Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The simple joys of teaching teenagers (part 2)

Because my brother is worried I am going to get fired from my job due to my last post I decided to redeem my negativity with a new positive post.

Today was a great day in teaching (actually, it really was). Sophomores, despite their flaws are hilarious. I was actually almost crying (from tears of laughter) today in class because of a funny comment a student said. So today I am happy to say I enjoy my job, both with the good and the bad. Why am I a teacher? Because students can be very endearing and fun to teach.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Presidential Address

I must say I was surprisingly pleased with President Bush's speech last night. It seemed very sincere and heart-felt. Undoubtedly, he has been under harsh scrutiny the past few years, and I myself am guilty of the "hatred for Bush" bandwagon but his address got me contemplating. Sometimes I find myself actually feeling bad for this guy. Is the economy and country's current situation due to President Bush's reign? Or is it just bad timing for any president to be in office? What would've happened if we didn't invade Iraq? Would America be worse off?

I think many of us are quick to judge, especially someone who is in a leadership position. Are humans just innately judgmental and ignorant? Or is it something that is bred in us as Americans? Blame others, blame the president, blame your neighbor, blame your dog. Before we place the blame, I think we need to step back and see what the real cause is. I know I'm guilty of assumptions, and many, many times I am dead wrong. How does the old adage go? "When we 'assume' we make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'". How true that statement is.

Anyway, just some food for your thought.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Democrat or a Republican?

WARNING: This blog entry may seem narcissistic which I vowed not to do. So please forgive me. Wow, that seems narcissistic even to think that people would be thinking I'm a narcissist. Irony at its best.

After hours of an agonizing debate with myself, I decided to publish my current political beliefs. My reasoning behind this decision is to inform readers that I am yet to have firm and solid beliefs on many issues. This inability to commit could be compared to a religious investigator struggling to receive an answer or confirmation that the Protestant, Catholic or Methodist religion is their one and only way to salvation. Even though my opinion may sway at times, I still remain relatively steadfast on my religious beliefs, which of course impact my political positions. Consequently, it may seem appropriate that I would favor to a right-winged, conservative stance, when in reality I consider myself a "moderate".

What exactly is a conservative? Well, I looked up the definition to find that a conservative is "disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc. or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change". So I asked the question, "Do I believe in tradition, the status quo, and keeping things the way they are?" My answer was "sometimes". Ambiguous you say? When it comes to more social, religiously affected issues I tend to sway right.

Liberal. So many connotations come with that word as well as conservative. So what exactly is a liberal? A liberal is "favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs." Political reform. Hmmm. Without political reform or progress, women wouldn't be able to vote today. Without political reform there would be racial segregation, we would be part of the British parliament, and slave trades would be the weekend extravaganza. So do we need political reform and progress? Of course. But where do we draw the line? When does modern tolerance and equality become an enemy to our moral structure and belief system? For me, reform can be counterintuitive when my morals and values are in question. On the contrary, I must remember that the American population may not share my morals and values. So do I vote for a candidate or a bill to appease myself or do I vote for the good of the people, regardless of my value system? That answer is yet to be determined. Again, it goes back to the struggle to find my "confirmation" or "answer" of certain social issues.

In the 1920's women's suffrage was assuredly against the moral belief system of the traditional family. Women were the homemakers, the submissive and subservient housewives that stayed at home to care for the children. So would it have been against my religious and moral upbringing to support women's suffrage? Possibly. Am I grateful for the "radical" liberals back in the 1920's? Absolutely. Who's to say people 100 years from now won't be grateful for radical movements trying to be implemented in our time. But then the question of morality and tradition comes to the surface. When does too much of a good thing become a bad thing?

There you have it. I'm moderate in that I try to hold strong to my beliefs but yet I understand that reform is necessary. Some people may argue that being moderate is cowardly and not standing firm behind your religious fibers is supporting the adversary. I however, feel that moderation is a healthy and wise way to live your life.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ode to Laura. Set her free. New blog world approaches.

I recently received an email from Laura Campbell relaying the "retirement" of our blog. Yes the infamous "Laura and Ashley" blog will seise to exist. But don't get too upset. It will be kept as an archive to show the world our time together. The time I spent with Laura, namely in Arizona will never be forgotten. Like the old cliche goes, we both learned, lost and loved. The year and a half of bliss will forever be burned into my soul and our celibate, man-free, relationship will forever go down in the books as one of the best times of my life. Am I being sarcastic? Maybe a little. But I will never deny the great times Laura and I had living together, supporting each other through tough times (I didn't really go through that tough of a time) and just being best buds. So to my lovely Laura, "c'est la vie". You will always be my diamond in the rough.

Blogging Material: The retirement of our blog and our non-lesbian relationship got me thinking, and the thinking got me to create my own blog. Like Laura, I don't particularly enjoy writing about myself. I find it a little narcissistic. The angle I'm attempting to approach (and I say attempt because my political awareness and understanding is fairly minimal) will be more of a current events/political/issue related blog. I will include snippets of my life from time to time, but my goal is to share with you pressing issues or political discrepancies. As we all would most likely agree, this is a very exciting time for "trailer talk" or in other words, discussing our nation's current issues. With the election around the corner, and our economy hanging on by a thread, there are many stimulating conversations and debates to be had.

Why do I bring up such sensitive issues on a blog? Well for those of you who may not know, I've always had a liking for politics. While political science was my original major at the U, I quickly realized that the classes were difficult (I was on the "do what you can to get a C" train in college) and a communications major was much easier and quite frankly a cop-out. Enough said of my college history. I have grown up since then (my family may disagree) and have become a mature, well-educated, non-ignorant, self-sufficient, self-motivated 25-year-old, excluding all the times my dad had to bail me out of debt. I have minimal maturation in budgeting to say the least. But I am learning and trying to be better. With that being said, I hope to entertain your thoughts and bring to the table interesting and provocative issues that we all may have inconsistencies with.

Because of time constraints I will be posting my latest and most stimulating political dialogue in the near future. FYI--there will always be an underlying sarcastic tone to my writing. So please don't take me serious. Most of the time.