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Archive for September, 2015

Cross Dressing and other Interesting Things

So I’m reading my psychology chapter for the week, and we’re covering Pavlovian conditioning. Anybody who knows anything about psychology knows a good bit about Pavlov already: I first studied him five years ago or so. I’m reading a part of the chapter that mentions paraphilias, which translates as “incorrect love”. A paraphilia is anything relating to love or desire that is deemed “unfit” by society or a culture. Needless to say, what is considered a paraphiliac behavior by one social group will not be considered weird or creepy to another, but considered “normal”. So really, it depends on each society particularly.

Anyway, I was reading in my chapter about various types of paraphilas and one mentioned voyeurism. Ok. I agree. That’s creepy. And weird. Not ok. Then the next thing mentioned is transvestism or “cross dressing”. (Yes, my 2015 psychology book just listed cross dressing as a paraphilia.) What blows me away by this is that men who wear “women’s clothing” are considered to be perverted. The book just said so! But women who wear “men’s clothing” are considered “normal”. There’s clearly a biased double standard here. How can this be alright to say, think, and believe? Isn’t what’s good for the goose, good for the gander? Where’s the equality?

Rather than label a man who wears “women’s clothing” weird, how about we eradicate the ideal that a person who wears the “opposite sex’s clothing” be considered perverted? Do clothes have genders?

Clothes are clothes! If a man wears a skirt, it doesn’t mean he’s wearing a “woman’s skirt”. It means he’s wearing a man’s skirt, because he’s a man. Consider a Scottish kilt. Right.

I can’t condone the labeling and mistreatment of people based on his or her clothing. So inappropriate!

That’s my psychology rant for the day. Carry on chickens!

Josh in a cornfield- Lensbaby Composer

Jinthefield

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It’s Back! Lensbaby Composer

Josh and I are running out the door for an impromptu photoshoot with my Lensbaby. I’ll be bringing back a round of shots later after we hit up an abandoned factory and several old farmhouses. The Lensbaby is an amazing lens that has built-in capabilities to stretch the sides of the frame in a range from slightly skewed and blurred effects to mega-wild stretching.

I’ve been without my Lensbaby for more than a year so this is cause for major celebration (which will probably include a shot or two of blackberry whiskey).

I’m off to go hunting!

Lensbaby Composer f/4- Moses Josh- lost in thought, taken this morning
J


The Importance of Biblical Essays in College Classrooms

I remember when I was a college freshman back in 2010; I was in English Comp. I. My professor (name withheld for confidentiality purposes) had no use for APA (American Psychological Association) formatting, being an English professor, naturally, and so he was introducing us all to MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting. For anyone who happens upon this post, APA is for academic applications pertaining to the social sciences (such as psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, etc.) MLA formatting refers literature, linguistics, political science and many other majors and areas that exclude social sciences. Areas such as Forensic Anthroplogy and similar majors are interchangeable between the two formats.

Our job for one particular essay we were to write, included writing about any essay topic we wanted to choose, just as long as we didn’t cite the Bible. Anyone who knows me well automatically knows that I would have a huge problem with that. The Bible, to some, is merely a book of “mythological collections” of stories and things, made up from a group on men that may or may not have been influenced by God. Using that philosophy, my professor explained that the Bible had no place in academic writings! I was offended and utterly shocked that he would discredit a book that is more than a collection of stories to millions of people: It is the manual to the very core of what many people believe in, stand for, and try to live by. I was prepared to fight for my stand and rights in this area!

I wrote my professor privately, imploring him to change his mind and stated that the Bible has its place in the world of academia, just as much as Shakespeare and other works. I was particularly offended that he didn’t ban the Koran, or any other religious works other than the Bible. In fact, he didn’t discredit anything at all other than the Bible.

I could tell that my battle was not going to be easy but I wanted to reach the professor on his level. The only way I was going to get through to him would be to speak his language. So, I decided to write my essay about the importance of using the Bible in college essays. Sneaky sneaky. 🙂

But it worked! I wrote m essay using a collection of quotes and saying from my professor’s very cohorts- other professors from Princeton, Yale and superior colleges and their views on using the Bible as an academic citation and its importance. If he didn’t listen to me, then perhaps he would consider the thoughts and feelings of his peers.

After reading my essay, my professor issued a public apology in the announcements section stating that he had decided to revise his instructions, and that now the Bible would be allowed to be used for citations in academic writings. He also emailed me privately and apologized, telling me that he changed his curriculum- even the syllabus- to include that information.

That’s huge! I was greatly comforted knowing that future Christian students (and nonChristian students- anybody) would be allowed to use the Bible in their writings and cite it. Major victory.

And for anyone who might want to read my essay- one of the first of my academic papers- I’m  publishing it below. This is for educational purposes only and anyone who considers taking it and using it for their own paper should know that most reputable and accredited colleges use Turnitin- an academic plagiarizing system. Any essay/peer review/college paper that you submit is run through this filtering system. If so much as 5 words used consecutively pop up together- it’ll link it back to my essay here and you’ll be busted. If your school doesn’t use Turnitin (or anything similar) – run fast and far away from that school; it’s worthless.

Enjoy!

By the way, I received an A. 😉

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The Importance of Biblical Citations in College Essays

     When researching how to cite from the Bible using MLA style, it is noteworthy to include that more than five-hundred pages appear immediately on Google’s search engine with the instructional information. Clearly, it is evident that Biblical citations are of great importance in college essays. A student need not attend a Christian college to write a paper that requires Biblical references any more than a person needs to be a priest in order to pray over his or her food. Disallowing the Bible as a direct source or reference in college essays can be compared to scholastic surgery and academic amputation. By prohibiting students the use of what is considered by many to be the most important book ever written, an instructor is prohibiting not only the access and use of the Bible, but the very belief system of the student. Packed with codes and ethics, parables and proverbs, the Bible is, for many, not just a book, but a life manual.

Greek and Roman Mythology has long been considered acceptable academic college curriculum, but there seems to be an undisputable amount of professors who are in favor of using Biblical works in the college classroom as well. Gerald Bruns, an English professor at Notre Dame said, “You can’t really study Western literature intelligently or coherently without starting with the Bible. . . . You’re simply ignorant of yourself,” (Wachlin). One might conclude that if the Bible is considered acceptable college curriculum, using the Bible for citations and references is not only acceptable, but practical. When asked to compile a list of concentrations that would enrich their students significantly by reading the Bible, the professors produced the following:

  • Doing everything or almost everything with texts.
  • Studying all subsequent literature and culture.
  • Being richer more sophisticated readers.
  • Recognizing literary allusions, references, typology and echoes.
  • Understanding how characterization in novels and thematic levels in poetry are linked to Biblical allusions.
  • Grasping things directly without having to make the three-way connection through footnotes, through explanatory things.
  • Understanding and recognizing the idea of the Christ figure.
  • Reading specific authors.
  • Hearing Toni Morrison’s “voice.”
  • Finding their way around a text.
  • Possessing a solid advantage in understanding Victorian art and literature.
  • Not needing translation when learning Old English.
  • Understanding the parable genre.
  • Doing literary analysis.
  • Understanding questions of canonicity and non-Biblical literature.
  • Appreciating the tone of the politics of the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Making personal connections.
  • Discussing “meaning” and “values” with understanding and insight.

Again, it is noteworthy to point out that the professors work in secular colleges that are not Christian or faith based. Professor Goldsmith of Berkeley College had this to say, “I’m always impressed by how excited students are, in part because when you take a literary approach to the Bible and read the text closely, the text itself is so fascinating and strange that students are amazed when they encounter it. . . .They come to it with a whole set of preconceptions; they have ideas either from religious training, or because they’ve avoided religious training. But when they actually sit down to read the Bible, they’re fascinated. I know that’s a class where I can get students hooked in the first week,” (Wachlin). Without the ability to cite directly from the Bible, it is still possible to write an essay or research paper about the Bible, but the references will be watered down in comparison if in fact, a passage or Biblical quotation is needed.

When a college professor disallows the Bible to be used for citations, he or she might also be saying, “You may not discuss anything pertaining to God, for you will not be allowed to cite it.” Such an infraction can be considered an infringement of the student’s rights. A professor should not strip away the rights of a student any more than he or she should be allowed to infringe upon them. The banning of the Bible in the college classroom is not only heinously one-sided; but a perpetuation of ignorance. For example, if a student were to write a paper on Biblical statutes pertaining to the law circa 2,000 B.C., he or she would have to rely on Encyclopedia articles or website information; but not be allowed to go to the very source of information where the statutes originate. More than 2,000 years of history is immediately cut off from the student when the Bible is forbidden as a citation resource. David Humpal, the author of “The Importance of God’s Word”, raised a valid point when he said, “The Bible is not just one big book, but actually a collection of 66 smaller books written over a period of at least 1600 years by about 40 different authors. Everything they wrote was inspired by God,” (Humpal). By prohibiting students to use the Bible as a reference in college essays, professors are actually forbidding the students access to sixty six individual books, full of detailed, historical information covering everything from recorded births and deaths, to ongoing precepts and laws.

Humpal adds in a bulleted reference, Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away,” (Humpal), taken from the Holy Bible. According to Humpal’s reference, heaven and earth will one day become void, but the words in the Bible will continue on. This is even more reason to believe that the Bible should not be banned from college works, considering that many literary works that are used in the classroom are based on Biblical passages, such as Shakespeare and Hemingway.

Considering that the very foundation of many literary works comes from Biblical references, it should not have to be said that the Bible holds great value in the college classroom. To disallow such a precious resource is to rob a student of his or her literary maturity and thwart their potential progress in many areas. Removing the Bible from the list of citable works adds one more notch in the belt of hypocrisy in the classroom. For if you ban God and His Word, so too must you ban the devil and his literary works as well, and no man can be the judge and appoint himself such a high seat as that.

Works Cited

Wachlin, Marie. “SBL Publications.” Society of Biblical Literature. Society of Biblical Literature, 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.      <http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=757&gt;.

Humpal, David. “The Importance of God’s Word.” The Importance of God’s Word. 1997. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.      <http://www.hurtingchristian.org/PastorsSite/topicalstudies/godswo.htm&gt;.


Darwin, Depression, and Dark Days

It’s just past 11:00 a.m.  and already 82 degrees. Josh is getting ready for work (I seem to have kidnapped him again) and I’m up with the chickens (hey, 11:00 a.m. is early for me!) and have decided to reset my sleep cycle once again. For the past few months, I’ve been up all night an sleeping during the days. I love my nights! Night time is dark, cool, and it feels like all the world is dead and I’m on a little island to myself. I can come and go as I please- do my shopping (you’d be surprised how man people shop at Walmart at 3 a.m.) and just really connect with my nocturnal surroundings. I really can’t stand mornings or getting up early and I’m used to getting things done at night. So it’s a sacrifice for me, to say the least, to flip my script entirely and give up my nights. Even my dream environments are night time- I haven’t dreamed of daylight (or day time) in years, except for once or twice.

I’ve noticed, though, that I’ve becomes increasingly depressed over the past few weeks- and that’s just not normal for me. I lead a pretty fearless life. I don’t stress out about things- I’m literally never anxious- and I stay consistently level and upbeat, for the most part. But lately, I’ve felt a few complex fears pressing in and feelings that I might not succeed. (Again, highly unusual for me. I’m a serious go-getter.) I’ve learned to section off and compartmentalize my “layers of self” to discern just where my problematic sources might be. Are they economic? Spiritual? Emotional? Environmental? Nutritional? And so, after much seeking, I’ve realized that my depression has been a combination of artificial sleep (Ambien) + a lack of exercise and sunshine. I’ve decided to cut Ambien out of my life, because although it does help in getting a person to sleep, it does little to assist in REM sleep and allowing a person to have the full benefits of natural sleep. Last night, I slept naturally and woke up refreshed at 8:30 a.m. (or thereabouts). Today, I have 50 pages to absorb (Darwin in Chapter 1- Pavlov- Chapter 2), 3 quizzes (two psychology quizzes and one statistics quiz) and 40 or so Statistics problems to work out. This is not necessarily a heavy workload.

I’ve been missing my mother and my kids but keep telling myself that I’ll see them just as soon as I catch up. Life has a funny way of choking the living &^%$ out of you, doesn’t it?

My kitchen sink has been defunct for a month now, and I’m sure that has lent a hand in my acute depression. Thankfully, Josh is going to help me fix it today. I haven’t been able to update my blog regularly for some time now, but I haven’t been in a good head space lately. Studying psychology is sort of like being under a self-reflecting microscope 24/7. At first, it’s easy to see how psychological applications apply to everybody you know, but theories and perspectives about the mind can easily be compared to certain Scriptures in the Bible about and such. At first, you can see everyone else’s ailments and how best they might be helped, etc. but at some point, you really have to apply all of that stuff to yourself. So, in an interesting way, I’ve been my pwn therapist and patient for several years now.

I could use a good vacation from myself. :0/