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"I got more views in one hour than I got in a month." -Mariano
One of the things that utterly peeves me is when a person says that someone should just "get over" themselves because their suffering is nothing in comparison to many who face inconceivable adversities around the world. I think this point of view is prevalent in America; a land of "plenty" where well-to-do teenagers suffer from depression that seems to have an unknown source. They get fed (probably more than) three times daily, they have central heating and a warm bed with a comforter that cost way too much from some over-priced store like Urban Outfitters, and they have their own iphone 5 with an updated ios platform. "What the f*** are they crying about?" some may ask.
Well let me humbly share my one voice out of the thousands of teenagers in America who are currently taking Prozac.
Depression is real. Depression is deep, dark, scary, hopeless, and very, very real. Contrary to popular belief, depression does not always stem from one's lifestyle and experiences. Many people who are well-off financially and have grown up loved are still depressed. Many people who are impoverished and have faced incredible obstacles are not depressed. The way a stranger judges or observes another person's life can not determine whether this person is "eligible" to suffer from depression. And no one can ever compare two people's suffering and claim that one is less.
At this point, you may be saying to yourself, of course some suffering is greater than another. Do you really think all suffering is equal? And I agree, of course not all suffering is equal. But all suffering is. If someone is suffering, their suffering is real. Just because one's suffering may be less or different does not mean it has less influence and substance in one's life.
We need to STOP scoffing at America's depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental illnesses. One day, you may roll your eyes at someone's depression, but when you hear that they are no longer on this earth, you will realize that their suffering was real enough to commit the unmentionable. When we can begin realizing that our youth are suffering from something that is powerful and devastating, then perhaps we can turn to a greater question: why?
Cherish every moment, relish every memory in the making. For we never know what the future may hold, and the past is gone. Live in the moment and experience bliss. When we chase happiness, it constantly eludes us and we never stop running. When we stop chasing, worrying, and wonder what if... When we truly live in the moment, regardless of what the moment may hold... we find peace... we find bliss... this my friends is happiness! When we chase materialist views and vantages, we lose sight of all that is important... Here and now, this moment, not tomorrow, not yesterday... Heaven is here in front of us for those who chose to see it. Why wait for the day we go to a better place, why not make this a better place and embrace life with excitement and love!?!
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Being new to blogging I had no previous experience setting up my own blog. I was aware of WordPress but a wise friend Maneesh also said I should simultaneously try SETT.com and see which had the better feel. My plan was to make myself a decent looking blog with one post, spending as little time as possible.
My first attempt was with SETT. At first, It failed as I couldn't get past the 'set up your password screen'. Not sure if the site was down of if it wouldn't let me sign up because I had not completed the registration properly first. Probably the latter but lets not dwell on my failings and get to my anecdotal experience:
WordPress was intuitive and I was up and running in no time. I selected a free theme, changed it a bit, and wrote my first entry. I disliked the fact that I could not customize my theme more and was forced to use their photos instead of my own. I figured if it ever needed it to look a certain way I could pay for a custom theme or spend some more time at it. My first impression was that it was mostly idiot proof and a lot easier to start a blog than I had ever imagined. Also for the mere minutes of commitment I had a pretty decent looking blog.
Getting this post up on SETT was today's goal. Once I properly registered I was able to set up my free blog post about as quickly as with Wordpress. I also tried to customize it a bit but was seemingly unable to upload my own photos into the template. There is a good chance it is me doing something wrong, but it would have been awful nice if it just worked the way I expected it to without having to read directions or e-mail the staff.
At this point I am not sure if I am willing to commit to a clear winner. Wordpress was easy and a bazillion other people already use it giving it a lot of credibility. SETT on the other hand makes very compelling offers and pepper's the site with testimonials full of promise. I figure I will try to spend some more serious time getting things customized to a point where I am comfortable with the look of each of the sites before I hitch my wagon to one vs the other.
Yes, I love rainy days. Rain is the only "cold" weather we get in Southern CA, so it's always very exciting and delightful to experience a rainy day. However, rainy seasons (filled with trials, sadness, depressions, and hopelessness) are no fun. Unfortunately, the last year of my life has been a rainy season. Literally, from the time of my birthday last year all the way to my birthday this year (which is in about 20 days), it's been nothing but rain. Oh how I pray and hope that this new year will be different. No more clouds. No more fog. No more thunder and lightning. I want to see the sun.
In the summer after my junior year of high school, I took a Classical Mythology college class, and learned many things about homosexuality in the ancient world. The most fascinating discovery I made was pederasty.
Pederasty was an official institution, where men over the age of 17 took 12 year old boys under their wings, and taught them how to be men. They schooled them in sports and etiquette. In return, the men were allowed to have sexual intercourse with the boys, by thrusting their penises between the boys’ thighs. What surprised me most was that after a boy turned 17, the pederastic relationship was terminated, because it was socially unacceptable for an adult male to be penetrated. The 17 year olds, however, were welcome to start dominating other 12-year-olds.
In pederastic relationships, thigh penetration was acceptable, but anal penetration was not. If a many of any age was anally penetrated, he would lose automatically lose his citizenship, and would be equated to a woman or a slave. Homosexual relationships were allowed, as long as adult male citizens were the dominators, and not the dominated. Only boys, slaves and women could be penetrated.
Also, although adult men were required to marry women, they could continue having pederastic relationships with young boys during their marriages. Thus, in ancient Greece, homosexuality was not considered an orientation, but an activity.
I was so fascinated by this topic that I decided to write my final paper about it.
Schools are full of opportunities for pupils and teachers alike. Teachers by the nature of the job are kind and caring individuals that are genuinely helpful. When you join a school you can be put under a certain amount of pressure to run a sports team, get involved with drama and contribute generally to the extra-curricular side of the school. It may even be in your contract! I personally think that its a great idea to do something in the school that’s away from your subject area, as you see the pupils and students out of the context of your subject. Useful bonds can be made that can not be created in the classroom. I think it’s important however that you don’t say yes to too much or volunteer yourself too much. Early on in my career I became involved with the Combined Cadet Force, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and took a Cricket team in the summer. This at first gave me a sense of satisfaction as I felt I was giving to the school and enriching the students but in the end my weekends were gone and quite a few evenings during the week vanished. This became limiting and resulted in my non-school life suffering. My teaching also was not quite as good as I could not spend the same amount of time planning. I think the lessons have to come first, always. So do get involved with things as this is good and will develop you as a teacher but you can say no. Other people will be, just look around you!
It was initially an overdue dinner over authentic chinese dishes but we thought we could save it in time with another event we wanted to attend.
98B Future Market, Escolta
The event was 98B Future Market, it's a platform for artists, designers, craft makers to meet and sell their artworks, handmade products and other knick-knacks. Also, it was organized with a thought to revive Escolta, Manila's first commercial district.
Moving house is an opportunity to dump some of the crap you've accumulated over the years. moving countries makes you consider even more carefully what really matters, but when moving continents you end up asking yourself whether you care about any of it. We ended up shipping eight boxes, one for each year we spent in China. And yet, looking around me, I'm struggling to remember what they contained. There were standard items such as clothes, some scientific and medical textbooks (expensive to replace), as well sporting items such as tennis racquets and sleeping bags. (There would have been more camping gear but Korean Air managed to misplace my luggage once they put it on a plane to Incheon when I was flying back to the US a year or so back and never worked out what happened next). But apart from that, I'm not sure how it adds up to eight boxes. But already I'm wondering why I shipped a map of Lebanon and a 1:50000 scale map of New Galloway. And despite shipping a computer I've yet to turn it on because the Chinese plugs don't mate with Danish sockets and the price of adaptors means I make do with the laptop until I can find some place in Copenhagen selling dodgy knock offs. Perhaps I didn't need that either
It wasn't that we hadn't accumulated a lot of stuff in China, I handed over a flat screen TV to a coworker, together with a temperamental DVD player that I thought was on its last legs when we moved from Beijing in 2006. It was more a question of whether it was worth shipping, or it some cases, whether it was legal. We had to dump the DVDs we'd accumulated over the years since, understandably, the Danish authorities take a rather dim view of pirated movies. But the other issue was that the quality of a lot of stuff meant it wasn't worth the effort of packing a ninth box and paying to ship it over a significant portion of the globe. A lot of the stuff you buy in China appears to disintegrate at an alarming rate, non-stick pans that start to peel after the first fry up, saucepans with rivets that work loose as soon as you dare to boil an egg and furniture that swayed drunkenly every time a gentle breeze passed through the flat. There is talk in China about the injustice and potential pitfalls of laws that require properties owners to return their house to the bank after 70 years, but I have my doubts that any of the houses that were built in the last twenty years will last that long. The exterior of houses that were built in the late 90s look they were abandoned when the Japanese occupied China during the second world war and the newer houses are catching up fast.
In contrast, everything here feels so solid. Windows and doors close with a satisfying clunk, rather than with a clatter that shakes the frame and reverberates throughout the whole building. In China it sounded like the neighbours upstairs were practicing Irish step dancing every night and the ones below were either arguing or engaging in noisy sex. Here in Denmark, we live on the top floor and the couple downstairs look in their 80s and move around with excessive caution but I'm pretty certain sure we wouldn't hear anything even if someone started getting things on up on the roof.
Consequently, our flat has a pleasant sparseness to it, one might even say it has a barren feel to it. But it makes it easy to find things and tidying up only takes a moment. It remains to be seen whether we can maintain this minimalist lifestyle, the cost of living in Denmark certainly appears to tilts things in our favour.
just don't hate me