24 September 2009

The Static Age

While at the best concert ever, with the best roommate ever, Billie Joe Armstrong pointed out that the "truth is not out there [in the media] it's in here. It's inside each of [us]." Call me a hippie, but he's right.

I was walking around campus today, and I noticed 5 out of the 6 people I passed were plugged into their iPods. Now, I own an iPod. I have no issue with iPods. Love mine. But unplug from it once in a while. Look at the world around you. Experience LIFE! Talk to the person standing next to you at the candy machines.

When did this generation become so connected to wires and screens that they've lost connection with the real world? It's so disturbing to me.

Unplug. Look around.

22 September 2009

Making BYU a Little Godless

So, my friend is in charge of helping with the LASSO conference coming up this weekend. She was given some information about the plenary speaker for a poster. She was stressed, I decided to help. I designed the poster with the given information.

She took the poster to get approval from our college. They gave it. They stamped the poster and off she went to the printer. The posters were put up. They have been taken down, and we were asked to redesign them.


The poster contained the following sentence: "God, this is so boring." Someone complained about the "inappropriate" use of 'God'. When my friend informed me of this, I said "Oh. My. God. You've got to be kidding me." I did it to be ironic. But seriously? You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. Is someone so uptight that they can't leave scholarly work alone? I hope the plenary speaker uses that sentence and displays it in all of its blasphemous glory.

The college to which we belong told us that even thought they had approved it, they didn't really approve it. So the stamp that says they approve it means nothing.

Instead of being allowed to change the poster to read, "Gosh, this is so boring" or "G , this is so boring" or some other variant of the offensive word, we were asked to make it read "this is so boring." So I did.

Today, I made BYU a little Godless.

09 September 2009

Silence is NOT always Golden

There comes a time when remaining silent would be a grave injustice. We, the authors of this, have reached that point. We can no longer sit silent and watch as people willfully cast lines and demand that we choose sides. We voted for President Barak Obama. We did not make this decision lightly. We researched the issues. We learned all we could. We then prayerfully, sought guidance to make a choice. We feel we made the right choice. Whether we agree(d) 100% with all of his policies we will not disclose. As those are private issues for now. We simply weighed the options and he came out on top. We were raised to support the leader of our country whether we liked him or not. This is NOT to say that we blindly follow a President. For as the Declaration of Independence points out "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..." [1] We watch. We listen. We hear. We understand. And then we act. As we are doing now.

Lately, there has been great controversy over the President, our Nation's President, addressing the school children. It has been referred to by acquaintances as "socialist propaganda" and even "communist, socialist, fascist propaganda." Clearly, the latter wanted to make sure their red-flag political parties (so to speak) were covered. This "propaganda" ended up being supported by Laura Bush. [2] Someone, that we think, all people would agree is beholden to none of the above mentioned parties. In his speech President Obama "urged [students] to set high goals, knuckle down in their studies and persevere through failure." [3] It has been our experience, that persevering through failure is something that Americans do well. Thomas Edison failed many hundreds of times before he successfully made a light bulb that worked. Maybe the propaganda came in when President Obama told kids to "take responsibility for their education, go to class and listen and not let failures define them." [4] So where is the propaganda we were promised?

Maybe we missed it, but where ever it is, we've heard the speech, we've read the commentary on it. From both sides. And we have found no fault with it.
We particularly enjoyed when President Obama warned the kids that there is "no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That's no excuse for not trying." [4] Having both worked in the educational system, we can attest to a lack of trying. Repeatedly, we have beat our heads (figuratively) against walls with students that just did not want to put effort into the class. They wanted their hands held, because they felt entitled to it. When students take responsibility for themselves, they excel. Sometimes with effort, and much help that we are willing to give, but they excel.

What in the speech made people afraid? Was it his reminding students to wash their hands? As germophobes, we appreciate this reminder. We simply don't understand what the big deal is. Except, that it seems to be all about party lines. "The uproar over the speech erupted most vigorously, perhaps, in Texas, and some districts there reversed the opt-out procedure: the only students they allowed to watch the president were those whose parents called or e-mailed with explicit permission." [3] (side note from Cynthia: I would have requested that my child be in a classroom showing the speech, if he were in a classroom that was not showing it (had he been in school yet.) As many know, Texas is staunchly a so-called red state. They tend to prefer the Republican party, and our President is not of that party.

Has our country really been reduced to silly party mud-slinging? We had sincere hope that we, as a nation, could overcome such trivial matters as which side of the political spectrum we're on. There are much larger problems and issues to be worried about. Our president talking to school children should not be one. When we become divided over topics like this, we miss the bigger issues at hand, issues that cross party lines and bring the nation together.

In conclusion, remember. All of our presidents -- past, present, and future -- are mere mortals. They are fallible men. They will all make mistakes. They will do things that we collectively look back on and think "what the hell were they thinking?!" But, we’re sure, they try do the best they know how to do. President Obama inherited a lot of problems. He is trying to fix the nation, not hurt the nation. President Bush inherited a lot of problems and did the best he could with the information he had. He was not our favorite president. But he was not the worst. (Side note from Noel: my roommate and I have decided that Harrison was the best president. If you'd like to know why, just ask. I'll explain.) As a nation we have been quick to place blame on our presidents. We need to remember that we share the burden of blame. We have willingly let things happen, and it's time we collectively stood up and started working together for a better tomorrow. And if that means starting with heeding the counsel that was given by our current President to take responsibility for ourselves, then it's time to do so.

We make a plea, alongside our President, that we do better and be better. We are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves (and our children) credit for. All of us (the authors included) need to set a better example for our children then we have over the last few days. Let's come together as a nation and give our children the furture they deserve. One of unity and respect.

Cynthia L. Weyerman
Noël T. Alton

See also:

08 September 2009

Well, slotted pig...*

*this post has nothing to do with pigs.

But it has everything to do with thumbs, and their lack of working for me. Well, one is not working for me so well. And I don't know why. But it's definitely tendon strain...or muscle strain...or nerve aggravation. Definitely one of those things.

That's good to know. At least it has a name(s).

Don't Mock the Ducks

So, I've made a decision. Every 10th post will be about the awesomeness of ducks, and why we should get them. Or in this case, a warning.

Ducks don't like to be mocked. They are very sensitive creatures, who will kick your trash if you mock them. They are sick of being mistaken for less intelligent (or cool, for that matter) foul. They are not anything like swans or Canada geese. They are ducks. They are proud of it.

And as a country singer once said, "you'll be sorry that you messed with the ducks in your way, 'Cause they'll put a boot in your ass --It's the Ducks way." Or at least Toby Keith would have if he'd been cool enough to know that ducks were more hard core than we had previously thought.

So, when getting the ducks, remember: don't mock them. They will not take it laying down.

01 September 2009

Boys + Skinny Jeans = Gay

It's a simple enough equation. And, boys? I hate to break it to you, but it's true. When I see you walking around campus, the store, whatever...and you're sporting the skinny jean, I will automatically label you as gay. That's just how it is. The exception to this rule: emo boys. If you pull off the full emo-look, I will not pass gay-judgment on you. I will think something like, "that person looks like an idiot" or "they think they're all angsty, but I know better" or even, "why is he wearing girl pants?." But not "oh, that boy is gay."

And for heaven's sake! Do NOT pair it with a tight shirt. That just labels you as a flaming gay boy. Okay? Seriously, leave skinny jeans for the women. (Whom, I might argue shouldn't wear them either.) Or for Billie Joe Armstrong. (He is not distinctly straight, and thus pulls them off with gusto. I may have a (massive) crush on him.)

So to review:

boy + skinny jeans = gay
boy + skinny jeans + tight shirt = flaming gay
billie joe armstrong + skinny jeans = pretty darn hot (I can't help myself.)

For the love of all things good in life, STOP WEARING SKINNY JEANS BOYS!

Also, I've been noticing (first day back to school and all) that the current styles look like they may have been based on dares. Girls, please explain these things to me. Three BRIGHT, UNMATCHED colors in large amounts? When did this start to be "fashionable"? Skirts that look like bags? Or are gathered in at the bottom, but poofy otherwise? And what is with the sandal/shoe combinations? Either buy sandals or buy shoes, not halfbreeds. Alas....