Life: A New Perspective

WARNING: All opinions expressed on this page are my own, and are not meant to inflict harm on any individuals/groups that may be mentioned. If deemed insensitive, libelous, or defamatory in any manner, inform me in the comments below and it shall be either removed or re-written. Thank You!

Okay, now that I’ve covered those bases, here is what you can expect from this new addition to my blogging site. As an open minded, curious and truth seeking individual, I cannot help but feel compelled to share my findings and/or my interpretation of them with those of you who have decided to accompany me through my days of reading, writing and creative thought. This page will be dedicated to the things I see around me that spark something in my mind which I cannot ignore, and the only way to quell the flame is to tap it out with my fingers until the fire takes on the shape of my words scrawled across this page. Perhaps not the most accurate comparison, but I think the meaning is there all the same. So sit back, relax, enjoy a nice cup of whatever happens to be your beverage of choice, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments below. Also, if you are one of those individuals who has an uncanny knack for pointing out grammatical mistakes – and I know you’re out there – do not feel discouraged; I will gladly accept any and all critiquing in the hopes that I can hopefully avoid such inexcusable errors in the future. I do stress, however, that it is the content that truly matters, but I know there are some who cannot so much as look at a page if they know there is a misspelled word or a sentence that somebody wrote ass backwards (do excuse my language; I’m not normally so vulgar in my speech). Okay, enough of these pleasantries! I could go on all day discussing personality traits or coming up with atrocious metaphors, but that is not why you have chosen to follow this page. Let us begin our adventure, seeking out new perspectives on all aspects of life and perhaps, one day, in the grand scheme of things, changing the world! Hmmm …. I don’t think I thought that statement all the way through. The world is awfully big … let’s just start by sharing thoughts, and see where that goes 🙂

Tuesday October 23rd, 2012

Politics.

The utterance of this eight letter word is enough to gauge a person’s level of interest, whether that passionate little twinkle will ignite in their eye right before they start listing off the reasons why their political party of choice is the best, or if there is no trace of that twinkle because not only are their eyes glazed over, but they have fallen into a state that is not unlike a possum playing dead until the threat leaves. Then there are those people who find themselves somewhere in between, interested in the concept of politics but don’t really have any idea where they stand on the matter, making it difficult to immerse themselves in any kind of heated debate on the matter. This is where I reside. I find politics fascinating, and I try to follow it as closely as possible, but I fear that my curiosity and intrigue are not enough to make up for my lack of political knowledge, leaving me in a position where my opinions end up based on face-value facts! This does not mean, however, that my opinions are entirely without merit. Last nights debate, for example, was one I found most engaging, and although the topic discussed was heavy, I still found that I was able to determine which side had the better argument.

For those of you who either missed the debate, or simply had no desire to – which I will not hold against you, debates are not for everyone – it was the final opportunity for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to show the people of America which one of them deserves to sit in the presidential chair for the upcoming term. Oh, and in case I didn’t already mention this, I am Canadian, so my opinions are not influenced in the same manner as those who live in the country that will be experiencing a possible change in leadership. I suppose that removes some of the bias from my opinion, but I will not deny the emotional connection that exists between my opinions and how they are formed, as I am only human. Anyway, the topic for the debate was on foreign policy, so they discussed issues ranging from Al Qaeda, to Libya, and even just a general idea of what kind of relationships they hoped to build between the United States and the countries of the Middle East. In fact, I think I will be so kind as to provide you with the link so that you can watch the debate and then have something to talk about with your friends (unless you would rather remain on the topic of One Direction or Justine Bieber, in which case I will leave you to it).

Final Presidential Debate: Romney vs. Obama 

Oh, and just in case you were wondering why people around you keep talking about a ‘binder full of women’, I suggest you watch the second debate, because otherwise I can only imagine the strange things your mind will concoct.

I suppose you are waiting with baited breath to hear what my opinion on the debate is. Or maybe you’re waiting to see when my ranting will finally wind down to a conclusion so you can move on to something a little more entertaining. Whichever the case may be, here it is, my opinion:

Both Romney and Obama put up a valiant fight, but in the end, there can be only one (I definitely had Harry Potter on my mind when I wrote that). From where I sat, Obama had taken the lead, and Romney appeared to crack under the pressure that was being exerted upon him every time he spoke a phrase that Obama tactfully turned against him.

“You’ve mentioned we have fewer ships than in 1916. We also have fewer horses and bayonets.” – Obama

This is one of many phrases you will hear people discussing, which is no wonder because it’s not every day you get to listen to a president zing someone. Obama definitely got the upper hand with that remark, pointing out Romney’s outdated criticisms about current military power. Although I agree that understanding the history of the military is important for determining what needs to be done in the present, the technology gap that exists between then and now also needs to be taken into account. I would also like to note that although I am discussing the military, I am not a fan of the idea of solving problems with violent force. Call me a pacifist or a dreamer, or both, but I honestly believe that the power of words is much greater than that of a bullet. Regardless of my personal feelings, I agree with Obama that things have changed greatly since 1916, and that Romney needs to catch up with the times if he is going to make such statements.

Oh dear, I nearly couldn’t stop myself from laughing when the Navy was compared to a game of battleship, but the laughter wasn’t out of humor. The grim reality is that all war seems like a game of battleship, where everything becomes reduced to nothing more than mere numbers and guesswork. War is not a game of battleship, or at least it shouldn’t be. War should be plan Z, an absolute last resort that should only be considered when all other options fail, and even then there should be an attempt to open up another path of possibilities. No, I am by no means an expert on the matter, but just by reading through a history book, even someone completely naive to the ways of the world can see that war has only ever led to more violence, more strife, and more war.

Okay, going off topic a little bit there. To finish this off, I would just like to reiterate that although I cannot vote for who who will become the next president of the United States, or be re-elected for that position, I can share who I would like to see back in that seat, and that is Barack Obama.

So, now that all of that has been placed on the table, what are your views on the matter? As stated previously, I am open to any and all criticisms, but do make sure that they are of a mature manner, and that they are actually relevant to what has been written. In other words, if you feel like writing inappropriate language just for the heck of it, I urge you to refrain and find another blog to spam … although, I suppose a witty pun here and there wouldn’t be entirely unacceptable. Anyway, I shall plan to write similar pieces on a weekly basis, but it is difficult to predict when inspiration will strike, so stay tuned!

Wednesday October 24th, 2012

High School

I do enjoy reading week. Catching up with old friends, catching up with family, and of course catching up with all of those readings that somehow didn’t get done during the semester. It may be a break from classes, but the work that needs to be done for them seems to follow me around like a stubborn dog. Still, doesn’t mean I can’t make time for some rest and relaxation, and what better way to achieve that than drive through town and stop by my old high school.

I knew things would be different. It’s been … my goodness, at least two years since I set foot in that school. I know time remains a constant in the universe, but I can’t help but feel that it really does go by faster when studying in university. That’s beside the matter. What really surprised me during my visit was although certain things remained exactly the same as I remembered, there were some small, new details that stood out among the old, details that were rather startling. I mean, for one thing, a police car was parked right outside the entrance to the school. If there was some sort of school dance, or a special event going on in and around the school property, I would understand the need for police presence. But in the middle of the day, while everyone is still in class, that’s just a little bizarre. It reminded me of a lecture I attended last year, where we discussed how the increasing levels of surveillance make it seem as though the public is being treated like criminals before they even commit a criminal act. This is why I always find it amusing when the government continues to pass new legislation’s that either limit or prohibit human activities, thinking that the law will automatically force people to behave themselves. Why do you think teenagers act so rebelliously towards their parents when they enforce stricter rules in the house? If you treat people like criminals, they will act accordingly, because heavens knows they wouldn’t want to disappoint the governments expectations.

So, after I managed to climb over that little hurtle, I encountered yet another startling change. I suppose I should be used to seeing high schoolers walking around with their thumbs glued to their cell phones, texting constantly as though their life depended on every message they sent. But as I peered into some of the classrooms, mostly to see if there was anyone I recognized, I couldn’t help but notice most of the students were either listening to their i-pods or texting in a rather obvious manner. I could also see the teacher, writing away on the blackboard, either completely oblivious to what they were doing or choosing to ignore it. Not long ago, back when I was in high school, you would have either had your phone confiscated by the teacher, or sent to the office to let the principle deal with it.

My how things have changed in such a short period of time. I guess it just goes to show that even when you think you got the world figured out, one small change will cause everything you knew to be tossed right out the window, falling into the dumpster with all of your other outdated ideas. Still, as I walked through those hallways, becoming increasingly aware of the generation gap between myself and the people I passed – okay, perhaps only a gap of a few years, but it’s still noticeable nonetheless – I chuckled to see that the same social groups, or the same ‘cliques’ if you would prefer, were still there. Some things just never change 🙂

 

Saturday November 3rd, 2012

Inefficiency of Academic Tests

Everyone has done them, nobody likes doing them, and afterwards the majority of what they forced themselves to remember for them was forgotten. Tests are a universal tool to gauge our abilities to apply our knowledge in a controlled environment, and using the results of those test to determine our ability to retain information and applying it to specific situations. I suppose it’s the easiest way to find out where our strengths lie, but that says nothing for its efficiency. From the perspective of someone who has written their fair share of academic tests – I suppose that makes it a rather biased view, but what opinion is ever said without bias? – I have come to the conclusion that writing tests is not the way to determine our intelligence.

In the majority or real world scenarios, we are not going to be required to have everything memorized. Sure, it’s easier if we have access to every piece of relevant information just by thinking about it, but just imagine how taxing that must be on the human brain. Also, that just raises the standards in the work place when they start expecting you to know everything about everything. We have access to information through different mediums for a reason; so that we don’t have to know everything. Granted, it’s good to have a certain level of knowledge, and to have a means to show others your understanding of certain topics, but written tests create an environment where only a portion of people can excel.

When you’re writing a test, there are several thoughts going through the mind:

– is this test going to be hard?

– did I study enough for this test?

– how well do I need to do on it to pass?

– did I read that question properly?

– which part of my study notes did this question come from?

– what will happen if I fail this test?

– does doing poorly on this make me stupid?

– it could be that answer, but it could also be that one …

So many intruding thoughts, and no matter how much you try to focus on the task at hand, it’s impossible to prevent irrelevant thoughts from floating in to the mind. Tests create a highly stressful and pressurized environment that is not realistic, especially when you’re given only a couple of hours at most to write down everything you know. I suppose the workplace is just as stressful, but you have information mediums available, and the assigned tasks are not made to make you feel like you’re a failure if you don’t do it exactly right.

As always, there are those who completely oppose my ideas, and I accept that. If you do have a difference of opinion, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. There are no wrong answers in life, only some that are more right than others.

Cheers 🙂

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