Friday, October 26, 2012

on politics.

Source: via Shiny on Pinterest

I have a public blog where I like to express myself and share my passions. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you know I enjoy sharing various aspects of my life with people whom I choose. Politics, however, is something that I prefer to keep private, but I do have something to say about the way people go about it when they do choose to disclose their opinions.

First of all, let’s get something clear. No one, regardless of whom they’re voting for, wants to see the demise of America. When we can start thinking that way, only then can we have intelligent and respectful discussions regarding these issues without resorting to name-calling and mean-spirited discourse that everyone seems to think is acceptable when it comes to their political stance —more on this later.

Secondly, you are a constellation of your beliefs, opinions, experiences, feelings, and values. Don’t insult your identity as a unique individual by reducing your thoughts to a single word, be it Democrat or Republican. Of course we often identify with one or the other more strongly, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that either party automatically represents everything you believe in as an individual. Do your research. Have an open mind. Be willing to vote for someone who isn’t in your party but who you believe represents your values more closely. Hopefully you have done enough research to realize that you do not necessarily agree with everything your candidate stands for. But you are voting based on the unique beliefs and opinions that I mentioned earlier and your prioritization of those values.

Next, give others the same latitude. See others as individuals who have their own beliefs and opinions which they have prioritized as they see fit. They may be voting for the opposing candidate for reasons that you don’t necessarily oppose. And even if you do, they are still individuals that possess the same rights to opinions you enjoy and who do not want to see the demise of America any more than you do. Of course we know there are always people who blindly vote for a candidate based solely on their political party, gender, race, religion, etc. (and hopefully you’re not one of those people), but giving others the benefit of the doubt will enable us to have truly productive discussions around these topics.

Which brings me to my next point —stop the name-calling. Just stop it. I try to avoid my Facebook feed on the nights of the debates, because I know I’ll see things that I wish I hadn’t. This mean-spirited discourse closes ourselves off to objectivity and honest feedback from other people. This can also leave us in the trap of subscribing to faulty political logic. How do you spot this? If it’s a sentence or two that fits on a less-than-flattering picture of a candidate that has been shared on Facebook, it’s faulty logic. It’s name-calling. It’s mean-spirited. It’s drawing attention away from the real issues that we should be pondering this close to the election.

If you were hoping to see a post in which I endorse the candidate I’m voting for, I’m sorry to disappoint you. For the record, I’m registered as an Independent. But I think that this post needed to be written. After all, regardless of who wins the election, we are all still Americans. Rather than identifying with the donkey or the elephant, remember the bald eagle.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

the woods -fall edition.

Fall has captivated me this year even more than it has in past years. Perhaps it's the new perspective I carry. It's the first fall of the new life I chose recently. But no matter what's going on in life, good or bad, it's reassuring to know that a place like this exists outside and despite of it all. This is what fall looks like in my little corner of the world.

yellow leaves






red and water


pond island








What does fall look like where you live?

Love and (a book) light,


Thursday, October 11, 2012

a fall playlist.

I recently read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I liked it more than I thought I would. I was inspired by Charlie's mixtapes and by Sarah's autumn mix to make my own fall playlist. These are songs that make me want to curl up with a blanket on the couch while sipping a chai latte. Also, if you're pining for summer, maybe this playlist will put you in a fall mood.


1.Blackbird -The Beatles
2. New York State of Mind -Billy Joel
3. Breathless -Corinne Bailey Rae
4. They Can't Take That Away From Me -Frank Sinatra
5. Ashes and Wine -A Fine Frenzy
6. The Boxer -Simon & Garfunkel
7. One Flight Down —Norah Jones
8. A Foggy Day -Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Love and (a book) light,


Sunday, October 7, 2012


I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I am back in school. I’m taking some prerequisites for the teaching credential program. After a 2-year hiatus since getting my Bachelor’s degree, I am so glad to be back in the classroom. I truly feel like I’m in my element. I wanted to share a bit about the classes I’m taking and my experiences so far.

World Literature –This class covers literature from the beginning of time to 1650. So far, we’ve covered religious texts from Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. This class has lively discussion and the professor is passionate about the subject. Earlier in the semester, there were some religious students that dropped the course because they were offended by the professor and other students who did not share their perspectives. It’s really frustrating to see that kind of close-mindedness, especially in an environment that has so much to offer in the way of learning. I think that if you have strong beliefs, it should take more than a 3-hour class that meets once a week to shake your faith. Anyway, the next unit is on sages, and I have to do a group presentation on Lao Tzu, which I’m very excited about!

Creative Writing –I signed up for this class even before I knew I would be walking away from my corporate job to pursue my teaching credentials. I love learning, and I needed something outside of my routine, unfulfilling job to challenge me. And boy is it challenging. I’ve been a bookworm ever since I could remember, but I have never tried my hand at creative writing. A lot of people have told me I should try writing since I love to read, but I thought the two were completely different —and I was mostly right. While reading has definitely enhanced my writing technique and style, creativity is something else entirely. I need to develop a better sense for what makes a good plot. The first full-length short story is due soon. Depending on the response I get, I may share the story here after a few revisions. I’m really enjoying this class, but it’s probably the most challenging class that I’m taking. I’m learning so much from it, though, and just as reading enhances writing, the reverse is also true. My reading experiences have been enriched by what I’ve learned so far, which is great for the next class I’m telling you about…

The Modern Novel –We have to read 11 books in 16 weeks. I’m keeping up so far; I’m even ahead on the coursework! It’s an online course, so everyone can work at their own pace. So far we’ve read Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Hours, Einstein’s Dreams, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Atonement. I love that on the days when I need a break, I can just curl up on the couch with a novel and I’m still doing coursework.

Introduction to Communications –I don’t know how I managed to get a degree without ever taking a communications class, but I did. This class is a 12-week class that started later in the semester. I didn’t expect to enjoy this class very much since it wasn’t an English class, but surprisingly, I look forward to going to this class most of all. The professor is a sweet lady with a Southern accent. We do a lot of activities in this class, which may be why I enjoy it so much.

Basically, I am a nerd. I love all my classes, and I also love studying for them. And of course, I’m the teacher’s pet. Whether I wanted to be or not, I always have been. I’m so at home in the classroom, and I’ve decided I want to live the rest of my life in one —now as a student and eventually as a teacher.

Even if you’re not in school, I highly recommend taking a class or two once in a while, whether it’s a writing class or a pottery making class. Learning does the soul good. It helps you stay creative and sharp, especially if you do the same tired routine for work everyday.

Here’s a glimpse of the remaining work I still have to do this semester: 3 7-page papers, 2 3-page papers, 2 5-page papers, 2 full-length short stories, 1 piece of flash fiction, 2 speeches, a group presentation, 2 exams, 6 quizzes, and 6 novels (to read), not to mention pop quizzes and reading and critiquing everyone’s stories in the creative writing class. I should probably be getting back to work now.

Love and (a book) light,