Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Article Wednesday: How Slavery Really Ended in America

So I decided that I would make a regular segment where I talk briefly about a good article I read over the past week (maybe sometimes multiple) and share that with everybody. I often share articles on Facebook as I know most of you are aware, but this one will only be found in my blog. I probably won't divulge a ton about the article since I would love to have you read it, but I might talk about it a bit, especially if it brings forth particular thoughts or ideas.

The article I'm sharing this week is entitled "How Slavery Really Ended in America" by Adam Goodheart. I liked this article because it taught me something about the history of the Civil War and the ending of slavery I never really knew. Basically a number of slaves escaped to a fort in the north where they could be held as "contraband" to avoid having returning to their masters. This was a very difficult political subject due to the current laws of the land and many of the current policies even. These circumstances were something that President Lincoln was even aware of and had to deal with.

It really is interesting to see how much of a role this seems to have had in the abolition of slavery. I'm fascinated by the fact that the moral and just concept of abolition came about due to one man's understanding of the law and his desire to exploit the enemies of the Union rather than necessarily try to do what was right.

Overall it's a wonderful look into a bit of history long forgotten by most that quite possibly had a significant influence on the abolition of slavery in America.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Five and Dime Store

If you wanna be happy
For the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife,
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.

What's up my nickels? (Hat tip: Daniel Tosh)

So my dating life is often a popular topic around many of my former coworkers. Most of them are female and most of them are married, so they look for the drama and excitement in the lives of others. So of course girls have to know exactly what is going on in your dating life, which means they're usually pretty bored by my dating life.

During this conversation I met a new girl in my old department. She was a rather attractive young lady, intelligent, and witty (and single). So of course she could not hold back on offering her opinion on my dating life. She told me that I needed to start setting my sights lower and stop chasing dimes. I couldn't help but laugh because I know I've never been accused of chasing dimes, but I have occasionally been accused of shooting a little too low (or not chasing at all). I did find it funny as well because she was a lot closer to a dime than a nickel.

Kind of a depressing thought to intentionally aim lower though. Especially because when I think of aiming lower, I think more of aiming lower on standards than looks. Maybe I am too hard on girls in other ways though. I often have a pretty high intellectual and maturity status that I look for in a woman (which is kind of ridiculous because I typically act like a five year old). But I guess I'm just too content to kick it with Professor Henry Higgins.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Surprise, Insecurity, and the Mormon Experience*

We all have a weakness
But some of ours are easy to identify.
Look me in the eye
and ask for forgiveness;
We'll make a pact to never speak that word again.
Yes, you are my friend.

We all have something that digs at us.
At least we dig each other.
So when weakness turns my ego up
I know you'll count on the me from yesterday.

So it's been forever since I've written. And I know the whole two of you that might actually read this might be disappointed that it's been so long. I'll try to be back for real this time, we'll see how it all goes.

I guess I'm hitting an interesting point in my life where everything is closing and opening all at once so it's gotten me thinking about a lot of things. I always put off the tough guy, nothing bothers me vibe but I guess it's finally catching up with me.

I want to say first of all, I have wonderful friends. The people that I've really been able to count on in my life and are always there for me, I'm blessed to have you in my life and I know I'm a better person for merely having your association. I get by with a little help from my friends. Of course I look at where I'm at with my life and I kind of think I probably should be relying a bit heavier on my oldest friend. I know for a fact that I've let my testimony in the Gospel of Jesus Christ slip a bit in recent months and that hurts and it's a realization that I need to take some corrective maneuvers. However, I don't want this to feel completely like some religious self-loathing piece so I won't focus on this too heavily. I know that I have a Father in Heaven that loves me dearly and I'm grateful for that. I also know I am a son of Deity and because of that I know I am an amazing person and have a great potential. Every day of my life is fantastic because I get to spend it with me and I'm fantastic.

So if I actually have any readers out there that don't realize where I'm at in life, I've recently started a new job doing IT work for Vivint. It's been a really great experience and I've learned a ton. It was tough at first and it was hard for me because it was the first time in quite some time that I felt really lost when I was trying to do my work. It was a whole new world to learn and experience. Go figure though, it's been a couple of months and I already feel like I've learned how to handle it pretty well. There's always something new to learn every day which is awesome. Also, I officially have been accepted to law school and I will be starting at Creighton in the fall. I'm really excited for this opportunity.

This puts me in an interesting circumstance currently. The Brethren have put a renewed emphasis on marriage recently and I've typically had more of a Wayne Campbell attitude. Three months. That's roughly the amount of time I have between now and when I go out to Creighton. Six and a half years. That's roughly the amount of time I've been home from my mission and back at BYU. Seven years. I'd say that's about the average difference in age between me and most girls I'm around at BYU. I don't care for those statistics much but unfortunately the math does add up.

Now what's really brought this on was a realization while I was on a date this weekend that I felt really inadequate because I didn't feel like I could carry a conversation much. I don't know how many of you know me pretty well, but I have a lot to say about a lot of things. That scares me when I have a hard time finding stuff to stay. And unfortunately it hasn't just been during the date that I've struggled. I've been finding it difficult in life to go out of my bubble and make new friends and associations and to find common ground to talk about. This used to be second nature for me. I don't understand.

[Note: So I know if anybody does actually care enough to go out of their way to read this, they probably want to know about my date. I had a wonderful time. She's a really awesome girl, I plan on there being at least one more and we'll see where it goes from there.]

During my date we decided to make a wish. Since I was half concerned the date wasn't going well and I was feeling rather reticent through most of the date, I wished that I could stop being such. K pestered me quite a bit to know what I wished for but I definitely did not give it up. Of course with that experience of a date and with all of the conversations I've tried to have since the change of the semester in this ward I've struggled to really say much. If anybody has any good pointers on what I can do to get myself out of this funk I'm all ears.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." I'm hoping to find some of the faults in me and dig them out, I think I'm counting on the me from yesterday.

*This title is a play off of a book from a political scientist. I figured I wanted people to at least somewhat appreciate this allusion so I'd let them into my inside joke.