ah, freshmen

Today I'm subbing for my friend Sarah - she's a Math teacher. The class I'm currently in is full of freshmen, which are an interesting group of kids in many ways. There's this guy in the class who doesn't seem to fit in. Most of the guys are semi-dorky or your average guys. There's one guy in here who is either part of the popular crowd, or is a bit more popular than the average kid in here. He spends a lot of time talking and trying to make girls laugh. He's interacting with these two girls mostly, saying whatever he can to keep their attention and get them to laugh. The things he's saying to make them giggle are pretty inane but they continue to be amused by his antics. I think if the same thing were happening and I was in a class of Juniors or Seniors, these girls would be rolling their eyes at him instead of giggling. I hope he's able to figure that out as time goes on.

Being here and watching the kids interact is a very visible reminder of how much everybody has a strong desire to be loved and accepted. Freshmen usually aren't as good at hiding that as most people. I'm not saying that's a bad thing - it's fun to be around people who are so obviously conscious of what others think that they're almost cute. But cute isn't the right word. It's also a reminder to me to just be myself and not worry about what others think, because trying so hard to be this way or that way is such a waste of time and energy.


star trek ethics

This is pretty geeky. But today I watched a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called "Ethics." In it, Worf is paralyzed by an accident from the waist down. He doesn't have use of his legs so he considers himself without honor and deserving of death. He asks Commander Riker to help him commit ritual suicide, to "end his life with dignity and honor." Two viewpoints are expressed in response to Worf's desire to commit suicide.

First, Captain Picard believes it's wrong to impose one's own cultural values onto another or even make a judgment regarding the rightness or wrongess of it. He urges the others to honor Worf's request and allow him or help him to commit suicide. Picard champions the cultural relativism that the Federation holds so dear.

Commander Riker, however, takes issue with Worf's request. Riker comes into Worf's hospital room and says he thinks the custom of ritual suicide is "despicable" and lectures Worf on the value of life. He tells Worf that doing this would be a copout, and tells Worf to ask his young son to do it, which is the Klingon custom.

Worf ends up changing his mind and opting not to kill himself. He undergoes a risky operation, and of course has his paralysis cured. It is Star Trek, after all, where nothing ever really changes.

I just thought that the interaction of cultural values was interesting in this episode. Picard's insistence upon honoring Worf's culture and beliefs seemed so weak next to Riker's passionate insistence on the value of life and his challenge to Worf to not be so eager to welcome death. So who was right in this situation? Picard for wanting to honor Worf's cultural values and beliefs, or Riker for calling Worf's culture "despicable" and convincing him to fight for his life?


the good, the bad, and the ugly vol 1

The good: The A's won today and sit tied atop the AL West at 20-19. This despite a spate of injuries and inconsistent play.

The bad: The Sharks lost today and were eliminated from the playoffs by the Oilers. After coming on strong the last part of the season to scream into the playoffs they fell flat on their faces against the Oilers. Bah.

The ugly: I'm supposed to take my dad and his girlfriend to the airport at 4:30am tomorrow morning, and I'm not ready to go to bed yet.


naps are good

It's the end of the semester and I've been working hard trying to finish assignment after assignment. I'm in the library at school and I just paid a visit to one of the reclining chairs they have here. I fell asleep for maybe 15-20 minutes, and I feel a lot better. I hereby salute short naps and think they are much more invigorating than a Pepsi.


chris daughtry voted off

So Chris Daughtry got voted off American Idol tonight. I'm pretty happy about that. I don't think he's the worst of the four, but I'm in Elliot's corner. I do think that Chris, now that he has the expose he's had, needs to win less than any of the other three. So it's a win-win. Plus I really like Elliot. His voice has a great tone to it.

In other news, the end of school draws near, and I'm doing my best to crank essays out and get everything finished in enough time to not make anything too stressful. I have a lot of stuff to turn in for school and then right now's also a busy time when it comes to the youth ministry and Crossroads. Next week I'm preaching about the Da Vinci Code on the weekend, and I still have to get that ready. I've done most of the work on it from a sermon I did a couple years ago, but I need to clean it up a bit. Anyway it's a lot of good stuff going on and I feel really blessed to be able to spend my time on what I spend it on, so I can't complain.