Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dangit...

Long time no blog...

I was going to go hunting for crawdads in the creek on campus, but since it's full of sewage, I suppose I'll have to pass. Just like I'm passing on this fall's soccer season. Yeah, that's right. It's pity-part time for Joel. I won't be playing soccer this season due to a severe strain in my left ankle. It happened during our teams traditional alumni game, where we play against (for the most part recent) graduated soccer players from GF. It was a freak injury...

Anyway, lots of things are going well. I'm getting to know the people in the AT (Athletic Training) room pretty well. I'll be in there almost every day for the next three weeks. Yay! My classes are going fairly well. Stupid mistakes on a Calc test hurt my grade, but I learned from them. I got a B on my first Philosophy paper, which I'm told is pretty good. I'm making buddies left and right. So many faces, so many names to remember! I'm pretty bad at remembering names, which hurts in the girl department. That's one thing I need to improve: my memory. I'm still staying in good shape, and am getting buffer each day thanks to the weight room at Fox.

Hmmm...can't think of much else to say, so I'll post a cool background per my tradition.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Theology

Well, it appears that I have made myself the biggest liar in all of Kenna Hall. On my door whiteboard it is written that "Daniel 'D.Lo' Lower is doing theology for fun." Since writing that on the whiteboard on the front of my dorm-room door I have done no theology, or next to none. The closest I have gotten was grabbing Orthodoxy from my room and bringing it, along with my laptop, to the library. The second closest I have gotten was briefly helping a friend with the structure of his paper regarding Thich Nhat Hahn and the Dalai Lama on peace and reconciliation. (Those of you who've followed this blog for awhile might note that this is the exact same paper I had to write this summer. It's the same teacher, too.)

So now I'm sitting with Raphael who has to write the same paper that I wrote this summer. He's distracting himeslf with happier things--or things which are happier to him, at any rate--by helping Mike (there are two Mikes; one is leaving as I type this, the other is talking with Raphael about Calculus homework.) I on the other hand still have to do my Calculus homework later. And what a joy it will be doing two hours of Calculus. What a joy.

Heh. Just kidding.

I read a play yesterday for my English class. It's by this guy named Ibsen, and it's called The Doll House. And it ends in quite a depressing fashion, but as with many plays there's a bit of drama. Well, a lot. Drama tends to involve itself. In this one there's some commentary on marriage, some stuff that could be taken as vaguely involving commentary on poverty, and some stuff that, at least from the parts of the author's notes that were reprinted in my textbook, was meant to be a commentary on morality in general, and the differences between moralities in men and women.

So my friend's doing a thing on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn. In retrospect I think I might have been able to be a tad more intellectually honest than I was about how I feel regarding the views of Nhat Hahn and the Dalai Lama. I know I was plenty honest here, but on the paper I think I stretched my appreciation a bit. A bit means...well, more than I should have, probably.

So here I am. They're talking about how to find a formula for the nth derivative of the function f(x) = sqrt(x). I'm listening to Mistake Theory, currently. Very well-mixed stuff. Mistake Theory, as depressing as some of their lyrics are, can be quite calming and relaxing at times. I need to get some of my MP3s from their old MP3.com site the first time I go home, or something. I haven't heard the song "Introspection" in forever, and that's one of those songs that should be heard. Not one of their relaxing ones. Anyway, I think Mike's about ready to go to lunch. Raphael is going to lunch as well. So I guess I'm going with them, or something?

And still I haven't touched Orthodoxy. I think I did more theology earlier today.

Okay, I guess Mike's going to lunch, but Raph isn't just yet. So I'll hang around here, still having someone to hang around with. I actually did read almost a chapter of last night, way too late at night. I stopped because I was falling asleep on the floor of the Kenna Hall lounge. I didn't even read it in order. I started about four-five pages in and was working my way back from the start, after having finished. But I never completed the circle. Just as well, in the previous chapter there was something about how circles were true madness.

I've got the stinkin' book right here. Why not just find the quotation? Here it is; well, rather, it's two quotations with one of those ellipses in-between: "For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed forever in its size...[t]he circle returns upon itself and is bound...the circle of the moon is as clear and unmistakable...as the circle of Euclid on a blackboard. For the moon is utterly reasonable; and the moon is the mother of lunatics and has given to them all her name." Okay, so it's more like four, strung together. The connection between circles and madness is quite intriguing. Although I have heard that the definition of insanity is to do something over and over again, the same way, and expect a different result. In a sense, then, the definition of insanity is truly to move in a circle.

I don't think I'm quite doing theology here, but I am reflecting upon a book of it; rather upon a section of a book of it. One of the better sections, however. For the verbal and visual pleasure of readers, what's playing now is a remix of a song called Veteran by a band called the Kidney Thieves. Pleasant, isn't it?

Okay, now the song's about to end...

Okay. So now what's playing is a song which (although there are no vocals in this mix) is nearly half-complete vocally and which I am in a debate about...Regarding whether I should put it on as a second song on Mike's--the other Mike, the first one to leave--on Mike's radio show on Friday. Which by the way is on during the homecoming game, making it increasingly unlikely that anybody will actually hear it. In some ways that makes me feel more useless and in others it makes me feel more empowered--like massively fewer listeners means I don't need to worry so much what people will think of me as an artist. Not that I know anybody besides myself who has listened to both hours so far. It would be disturbingly comical to find that by going on the show I had taken away its entire audience.

Was this post really about theology? No. More about trip-hop and sitting in the library. More trip-hop on now. A demo the Megazeuxer Esdemo sent awhile back that might never get vocals on it, or might sometime. But if it does it will be awesome. The beat rocks beyond rockage, and defies being classified as "techno." Sitting in the library? Not so fun to do by yourself, but more fun if someone next to you is writing a paper, and you have blogging you can do.

I'm also going to be walking to Fred Meyer's today with the person I was going to do yoga with forever ago. Sometime after dark preferably, because it's cooler then. I'll probably end up picking up a few things, not the least of which will be hot pockets. Okay, enough music in Winamp. Time for some iTunes.

Another track Esdemo sent me from back when the band had more members and was called Crystal Summer. "Dreaming in Red"--I could probably send it if someone wanted me to.

Also, I know now when Boondock Saints is happening--this Friday. I need to find the guy who's going to loan it, and that's pretty much all I have to do. Well, that and figure out what sort of time I have. Showing time, that is. I should have plenty of time on Friday. And the fact that Boondock Saints is happening on Friday is a perfect sigue into some unanswered questions and comments.

First, on stuff people said about the post two posts back:

L-Po said: Aren't you a study in contrasts? Remember the yin-yang shoe years? What is the rating on "Boondock Saints"? And, TURN YOUR EARPHONES DOWN!!!!!

Boondock Saints is rated R as far as I can tell, and apparently has drawn some comparisons to Pulp Fiction. Yes, I remember the yin-yang shoe years. Okay, I'll turn them down.

llgp said: Here's one vote for posting the theology piece, one vote for starting your laundry at 10 p.m. next time, and one vote expressing support and appreciation for the fact that you're doing your laundry at all!

Theology peice posted. Hopefully I'll get my laundry done on a weekday next time. That should help my ability to start at a sane time.

nana said: i was anonymous because i forgot to put my name in. duh. talk about a study in contrasts. smart enough to type, dumb enough to not understand techonology.i also vote for the theology piece although i may not understand it. i just like what you write.you won't run nearly as much risk of ending up with pink underwear if you do as your dad says and do your laundry at 10 rather than 1.love you big guy,let's see if i can now get the technology right. ... p.s. i didn't mean to sound as though i was making judgments on doug's choice of religion. i believe in freedom to choose. i really do. i think it is great that you have a friend who in at least one area of your life is diametrically opposed. think of all the absolutely fabulous, wonderful, stupendous, gigantic, superlative, show of shows kind of discussions you can have. it is very cool.my best to doug. i bless your friendship.

The theology peice should be somewhat understandable at least for any given reader, and I wasn't worried about having my choice of friends judged based upon their choice of philosophy.

Now on to what was said regarding the next post, the actual posting of the essay:

L-Po said: So, why do you think you're staying in college when it's such a scary, stressful place? Are there any perks ... like the Commons always has a dinner plan?

I'm staying in college because if I don't, I'll drive -you- insane instead. Seriously, there are plenty of perks. The community is great and I am making new friends,

nana said: i think you have successfully defined a paradox. Despite the 10 reasons why you shouldn't, you give every evidence of having a blast in college and being in your natural element.As far as the essay, I am greatly impressed and could not agree with you more that "exclusivism may be true, but it may never be pleasant." and "We accept the doctrine of Christ as the way because it is written in the Scriptures, aid by Christ and by others." and "Hell exists, but delighting in the fact perverts the doctrine."Very well put. I am proud to know you.

Thanks very much.

Having answered all of that, I'm going to quit blogging. Even if I don't go to lunch right away, I'll be free to now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Porcupines and Teddy Bears

It's become a recent phenomenon in my life. When I visit someplace like my home church or my old high school that I still have connections with but that I haven't been in awhile, and talk to people, they often ask me how things are going.

I have discovered that my favorite response to this is the phrase "I'm in college." It says so much in so few words. It says:

1) I am in college. This seems self-explanatory. But from that statement follows so much more, such as:
2) I am taking harder classes.
3) I am scared out of my mind academically and socially.
4) I am adjusting to the fact that my dorm room is becoming more and more my "home."
5) I am eating commons food.
6) I am scared out of my mind, period.
7) My relationship with God is growing, albeit under stress.
8) Speaking of stress, I have much of it.
9) I am learning things.
10) I am very tired. Always. And if I'm not tired, I'll do something like doing laundry at 1:00 AM, to make myself tired.
11) There's more to add to the list, but that's a brief summary of the implications.

So you see that the statement "I'm in college" has many implications beyond simply what it says.

But I was also going to post an essay today. And so I will. Constructive criticism is welcome. I'm not sure how loosely I'm using the word "essay" here. But don't look for that 5-paragraph structure with three-pronged thesis statements. What's funny: you're forced to follow it in an almost totalitarian fashion during high school and then told, once in college, that nobody gives a crap about it. At least, your english and philosophy professors say nobody gives a crap. Oh, and they say you can use I now.

Pluralist in this essay refers to someone who believes that there is more than one path leading to salvation (i.e. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism all lead to Salvation.) Exclusivist in this essay refers to someone who believes that there is one path of salvation (i.e. only by Christ are we saved.) I am an exclusivist. This essay is an attempt to explain how I often feel talking with pluralists, and the misconception I see in their perception of my belief system. One day I may attempt an essay dealing with the feelings of the pluralist in the dialogue. It certainly could be helpful, if I could pull it off.

"Porcupines and Teddy Bears"

When common pluralists speak of exclusivism, they often speak wrongly of it. In their view exclusivism is a theological teddy-bear which the orthodox hug at night. They see us as being somehow comforted by the notion that some persons will be saved and others will not. Of course I exaggerate. I am not seriously suggesting that pluralists always view exclusivism as a comforting prejudice. But many pluralists do, and the others have a habit of giving that impression.

The myth about exclusivism is that it is a preferred belief, taken on because one wants to believe it. But the pluralist’s own words hold the truth. A very dear and very pluralist friend of mine once remarked, when discussing the subject, that she didn’t “really like the idea of hell.” We were too young at that time to appreciate such ideas as heaven and hell. Even so, her words betray the truth: Exclusivism is a belief accepted not because of, but in spite of, its appeal. It follows that persons who reject exclusivism (unless they know a perverse exclusivist very well) are likely to reject it on the basis of its unpleasantness, not its supposed basis in sectarianism or in prejudice.[1]

It may have occurred to the reader that perhaps all exclusivists are perverse and prefer their doctrine. I offer myself as a counterexample. I don’t really like the idea of hell, either. But I take it as an article of orthodox faith, with honesty I find exclusivism the most difficult component of orthodoxy. Some days I pray to God that when I die I might discover that pluralism is the true theology, that I have been wrong all of this time about Christ being the only way to heaven. I cannot expect these prayers to change God’s mind. At least in orthodox Christianity hell is considered to be very much real. But should I die and discover that hell is a human invention, I will not be any less joyful for the fact.

The difficulty I have with most pluralists is not simply what they believe, but that often when they speak about said beliefs I am made to feel as if I am, because I am not a pluralist, prejudiced or sectarian. As if my belief system were an easy one to hold. Exclusivism is not a teddy-bear which the orthodox hug at night. Accepting exclusivism is like hugging a porcupine. It can be done, but at each turn there is a spike of doubt, sadness, or pain, which causes the believer (spiritually speaking) to bleed. There is no teddy-bear. Those of us orthodox who are sensible know that exclusivism may be true, but it must never be pleasant. Hell exists, but delighting in the fact perverts the doctrine. We accept the doctrine of Christ as the way because it is written in the Scripture, said by Christ and by others. The very last thing on the sensible exclusivist’s mind is that exclusivism should be a vehicle for mere prejudice.

[1]
A scant few might honestly say that they reject it on the basis of reason, but a scant few is a scant few. Perhaps in another writing I shall deal with that scant few; here I speak of the common mass of pluralists who, frankly, don’t do much reasoning on theological matters.

----------

That's the end of the essay. Enjoy.

Monday, September 26, 2005

More on Contrasts

I guess to start off I could address some comments from the last post...I should probably note that I did laundry at 1:00 AM last night, and so I'm a bit tired. Because starting laundry at 1:00 AM means you get to bed at the earliest at 3:00 AM.

kokosmasher said: atheism seems to be a theme...geez

Anonymous said: how very interesting. i agree with kokosmasher in the theme aspect, but i don't say geez. however, aren't most people a study in contrasts, or paradoxes if you will? Just wondering.

Aye, it does seem to be a theme. Really those three could have been, to a degree, combined. However when making the list we were stretching it as much as possible, and that one stretched to three.

And whoever anonymous is doesn't need to be afraid of letting the bloggers and readers know who they are. I doubt kokosmasher would be offended by your agreement with him. If I were offended by what he said or by your agreement, well--I posted the list on the blog. If I'm offended by the response, that's really much more my problem than yours.

Now I would urge both kokosmasher and the anonymous reader to ask themselves what the concern is behind their comments, and let me know if it is not adressed here. I will venture to guess that the concern is that I am somehow glorifying athiesm. I am not. It would be highly inconsistent and truly impossible for me as a Christian to glorify belief systems which oppose Christianity, especially where that opposition involves theology--in this case, the existence of God.

Another possible concern has been brought to my mind, which is that possibly the impression you're getting is that the major thing about Doug is his athiesm...honestly, that just happens to have been part of a series of inside jokes which led to the making of the list. Of course he's much more of a person than just that.

Anyway. On to the lighter comment:

however, aren't most people a study in contrasts, or paradoxes if you will?

That's an interesting thought. I'm really unsure which way to go on this. As I said the list posted in the last post was the result of much joking around between me, him and Colin. Some of those are stretches. But of course that doesn't answer the question. The truth is I really don't know. Although I'd venture to guess that most people have some amount of seeming inconsistency in their lives. Most people probably could stretch their inconsistencies to a top-nine, if they tried.

I really don't have much more to say on the comments.

I will note one last thing. This is pertaining to campus life. My neighbors like to play their "emo" really loud. Loud enough that I can still hear it faintly when I've got Headslider in my headphones turned up way too loud. (They're on music.download.com, possibly in the sidebar.)

Also, there's an essay on theological things that I wrote the other night at about 2:30 AM. With a bit of revision I'll probably post it. Unless there's some huge objection, which I doubt. If you want to see it, of course, let me know of that, too.

One real last thing. Anyone seen this movie "Boondock Saints"? I'll probably be seeing it sometime in the next few days. Yes, I know about the content and rating. What I'm asking about is merely someone's opinion of the quality of the movie. My understanding is it's one of those "cult" movies, which means I'll likely love it or hate it. Whenever I see it I'll make sure to say something about it.

Okay, there is one real real real last thing, which is that if kokosmasher is reading this (love ya man) I'd love to see a new post from you!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Paradoxes and Oxymorons

Don't be offended if any of these sound ridiculous or prejudiced to you. They are one part inside joke and one part just plain funny. Today Doug and I (mostly Doug) thought up paradoxes or seeming inconsistencies that he has as a person. These are very much not criticisms. These are just things Doug and I found funny about his life. So here is the top 10 list of paradoxes, in no particular order.

1. A moral athiest.
2. A man who loves to eat food and yet is very skinny.
3. Not interested in a relationship, and yet is hanging around girls all the time. (In case you were wondering he is completely heterosexual.)
4. Takes French courses and dislikes the French.
5. A conservative athiest.
6. Enjoys to a large degree both nature and technology.
7. Deals better with the heat in terms of how his body works, but likes the cold better--because it's easier for him to warm himself than cool himself in other terms.
8. An introvert who goes shirtless at soccer games.
9. An athiest who likes hanging out with conservative Christians regularly.

Hmm, I guess we only had nine.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday is the Best Day

Of the week? Possibly. For recording songs, at least for me, Fridays seem to be the day. I don't recall which Friday, but it was on one fateful Friday that I recorded possibly my best thing ever, The Monday Song. Today I find myself recording for another song, All My Darkness, which will probably be on KDUP's show next week, assuming it's not too dark. Pretty much anyone reading this blog has heard The Monday Song, so you know there's bound to be a contrast between The Monday Song and something entitled "All My Darkness."

"All My Darkness" deals with trying to be a consistent, complete, Christian, and the feelings one has when one is failing at that task. I feel it'd be a good thing to have a serious track on KDUP, as I don't want to come across as just being a guy who wrote a silly song about Mondays. I might have to do something next week that's somewhere in-between, and use that for KDUP instead.

Speaking of KDUP, I just took a break from blogging for a few minutes, and now I've got it going via Winamp (which coincidentally is Mike Diesel's favorite thing to plug--at least, on his last show it was.) The first song he's played is the one with the two guys playing and singing "I WOULD WALK 500 MILES AND UH I WOULD WALK 500 MORE" and etc. The next one is Greenday's "Holiday" which is actually kind of a fun song.

I called Colin and Doug about coming over to listen, but I actually got no answer on either line. Dunno what they're doing.

Now he's playing The Killers' "Somebody Told Me." You know on which song to use for KDUP it could very well be fine. Who can complain about a heartfelt, honest and consequently dark song about a not-so-great spiritual circumstance? Especially with Killers and Greenday on there. Not to suggest those bands are incredibly dirty, but rather to suggest that their music's plenty dark. Well "Somebody Told Me" isn't, but "Holiday" is. And it's political. Is religious theming worse than political theming? Should it be?

I don't feel like blogging much longer so I'll end it with this: Should either political or religious theming be censored on radio? One more than the other? And why?

Post comments or whatnot.

Good is a Pretty Lousy Adjective

I went to NOW (Not Only Worship) for the first time today. Not a bad thing at all. I will probably be going again next week. It was more...my thing, than I expected. Sang some good songs. Good songs I actually knew. That was good. And good is a pretty lousy adjective.

I'm working on a song. A worship song, sort of. Bug me for the file; I don't feel like putting a demo .ogg up anywhere just yet. I'm probably going to be on Mike D.'s KDUP radio show next week as the student talent, and that could very well become my second song (aside from the Monday Song; go
here for that) that gets played. I do however have a couple of worries: That recording vocals won't come across as serious enough, especially if done Monday song style, and that the song, lyrically and musically, could be a bit too intense for a more lighthearted show like Mike's. (It deals with the theme of Christian consistency, and when I write about the struggle for consistency I tend to be quite dark lyrically.)

I'll probably show Mike the instrumental/the lyrics and then if he's got no objections will try it. I get the feeling I probably won't end up doing it either way though; maybe I just want to be able to say I got vocals down on it?

I know, minimal post by my standards. Good night and God bless.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Am Tired

I think maybe I had something poignant to say here, but something or other stole it from me, and my mind isn't registering whatever poignant thing I'd thought to say. My mind seems blank, which technically I shouldn't say because to say so is a logical contradiction--because to be able to make that statement my mind must not be blank.

At any rate I am tired, whatever in this that accounts for. I'm listening to dc Talk, a very fun group to use. Err, to listen to. How I got "use" out of "listen to" is beyond me. It is late. I have an 8:10 class tomorrow morning. Blogging was much easier when I still had the wonder of discovering a new college world. Now iTunes has switched to a bilingual hip-hop song. Anyway, I propose that blogging was easier during the summer because a) time doesn't disappear as easily in the summer, because people don't all live together and b) I still had the wonder of the new college class experience. I do have a lot of cool classes, or at least cool professors.

Tonight Colin and I did physics and it was very interesting, to say the least. On the last question, we each came out with the "wrong" answer--at least the wrong one according to the book. No idea how that happened, but (song is now changed to Crystal Summer's "Simple" -- I got the MP3 from a bandmember, bug me on AIM or via e-mail or via comment if you want to hear it; I'll check it out briefly and if he doesn't mind I'll send it over.) - but we're going to find out sometime tomorrow or something whether our answer is correct or not.

Yes, I am quite tired tonight. Normally my winding-down stage doesn't take quite so long...wait, what? I'm tired, but the next second I feel like sleep will never take me. Is this the effect of being in college, or just of my sleeping habits?

I have laundry to do tomorrow. And some homework, but it should be less strenuous doing some english reading and some spanish exercises than it was doing that physics. I also have a couple of math problems to do tomorrow, but those shouldn't be too bad. Song is now Brent Mathews' "On the Inside"--I'm fairly sure I could send that one to someone too, if they really wanted to hear what was influencing me, but it'd take a longer check. Anyway now I'm in my quasi-energetic mode...and here comes the tiredness back again. Anything else I have to do tomorrow...laundry, english, spanish, minimal calculus (you could say the function h(t), measuring how much homework I have that day as a function of t in days, is at a minimum) and...I just realized I should check questions from yesterday.

(Now two Linkin Park songs--"Lying From You" and "Papercut" in that order.)

And here's what comes up from comments:

Meredith said: So. I'm supposed to ask you about 'Girls'. So. I will. What's going on in the female department? Anything interesting? AnyONE interesting. Ha. Whatever. That's all really. And how's it going? Everything okay? I DO want to come and visit- it's just a matter of timing. We'll figure it out, eh? Anyhow. Know that Im prayin' for you my cousin. I'll see you at Nate and Brit's wedding. Take care.

There's nothing worth mentioning there. Anything interesting? I got invited to do yoga today in the Mehling Ballroom and then she (would it be the invitor?) "couldn't make it." Anyone else interesting? Plenty of interesting people (read: girls), but nothing that merits an attempt at a date. Okay, there wasn't a good way to phrase that. So the answer is essentially "Ha. Whatever." It's going well. Spanish is getting a bit better; I got 18/20 on my first quiz. It's amazing what doing the reading does for one's quiz grade, even when one fails to understand a chunk of it. Thank you very much for your prayers, and I really hope you can come and visit sometime. I will not however be seeing you at Nate and Brit's wedding...I'm actually going to the wedding of someone from New Vision Fellowship, Nicole Nisley, for various reasons.

Now I'm listening to the Echoing Green's "She's Gone Tragic"--I can't send you the version that's playing but I can send the Catastrophic Mix. And I just got IMed back by a friend who was away running; within the first 3 lines of the new IM window was "brb shower" which means that's not actually an influence for a couple of minutes, at least.

Oh yeah, I also have to shower tomorrow. I've got lots of time to do that.

Anything else? I said goodbye to Rachel for real on Sunday, having begun only last week to realize "Oh, crap. These people (class of 05/09 people) I've taken as people who'd be there--even sometimes for granted--aren't going to be there forever." I heard Chris was going to be there too, but he wasn't...But he didn't promise to, and either way...And now I'm the only one in the Class of 2005/2009 left who goes to NVF. And I'm not even going back for a couple of Sundays; at least I'm not too likely to. Speed runs need to take place this week. I need to bug Tyler and Colin and possibly Mike Maass about those. (There's at least two Mikes that I know, and I think there's another one in my wing, also.) Before I get too re-energized (the song is now "Liberation"; same group and the remix won't give you enough of an idea of the song, althought it is cool) I should probably stop blogging for tonight. Goodnight, and God bless.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Vegetables...you've got to be kidding me.


Well, I'm going in for my ankle x-ray tomorrow. I'm told I might have some piece of fractured bone in between some ankle joint. If that turns out to be true, I'll be wearing a cast for who knows how long. Playing soccer will likely not be an option.

I'm hoping that I've just been a weakling about the whole thing and they'll give my foot a shake and it'll be back to normal. But, for three weeks I've been preparing to play again whilst preparing for bad news.

That's not to mention singing vegetables. In a college class? Maybe there's something here I am missing.

Here's another cool wallpaper for my peeps (at the top):

Saturday, September 17, 2005

In Fact, It's Only Lunch

I think, therefore I am
Cogito, ergo sum
But what am I
Who am I
What is my purpose in this life
Is it predetermined
The sequence of events seems so set
So neat
The way that things unfold
Free will or no, everything's so intertwined
It scares me

I'm not too far away from home
But I'm scared out of my mind
Wondering what about today, yesterday or tomorrow
No matter what decisions I make
"Don't worry about tomorrow"
God tells me
"Each day has enough trouble of its own"
But I still worry

What if I do badly enough in my classes this semester that I lose my scholarship and have to pay $20,000 more in loans
What if I discover when it's too late that I've got the wrong major
I'm pretty sure I do
I'm pretty sure it should be theology, not math
What if I discover that even when I get up to full capacity, my work can't cut it in Calculus, and I get a horrible overall grade?
(This is the guy who gives the good homeworks 3-4/5)
I've heard nobody gets fives, ever

What am I sure of
Today I talked philosophy at lunch
With the President of the UP Philosophy Club
And a professor
And my roommate
And the question was basic epistemology
How you know what you know

(Inserted because it came to mind. My joke. Random. Do not read with kids in room; it contains violence and a word that some people may find offensive, but a mildly amusing pun.)

A farmer and his hired hand, Ogie, were taking a break from work one day, along with the rest of the farmer's family and the rest of the hired hands. A philosopher happened to be walking down the road and stopped to chat with the other hired hands, asking them how they knew that pitchforks worked, or how they knew that God existed, or that some soil was fertile and other soil not. Eventually the hired hands grew tired of this, and all grabbed their pitchforks, shoving them into the philosopher.

One of the hired hands exclaimed, yelling to the impaled man: "That's how we know pitchforks work!"

Ogie, confused, wondered aloud as to what had made the hired hands so mad as to impale a philosopher.

The farmer responded, "'e pissed 'em all, Ogie."

Anyway as I said the question was basic epistemology--and of course if you don't know something rationally, then you don't know it rationally--and the same goes for empirically. But some of the stuff that was said with regards to why a Christian might have a shaky epistemology didn't click with me. There is still plenty of "how we know what we know," or rather "how we don't necessarily know" for a Christian to consider, however--I don't mean to say that everything I heard came across badly. Much of it was valuable and valid questioning.

Still a fun discussion, however, and one worth having...

Tomorrow I study. Much. And I e-mail my Calculus professor to make sure that I know what needs to be done to get 3s and 4s on his homework. The lab grading is pretty generous, so I'm counting on some balance from that, but we have a test soon, and I need to do well on it.

And so I think that's all. I know I sort of randomly transitioned from free verse to prose, but I can still live with myself. Have a nice day, y'all. And no, that's not all that happened today, in fact, it's only lunch. But I don't feel like explaining every detail of my life right now.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's About Time

Okay. You waited. You waited. You bugged me. You said POST SOMETHING. I said "Okay, I will," and then I didn't.

Then it happened again.

So it's about time that I actually posted something about how college is going. My first week was a bad week academically, and I am still finding my "groove." I'm surviving Spanish 301 decently and am coming to terms with my <1%>nth year teaching the course, and the Calculus guy's first year, I believe. By nth I don't mean the way that nth often gets used--to describe a seemingly immeasurable degree of something-or-other but rather literally--as in it's her nth year teaching, where n is an integer that I believe is at least five.

I also went to Youth Group tonight because it was Chris and Rachel's goodbye youth group. Rachel's going to be there Sunday, and it's a decent possibility that I'll be going; Chris however will be moving his stuff in to OSU on Sunday, so I won't be seeing him then. If either of you are reading this, best of luck at SPU and OSU; don't forget to talk to God and study in the midst of all the socialization.

At this point I take a brief break from blogging to go back and recheck something on my math homework--how I proved something using example, when really I should've been more abstract. As a matter of fact I think I've got it now--it involves using the definition (not the formal/precise one, but one of those with delta-X or h on the bottom, or x - a on the bottom) of a limit. And yes, that might be confusing to those who don't know math too well, but basically it involves using a huge-honkin' equation which I previously thought would take much work but which at least in my mind seems to involve little. Anyway, off to pee and then to study a tad more.

...And now it's about 40 minutes later; I discovered the was more to do than I thought. I still don't think I've got the proof I set out to get, but I'm thankful I went and tried it again, because when I did I discovered three previously missed problems! And they were worth the time they took. (I think I may have proved about half of the stuff I was supposed to.)
Anyway, where was I?


Well, nowhere really. I suppose I'll fill in some of the stuff that's been going on in the last few days:

Started watching a speed run with Tyler my roommate, Colin from Christie and whoever else happens to be up for one at that time. Right now we're watching a five-hour speed run of someone beating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64, in five segments. The next showing will be segment 3, and will start around 2:12 (hours:minutes.) The gamer performing this feat is amazingly good. To those who don't understand why this is so captivating: Neither do we. But it is, and it's fun to do, and it's not all about the "movie"--it's also about building up community among the group and making jokes at the expense of the game's plot. Whenever we finish the Zelda: OOT run, I'm guessing we'll be watching GoldenEye or the 70-star run of Super Mario 64.

I also saw two interesting movies this last weekend: Zoolander on Friday with my roommate, and Anchorman on Saturday over in Christie. Zoolander was a fun movie with a few good jokes and one or two that fell flat for me. Anchorman's jokes overall were funny, again possibly one or two falling flat. Neither one is really an appropriate movie, however, for younger audiences.

I've made a few good friends and a few friends period; I'm starting to get to know the people in my hall and seriously need to learn the names of everyone in my wing; at this point I only know random people or roommates of people that I know. It'll come with time, but people are getting down who I am and I'm not getting their names, and so I feel a bit self-centered.

Class is going to be bad tomorrow. Well, today, rather. Up for an 8:10, then an 11:20, then a 2:30. That's my worst day; I suppose others have it worse than I do. But it's hard to beat the 8:10 and 11:20 combination, what with the 8:10 lasting for two hours. However, Monday and Wednesday and Friday there is only the 8:10, and so it's not so much of a complaint-worthy thing. Others really do have it worse than I do. Like my roommate. And having brought things back to where they were at some earlier point, I'm going to cease blogging for the night.

-edit at 1:08: Gah. This time should read 1:07 AM.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Cripple in Colorado

I and the soccer team went to Colorado Springs.
We fought hard, but ended up losing 2 of 2 games.
I had fun, though. We did stuff.

The terrain is very flat in Colorado (not counting the mountains) and very high above sea level, at least where we were. 5000-6000ft or so, I think. Fun stuff.

Portland kicks the butt of any city I've been to in my life yet. Go P-Town!

Bye, then.

Actually, here's a fun picture before I go...makes for a good wallpaper:

Monday, September 05, 2005

An Assignment for Freshman Seminar

I am posting this per my professor's instruction.

That is all.

Roommates (all of them)

uh...I can't find the picture files...heh...maybe tomorrow...

My apologies.
I have a sprained ankle.
I've been playing KoToR for too long daily.
I am reading Plato.
I am bored in my Bible 101 class.
I like my dorm, my room, and the people at George Fox.
I like my soccer coach, Manfried Tschan, and the assistant coaches.
Hopefully my Freshmen Seminar class will go well.

Goodnight moon. Goodnight room.
I am going to take a shower and sleep, now.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dissolve, Drop/Adds, and Dozing

Okay! It's been forever since I said I would update. Here's a brief rundown of stuff that's happened since then:

I did a drop/add on Jazz Band, picking up a Ceramics class which, conveniently enough, meets in the basement of Kenna Hall.

I saw the excellent one-person play "Dissolve" which managed to be informative and truthful without being (at least not on an obnoxious scale) preachy. The actress who did the play had been herself a victim of the subject of the play (drugged usage of another's body) and told the story using several different characters: a dance-club bouncer, a friend on the phone with the victim, a woman who visits the victim afterwards, a walk-in clinic person interviewing the victim for a morning-after pill, and others--including the possible victim herself, who is getting ready to go out dancing while singing along with Nine Inch Nails' song "Closer to God" (it sounds pleasant, but...well, look up the lyrics. I'll spare you a sampler and ask commentators to do the same, at least regarding the chorus.) Good satire, good message. Good play, better than I expected; I thought it was going to be just one long monologue.

Somehow I have still managed to avoid getting to know anyone to any degree from Villa Maria, Corrado or Shipstad--all the folks that I know past the point of name and major are from Christie, Kenna or Mehling. Hopefully that'll change eventually.

I also have a jogging partner, which is cool. Whenever I figure out how to contact her (I'd use the directory but need to bug someone to be told her last name) we're going to go jogging, or something. Before I shave I intend on taking a picture of my neck-beard for posterity. So I will be taking a picture of it sometime in the next two days. Parents, I hope you caught that implication, and I hope it makes you happy!

I didn't do my best job academically this first week, but I got some grace which came seemingly from above and am going to be picking up my pace a bit this next week--in fact I made a conscious decision to start my spanish reading this weekend. I might even do a bit more tonight! Maybe even finish it! Also, those who know me might groan at the prospect, but as a side project to improve my spanish I am going to start translating G.K. Chesterton's classic work Orthodoxy. There's a lot of words in that book to translate; it should be a fun time.

I also discovered upon reading Stephen Crane for my English Class that, contrary to what the entire book The Red Badge of Courage made me believe, Crane is capable of writing something that doesn't have me using my book as a pillow. His short story "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" is an interesting look at something; it seems to be a western satire, a look at the way that "bad guys" are viewed in literature, or maybe both--it's even possible that I've got everything wrong in my interpretation. But I hope not. Anyone read that story / have any input?

I also slept in massively on Sunday. I'm noting that here to justify the "Dozing" in the title of this post, because I'm not really "dozing" on my books anymore--like I said, Crane's not as boring as he was in 11th grade.

Anyway, it's time for me to go enjoy and/or make productive my evening--perhaps in some activities I could even manage to fulfill both objectives at the same time!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Nothing Really Today

Lots of stuff happened today. Some good, some in-between, with the in-between being that I did a drop/add and am no longer in jazz band. More will be filled in tomorrow. I also started using ACID (the music program) again and messed around with something. Need to do more homework. I need to get to sleep very soon--my last 8:10 AM class of the week is tomorrow! Comments/questions response for yesterday and today will be done tomorrow, or something.

(By the way, pretty much anyone reading this can feel free to comment and question; it helps if you know me in real life, but if you just stumbled across this, feel free, and if answers too personal to tell someone from the 'net then I will.)