Monthly Archives: September 2008

Lately I’ve been posting items that don’t necessarily relate to me personally. I’ve been exposing my thoughts, but not me. I don’t mean that doing so is necessarily bad, but it will become bland very quickly if I don’t break the trend. Without further adieu, let me sit at the front of the bus. ((This is a reference to the extraordinary Rosa Parks who broke the trend when she could have continued to break herself.))

Actually, one adieu: I tend to think that these “personal” posts are boring: They’re all about me, and what has happened to me. If you don’t know me, or vaguely know me, then these posts are a drag — like my Nature of Mathematics class. I would say I wasted three credit hours during my first college semester, but I don’t think you should ever think that you have wasted your life. You know, I think I’m developing a fatalist view of life.

I tend to think things happen for a reason. When it comes to love, I lobby for the idea that there is only one person in the world for you: That’s 1 out of 6 billion people. I think it’s fate when people fall into a legitimate love. I suppose you can find a genuine love with more than one person, though. If you think of love as having prerequisites for each “type” of person, then certainly someone could find that “type” of person that would suit the “type” of love they harmonize with.

I tend to think that you can’t really screw up in life unless you simply do not try. As long as you keep rowing the boat, you will get somewhere. It may not be where you want to be, but you will always still have the option to change course. ((If you’re interested, at this point I began to think about how effective my analogy/metaphor is. Is life really open like a body of water? Or is it more like a road where it is more direct — one way, or a two way street? Hmm.)) Therefore it is my conviction that what happens in life happens for a reason; it’s fate. It happened to you and now you take some of the authorship of your life by reacting and managing the situation.

This really didn’t become a “personal” post. I can’t break the trend. How about this?: I might go see a rap battle at the beginning of October. It should be interesting, but I haven’t still decided whether I will go. Rap can be so influential and charismatic; it’s almost heartbreaking to see how much of it is dominated by hate, and lust for the physical and material. There is beautiful rap out there.

Before midnight I went down to visit Trevor’s room. Trevor is my best friend from middle school. Gradually we’ve grown apart, but we’ve managed to stay in touch and we’ve ended up at the same university. ((In fact, I hated him one year. It was terrible.)) It was real nice seeing him again, and just spending one-on-one time. He’s a brilliant man and a hard worker. He deserves whatever he is working for, and I think that is a career in medicine: He can do it. He inspires me.

Big Brothers Big Sisters starts this week! This is too exciting. I wonder what my Little is like. I’m so excited to still be working with kids. I’m glad I discovered that I liked working with them. It’s not the same as having my own kids, but I think one day I would love to have some. Like six. Two boys and four girls. And I have some of the names picked out.

I bought Gladiator and Hotel Rwanda when I took RJ and Z back home with me. It was a real privilege to show them around my turf. Both of those movies are good. In fact, I watched a good amount of Gladiator this past evening with some friends. I also made taco dip, and it was a decent for my first attempt; I had to call Rachel first to hammer out the details because her mom makes taco dip very well.

Z bought a penguin for Samantha this past afternoon for her birthday. It was a great find — by me, of course. I’ve eyes for spotting out penguins. I almost wish I hadn’t found the penguin because I really want it. Man. Why do I like penguins? How odd. I guess they are cute. I mean, look at them: They waddle.

The Giants are on bye this week. I’m 2-1 in fantasy football, and I think I will be 3-1 by Tuesday. I’m not sure if my league is that active though. The leader in our league is still starting Jeremy Shockey. ((Shockey is out for a couple of weeks with another inhibiting injury.))

That’s all. Love to you.

Life really is a blur — at least it is for me. When I reflect and remember, I find myself lumping all of my memories into one category: The past. I turned 16 — in the past. I barely earned my driver’s license — in the past. I lived with my dad — in the past. Everything is just lumped together.

I’m really big on the whole realization of time. One of my friends at Marquette, Zhen (we call him Z), said something really profound at our program’s retreat last weekend. He suggested that most of us will live to about 100 years old. Given that, most freshmen in college have already lived 18% of their lives. Isn’t that a shocking way of looking at life? I’m sure many people say this, and I do too: There is not enough time.

Time is important. Have we established that? Especially at the university level of education, time becomes crucial. It is vital. If you can manage time, you can succeed in college. It’s that simple. But why is it so hard? Why is human nature inclined to procrastinate? ((Perhaps it isn’t human nature, but most of the people I know, including myself, tend to procrastinate.))

I’m not really sure. I don’t really have any thoughts on that. If time is so precious, it’s absurd to waste it. But then, if love is so precious, it’s absurd to toss it around. Perhaps there’s no real understanding as to why we waste time; perhaps the real substance of the issue is that we understand that it’s unproductive. Do we leave it at that? By no means! We remedy.

Plan your hours accordingly. After my math class ended at 3:00 yesterday, I went to the Library Reserves and worked through the thermochemistry practice problems in an hour. I felt so good. I was so productive. I was on a jet plane, and didn’t know when I was going to be back again. I need to start working my hours out like that.

Similarly related, I had Bible study today. We talked about quiet times with God, and how to include those quiet times in our schedule. Originally, I had always done quiet times at night; sometimes, if I was really ambitious, I would have that quiet time in the morning. But since I’ve started college, my nights have been filled with assignments, and I’ve been sheepishly tired. The trend has been skipping the devotional, skipping the Bible, and just laying in my bed and praying myself to sleep. That is unhealthy.

At Bible study, we had a chance to formulate plans for our quiet time in college. I am so excited to start using my new plan. After my first class everyday, and after I eat breakfast/brunch, I will have quiet time in my dorm. It’s going to be awesome. I’m utilizing my hours.

Here’s an entirely new subject: error. In my English class there is a traditional clock with a second-hand. I dozed off and started to count seconds. That’s when I questioned humanity’s ability to count a perfect second — I mean perfect. Perfect with an infinite amount of significant figures, and each decimal place until infinity would be 0: 1.00000 and so forth. Why aren’t we able to do that? Why isn’t perfection attainable?

Perfection is a huge part of my personal philosophy. For one of my classes, the author of the book I’m assigned to read, Let Your Life Speak, discoursed a bit on perfection. It’s an interesting view point. I’ll blog later about my perfectionist philosophy; I have a feeling it will be very in-depth.

When I started to take my faith seriously, one of the hugest aspects that I wanted to devote myself to was service, especially to the underprivileged, outcasts, and lonely. What draws me to that demographic is the hurt they represent. Being different often means you are alone, and it kills you slowly when you are alone.

In discourse concerning diversity and differences, it’s always been my perspective to look over social/economic class, racial stereotypes, and such; I viewed people as people, and to me that meant that humanity was unified. To me there was no discerning difference between the homeless and the homed or the suspended worker and the Man. Galatians 3:28 was my view on humanity: There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

That verse is beautiful, but how could I be so oblivious to so many differences? I still believe we are all one regardless of whether it is in Christ, but to blatantly use that as my world view is ignorant. It is ignorant of reality and the context of the verse. ((I think the verse is just getting the idea across that in the diverse body of Christianity, whether we are believers in Asia or whether we are Catholic, we are still one.))

The reality aspect is a well-deserved smack in the. I hyped up and glorified my ideal to live for the disregarded in high school. Entering college, and consequently being exposed to the inner city of Milwaukee, I don’t know if anyone could tell that the esteem I highly regarded a couple of years ago is still alive in me. I feel like a traitor. I feel like I don’t do anything for the people I wanted to be with. I walk by homeless people, lonely people, and unkempt people when I should walk with them.

Maybe this is merely a transition. I am, after all, in the real world. Reality has built a wall on the express way, but it’s only made of Styrofoam. ((Did you know you have to capitalize Styrofoam? That’s what my online dictionary/spell checker says.)) It’s my undying hope that this is just a transition. It’s not easy to deal with the outcasts; you want to love, but you want to love intelligently and justifiably because that is what love is; perfect love drives out fear.

Let’s hope this situation is just like what the Indianapolis Colts are experiencing: It is a struggle, but I know my capacity. ((In week 2 of the 2009 football season, Peyton Manning rallied his Colts to a magnificent win against Minnesota. Everything was being ripped apart, but you can never question Peyton’s, and generally humanity’s, determination and will.)) Hardships are merely hurdles, and I absolutely enjoy hurdling.

At 1:10 AM I should focus magnificently on my biology texts, but I can’t. I’m alone, sitting in front of a dull wall, and I feel a gaseous buildup in my intestines.

It’s important to have support because we are human and relational. I enjoy studying alone, and if I am with the right person, I love to study with others (but probably no more than three others). It’s also nice to study with people who don’t necessarily grasp the content very well; for if you can explain what you are learning, then you have mastered the material.

I’m in a pickly predicament though. I’m burrowing through biology, and it is definitely my weakest link. There is a voluminous tray of information, and it’s hard to put everything together. These topics all connect somehow, but I can’t see it. I jump from speciation to phylogeny, and then can see no difference in cladistics. It’s terrible because I’m only seeing it from my perspective. I need another set of eyes.

That’s why I yearn for a friend that is academically motivated in the same sense that I am. I wish I had a friend that studied ferociously because he or she knew that perfection is attainable. Striving for perfection will propel us to be perfect. And if we strive to be perfect, then we will become perfect because perfection is attained in the process.

Edith Piaf sang, “je vois la vie en rose,” which means, “I see the world through rose colored glasses” or “rosy hues” — to see blissfully. Sometimes it’s nice to see life that way. But allow me to sing back, Edith: I need another pair of eye glasses — not rose colored this time, just a different prescription.

Excuse my tangent, but I’d love a pair of Rec Specs. How incredibly dorky. I believe, though, I would look quite smashing.

I love chemistry. I had three years of it in high school in anticipation of its challenges. ((1 year general chem, 1 year organic, 1 year AP.)) I think I like it so much because of it’s mathematical nature. I love math too, so it makes sense that I would love chemistry. I also love to take standardized tests. The ACT was hot stuff, and I’m salivating the udders of my salivary glands for the MCAT; they are oozing.

It’s important to know that some of the things we love we aren’t great at. I’m not phenomenal at either math, chemistry, nor standardized tests, but I love them. And if you love something, then you possess enough coal to churn your engine; you’ll have enough drive to succeed.

Last Friday was my first college exam. The content assessed was relatively easy ((Basic concepts, mole concept, and stoichiometry.)), and I didn’t stress over preparing. Then came Thursday night, and with each passing hour my anxiety grew exponentially. I began to second-guess my meager preparation: I don’t know the formulas. I don’t know what the atomic symbol Tl represents. I don’t know more than I should know.

Despite my worries, the exam was thrilling. I worked every problem meticulously because I knew I was so capable of receiving a very near to perfect mark. I was proud of my work, and handed in my exam confidently.

On Sunday I checked my grades, and it read that I scored an 84 on my exam. To borrow from Marvin the Martian, “how very disappointing”. ((I’m not sure if Marvin ever said that, but I can imagine him saying that.)) For real, though! I thought I rocked that exam.

I’ll be attending office hours this week. Firstly, because I’m hoping to see a copy of the exam. Secondly, because I love my chemistry professor. He’s an amiable old fellow, and I hope he doesn’t retire (or pass away) within three years; I want him to write me a LOR.

Time to hike up the pants, not shave for weeks, and sleep on and with my books and lecture notes. An 84 is nowhere near what I know I can achieve, nor is it anywhere near what I want.

I napped from 10:30 to 11:00 exactly today. My biology lecture starts at 11:00. For a couple of minutes I sat in my room thinking about what to do. I asked my roommate if he would still go to class, and he said he would. I decided I would too.

Halfway to lecture, I started to second-think myself. I feel very bad about being late to formal things. It’s not fair to the people who get to the venue early and on time. It’s also intimidating and embarassing to walk into a filled lecture hall late.

So I rerouted and headed toward the library and then to the new Qdoba. While I was walking I started to think about the repurcussions of missing a lecture. I thought about how I am old enough to decide whether I should go to class. ((It is absurd to blatantly skip a class, I think. I’m paying balls to the walls for tuition, and I want to exploit what I am offered.)) I thought about how I am human and make mistakes, but then I thought about people who never miss lecture and how it really isn’t that hard to show up for lecture. I thought about how this could be signifying a change in my attitude and work ethic, but then I thought about how I’ve recovered and learned from other mistakes.

That’s the approach I’m taking with missing this lecture. It’s my new motivation and my new fire. I want to make up for that lecture so bad. Hopefully this will be the first of my impetuses. Success, afterall, is an active entity.

As far as I can remember (if you can remember in terms of “how far”), I have always had trouble falling asleep at night. Lately, as in the past two years lately, I’ve remedied my insomnia by laying in bed and thinking through scenarios that I might be put in. Most of the time I think about what I would say if someone asked me why I am a Christian, or I play out the medical school admissions process and gather my thoughts on how I would answer some staple interview questions.

Last night I was thinking about watching Gilmore Girls. It was around 12, and I couldn’t fall asleep. So I thought I should just watch Gilmore Gilmores. In particular, I wanted to watch the episode where Lorelai, Rory, and Dean are watching an old sitcom. Lorelai and Rory, however, turned down the volume and created their own suggestive mouth-overs.

I thought about trying that, but then I thought that a lot of people would probably try that after seeing that part of that episode. So I planned that I would skip to the next episode to try that. But then I thought people would skip to the next episode too. And so I would have to skip to the second episode after, but then people would probably do that too. I, the “skeptic”, would continue skipping to further episodes in the hope that I would be the only one to try the mouth-overs on my own episode. Do you see where this is going?

It’s ridiculous because who would ever be that skeptical? Furthermore, why even bother?

One last thought on this. One of the themes I’m seeing in this is that individualism is quasi realistic. A skeptic is someone who doesn’t conform, and thus is individual of the masses. Yet there will inevitably be others who no longer conform, and so they will be individual of the masses as well. Then these individuals will form another mass, and they would lose individualism. It’s another paradox.

I’m probably nitpicking with the definition of individual or individualism, but I think it’s somewhat intriguing. Are we all really that different? Yeah, I would argue that we are, but there appears to be some common substance between all people.

Today I went to Metrobrook. Metrobrook is a sister church of Elmbrook church and is located in central Milwaukee. Before Marquette, I attended Elmbrook regularly; I am now looking for a church in the Milwaukee area.

Metrobrook is very different from Elmbrook. One of the most noticeable differences is the size of the congregation. When I visited Metrobrook there were about 40-50 persons in the congregation. A smaller congregation makes for some very intimate relationships.

It’s even more intimate if you make yourself vulnerable, and that’s what people did this past Sunday at Metrobrook; they had a “Family Time” where people shared testimonies, struggles, and overcomings.

It was literally an outpour of emotion. I used to think that people cried (literallly cry, like tears) for attention, but I scrapped that idea after that service. It was almost overwhelming to hear all the hurt.

After a few speakers and minutes, I collected my thoughts. Church, for me, changed. In my youth, church was a routine. My heart was in it, but I rarely deviated from the norm. Metrobrook added a new characterisitc. Church became a place for the sick.

I’m serious. Think about it. Society and culture, for me at least, has painted church as an uplifting place; it’s where people go to feel better and wash the ink away. Church is a fellowship. It is where broken hearts bleed out the rest of their hurt. It is where encouragement is materialized. It should technically be a very sick place. ((But, of course, it is a place where God is present. So it wouldn’t be totally sick.))

Matthew 9:12: On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

I thought this post would have been better, but I feel it’s lacking. Perhaps I could develop it more, but I’m far too lazy. How about a short little story? K.

At about 8:30, I woke up. I showered, and went downstairs to eat breakfast. Then I walked out to the bus stop to wait for the bus. It never came, but an amiable old lady did. We walked together for awhile. She was on her way to church too, though a different one.

I never received her name. I don’t even want to make up a name for her. She talked about a lot of things, and I suppose older folk tend to do that. We bounced from subject to subject, and she imparted some street wisdom about using the bus and where to walk. Never would I have expected a senior caucasian woman to share some street smarts with me. That’s ghetto.