“Everything rides on hope now…”
The past couple weeks have been a bit of a rough transition back into life here in the States. I knew I might have some stress jumping straight back into classes and work, but I never imagined how stressful and how purposeless I would feel. There have been times I just feel like I’m moving through life with no purpose. Most of this feeling is just because I have been exhausted and tiredness always messes with my emotions, but part of this emotion is true. My life in London had so much purpose on a daily level, but here at school it’s harder to see the purpose of everyday life. I have been frustrated with the idea of sitting in classes and writing papers just to get a grade. It feels so pointless compared to the work I did in London. Last night was one of those nights, but my friend reminded me that I have to look at the bigger picture. Sitting in classes and writing papers does have purpose in that it is preparing me for more. Also there are little things in life that I can do that have daily purpose and serve a goal of sharing love.
“When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I’ll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm”
Hope is what will pull me through this transition back to the daily grind here. Hope that God has it all figured out. Hope that He will reveal my heart’s questions in the right time. Hope that God knows what I desire and how and when to best fulfill those desires. Hope that it will feel better soon. Hope that I will make it through.
There’s nothing I can do to make life slow down a bit.
“Everything rides on hope now.
Everything rides on faith somehow.”
How to explain where I’m from to someone who has little knowledge of the United States:
That is a tricky situation. The person seems genuinely interested and they might know where NYC and Florida and maybe Texas are. Okay. Not exactly close.
Maybe I should carry a map around with me at all times.
Ever since I traveled to Panama, which is in Central America but also technically part of North and South America, the phrase “Americans” referring to United States citizens has bugged me. It only got worse when I really thought about it in my EDS class last semester. The thing is, US citizens are not the only Americans. It’s pompous to assume that someone is talking about USA when saying American, because there are several Americas. Since I can’t think of what else to call myself than American, I can let that slide most of the time. I am American, but I realize that covers a vast amount of space. What really bugs me is when people say I am from America and mean the United States.
This has happened to me numerous times and numerous times I have had to bite my tongue. It’s a mixture of questions I receive; sometimes they ask “are you from the States?” or “Are you from the United States?” but when they ask “Are you from America?” my response is always “Yes I am from the United States.” It’s a picky detail, but it’s one I want to be clear about. I want to be respectful of those other countries who also recognize that they are from America as well, just a different America.
I ran across an article in the LA Times that intrigued me. It related criminal violence with the amount of time that children watch television. Apparently, rather than the reccommended 2 hours a day, most United States children are watching an average of 4 hours a day. They did a study in New Zealand that “concluded that every extra hour of television watched by children on a weeknight increased by 30% the risk of having a criminal conviction by age 26.” Wow. Okay, now I must admit that figure doesn’t astound me too much since that is based on New Zealand and not the United States. If the article is about the United States, a study should be done in the US, because our culture is different than culture in New Zealand.
There was a study done in the Seattle-area that studied the type of television the children watched. Rather than asking parents to limit the TV time, children were redirected to watch different shows. The ones that spent their time watching non-violent, semi-educational shows were more social after 6 months and 12 months.
This article interested me because my house has not had a TV since I was in third grade. That makes me interested in how television affects children’s social and academic life. All of my siblings are advanced academically and enjoy reading, which I attribute to the fact that we read instead of watching television. I’m not sure about the social aspect since it’s hard to judge my own family, but it’d be interesting to hear more of these types of studies. I believe that children should be exposed to TV as little as possible as young children, because it has to help their imagination to think and play.