Archive for January 17th, 2008

Returning to the Classroom, Revisited

Now that both of my classes have met for this week, and all of my course materials are ordered and en route, I have some updates.

If you remember me mentioning a classroom “that I remember sitting in for my Intro to Fiction Writing”? Well, it turns out that that very same room is the space I sit in for my Tuesday night course. The decorations (furniture and paint) have changed quite a bit, but it’s the same room. “No freakin’ way,” I mumbled as I walked up to the door, inwardly giggling in reflection of that post the other day.

I also stand very well correct that I will get a lot of writing accomplished this semester. The goal for the script class is 65 pages by the end of the semester (or complete a script). “Homework” for next week: 10 pages. But getting quality pages – not so much a concern right now (I do have to learn the form, after all), but by the end of the semester the quality will be one of my main concerns.

In other news, I have my my first trip of the year to the rec center (last night) and am in slight pain today – muscle soreness from lack of recent (ab)use, but it does feel good. Thanks to the little bit of work that was done in the summer and early fall (which, I was trying to force some results on a tight timeline), I have given myself a decent enough place to start.

I was able to run a mile in about 12 minutes (timing and distance are not 100% accurate as I was going by a clock, not a stopwatch, and did some extra distance in the 12 minutes). The idea here, while that time may seem insanely slow, I am having to deconstruct my past while doing this. There was a time when I was able to roll out a mile-and-a-half at around 10 minutes, with energy to spare – but the last time I actually had to run anything close to that was in the fall of 1999, and close to 40lbs ago. Between my bout of muscle atrophy in 2000 (long story), and 3 years of restaurant management I am starting from close to scratch. I’m not thrilled with the time, but I know I have to rebuild, so it is a decent enough place to start.

Now it’s time to try and get some scripting done…

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An Example…

… of stupid people pissing me off. I personally try to avoid discussing politics or religion – they are very hot topics with many people, and I detest soap-box pontifications that tend to devolve into personal attacks. But, I recently received this in an email message…

I am intentionally only displaying this as a “small” image. If you have an ounce of free thought that you like to exercise, just trust me that it is bad. The main statement is about a pending “picket” of USMC Camp Lejeune in response to the Lauterbach case.
You know, it’s funny (and sad)…
1) Last time I checked the information on the case, the issue WAS between a man and a woman – where are they making the connection to homosexuality, using the Lauterbach case as their base point?
2) I appreciate their right to “free speech & demonstration”, but I think they are missing part of the point – they are trying to “picket” one of the main organizations (the USMC), and Locations (Lejeune) that is responsible for allowing them the freedom to picket.
3) They are also doing the one thing I despise the most – aligning on a fundamentalist point-of-view, and taking scripture out of context and using it for their own agenda (like plantation owners that would often quote “Servant obey your masters”, and conveniently leaving out the part that say “Master, take care of your servant”.)
According to a Letter to the Editor in the Jacksonville paper, this group is the same one that pickets the funerals of fallen soldiers. “At the most horrible moment of your life, the loss of a child who fought in a war to defend our rights, [they] show up to yell and scream horrible things to those attending the funeral. They hold up signs that tell you your family member deserves to burn in hell.” The person who wrote the letter goes on to say that, “They [the WBC] have twisted the Bible into a war against the US military and have decreed that God hates the Marines.”

I looked up some information (thanks to Google & Wikipedia), and was really disturbed as I read more about the WBC. First off, they are not “Baptist”, in the fact that they are an independant church (and, often called a cult). The label fits.

I can see a church having an anti-homosexual agenda – while I don’t agree with targeting people based on sexual orientation – it is not a new idea. They [the WBC] don’t like it, fine, I got that. The disturbing points start coming from some of the other picketing that they do. At funerals – for fallen soldiers (from the Iraq war), for those that died during the West Virginia mine collapse, at the Westwood Mall reopening (after the shootings in Dec 2007), as well as proposed pickets of the funerals for the victims of the Amish school shootings (2006) and the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. They are also staunchly “anti-everything except us” (including Muslims, Jews, Catholics and Protestants alike), going so far as to state that virtually everyone except their group will be found in hell.
They apparantly believe that as long a woman remains “pure”, she will not have a period – “as menstration is a curse from God upon lustful women” [They apparantly have never taken biology classes. And as I read that, I could not help but think of Stephen King’s Carrie.] Their view of the US Military is almost as intelligent: that “soldiers did not join the military out of a sense of patriotism, but because they are “lazy, incompetent idiots” unable to find work elsewhere” [coming from a military family, and initially pursuing the military myself, I have two words for them. Bull. Shit.]
The other disturbing item that I read, is that the “congregation” (of about 100 people), is essentially one family (maybe, about 10-15 people are not actually related), and that any marriages must be “from within the church”.
Personally, I despise their type of fundamentalism. Yes, they have a right to their opinion, and the right to voice that opinion, but their comes a point when they should learn to respect the fact that most people (like myself) really don’t give a damn about their opinion – other than the momentary flash of anger and frustration that some people can be so narrow minded and hypocritical.
And, I’m sorry, but can any church with “fag” in the website address really be taken seriously, and not instantly seen as a collection of people that needs a lot of therapy?
But, maybe that’s just me being… I don’t know… an open-minded, thinking person.
Maybe they need some “special kool-aid”… or asbestos suits?
Your thoughts?

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