Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Semester Woes

I feel like this semester is going to be extremely tough to keep up with. I'm already making reading and study schedules, trying to stay organized, but it already feels like a losing battle; and not because I haven't finished things. I'm actually doing pretty well at finishing things, on time, and not rushed. This is actually kind of weird for me. I usually finish things on time, but a lot of the time only one thing was done in a non-rushed manner. But this week, I finished two assignments well and on time and now I have all day to really work and edit an easy paper that's due tomorrow - of which, I already have a bunch of notes and things to correct as well, so aside from just making changes and revamping things and getting a style - I'm pretty much done with homework. I have no idea then why this semester is going to be so difficult, because I'm off to a great start, I feel better about myself and I'm really trying to do well and stay organized.

What the hell is wrong with me then, to feel so stressed?

I have a ton of readings and I am worried about keeping up and absorbing and understanding the material. Especially in my educational psychology class, because it's been so long since I took any sort of college-level psychology class. Of course, I also feel extremely smart in that class because I caught references to things I'd studied before and I'm in the class with quite a few undergraduates, who basically, make me look like a genius. In my own humble opinion.

Some of it is stress because of money. I'm still looking for an assistantship or better job and trying to get more hours is crazy as well - it's just not happening. But I always have the outlook that I will manage somehow.
Another one is very vain: but I've gained some weight in the last few years and for awhile I was doing really well losing it: but then winter hit and suddenly it's hard to exercise. I want to go outside and run, but it's dangerously cold or icy - or both. And I have a wonderful place to workout, but it's such an effort to actually get up and go there: I have to drive or take the bus. Plus, it's so boring not having someone to workout with, you know? But I know I'll probably do better here too, since I've gotten more set on scheduling and stuff.

I guess this post has been boring, but I just got tired of reading the same old things on all the blogs I read and figured others would be too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

So, what did everybody think about the inauguration? Did anybody else cry a bit? It's turning out to be a very exciting year. My classes are going to be more involved; my ten-year high school reunion is happening in September; my oldest best friend is getting married in October; my cousin is having twins; and a new president! Yep, all in all a very busy, exciting, happening year. I'm slightly amazed by it all, in fact. And very inspired. And slightly uneasy - because, frankly, I haven't really accomplished anything even close to exciting or amazing for awhile. So I guess this means that inspiration is a good thing to feel right now - hopefully, I can harness it.

Happy Inauguration Day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


So, I just finished re-watching all the episodes of Friends (minus Season 9 because I couldn't get it from the library in order). Naturally, the last episode made me cry - i think they did a great job ending the show, but I was with Rachel when she wished she'd be around to watch Monica and Chandler handle twins. Anyway, I wanted to find out if Courtney Cox was pregnant with Coco at the time the last episode aired (she was) and I stumbled across news, possible just gossip, about a Friends movie. So that begs the question - would we finally get to see Ross and Rachel get married? Cause that was the one wedding missing from the series (a real wedding, not that Vegas one which ended so badly) that I really wanted to see - the proposal Ross described and their wedding. But other than that, what would the premise be? That's what my post is about - I want to see comments about the Friends movie and what the storyline could be, including but not limited to the Ross and Rachel proposal/wedding.

So, here's a new post with an intriguing question. And please, I realize that not all of my readers were Friends fans, and maybe no one really CARES about this topic, but I thought it would be fun, so leave the comments about how sucky a movie would be out - just relax and have some fun with it and leave negative comments at the door - ok?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I know, these must be annoying to readers

Can a Humanist Believe in God?

Jan. 7, 2009

Editor's Note: This week HNN features what may be a controversial essay to some. I think that the writer casts fresh eyes on humanism, and presents yet another lens in which to view this philosophy. Readers, I'll be curious to hear what you think.

Many people seem to confuse humanism with atheism, and seem to think that no humanist could believe in God.

We have, however, seen many who believe in God act in ways that are sterling examples of humanism. Prior to the Civil War, evangelicals joined with freethinkers to oppose slavery in the United States.

In the 20th century, humanists, secularists, Jews and Christians, joined forces to support civil rights for all Americans. We now join with more liberal members of churches to reinforce the crumbling wall separating Church from State, and to enshrine in law full equality for our gay and lesbian citizens.

Lincoln was a perfect example of a humanist with faith. He repeatedly referred to God, but acted in a way he thought right based upon human need.

He hoped his actions were consistent with God's will, but he never assumed they were, and instead took at path that, to him, was consistent with the ideals of his nation and its founding principles.

At our own Ethical Society, we've had speakers who are quite devout, but come with a message of humanism. Chaplain Kristi Pappas spoke last year about our ethical obligation to the veterans who return with invisible injuries. A Methodist, she had dedicated her life to the welfare of others.

Carol Bullard Bates, founder of Bethany, was called by her faith and her interpretation of Jesus' words, to help the homeless and recovering addicts in Washington D.C. These two deeply religious people, and many others like them, commit themselves to helping those in need, bringing hope and care to their fellows. What better definition of humanism is there?

If humanists can believe in God, one might ask, than what is the difference between them and those of faith? The answer was given years ago, in the The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In one section, Huck is attempting to figure out what is right and what is wrong. His his limited experience, Southern society, laws, and the church are his guideposts to correct action.

But when faced with turning in his friend, the runaway slave, Jim, he finds their guidance repulsive. After ruminating, he decides not to turn in his friend, even after acknowledging that he will probably go to "hell" for his decision. Huck let his innate sense of right and wrong guide him to a humane, morally correct decision to "steal Jim out of slavery."

The fable Twain created helps us understand what a humanist is: A humanist is one who can say "no" to social standards and even to divine guidance when they see them as incompatible with justice and humanity. They rely upon reality to determine whether their actions are good or bad, and while possibly inspired by the metaphysical, seek the correct path by observing how their actions affect their fellow beings.

To argue that humanists cannot believe in God is to posit a creed, one as narrow as those found in a thousand sacred books. We should only look upon actions to see whether someone is committed to humanity. As the saying goes, "Deed, Not Creed."

Humanists are everywhere there is charity and empathy. We humanists should not question the purity of fellow humanists by whether or not they believe in a transcendental world.

When their fellow human beings call for assistance, we can see humanists throughout the religious spectrum: they are the ones who get off their knees and roll up their sleeves.

C. Martin Centner lives in Vienna, Va., and is a member of the Northern Virginia Ethical Society.

The Institute for Humanist Studies encourages readers of Humanist Network News to forward articles freely, including to list-serves. Please read our terms of use, however, before republishing anything contained in HNN. http://www.humaniststudies.org/terms.html

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy New School Year

Well, this semester is about to start. I'm taking quite a few interesting classes. I'm worried whether I have enough credits, though I'm pretty sure I do. I also have to start on an assignment for my young adult literature class - an autobiography of my reading/media history. Eek! I'm nervous about starting my storytelling class, but excited as well, because then I can practice when I visit all the kiddos in my life. Money is still tight, but I'm hoping to get a scholarship or an assistantship still. Might have to wait until next fall. For any who are interested, my heaviest reading load - and this is only books, not articles - is around 42-45. I have to read 42-45 books in my young adult literature class. I am quite excited to see if I can handle that, plus my other classes. Wish me luck in my new semester, keep hoping and praying and thinking about me getting an assistantship or become a millionaire (I promise to share if I do!) and well, that's pretty much it.

Next week = NEW PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Year

Okay, so it's a week late. I've had a crazy three weeks and I still feel rather jarred about by them. My Christmas was wonderful, although I've noticed as the years go by that the actual Christmas part of it has taken a backseat to the enjoying being with family part of it. Nick ended up being extremely busy with his family over break this year - busier than normal, for very good reasons - and so I spent tons of time with my family in Kansas. Certainly tons of time with Rick and Charlene's family. I was glad to see Jackie for a few days and hang out a bit with her, and of course, I was happy to see my dad and stepmom. But by and large, my vacation took place with Rick and Charlene and those kids. Colin turned 13 so we celebrated (somewhat reluctantly, teenagers - eek!), I got to watch Taylor play basketball, Dalton and I had a blast playing games on the computer and Playstation, and later the Wii (the kid kicks by butt at bowling, and he's 5!) and I got to bond quite a bit with Tristan, who's not yet 2. It was fun just being around and relaxing with the family. The break has been busy, so I'm not going to do a highlights list - there's just too many things that happened. But suffice to say, it was a pretty good break.
Nick left today - he was able to spend a week here, so we had our New Year's celebration together, and then basically hung out and tried not to spend too much money. I already miss him. Feels like it will be forever until our next meeting (which sounds rather old-fashioned, doesn't it?)
I have some simple, possibly successful resolutions in place. I'm getting ready for school to start in about two weeks. Nervous this semester, as I start education courses. But happy to keep going forward and get stuff done.