times

I am still trying to get into a routine. To those who read on a somewhat regular basis, I apologize for the sporadic posting.

Moving and starting a new job is a difficult transition. This is the third such transition for me in my life. Each one has presented different obstacles and trials, but have been difficult nonetheless. This transition has been of particular stress because of a variety of things. 1) We spent a week here before we were able to find a place to live. 2) My job is very time consuming, and I started the day we moved into our place. 3) Jenn has been struggling to find a job that is in education, pays well, and that she is not over qualified for. 4) We are attempting to solidify a social network early on in our time here. 5) We had never been to this city before, everything is new. 6) We are trying to grieve our move and at the same time emotionally move ourselves away from the things we did not like about ourselves in Arkansas. 7) Move on from my old job. I had a really good friend from long before Arkansas get the job I just left. Its difficult to think that this person is now where I was, working with the people I worked with, and seems to be having a better go at some of the aspects of the job than I did. Despite all of the obstacles, we are still very happy to be here, and love this city.

I don't like the difficulty of transistions. But fortunately for me, most of the people I work with are in a very similar situation. It makes things easier for me, but still does not make it easy. I am thankful for my job. Just a couple days ago, I went to a speaker who was talking about incorporating humor into the work place. He asked the attendees to think about the things at work that stress them out. I am so fortunate that right now, and for the first time I can remember, the only thing that stresses me is out is that I have a lot do, and am not really sure how to get it done. This is the best stress I can imagine having right now.

I enjoy being this age and being able to learn from my past experiences. I am hoping to take this opportunity to regain the things about me that I have forgotten, to live a life of someone my age, and to make new friends while re-building bridges to old friends. So I guess this is the official start to a new chapter in my life.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Life in the City

Wow...things are going fast and its hard to keep up.
I am feeling very removed from things going on in the world, but at the same time feel a little closer, because now I no longer live in the middle of nowhere.

Students came back this week, so it was the first time I've been able to meet some of the students I will be working with. I am excited for the year, and the possibilities it holds.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

We Have Arrived

We have arrived in our new hometown, and have been searching for a place to live in this hot, yet not at all humid, climate. Its been fun running around town seeing everything, but it would be so NICE to have a home.

Thought I'd update, let you know more will come soon as consistent computer access commences.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Moving of the Cheese

In less than a week I will no longer be living in this state. I will no longer be living in the south. In less than a week I will be back “out west”, although a little further than west than I have lived before. Although this blog is by no means anonymous, I do wish to keep a few things a little more unknown to the random blog visitor. For that reason, I am not really up for revealing where I am heading off to.

The move is exciting, both personally and professionally. It will give me a chance to start fresh, and will provide more opportunities for Jenn than she had here, and best of all, we will be living in a real city.

Its funny, only in the end of our time here were we able to realize the support structure we had. Part of me understands that when the end comes, people you know will go out of there way to do things with you that they never would have before. When the end is indefinite there is always tomorrow. It has been a very interesting time to reflect on the last three years. I am not the same as I was three years ago. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see someone who I never thought I would be. I am pretty happy with the person I am now, but I never did expect this.

It may be a while before another post, but I will be back as soon as I get settled.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Independence Day, 2006

It irritates me to no end referring to Independence Day as “the 4th of July”. The holiday is Independence Day, and it is celebrating true freedom from oppression and true liberty.
230 years ago, the British Colonies of America declared their independence from the rule of King George and Great Britain. The impact of this day should be fairly obvious, noting that the United States of America is still operating free from British rule. However, if you follow the mainstream media in the USA, you would think Independence Day is more like Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day. Independence Day is not just a day to remember Veterans and those who fought for the USA. (Do not get me wrong, I am a HUGE supporter of Veterans, and have the utmost respect for those who have fought for our country). Independence Day is a celebration of those ideals of which our country was founded on. The ideal that, as the so eloquently written in our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. This is a day to remember the principles that founded our country. This day is not another day to show “blind patriotism” or chant the slogans of the propaganda machines. This is a day to reflect on the principles of our country, and to investigate whether we still possess our unalienable rights.

It is ironic to me that 230 years later the American people are still dealing with a “King George”, a ruler who is more interested in lining the pockets of his friends than protecting the rights of all people. We have become complacent about our rights, and the usurpations of our rights. For some reason our rights have become less valuable because we are in a “time of war”. Our fourth President, James Madison declared that, “there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations”. I think these words could easily be spoken today, and that frightens me.

As another one of our country’s founders, Ben Franklin, said "those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

UPDATE: Wow...the political party who allegedly loves America refers to this holiday as "The Fourth of July". Check out Grand Oil Party website.

Monday, June 05, 2006

It Fits (the shoe that is)

This is not the first time in my life I’ve been in a “limbo” stage. It seems that this is a fairly common occurrence for me, and that I should just get used to it.

For the last few weeks I think this feeling of limbo has really increased my desire to write. I do not have any real defined goals or directions for the writing, just spitting out words on to this virtual paper.

So I’ve been thinking about the limits of honesty. Now, I am not talking about honesty in relationships or anything like that. I think that is pretty cut and dry. You really have to be honest when it comes to relationships. Rather, I am talking about honesty when it comes to the only time in your life where it really pays to sell yourself. That’s right, job interviews. I’ve been on a couple in the last few months, and I constantly struggle with how honest I need to be. What should I tell the interviewers about why I am thinking of moving on from my current position? What should I tell them when it comes to my perceived weaknesses? How honest is too honest?

I do not want to work somewhere where I will not fit in. So I want to be honest enough to let the interviewers know where I am coming from, but I sometimes think that is still being to straight forward.

What is too much? Where can I draw that line? Is there a line?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Entitlement Issues

I am currently looking to move on from my current job right now. Because of this, Jenn and I have been talking about a variety of issues and topics regarding jobs, what we think we are “worth”, etc. Now keep in mind, both of us are “educators” so we understand that our worth does not amount to much in real world dollars. However, we do understand that we are at least worth enough to be paid a livable wage. Anyway, one of the issues that Jenn brought up is entitlement. It may be a tail end of Gen-X or Millennial Generation attribute, but regardless, we feel some sense of entitlement about jobs. For example I feel that I am entitled to a certain level of position in my field because I have a couple years experience full-time and have a master’s degree. Well, Jenn questions that entitlement. She asks, “Do you really deserve a certain type of position? Are you not willing to work your way up”? Good questions indeed, and definitely questions I had not ever thought about.

The whole issue is pretty intriguing, especially because I think Jenn and I have some pretty hardcore work ethics for people of our age (at least according to our parents, and other people not in our generation). Yet we still realize that even we have some feeling of entitlement.

So where does this put us? I have had a couple job interviews and as of yet nothing has turned out. Partly due to that I am questioning my career choice. Understanding that I have a sense of entitlement makes me think that if I switch fields now, its no big deal because I am still at an entry level.

So these are the thoughts in my head on a Wednesday evening.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Is it 2008 yet?

I know it is early, but I think we need a person to run for President who will stand up for us average Americans and who is not going to give in to corporate interests. We also need a President who will rebuild our relations with other countries. I think one such person is Sen. Russ Feingold. Check out Draft Russ!

Monday, May 15, 2006

29 Percenters, Immigration and Fun Hollywood Satire

I will start from end, and work my way to beginning or something like that.

A couple weeks ago I went and saw American Dreamz with Jenn and my folks when they were in town. Despite some of the poor reviews that the move received, I definitely recommend seeing it. The movie obviously pokes fun at our American President, American pop culture, and other relevant American issues. Although I do think it is telling when four self-identified progressives are some of the only people laughing at much of the movie…especially when the theater happens to be in the reddest area of this red-state. The movie can be harsh at times, but it also is very blunt when pointing out many of the wonderful hypocrisies that exist in our culture today. You also cannot go wrong with the actors in this movie: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Jennifer Coolidge, Willem Dafoe, etc, etc. The movie reminds me of a more blunt Saved! with a bit of Wag the Dog and Primary Colors in the mix.

Now on to everyone’s favorite topic, Immigration. I do not really think the big issue is being played out here. Now, I may be getting a bit to “conspiracy theorist” on this one, but I believe that the people in power are using fear to yet again subdue or misguide the American people. Illegal immigration is an issue, no doubt about that, but I think that one of the things our wonderful leaders are trying to do is to put a wedge into the working class. By pitting illegal immigrants against the rest of the American working class (including whites, blacks, etc) the working class cannot unite. All of the American working class is being treated poorly…I think that is agreed upon. However, if members of the working class of different ethnicities and backgrounds cannot find common ground, then the working class has been subdued. I have sneaking suspicion that our leaders want exactly that. If the working class is being told to be afraid, they won’t bother with the other issues that they are facing.

Finally, hopefully the word of Bush’s amazing 29% approval rating has spread across the land. If not, check out this article from Yahoo! News: President Bush's Job Approval Rating Reaches New Low of 29 Percent Positive, Down Seven Points Since April, According to Harris Poll. I have heard pundits say that people are upset about gas prices, or are finally get tired of the war. I think that is true, but I think people are starting to get a little freaked out by the nature of our leaders…especially with the wire-tapping, and phone call logging that the NSA is doing. Anyway…because of the new poll numbers, I am now regarding those elite few who support our President as “29 percenters”.

Well then…I’ve run out of juice.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Change is Good

I thought I'd give things a face lift around here. Hopefully that means I will write more. I want to write more...I just can't seem to find more time.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Today, Again

Today means different things to different people. For some its a birthday, to others its an anniversary, and yet to others it is something entirely different.

I cannot believe its been seven years. Seven years.

Of all of the days during my first year of college, this day, sevent years ago, I remember like it was yesterday. I still remember the feeling in my stomach. I still remember watching the horror on the faces of people around me. I remember my roommate not being able to get a hold of his girlfriend, a student at Columbine. I remember not being able to get in touch with either of my parents, both employees at other local area schools. I remember the tears streaming from my neighbor's eyes as she saw her high school, and her old classmates, whom she left only a year before, shattered.

We cannot forget what happened at Columbine, or what happened in Jonesboro, or Paducah or Red Lake.

The other day I watched Bowling for Columbine for the second time. It amazes me that nothing has changed. We can still purchase assualt rifles down the street, bullies still roam the halls of our schools (and our government), kids are still shooting kids. It makes me frightful of the future. But there is still hope. There is always hope.

These names will remain in our hearts forever:
Cassie Bernall, Steven Curnow, Corey DePooter, Kelly Fleming, Matthew Ketcher, Daniel Mauser, Daniel Rohrbough, Dave Sanders, Rachel Scott, Isiah Shoals, John Tomlin, Lauren Townsend, Kyle Velasquez.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Month

I am amazed by how much can happen in one month.
Too much to think about.
Too much to process.
Its not easy being Green

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I know its a week away, but...

From Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty:

"March 1, International Death Penalty Abolition Day, marks the anniversary of the date in 1847 in which the State of Michigan officially became the first English-speaking territory in the world to abolish capital punishment. It is a day to remember the victims of violent crime and their survivors; it is a day to remember those killed by state sanctioned violence - guilty or not- and their survivors; and it is a day for intensified education and action for alternatives to the death penalty."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Lao Tzu wrote that “a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to what is”.

I first came across this translation of this quote while reading Leading With Soul by Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal. This quote intrigues me. I have frequently consulted the Tao Te Ching when struggling with life and its meaning, so I am somewhat familiar with Lao Tzu’s writing, but I think more so than any other verse (with the exception on his verses about oppressive governments) these words have recently had an impact on my day to day life. I have even gone so far as to include this on my email (yeah, I know it’s cheesy, but at least the quote is somewhat thought provoking). I like to interpret this message into my work life by letting conversations and plans develop more “organically” if you will. This does not mean that I slack, or just let things fall apart, but I do not want to constrain my ideas to “what has been done before” or “what works somewhere else”. This is a problem I have encountered more than once in my present position. Too many times I am confronted with “this works great at _____, so we should do it here”. I am not a fan of this train of thought all the time. My institution is like no other. There are different students, different staff, a different culture and a different climate. I fear that this may come off as slacking or inexperience on my part, I just hope that I can help change some minds.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"Spirituality and Education" Pt. 1

Disclaimer: This post is a "stream of thought" post so I apologize if it is a bit rambling.

I recently attended a conference concerning the issue of spirituality in education. The conference was primarily focused on the issue of the spirituality of college students. This is a topic I am very interested in, and have been doing research on for the past year. It seems that college students (specifically in North America) are undergoing a significant developmental change. My colleagues in the world of higher education are struggling on how to deal with the issues of morality, spirituality and ethics when it comes to our student’s beliefs and behaviors. I find this a very difficult issue as well, because our students are obviously struggling and despite many of our efforts we are just unable to help them. This problem is not just at public or "secular" institutions, but is widespread and occurring at religious institutions as well. There seems to be an underlying desperation among my colleagues, and that honestly concerns me. What concerns me most is that many of my colleagues have not yet worked out their own spiritual existence, so it is very hard for them to work with students who are also trying to work out their spiritual existence. The proposition that one can help another work out spiritual crises when they have not gone through a similar crisis is quite frightening. To make things worse, most of our college students are of the Millennial Generation. This generation is very different from those of the past, and they are evolving faster than Higher Education can keep up with them. There is no correct way to address this issue, but it must be discussed and we must find a way to better help our students and ourselves.

I will address this issue more in a few days. If you have any thoughts, please share.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This and That

I find it hard these days to find time for the things I once so enjoyed. I hope that the reason I am unable to find time is because I am lazing or slacking, not because I am getting older and have to deal with other issues. Jenn and I have often mentioned that since we moved here, we have noticed that time goes by faster. It really does seem that the way of life moves faster than our last home, a smallish community deep within the Rocky Mountains. I’ve always heard people say that the way of life in the south is slower than everywhere else; I think those people are crazy.

I do think things here move faster. I believe it has a lot to do with the consumerism culture, as well as the Southern "hospitality culture". In regards to consumerism, it seems to me that individual’s lives revolve around three things: 1) Shopping, 2) Work, and 3) Church (notice how I did not say God). The overwhelming impression here is that if you are not at work or at church, you must be shopping. No ifs ands or buts about it. This plays into the Southern "hospitality". More so than anywhere I have ever been, these Southerners are social creatures. They cannot be alone with themselves and their thoughts. If they are alone, they must be shopping. Everything is about interacting with others, church, high school football, going to the mall, going to weddings, etc. It is all about being around and being seen. I won’t say whether this is right or wrong, but it is very different than what I was used to. I am more comfortable with the "rugged individualist" of the Mountain West…or at least people who are okay with being alone.

Anyway…these are just some thoughts after having a not so awesome day in the mid-South (that is what the truck commercials call this area of the country). So I must then live in the central northwestern corner of a mid-southern state that borders "mid-western" and "southern" states.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A New Year

I know that it has been 2006 for almost two weeks now. I am behind, as usual. It has been a long couple weeks, and it feels like it should be much later than in the month than it is.

As everyone and their mom have said, 2005 will be a significant year in the history of the USA. It will also be a significant year in the history of the World (well, at least in this current incarnation of the world). I think we all know the reasons why 2005 was a big year, and despite the fact that your middle school social studies teacher would use that same statement right before s/he would go ahead and tell you why such and such was significant, I am just going to leave it at that.

The reason that I write this post is then to just make sure that I get on the bandwagon (albeit a few days late). But seriously, another year has passed and we are all older, hopefully we are all wiser, and maybe, just maybe, some good will come out of 2006 (like the impeachment of GWB). It would be nice if he was kicked out of office, but at least an impeachment would do nice. If we can impeach a President for lying about sex, we should at least be able to impeach a President for lying about WMDs, domestic spying, lying about Iraq’s ties to Bin Laden, etc. It would be great if this would start a trend. Our society is so darn litigious as it is, maybe we can take that to the next level and just go crazy impeaching our elected officials. I am sure we wouldn’t have to stop at GWB…we could go state by state and impeach some governors too.

For my parting words of my first post in 2006, if you have not seen the “World’s Largest Retailer Movie” aka Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price, I would suggest renting it and watching it. Here is a toast to 2006 in hopefully being a Worlds Largest Retailer free year!