Schedule for the Summer

I am writing this out in order for me to keep up on my site.  I have a tendency to do a whole bunch of post in a short amount of time and then flake out.  Not this summer though.  I am going to post on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday by 11:59.  This will also help keep me on schedule for the fall semester.  I cannot believe I will have my AA in Liberal Arts at the end of this year.  I am also taking two classes this summer Intro to Creative Writing and Adult First Aid and CPR.

Coming up I will be posting projects from my Photography class and my last history paper I did on the four largest race riots of the 1960’s.  I am taking a Creative Writing course this summer.  So, expect me to be practicing on here.  I will also be doing a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a study abroad trip I was invited on next summer.  I chose from China or South Africa I will do a poll to see where my subscribers sit on this issue.  This Friday I am planning to upgrade my site from free to the personal plan.  Another way to get me more active on here as well.  The weekends are set aside for cracking out the camera and working on becoming a better photographer.  I want to make sure I have a diversified skill set.   A jack of all trades, master of none.  I just cannot handle be strapped down to one profession the rest of my life.   The only traveling I will be doing is in the greater Twin Cities area.

The last thing is on August 12 I will be going to the St. Paul Aint’s  game.  This is a minor league baseball team normally called the Saints.  The Freedom from Religion Foundation and Minnesota Atheist’s is sponsoring them for one night.  It is a night dedicated to Atheists, of which I am, watch baseball and make fun of ourselves.  This is to show Minnesota that atheists are just like everyone else, we just don’t believe there is a god of any sort.  We have morals and ethics it is just we set them for ourselves, not a book.

If you have any comments or would to request a location for me to photograph that you would like to see here in the Twin Cities leave a comment below.  I will see what I can do.

Hope

This was written before the presidential primaries.  Now people can see how wrong I was.

was at school today early for class like always.  I see a person I have talked to a few times before.  She is an older African American woman who is sweet as can be.  We were talking about what is going on in the world she is worried about what would happen if Trump or someone like him got into office. I showed her a video of Bernie Sanders Bringing a young Muslim student up on stage gave her a hug and talked about what his family went through during WWII.   It seemed to quell her fears a little.  She said there are still so many other people out there that hate and fear monger.  I told her “There are always going to be people like that out there. We won’t be able to stop that but what we can do is keep those numbers as small as we can.  That way they have no more power.”  She asked me” Do you think we change things?”  I told “Yes, the people turning against each other are the ones getting rich, while the rest of us are struggling.  They are afraid of what will happen if we as a people unite.  They will either have a violent revolution or a peaceful one.  A violent one would not end well for them and they know it. There are a lot more of us than there are of them.  I feel they will opt for the peaceful one.” and I gave her a hug.  We need to them that we are better than they think we are.  To them we are just pawns on a chess board easily sacrificed for their greed and contempt for us.

Now more than ever we must stand together every religion or lack thereof and race.  To let these people know we are not just going to stand by and give in to their fear and hatred.  We are stronger when we stand together.  There can be no freedom without equality.  There can be no peace without freedom.  Let us stand and Yell “NO MORE” to the hate and fear they only divide us.  Say “NO MORE” to putting paper (money) before people. Let us give our children hope for their future, for they are our legacy.  Let the children know we care by letting go of the old ways and start to build a new world they can be proud of.  Keep hope alive and use your voice for that is the most effective weapon we must beat those who seek to divide us.

Peace be with you all

Journal Entry 8

This came from my old wordpress if it seems out of place.

Ok so this is not a requirement for the course I am taking at school, but it is in the book “On Course” for which I am using in my paths to college success class.  I should have started it sooner, but I didn’t want to put more work on myself then I had too.  I am now doing this for myself.  The next entry’s I make are going to be journal suggestions from the book.

In these journals, I am going to try using their guidelines for writing a meaningful journal entries till I find one that I like better.  These are accepting personal responsibility, discover self-motivation, master self-management, employ interdependence, gain self-awareness, adopt lifelong learning, develop emotional intelligence, and believe in my-self.

Take inventory of your personal strengths and weaknesses as revealed in your self-assessment questionnaire.

In your journal, write the eight areas of the self-assessment and record your scores for each.

38   Accepting Personal Responsibility

42   Discovering Self- Motivation

27   Mastering Self- Management

26   Employing interdependence

43   Gaining Self- Awareness

44   Adopting Lifelong Learning

36   Developing Emotional Intelligence

40   Believing in myself

Write about the areas on the self-assessment in which you had your highest scores

These scores were out of 80 points each, so none of my scores were rather high most hovered in the mid to lower point ranges.  I knew I had a lot to work on even before I took the assessment.  My highest scores were in discovering self-motivation, gaining self-awareness, adopting lifelong learning, and believing in myself.  I have been working on believing in myself for years going to therapy off and on for my major depressive disorder It just had not sunk in till started going to CBSST (Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training) at the VA.  The next one up would be discovering self-motivation.  This is so true of me my mind races so fast that I hardly have time to write ideas I have down and I do get bored easily.  Gaining self-awareness and lifelong learning are at the top of my list thanks to the internet.  You may be saying how does the internet help create self-awareness; well I don’t just use it for cat videos and viral videos I watch a lot of things that give me pause for thought like the Crash Course series and the multitude of independent news feeds and if I have questions about something I just check their sources or research it on my own if I Want to know about a subject.  Doing this give me insight in to who I truly am as I have lost myself through the madness of life.

Write about your lowest scores

Employing interdependence, mastering self-management, developing emotional intelligence, and accepting personal responsibility these are my lowest scores.  Employing interdependence, I understand why this one is low it is one that most older generational men deal with. We hate to ask for help this is the way we were taught “real men don’t need to ask for help I can do this on my own”.  This is something we are taught just by observing our fathers and other male role models.  The way I am combating this is by going back to school you have no choice in college you need to work with others if you want to survive.  Mastering self-management, I have always had issues with this.  It is no secret among those who know me I am a slob and my time management sucks.  This I am working on through today I was finally able to get some things out of my room and in the shed.  I also reorganized my room for a better study space; doing school work in the kitchen with 2 other guys in my mobile home made it challenging.  I put things on my walls to inspire and keep me on track like a world map with the places I would like to help when I join the Peace Corp and a work schedule for school work.  Developing emotional intelligence this has been a pain for me because I tend to bottle things up till I blow (and not in a good way).  This usually takes the form of a fight and I hate to fight I don’t want to hurt anyone or myself that is one of the reasons I am posting this in a public forum.  I want to be open and not hold in the all my feelings and if I can help anyone else who has these problems I am happy.  I do sometimes cry for no apparent reason I think that is my bodies way of relieving some of the pent-up emotions I still carry and don’t realize it.  Accepting personal responsibility, I have often blamed many things on my passed experiences for why I do or don’t do thing and more often allow other to dictate how they think I should live.  Dealing with this one is hard I have had to remove certain people from my life for now so that I can find myself and do the things I want to do.  Certain people I have allowed to have too much control over me and let them guide to who they think I should be.  I can’t let that happen anymore I realize the more I allow them to have control the more I hate myself.  I feel I am at a pivotal juncture in my life where I need to focus on who I am and who I want to be.  I cannot allow them to have so much influence on me or I may slip

Review of “He Named Me Malala”

I just saw the documentary “he named me Malala”. This about Malala Yousafzai, and she stood-up to the Taliban in Pakistan for the rights of girl to have an education. They used beautiful oil animation to illustrate her and her father’s past leading up to where the Taliban shot her in the forehead (at the age of 15) for speaking out against them. She is from Mingora, Pakistan in the Swat Valley (which is in the northern part of Pakistan near the mountains. In 2014 she became the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize at the ripe old age of 17. Here are a couple of images of her. The last image is where the bullet hit her. I suggest that everyone should go see this Documentary.

When I heard her story last year it kicked me in the butt to do something in my life.  She is a true inspiration to me.  Someone with the strength and courage to stand up to an oppressive regime and pay the price, then get back up and keep doing it.  Damn that’s strong of heart and an admirable trait to me.  Now I am taking my therapy more seriously and back at school.

My Depression

I won’t own a gun because they take know effort to harm yourself or someone else.  I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder I have days where it would be very easy for me if I had a gun where I could easily just load the gun and pull that trigger.  Thankfully those thoughts have come in fewer intervals as of late.  Now days I just want to run as far away from everything and everyone.   My mind races with so many thoughts I can hardly concentrate or focus on one thing.  There are days I wish my mom had aborted me just so I wouldn’t have to live this mess up life with no meaning but to work, eat and sleep.  No time to decompress.

People don’t understand the loneliness even when you are surrounded by others.  They cannot comprehend the darkness I feel daily. Sure, I am having a few good days where these things don’t enter my mind as much and they seem to be increasing, but I am always waiting for everything to come crashing down.

I barely leave my home except to go to work or therapy, though I start back to school next week so that should help.  For almost 20 years I have been dealing with this problem; it is a fight.  A fight with my mind but it wares on me.  I hope school will help me with being more social because a lot of them are gone.  Maybe that light I see will get just a bit closer only time will tell.

My thoughts on The Invisible Thread

Book PicSo, I went up to the school I will be going to in a week and a half to pick up my first semesters books.  I am taking 4 classes and got 5 books,4 text books and 1 short autobiographical novel” The Invisible Thread”.  I asked the guy at the book counter “What class was this book for?”  He said “English comp.”  I thanked the guy and paid for the books and went on my merry way home.

Well I got home and do what I do every time I bring things home and start to skim through the books.  I zipped through the Math book, took a deeper look at the Chemistry book (damn I can’t wait.); Then I looked over and saw the smallest book there “The Invisible Thread”.  I picked it up and was like” I wonder what this is going to be like”.  So, I figure I am not the fastest reader my eye sometimes jump over words and I must read a sentence or a whole paragraph; because it screwed up my rhythm.  So, I decided I should probably get a head start and read some of it.  figuring that I would read a chapter or 2 a day. I started reading the book and before I knew it I was 3 chapters in.

This is a great book.  It is a true story about a sales rep. from USA Today (Laurie) who meets an 11-year-old boy (Maurice)while he was panhandling on the street of Manhattan.  The setting was the late 80’s during the crack outbreak.   Laurie was just walking out of her building to run some errands and walked right past Maurice even after he asked her for change on the street.   She stopped and turned around and took him to McDonald’s for lunch and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that has stood for over 25 years.

This book makes you take a long hard look at the things we take for granted from knowing how to blow your nose to riding a bike.  She takes us through both her childhood and his.  We find out how different they are from one another but more importantly their similarities.  This book made me realize a lot about myself and that is why I started this blog and made this my first official post.

Please read this book you won’t be sorry you did.

importantly their similarities.  This book made me realize a lot about my self and that is why I started this blog and made this my first official post.

Please read this book you won’t be sorry you did.

 

My goal

This is my Final paper for Prep. for English comp. class

The Peace Corps

To put a new spin on a quote from John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what [our world] can do for you, but what you can do for [our world]” (Kennedy).  As I see it, we are not citizens of individual countries. We are citizens of the world as a whole.  My goal is to join the Peace Corps and help those who do not have the education and resources I have been privileged to have. The reason for me joining the Peace Corps are many and varied. The things I will have to do in order to achieve this goal are getting a degree, volunteering, and learning another language

There are a few reasons I want to join the Peace Corps.  One reason is I want to help people who need it and share my skills with them. I want to be able to give people hope in what might seem to be a hopeless situation. I want to experience other cultures and to travel to places where no one would think to go.  I would like to build bridges between the people of this world.  An additional benefit to the reasons above is it looks good on a resume. It shows you are not afraid of taking chances and thinking outside the box.  Ultimately, I want to bring a sense of meaning to my life.  Therefore, these are just a few reasons I want to join the Peace Corps.

What will I need to do to join the Peace Corps?  Well, let’s check the basics: I am at least 18 and I am willing to commit to 2 years (“Peace Corps”) to helping others, check. Those are the 2 basic requirements.  Now, to help me be more valuable as a volunteer, I am going to need a degree.   I am currently working on a BA in Social Studies Education. The reason I chose social studies is the fact that I like history, learning about other cultures, and trying to understand how society works.  The education part is that I want to help others to understand society, so we can make this a better place for us all.  I know I dream big.  Do I need a degree? No.  Does it help? Yes.  Most of the openings prefer people with a degree in something, depending on the focus of the program or project.  Working on this degree will help me with another thing they look for, which is volunteering in the community.

Now, volunteering is not something I am used to, at least not charity work to be honest.  My family has never really volunteered with humans except by donating food, clothes, or toys.  Through my research, I found many Vlogs (video logs) done by Peace Corps volunteers.  One of them said that “volunteering is not for everyone…this is an extreme version… giving up your life and what you want to do in order to do something for someone else”(Thinking).  I am willing to volunteer here at home to ready myself for this endeavor.  I am looking into Big Brothers Big Sisters where I can get used to working with kids one on one.  This will help me to be a better teacher and mentor in the future.  This can also be a confidence builder for me and a challenge.  Being a volunteer has many perks that go with it.   The most important is the feeling of accomplishment from doing something I have not tried before and sharing that with someone else.

In addition, I need to get some language training.  I know a few words in other languages, but I cannot read or write one.  The Peace Corps doesn’t require that you know a language. However, it would help me tremendously just to get the practice, so when they train me for my host country’s language, I will be ready (Thinking).  I am thinking either French or Chinese. I am thinking French because there have been many countries around the world that were colonized by them and they still speak a version of it.  Chinese is a consideration for the simple reason I have always been fascinated with their culture and their growing economy.  French and Chinese are two languages that could not be more different, yet have a lot of sway in this world.  This is what makes it such a hard decision.

There are many things I need to do to get ready for this challenge, from my education, to testing myself as a volunteer, and learning a language.  I know I can do this.   In the end, I want to know that I have made a difference in people’s lives and helped build a better world for tomorrow.

Work Cited

Kennedy, John F.  Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961, Washington D.C.         www.ushistory.org/documents/ask-not.htm 1/12/2015

“Peace Corps Volunteers” Peace Corps Updated Sep. 02, 2015 Web. 18/11/2015.

www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/learn/.

Thinking About Joining Peace Corps? Part 1, You Tube Rickenberger, Bryce        September      13, 2013 youtu.be/LVOELMxGqis Web. 1/12/2015

Political Discussion and Active Listening

I know I have focused a lot on the presidential primaries and caucuses over the past few months. There is also so other elections happening as well that can affect our country happening this year on the national and state level, we cannot forget about these. As November 8 approaches we all must be diligent in looking at these candidates. These people can be bought off by the big money interests that have been hindering our democratic process. These races include governorships, state and federal senate seats. If we elect those who can be bought in any office this is a bad thing for the states and country as a whole.

So remember the closer we get to November 8 let us all do our research on the people running for these seats and share the information on all sides not just the GOP or the Democrats. There are other parties out there as well Like the Green party, independents and Libertarians. We need to start including more parties in these processes in order for us to make any progress in this country. When we encourage healthy debate, this means setting aside our own Bias and actually listening to one another and using critical thinking skills, this country can become a true world leader with standards and ethics that others can follow once more.

REMEMBER WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW AND WHEN IT COMES TO DISCUSSING THESE WE MUST MAKE SURE TO UNDERSTAND THE DETAILS OF WHAT OTHERS ARE EXPRESSING. Here are a few steps to help us all understand one another.

  1. Know yourself, this means know your bias and set these aside when talking about these issues.
  2. Actively listen, make contact and show the other person respect by making sure you clarify how you understand what they are saying. This can be done by Paraphrasing (putting what the other person is say in your own words) this way if you are not understanding them they can can find a better way of expressing their view.
  3. While the other person is speaking DO NOT be trying to come up with a counter point in your head. When we do this we are not actually listening we are hearing. The difference is listening is an active process while, hearing is passive. I remember a quote from Jimi Hendrix and I am paraphrasing here Listen to the music do not just hear the music. When all we do is hear the music you miss the message.

WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECTION FOR THIS IS TERM IS COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE EVERYONE. ALL WE CAN DO IS MAKE OURSELVES BETTER AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF MAKING THIS A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL, NOT JUST FOR A FEW BUT FOR THE MAJORITY.

A take away from Hotel Rwanda

I just watched “Hotel Rwanda” For the first time. It was hard to watch, but it made me realize even more how lucky I am. “Hotel Rwanda” is about the genocide of the Tutsi’s in 1994. This has also helped to motivate myself to do as much as I can to help those less fortunate. To stand up for what is right not just for me and mine but for all humanity. I am tired of being afraid, of the hate that has run rampant through this world. I feel we as Humans need to join together to stop the fear, and hatred.
There will always be those who will feed on the weak minded, the poor, and the other. What we can do is minimize the control they have. How can we do this? You might ask.
1. Stop putting profits before people
2. Be kind to one another even when it is hard to do so.
3. Get to know people of different races, cultures and religions.
4. FInd our positive similarities and build on them.
5. Start to build an atmosphere of cooperation instead of winner take all.
We all share this planet together. None of us is better than the other, we all have strengths and weaknesses that can help us build a better world for the future us all.
To some empathy, kindness, and caring are seen as a weakness. They would even consider me a bleeding heart. I say fine let them I WOULD RATHER HAVE A BIG BLEEDING HEART THAN NO HEART AT ALL.
Why do I post what I post on my facebook? It is because I feel that we should have as much information as possible, to better understand the world we live in and hope come up with ideas to make this world a better place for all; not just a few.
Though the Rwandan conflict has has been over for 20 years these old rivalries can always pop up, as we can see here in the states. We see how Trump is rallying white white supremacist around the country. Even if Trump does not win the presidency the fire will still burn with in these people. This is why we must stand together for the RIGHTS OF ALL HUMANS. This way they can not feed the anger, fear, rage, and hatred that comes with little education, high poverty, and desperation.
WE MUST FINALLY REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON THIS PLANET, AND STAND TOGETHER AS ONE TO FINALLY ACHIEVE PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOR ALL in this time and well into the future.

Journal Entry 7

It is quite disturbing to me, as a student of history and culture, that our current administration denies scientific facts.  The last time something like this was going on Europe was in the dark ages.  Disease were rampant like the Black Plague and Leprosy.  This was at the time the Catholic Church’s doing.   While Europe was going through all this it was the Arabic Empire in the middle east that was advancing thing like medicine, navigation, philosophy, and alchemy (the beginnings of chemistry).  Now we have an even bigger crisis on our hands, Climate change, and we now have people in power who is stuck in the area of Dark Age Europe.  This time it is due to straight up greed.  For thousands of years the rich have ruled over us with money, knowledge, and might.  The people of the United States were starting to take the power away from the elites in the mid to late 20th century.  Then we allowed the greed back in to our political arena.

This time like no other time before we have a tool that can help defeat the power grabbing sycophants, the internet.  With this tool we are more connected than ever.  We can become better organized and educated if we the people are willing to work for it.  It is days like yesterday, when I was up at the March for Science that gave me hope for the human race.  10,000 people marching in the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota and millions though out the country and around the world to say “Stop with your ignorant policies.  We need real change, not just lip service.”  Making money is not the end all be all to life.  It is but a part of life.  It is the experiences that make life worth living, not how much stuff we have.  We have been trapped in this mind set that “money makes the world go round.”  It is not it is us the people who give meaning to our lives, not some pieces of paper that are back by nothing but trust in our leaders.

We the people have worked to hard to bring this society to where we are today technologically and socially to let it slip away.  This I feel is just the beginnings of a battle for our world and every living thing on it.  We must be willing to give up our conveniences and lives to bring about a better world for the future.  We have a chance to create a peaceful revolution on our end.  If we stay strong and are committed to peace those who are in power will have to listen.  it will be a long and hard battle this way.  But in the end we will be able to look proudly at ourselves for sticking to out convictions.

Remember we are not alone in this.

There are millions around the world waiting for us to take the lead

and show them it can be done.

I know this is Idealistic but with out Ideals we are just as bad as those we oppose.