Friday, June 26, 2009

Poem: Substance

Pleasant memories come to me
adrift on the wind like jasmine
to have loved and lost
and loved again
I turn my thoughts to the past
And nostalgia breaks over me like a wave
the hard lessons of never again

what does it mean to wish for the days to pass?
to be buoyed along by weekends and holidays
time is the substance of life
to waste it godlessness
to only have the memories of what has been
instead of the plans for what might be
and the reality of what is now

To be fully living is embracing the present
suffering, hurting, laughing
allowing the self to be violated
the brave path of truth
that I do not walk.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Frustrating (RANT)

I have an idea for an internet business. I am in an MBA program. You would think these two things would be compatible, but you would, at least in my case, be wrong.
For years I spent my life going through school doing things because it was what the school gave as an assignment, not because I expected it to apply to reality (hint: it didn't, most of the time.) So I got used to the idea that school work was, well, for school - with no other application. Then comes a Master's Degree, and one of the things I was told throughout my coursework was, "You should be doing things in mind for your Master's Degree project so that it's less work for you once you get to the project stage." What, more than one application, not just busy work? Hmm, I need to wrap my mind around this.
Now that I'm at the Master's Degree project stage, the bar keeps changing. I've been through 3 project ideas and 3 advisors. I dropped out for a year due to personal reasons. Now that I'm back and ready to kick this into gear before I start law school, the bar continues to change. I'm not exaggerating - I received a "conditional pass" on a document with the only note being that I needed to present it in Word...and today I was told I need to do a feasibility study to see if my project will work before my plan will pass. I wish I could convey to you in words how frustrating that last sentence is... here I am, after telling my idea over and over to people at the school even before I came back from my leave of absence, meeting with more than one advisor about it - being shunted off to do a "project plan" before anyone will even consider looking at my idea - and now being told to do a feasibility study. On top of the fact that I'm in the course that you're already supposed to be working on the project. On top of the fact that I've already had an approved project plan that didn't have any of this shit. On top of the fact that I greatly suspect this is motivated by a personal dislike on the part of the dean.
This is month 3 for me...could no one in 3 months take the damn time to tell me to do a feasibility study, or did they just dream this up? I've asked for examples - I get research plans, not project plans (until today of course! nothing ahead of time!). Plus it's been implied that I plagarized and/or had an inappropriate relationship with my teacher. I am at the end of my rope with this place.
Is it fucking fitting that I'm contemplating dropping out of an MBA so I can actually get something done? I hate this fucking school. My only link to sanity in the whole place is someone I can't talk to anymore without getting hatemail from their girlfriend.
Fuck the fucking fuckers.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nathan Phelps and the right of self

I just read the speech that Nathan Phelps gave the American Athiest convention in 2009 ( and I am stunned. It addresses a few things that I hadn't realized were present in my own life, such as the discomfort that Christians feel around a person once they know that they are not speaking with a fellow Christian, the terrible crushing feeling that he describes his own children having when they realize they don't want to go to hell, the questioning of why goodness can't just be a part of who we choose to be. The biggest one was letting go of the security of faith. That touches a lot of what I have faced in my life.
Often I have told my friends that I wish I could have faith because then I wouldn't worry. Why worry when you have a free ticket to the afterlife? What could be more reassuring that no matter how craptactular your life becomes, you will be in Heaven forever once you shuffle off this mortal coil? What is 80 or so years compared to forever?
I know this isn't as coherent as it should be, but the other thing that it touched on is my own unwillingness to associate with my own conflicts. I think the reason I can be an advocate for equality and free speech is because those concepts don't hit as close to home. The defense of athiesm promotes a strong reaction in me, probably because of the old guilt and shame associated with "turning away from God." Rationally, I'm at peace with it - if God exists, then he made me and understands. Viscerally, I'm not. Athiesm means owning your sins. There is no forgiveness, no blessings. Bad things happen to good people, and the best way to avoid most of them is not to single yourself out of the herd, not to become a target, yet that's what an advocate does is stand up for something that is not widely accepted. Even now, as I write this, I wonder how it will come to haunt me...if I run for a judicial position, will my agnostic beliefs ruin my chances? Will the fact of who I am keep me from who I want to be?
I don't think that other people should have to hide who they are. Perhaps its time I trust in that belief for myself.