Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week 3 - Going with the flow

This week in class we talked about the theory of flow.  The basic idea is one where we can experience moments in life where we lose sense of time, gain total focus on the task at hand, and come away feeling that this moment has changed us.  This is achieved by fitting a series of criteria.  1) We have to balance the difficulty of the task with our skill level.  If the task is too easy we become bored and if it is too hard we become frustrated. We have most likely all felt both of these problems in things we have done before, maybe like how Calculus was infuriatingly difficult when I took it in college.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week two- when the real work starts!

This week the thing that hit home with me is the idea of what I will call catalyst personalities. As a society we value youth, strength, and intelligence. So what does this mean for those who find themselves with none of those qualities?  What makes a baby who will never grow to hold a job or finish school valuable?  Do they have a value to society?  How about a grandma who is slipping slowly into senescence because of Alzheimer's?  Are these lives worth living? In class the professor talked about how there is an idea that not every life is worthy of life.  So if these people are not going to be "productive members of society" then what function can they play? Are our ideas of youth, strength, and intelligence the only measures of what makes life worth living? That is a lot of question marks that need answers.

So as I sat in class pondering how to describe the value of every life I thought of the whole human race as one living organism.  Just life a human body there are things that we notice all the time: muscles, brains, stomachs, and bones.  These are the major structures of a functioning body but there are also tiny molecules that have essential roles to play.  So these less thought about people in society can be thought of as catalyst personalities.  When a person has the ability to bring out virtues in others they can play a role even if they lack the abilities commonly seen by society as useful.  A person with a disability can give those around them greater empathy, patience, and help them appreciate the little things in life.  So the true measure of the value of an individual life can not be standardized or quantified because each individual has a different role.

Now that this has been brought to light in my mind I feel the need to see around me the value that can come from even the most bleak of lives.  A person that may only live from birth until 3 years old will make an indelible mark on his parents.  They can learn the value of love and patience even through the sorrow of loss.  I now hope that I can be, at least in some small part, a catalyst for positive change in those around me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Deja vu week

At the start of each semester the first week is spent looking over the syllabus for each class.  We discuss expectations and assignments that will happen over the course of the semester. This semester I also have a unique situation, deja vu. Last year at this time I was in the same classes and even had a lot of the same professors.  Then a month in I had my life changed forever when I had major surgery and multiple complications.  So as I sit in class I feel like I have been there before, since I have been.  The feeling of deja vu often makes me feel like it is God telling me I am in the right place though.

This first week as we have been doing a lot of the boring syllabus reading I had a great lesson about what the professor called "active learning."  When we sit in class and listen we are only doing a tiny bit of learning.  As we go out on our own and do other activities we learn from experience.  So what does this mean for me?  In order to learn more effectively and naturally I will need to take the information we discuss in class and carry it into real life.  After learning about this I want to try for the whole semester to apply this learning model so that I assimilate more of the information into usable knowledge.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So the first couple weeks of school are over now and things are pretty good. I am getting really settled into my new apt and ward and starting to really like it here. Now I just need to figure out my job. They have been cutting my hours lately and I need the money pretty bad so if anyone hears of jobs or knows of one already, let me know. Other than that I have just been going to school and playing the occasional video game.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New apartment new semester

So I have been in school and in my new apartment for 2 weeks now and there are some definite pros and cons. First I really like this new ward a ton more than my old ward. I went for an entire semester in my old ward and when the summer started people were still asking if I had just moved in, that is if they even talked to me at all. This new ward I already have made some new friends and there is even a cute girl that I am going to have to ask out sometime. Next I have a freaking hot tub! So people can come over and hang out in it anytime they want and just the other day I went in and worked out the soreness from my weekly basketball game that I missed for about a month so when I went again it about killed me. Funny part of that is that the already mentioned girl from the ward was also there with her roommate. Good times. The biggest downside is that I miss seeing Rob, Lilly, Maggie and Henry all the time. Maggie and Henry are the funnest little kids to play with and I loved walking in and having Maggie run up and start asking me what I was doing with Henry close in tow. I also miss talking with Rob and Lilly about how life is going so I will have to find my way over there from time to time. Oh also my Mom and Dad want to find a house here in Utah so everyone should keep their eyes open for good ones that they could look at. Another thing to keep your eyes open for... a new job my is cutting my hours lately and it is not cool at all. So hopefully I can figure that out and work somewhere awesome.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Moving in... again

So I am mostly moved in for the third time in about a year, fourth if you count moving into my mom and dad's house after my mission. Moving is not all that fun but it does make me look at all the crap that I have accumulated over time, lots of which can go. First random thing that I have rediscovered, a plastic football signed by the Snowflake High Lobos. I now need to find a place of honor for it in my room. Second thing I found was my yearbooks, so I decided to read some of the old comments left nearly five years ago. I think I must have totally spaced when reading through them before because in the front cover of my senior yearbook is written, "Dear David, you are the sunshine of my life. I have watched you for years and longed to have you in my arms. I love you David McDowell. Look me up after your mission- kekscn." I mean how could I have not read that before and had it sink in? The only problem- the name is not ledgible. So now I am left to wonder about this mystery entry and ponder who it could have been. I think I should make a reward for anyone who can decifer the name or tell me who would write such a thing in my yearbook. Ah the good ole times. Well I still have 5 or 6 boxes of stuff to unpack but welcome to my new blog and reading my happenings.