Sunday, July 25, 2010

Independent Study

I spent four hours yesterday working on ten multiple choice questions for an assignment for my independent study class. Now before you judge me, let me share with you one of the questions:

Which of the following generalizations is not consistent with a description of some facet of the condition of American workers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?
a. Some workers improved their condition in the society.
b. Some workers exhibited class consciousness.
c. Many workers had a difficult time organizing and maintaining unions.
d. Some workers favored socialism.
e. All of the above are consistent with the condition of the workers.

Could a question be any more ambiguous? Let us examine the wording. The use of terms like SOME or MANY can be a tad confusing. Does SOME mean two, eight, fifty, two-hundred, one-thousand? And then they throw an "all of the above" option at you. EVERY SINGLE QUESTION IS LIKE THAT! AND THEY'RE ALL WORTH FIVE POINTS! I know it's college and it's supposed to be challenging, but MY GOODNESS! Is clarity too much to ask for? ;)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spider Season

Dear Spiders,

I hate you. That's right, I said it. Is the outside world not big enough for you that you think you need to come inside our house and then congregate in my bedroom or, even better, the shower? Listen. I know it's hot outside. I know the sun probably beats down on your little exoskeletons and you just want to escape for a few hours into a nice, shady, air-conditioned space. But PLEASE, be considerate! I have feelings too. The way you kind of jerk as you walk across my ceiling frightens me. And I can't stand the way you jump right before I attempt to crush you. Seriously, my poor father is tired of hearing my screams. The next time I find one of you on my ceiling, or hiding in one of the folds of the shower curtain, or climbing up my bedroom wall...well, let's just say you've been warned.

With all the loathing I possess,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Since it's the Fourth of July, I was thinking today about a research paper I was able to write this past year in one of my history classes. The topic I chose was the impact of the God-is-on-our-side mentality on the outcome of the Revolutionary War. As I poured over numerous accounts from our founding fathers, Continental Army generals, and from the foot soldiers themselves, I was amazed to discover just how many references to God there were in all these documents. Members of the military and those who wrote our founding documents were convinced that God was there, playing an active role in their successes and failures. When a cloud hid the Continental Army's movements from the British, the event was attributed to God. When the war-beaten and exhausted American soldiers somehow made their way across the icy Delaware River, they believed that it was God who gave them the strength and the courage to accomplish such a feat. They had confidence that the Lord would deliver them just as He had delivered the Israelites from Egypt.Writing this paper opened my eyes to see more clearly the workings of the Lord in my own life. I always knew that God was there, that he loved and cared about me but I guess I never really thought of Him as playing an active role in my life. I think sometimes I forget that God isn't just this far-away being who simply watches the doings of man on earth. I think I forget that he has power, not just to know everything that I do but also to act on my behalf. As I have examined my own life more closely, I have seen and come to know, just as our founding fathers did, that we are not left alone. He is present in everything that we do. He helps fight our daily battles. He shelters us from our storms. He gives us the strength to carry on. We can see evidence of His hand throughout earth's history and He continues to show forth His hand today. The same god that delivered the Continental Army and the American colonies from destruction is fighting for you and me today. What have we to fear?

Happy 4th of July!