Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Time to watch some 'John Adams'...

There are moments when my heart swells in gratitude for this wonderful country, and the beautiful principles on which it was built. These moments don't occur when I watch the news or hear of current government affairs (though while many of these are troubling, a great deal more are testament to the wonderful nation in which we live). No, these moments occur when I study our heritage - the lives that built this nation from the foundation up. Those select few and remarkable gentlemen who coined phrases such as "We the People", "That all men are created equal", and "In God We Trust". I can't help but marvel at the birth of such a remarkable generation - the wisdom in these men; the virtue and the courage they each held.

It's probably just because I've been writing essays for my American Heritage class all week, but I'm in a huge 'History' geeker mood. The following two excerpts (as recorded in my textbook) are two moments that I have recently read about, and cannot get out of my mind. Two moments I would have loved to see.

(after the Great Compromise)
"James Madison...was beyond consolation. When the small states had lost early on, they threatened to abandon the Convention. Madison made no such threat now. He returned to his lodgings and perhaps to his books. Later that evening, at the Lion cafe, he still wasn't smiling, but he was grudgingly ready to propose a toast. This truly was a new kind of government, he allowed, one for which there was absolutely no precedent in history. It was on the one hand a government of the sovereign people of America, and on the other hand a government of the sovereign states. "Gentlemen," he said, "to the United States of America."

"Benjamin Franklin...had prepared a little speech of his own, to be read on the following Monday by James Wilson. This was the last day of the Convention, and most of it was to be ceremonial. Franklin began with reference to that pall of gloom which had accompanied Saturday's defections - the fear that the Constitution had compromised too much. "Mr. President," he began:
                      I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve. But                  I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgement, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error...But that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain French lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said, "I don't know how it happens, Sister, but I meet with nobody but myself, that's always in the right."
                      In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such...I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better and because I am not sure that it is not the best.
It was an astute address, worthy of the master at his best. Franklin was equally fluent off the cuff. In the more relaxed informality of the signing, he came out with one of his vintage similes. "Whilst the last members were signing it," Madison penned in his now book-length notes:
                      Doctr. Franklin looking towards the Presidents chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to ta few members near him, that painter had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun. I have, said he, often and often in the course of the session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting: But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun.
The sentiment was light and charming. All the same, the old man wept when he signed the Constitution."

Friday, March 16, 2012

I am decluttering my life. Removing anything that's holding me down.
Setting the bar a little higher.
Making sure those dreams I have don't remain so.
'Someday' isn't good enough.
I'm changing. Now.

And boy does it feel good...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I have a very hard time coming up with complete thoughts. Sometimes I feel a sudden burst of creativity - I'll pull out some paper, or sit down to my computer and write away, but about ten seconds in, I find that creativity has gone and I'm left staring at the words I've just penned, wondering where to go next.

Sometimes I am able to carry on, and sometimes I just store it away, to pull out later when that wind picks up again.

My creative writing blog:  holds some examples of these moments of complete and utter failure. You'd think I was going somewhere with all these thoughts...but really - I have nothing...just a paragraph.

Woe to the fickle mind, that yearns for elongated guidance in all. I suppose I'll just have to make do with my short bursts for now...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Physics, according to me.

Quite literally just wrote the following while trying to finish my Physics homework.

1. Suppose a piece of wood is burned. All the products produced are carefully caught and their masses are measured. (Ignore any effects suggested by the Special Theory of Relativity.)
a. Describe what would be observed.
b. Name and state (define) in your own words the fundamental conservation principle that would explain what would happen.
c. Explain what would happen in terms of the fundamental conservation principle. Be explicit and accurate in describing what changes occur and what is conserved.

Obviously you would be staring at a block of wood - watching it turn to smoke and ash; supposing, of course, that you actually sat there for however long it took and just stared at the log…which seems a silly waste of time to me, unless you were using the wood to keep warm. But then I would assume you were in the company of someone much more interesting than that block of wood – a nice cup of hot coco, or a beautiful man for instance – and would instead be focusing your attention on them, but that's just me here assuming - which really is all this is anyway isn't it? Because you are assuming I would actually collect all the ash and smoke in a bag following the process and carefully measure their masses - but isn't it much more likely that I'd be counting the marshmallows in my drink, or chatting with the handsome man to my left, and paying no attention  to the smoke at all? Except for the few moments when the wind decided it would be kind to blow the fowl stuff in my face and make it impossible for me to laugh at the cute mans joke...

Don't worry - I deleted the paragraph and started over before I actually submitted the assignment. But honestly - I was much more detailed in the answer above...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

For the record...I don't care.

I don't care if people are only 'trending' with this whole Kony 2012 thing. Just like I don’t care if people only ‘go green’ because it’s cool, or help out a charity to ‘look cool’, or donate blood for the free shirt.
Help is help, no matter what the motives are behind it.
So what if global warming turns out to be a myth? So what if there’s some secret conspiracy behind the people selling energy efficient light bulbs? So what if it turns out only 25% of your donation went straight to solving the problem, and the rest was spent on making your shirt?
I DON’T CARE. You can complain all you want, but I will keep donating to charities, I will keep buying Toms at full price, and on April 20th, I will go out and hang posters with all the other crazy volunteers - because there is no such thing as a ‘bandwagon’ when it comes to making the world a better place.
I don't care who's behind the promoting, I don't care who's behind the work, and I don't care who's simply pushing 'share' on a link.
Even if there's only a 1 in 10000 chance of saving a life, or helping the earth - I'm taking that chance.
It's better than doing nothing at all.