Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Sheesh it has been a while. I've been doing all sorts of last-minute-before-Reading-Week work and now last-minute-after Reading-Week work. Reading Week was a failure for getting work done, but I still enjoyed myself thoroughly! My family adopted two new kitties! They are brother and sister and we named them Keats and Fanny. We adopted them from an independently run animal shelter in Amherst, NS called the Lillian Albon Animal Shelter.

WHOA just discovered how you're REALLY supposed to put pictures into a blog post. I must be blind.

SO one of the things I have been thinking about in the twenty-one days since I last posted is the importance of the question Why. I went to this presentation a couple weeks ago, and the presenter talked about when you're "selling" something to someone (not necessarily selling something for money, but making them understand an idea, perhaps) it is more important to consider Why you are selling something rather than What you are selling. People are more interested in the Why. This concept really struck me, and has actually helped me a lot with writing essays. When I was writing my Philosophy essay on the Mind-Body problem, while I was preparing, I brainstormed What I wanted to write, but I also brainstormed Why I thought what I was writing was important, and Why I wanted to convince the reader of what I was saying. I have asked "why" a lot in my lifetime (what five-year old didn't?) but now I am bringing back the question, but more to ask myself. Why am I going to school? Why am I prioritizing this over that? Why do I think that value is important?

Tonight I finished writing a paper on Woodstock. Whenever I think about Woodstock, I get this incredibly melancholy feeling because of how much I wish I could have been there. In fact, I wish I could have been a young person throughout the sixties, because it was probably the most interesting decade. That way I also could have enjoyed the seventies disco dancing :P. But I feel like I connect very deeply with the issues that were prevalent at that time (I suppose most of them still are). The thing is, this seemed to be the first time when people were finding courage and doing activism in a fearless way. So although some of the issues in the sixties are still present today (like racism and anti-war), I feel like my generation doesn't deal with it in the same way. Maybe we are all a little numbed to what we can achieve. When I was in Assisi, Italy in 2010, the tour guide who showed us around St. Francis' Basilica said some wise things about how we are overwhelming our young people. We tell them all the things that are bad in the world and then say: go do your homework, settle down and play your video games, go to school and sit still all day. He thought we should also be telling them what is being done about things and what could be done about things, not just presenting them with all this heavy information that we don't really know what to do with. That's the irresponsibility of the media, partly, I think. But anyway, I can certainly relate to what that tour guide was pointing out was wrong with how we present information to people my age. I often find myself feeling discouraged and like I'm wasting my time just sitting here in my comfortable life, going to university, and living happily, hearing about the bad stuff and feeling sad but then somewhat forgetting about it. I don't forget about it, of course, but it isn't always on the forefront of my mind because I would be crippled with discouragement all the time. You can see why I feel selfish, then. I feel sad hearing about all the different issues in the world, and I feel like I can't do anything about it. But I guess it's one of the steps just to inform myself about these things. For me, it's hard to narrow it down to one cause that I feel particularly strongly about. Everything is important, where are you supposed to start? I guess I relate most strongly with things that involve children and families, which is why I plan to have a career working with them.

As a fun side note, reading about Woodstock and watching the documentary and looking at pictures makes me long SO MUCH for summer! Summer is my favourite season (I guess I'm a little bit biased because I am a Summer Baby)! I can't wait to spend time outside, go swimming, go biking, read, write, work at the Cafe, go to outdoor concerts (hello Sappyfest!). I love the feeling of summer and the attitude everyone has. I love all the freshly grown food and the clothes you get to wear in summer. It's so close I can taste it!

Leap day is interesting. Today I was thinking about all the people who were born on a February 29th. They must be so happy when they get to celebrate their real birthday every four years. I wish I had thought of this at the beginning of the day so I could have kept my eye out, but it seems like extraordinary things should happen on Leap Days. They're like a secret passage or something that only appears every four years. You never know what magical things could happen.

I can't believe that tomorrow is a new month already. Here's to a good March and more posts and getting all my work done!

Your friendly neighbourhood Erin

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