Monday, May 2, 2016

Last of the Finals

As of today all my finals are complete and effectively, my time as a freshmen at Lewis University is complete. All I await now is to make a couple of revisions to a college writing portfolio and packup and head on home. To be honest it still has  not hit me yet with the year being over as there is always more work to be done here before I leave. Once I return home I have one days rest followed by starting work, beginning to follow a strict workout regiment. This part of my summer will last me a few weeks. Once a couple of weeks pass I'll take a vacation to visit my grandparents down in Missouri. Lewis airport is having a fly in pancake breakfast at the airport on campus so I intend to visit there with my grandfather then fly down with him to Missouri to spend time with them for a spell. After awhile I will fly back on the airlines and begin to take calculus classes over the summer at JJC and do research for the chemical physics department here at Lewis. It will be a good time I say. It shall be a busy summer but ultimately it will be a productive one that will lead me to becoming a better person and allow me a greater capacity to strive for excellence in the following fall. Summer will not necessarily be a break but a break from the regular grind and a time spent doing things that aren't simply academic. Freshman year is in the books.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


When I was transitioning from high school to college I became very interesting in philosophy and I found a passage from one of my favorite philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche that became very close to me and something that I held in the back of my head,
"What does the self-renouncer do? He strives after a higher world, he wants to fly longer and further and higher than all men of affirmation - he throws away many things that would impede his flight, and several things among them that are not valueless"

What I got from this is that I need to focus on what will propel me along in life and get rid of the things which will be in my way,  They may be good things, like friends, family, and joy from doing things that make the heart swell, however they do at the end of the day impede the flight. These things are very important indeed but they sacrifice from the main goal and that is to fly higher than those around themselves. To me the quote can come off as lofty and rather dark as the philosopher is suggesting sacrificing many things that are good and necessary to the person. One can look at this however that these are the toll one pays, so that one may become a success in the light they have decided for themselves. For me I need to remember to stay true to this "self renouncing" and make sure that I stay true to my goal.

"With this effect, however, which he makes upon us he is well content: he wants to keep concealed from us his desire, his pride, his intention of flying above us. Yes! He is wiser than we thought, and so courteous towards us this affirmer! For that is what he is, like us, even in his self-renunciation." - Friedrich Nietzsche 

Find Something Your Great At

Ever since I went to an event at the aviation department last Monday, the gears in my head have been turning. This was one of the first times I got a chance to look into the aviation department at my time here at Lewis and actually see other people in the field. What brought me to the event was world renown air show pilot Patty Wagstaff came out to talk to the school and tell some stories. What I came away from that event and what she talked about was that you need to find something that your good at for people to notice you, from there the opportunities start to open up. This got me thinking whether or not physics was the right path for me to be on or not. What it came down to was the fact that mathematics is not my strong suit and I wanted to make sure I was not wasting my time with a field that I would never be great at because my strengths do not lay in the field. What I am coming to find however is that you have to build your strengths up to where they need to be so that you can be the best in the field. Aviation I feel I simply have a head start because I have been surrounded by aviation since I was a kid. Science is something that is new to me and something that I necessarily have not taken to naturally. so it becomes important for me to begin to work on these skills more so that I am achieve the same level of fluency that I do with my interesting in aviation. Once I become good at science and mathematics I think that then my interest in the field will grow and I can really succeed in the field.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lack of Food

The one thing I find insane about the way this school works is the fact that the meal plans are cut short a week before finals weeks. Who in there right mind thought that this is a good idea is beyond me. You would think that during finals week is when the students should be pampered the most and have the most stuff available to them as they stressed out studying, and doing a final that will decide roughly a quarter of their grade. For me myself, I'm out of food and its the Thursday before finals week. I am going to end up having to pay for extra money on my meal card, but I am already having many thousands of dollars to do to this school. You would think that the place would at least make sure that their students are fed in the week before finals. I'm just thankful that finals for me are all on Monday so effectively I simply need to find food until then. I can go a few days without food Tuesday and Wednesday as I won't need brain power, simply packing things up so I can wait til I get home, but damn if there was a place to make a budget cut, I'm pretty sure that this wasn't the time and place to do so.

Finals Week

With finals week almost upon us, I have to wonder how this process will go, its starting to become apparent what my schedule for finals has all my finals on Monday. This is going to be either a blessing or a curse, which, I do not know yet. It will be nice to have everything done on the first day of the week but at the same time though its going to be hell taking 3 finals on the same day. I do think I'll be able to manage however. My first final which is chemistry, is a multiple choice scan-tron test which I do not think will be very terrible. The next exam of calculus which is 30 minutes after the first one will be something that is going to take all of my effort, but if I can maintain a level of rest and focus after the first exam I shall be ok. The final exam I'll have one Monday is general physics II which I am not worried about. Our professor promised us that the final can only help us, not hurt us, so it appears to me that this final with be a low priority compared to calc or chemistry. To have all my finals done by 3 PM on Monday will allow me to pack everything up and have plenty of time to work on correcting any writing assignment portfolio which are due Wednesday. By only having that to do, after Monday everything else will be easy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Calculus Issues

Currently as I sit my worst class is calculus 2. I can say without a doubt that calculus is something that I don't understand and gives me many annoyances. The good part though is that other than calculus I tend to get either As and Bs in everything else I do, so it helps to balance out the hit I will be getting from the calc class. We shall see however, if I keep working at it I should be able to get past this calculus 2 class. My teacher has done a lot to see that we will be in a good position to pass the class with the finals coming and what not. She has dropped a load of bad grades and even made it where we can do extra work and get our lowest grade on the quizzes to be brought up to a 100% which no doubt will help me out with the class. I simply want to pass the class so that I have more options in the future. I am already retaking Calc 1 and it is nearly impossible to find a calc 2 class in the second semester of the summer. Because of this issue I want to pass it now so that I can get what I need to get done in the summer so that I may be able to continue on my track.

College Finals

So glad to be finally more or less done with learning material and I can finally focus on studying for the finals. A part of the schooling process I am not a fan of is doing a massive amount of homework when in reality I simply need to sit down and look over the material. With homework having impending deadline it becomes a pain because instead of doing what I actually need to do to know the material I have to get the crap out of the way so I have time to work on the real meat and potatoes of what I have to do. Hopefully in the future with my next semester having larger spans of downtime, I can get my homework done more efficiently and then I'll have time to simply look over my material. Next semester will be better than the previous, that I have no doubt about. It comes down to simply trying to get over this remaining hump that is finals, and then surviving my summer college schedule. I look forward for the summer however, I think my schedule will work out in a way that will college me and allow myself to grow. Not only in the area of schooling, but I'll have a more balanced lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Aviation Summer

When summer starts this year, one of the first things I will be doing is going back to Lewis to the pancake fly in breakfast they have here every may. At this breakfast hosted by the EAA chapter at the airport, my grandfather flys up from Missouri to visit and I get a chance to see him and go flying with him. This year is going to be interesting as it will be my first year where I am attending the school and going to the pancake break fast. I can't wait to see him because it will allow me to scratch a flying itch that I have been having lately. I have to sit and wonder if science is something that I really want to do. More than science I think aviation is something that makes me come alive. I love the history, the machinery behind it, the act of doing it. I love almost everything about aviation and I long so it do it again. I don't know however, at this point it seems that I am locked into doing a science major. and on top of it, the cost for flight school is a decent amount more than a regular major. I don't know, I guess I'll keep plugging along and see if I can somehow sate this flying itch. If not now, then maybe later I guess.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Art of Staying Focused

For me the most difficult part of studying is trying to actually get studying. Once I am set up and my things are good to go, there usually is little that will distract me. What usually stops me is if the material is rather difficult, such as calculus, where I simply hate it and cannot stand to do it  because I make no head way, or I burn myself out. An interesting method I have found for long haul study sessions is a method where the person will begin to study for say 45 minutes and at the end of the 45 minutes the person gets a 15 minute break. By taking breaks every so often and after these breaks switching what materials is being worked on, the person doesn't have to worry about burning out so often and can stay able to study for longer sessions. This method works well for me but it is difficult to get into this state of mind. For me I think trying to set a schedule of when I need to study will help me to actually commit to getting the resources down pat so that I begin studying. The hardest part of any endeavor is beginning. Once the activation energy has been spent on an activity, the rest of the process is much easier than the beginning. Maybe I need to work more on simply beginning and setting time aside for myself to keep going.

Going the Extra Mile

Going the extra mile is something that is supposed to be the norm in college, or at least to me it seems so. More so for science and technical majors than other programs from what I have seen. Looking at the amount of work effort needed to become successful in these field usually seem to result in the student pushing themselves to the extremes of their endurance for study sessions, or committing themselves to a hopelessly numerous amount of projects. Somehow however, the students usually have a way to pull through and come out with the task completed. To me I think it is a learned skill. Something I have to improve upon in the future. I look to the upperclassmen and they generally live in the science hall as I have seen that some actually do. Its no uncommon to see someone sleeping on the couches in the hall or brushing their teeth in the bathroom at late hours of the night. Surely this is what it takes to succeed I think. I just need to work on my ability to operate on a a level that they do. Maybe its something that takes time to learn but hopefully by getting to the science hall at 6 AM everyday and putting the time in outside of class, I might be able to increase my endure and perform better in these classes. My current issue now, is my foundation knowledge is out of wack in some classes such as calc, that makes it very difficult to pass. The classes where I do have the necessary base knowledge I find however, I am able to succeed generally well, resulting in either high Cs at the worst to the average of a B or maybe an A or 2 depending on the class. We shall see though, as long as a preserve I think I will eventually make it through college. Just gotta keep moving.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Heat Wave

Recently here at Lewis the heat during the days have been getting into the 90s which usually are ok. Heat is something to be expected with summer  coming along. I find it not the smartest idea however, to keep the AC off in most of the buildings that have it. Yes it is very hot out and it makes it difficult to do work when your dripping in sweat in your dorm room, but if the building has AC can the school at least turn it on? I understand that the electricity is expensive but are we not paying roughly $40,000 a year to go to school here, and 2 weeks of AC is too expensive to think of? Even when they needlessly give us heat in the early part of spring which more or less roast the students in the dorms. It is funny that most of the main administration buildings do have AC on. Clearly they see its hot but its funny that those who decide where the allocation of resources go decide to focus such niceties on themselves instead of cooling down the students. Oh well what is new I suppose. "Eh the students are young they can take it." "Oh the students enjoy it, they like wearing close to nothing anything." Bah give me some AC please, its difficult when your have to manage your sweat dripping so you don't smear your homework all over the paper.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Benefits of Working Outside

Today as I write this, I sit outside on long deck with a nice shady overhang and a cool breeze blowing calmy by. I have to wonder the benefits of sitting outside and doing work. To me it seems to be a lot more calming. There are very few people walking by today so it is quiet from people traffic. One can still hear the birds and the steady hum of the AC from the surrounding building. It is a nice change of pace, studying in an environment that is pleasant and one would want to linger in. As of current I have been out here for almost 2 hours and the usual fatigue I normally get from studying is no present. It is nice and I think it is something I will do in the future. On a day like today there is a good amount of work to be done, however being out here it feels as if there's no real rush, as long as I'm sitting in my chair and do my usual boughts of 45 minutes working, 15 minutes on break the work will get done eventually, without the usual anxiety that follows. Maybe I could work faster inside where there is less ambient noise, however I find I can stand being here outside a little longer than I would need to as the environment is pleasant. I think I will start to make this more of a common thing for me. Nature really does seem to be refreshing to mind.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Building Things in the Summer

This summer I have the feeling, that the things my friends and I will be building will reach a new level of extreme. Returning to hangout this summer, between the 4 of us, we have a mechanical engineering student, agricultural engineering student, physics student, and a wielding/blacksmith technician. I can only image the crazy stuff we will be building. With previously last year of making a dart gun, pneumatic cannon, metal forge, blow dart gun, frog spears, and other crazy creations, with our increases knowledge of building things the things we will be making guarantees of fun summer. All that remains is to find a project to commit our time to, and start building our next project. Hopefully we will build something that will outdo anything that my group of friends and I have built in the past.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2.5 Weeks Left of School

As of today there is little under 2 and a half weeks of school left. To me I cannot wait to be back home again. My friend are all coming come from their far away colleges, and again we'll be able to hangout and live life up again. This summer to say isn't going to be all fun and games. This summer I'm going to be very busy, working a part time  job back at the farm, taking classes at JJC to increase my math skills, and doing research here at Lewis to build research house so that I may be able to get better internships in the future. Now thinking about it, for science majors the freshmen summer is a rather interesting perspective. It is the last summer one can take, to really fix any mistakes in learning or any discontinuities in understanding. For after this summer, it would be hard to retake any classes as the junior colleges don't offer the level of classes I would be taking. An interesting perspective to think of for sure. I am excited though however to be suring up the foundation of my understanding. For once my foundation is strong, I am not going to let it get weak again. I cannot wait to see what the next year may hold after summer, but I do know however, I am excited to be going home and be busy again of course, however a change of scenery and distractions with friends shall be a welcome change of pace.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Science Majors and Lack of Sleep

Often I wonder why does it have to be that some majors in college have to come near killing themselves to performing well in their field. Say in the natural sciences you can see people who more or less live in the department hall, doing research, homework, or some other task. They don't have much of a life outside of college, there simply isn't any time to, and often they'll have been up all night work. Its understandable that they want to succeed but when the key to success often means living off of 3 hours of sleep on a couch in front of your professors office and live in an adderall and Red Bull delirium just to sustain yourself for the long haul there simply is something that is not right about that. Science of all fields in my mind excite the imagination the most, but from my short time as a science major, the actual curriculum  takes away magic and excitement and leaves me burnt out, caffeine saturated, and questioning am I really smart enough to do what I love to do. Or at least love in idea. Maybe this is all still new to me and eventually I'll get used to the little sleep and burnt out attitude all the time but its still concerning to see that this is what is required to perform in a field known for its potential to excite the imagination.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What do I love? What do I want?

Half of the battle of trying to get what you want is actually figuring out what you want. I think I ask this often enough however, do I really know what the answer it is? Is my answer really that true? For one I know I want to attempt to do something great. When I graduated from high school, my senor quote was "There is no better life purpose, than to perish in the pursuit of the great and impossible." For me, I decided that I would strive as far as I possibly could for greatness. As of right now, the way I intent to do this is through physics and engineering. That quote helped me in deciding to pursue a physics degree, which is one of the hardest degrees to get in the natural sciences, on top of that I knew that I would want to go to grad school so that I could do research. By going to grad school I would be in a position that would let me engage in whatever pursuits I wanted within the world of physics and science as I would have immense knowledge at my disposal. What I would love to do, is leave an impact to society that would help steer mankind in the right direction to living a good and prosperous existence. In my mind physics is a field where its impact is felt in a butterfly effect. By uncovering and describing a natural phenomena, that phenomena is now able to be used to our advantage, and since discovering it and characterizing it for others to use, that person has now played a hand in whatever someone else does, using the properties discovered in the field. I thought that that is where I can do the most good, by giving humanity more knowledge about the world around ourselves, so that we can guide our own future, and essentially become the gods we once worshiped, through our own knowledge and industry..


At this point in the school year, with only 2 weeks left, its hard not to think of what the summer will be like. At the end of my first year in college, the summer to be will be a relief. I will of course be taking classes during the summer to keep me busy and gain a better understanding for when I come back in the fall, but there will be time for other things as well. There'll be a chance to work and earn some money, doing the full time school year having a job as a dual major is rather difficult, so I found it is easier to do all the working during break periods. There'll also be a chance to meet up with my old friend group. With one of my friends working as a farmer, back home, and another studying mechanical engineering in northern Michigan, it will be nice to get the group together again.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

What is the best age to travel?

After reading about how international travel can be one of the best ways to spend money to increase your happiness I then thought of the question: what is the best age to travel? Thinking about how time and finance would play into this idea it seems to be that a time where someone has ample amount of free time and cash of course would be the best age to do it. However if we followed this logic, the best time to travel internationally would be in someones retirement years. I think this is probably the worst time to travel however. If you want to make the most of your travel experience I think doing it the younger you are, the better off you'll be. By travelling international your hoping to jump out of your reality tunnel and into something new and exotic. By doing so, you ultimately alter the way you see the world, and by doing this when your at the end your life you really missing the impact as there isn't much life left for the experience to impact. I think the best time to travel then would be in the summers of college years or directly after college. Doing this allows you to have the necessary amount of freedom to really take advantage of the trip. Your not chained to your parents and your young another to mix with the new generation of the area as well as physical fit enough to do so. In addition to this, you are also old enough to really appreciate your time there and will be impressionable enough for it to greatly effect your life for the better. After thinking on this, it makes me really excited to be travelling to Italy for a week this summer. To be able to leave this country and visit somewhere like Rome and Florence the summer of my Freshman year, to me is probably the best time I could embark on a journey abroad.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weather Patterns

It is interesting our the weather these days can have such wild variations in such as small amount of time. Just today for instance one could look out the window and see 3 seasons pass in the time span of just a few hours. People often attribute this to simply, "its Chicago weather" while weather patterns always will have some form of variation as it often is a chaotic system. One can look deeper and see a trend of these wild weather patterns becoming more prevalent. It appears to me that people often overlook the idea of climate change and dismiss it as something that will never effect them when it is staring them smack straight in the face. What people fail to realize is that climate change isn't simply "global warming" while there is no doubt about it that the global temperatures are rising, that isn't to say that warming in some areas are pushing different weather systems into others and causing chaotic weather, both warm and cold.

How Environment Effects Perfromance

An interesting topic I have recently read about is how our environment effects us. It seems to appear that where we dwell has a massive impact on who we become and by what spirit we go about our daily lives. In one study it is said that people who live in a clean environment vs a messy one ultimately have better health and are happier. This is an obvious assumption but the thing is, it extend far more than what one person might thing. The idea that we can shape our environment which then in turn shapes us is an idea called ontological design. The significance in ontological design is that it gives us a tool to begin to control our lives. By controlling our environment around us we can then begin to control our thoughts by controlling what external stimuli enter our mind. By controlling what is around ourselves we have began the first time to getting better control of our lives.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Research Question

1.     I decided to do my topic of climate change denial because I want to understand why people still refuse to believe in climate change yet the evidence is very real and the consequences are dire if nothing is done about it. Is it a lack of information, or do they simply refuse to believe that the climate won’t take care of itself?
2.     I want to be able to answer why people refuse to believe in climate change or are against the idea of changing our ways so that we are more in line with protecting the environment and attempting to advert climate change.
3.     I already know that climate change is bad and that there is real evidence of its existence. What I do not understand is how someone can claim ignorance in face of the data that is presented to him or her. How do they benefit from still being a disbeliever? What do they need to hear to be able to take action or at least acknowledge this issue as being real. A person driver for me doing this is that I had an agriculture teacher that was adamant about climate change being fake even though agriculture is supremely dependent on the climate as well as weather. My teacher was always forcing his ideology down the student’s throats, and if you were not aligned to his ideals then you were ridiculed. I want to understand why someone would hold such an adamant opinion on a topic like this and how to deal with someone who is educating kids to believe in something without first questioning it or seeing the other side of the argument.
4.     I need to hear from people who do not agree with climate change and hear their arguments our and make an information judgement on what is the root cause of their sentiments. Is it economically motivated, such as big business not acknowledging  climate change  as an issue, or is it the idea that nothing happened before so why should it happen now? Or is it because people are scared to face the reality and potential impending doom if we do nothing about it.

5.     I need to read up about those who promote climate change and hear about what kind of counter arguments they hear, as well as see what climate change deniers have to say for themselves on the issue. If I can hear both sides of the argument and get an idea about what logical argument both sides have going for them. Then I might be able to ascertain why someone might disagree with the existence of severity of climate change.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Peer Review Reflection Process, How effective is it?

By using Peer Review I have found that there is a degree of collaboration that allows a paper to better come into itself. By using Peer Review, the paper gets exposed to the essence of what it will be sooner, before publishing it. That is a piece of writing that is exposed to the public and is read and digested by an audience. From my point of view as a peer reviewer I like the process as it allows me to see what my other classmates are doing and gauge how well someone else is doing on the paper and allows me to better figure how much effort needs to be exerted on the paper. More than that though however it allows me to learn more on a specific topic that the author decides to write about. Also it allows ones to notice how someone else writes and you can compare your writing style to someone else and see what is good writing and what is bad. You also learn that because it is written by someone else, with it being not your writing does not necessarily mean that it is bad writing. By learning that there are different writing styles out there, it helps to see that there are different methods of approaching the same assignment.

By having someone peer review my own paper I get the chance to hear some feedback and get the feeling of what the audience will think of the paper when it eventually becomes published. I really like to hear what someone thinks about a paper and ultimately it makes the paper stronger as it allows the paper to adapt the paper so that it is better received when it is inevitably sent out into the public domain for everyone to read.

All in all I like the peer review process, it allows me to read what other people are doing and expand my knowledge base as well as see what my classmates are working on. It also strengths everyone's paper as having someone else read and digest it and give feedback, the author can adapt the paper and make it stronger when it is published.

Explainer Reflection- Compared to Design Plan

When looking back and comparing my final product to the design plan I see how much the paper really deviated from it. Rather I should say I see how much the paper grew around this design "trellis" and grew into its own organic piece of work. As it was a created product its not going to fully fit into the form as it grows into its own, however it is possible to see where the product comes from looking past the leaves and looking and seeing the bark knurled around this design trellis one can see what beginning the paper originally had. For my particular paper I used the design plan as simply a way to get my idea started. Its not so much as a plan as it is a way for me to put my ideas down in a general mind map, where I can go in and make it something that has a more guided finish. As I consider my work style spontaneous, I like to go in, empty my mind and simply write on a topic. Whatever form the paper takes that is what the general form the paper will be. It is then my job to try and cut back the growth into the plan of what it ought to be. Perhaps this is why I do not like writing papers that have a very narrowed and specified focus. By using intuition and random association while writing the paper, it will inevitably trail off into its own path depending on what is around me or what enters my mind at the time of writing. This is my preferred style of writing as it allows for creativity to flow. I think its rather hard to really plan a good piece of creative writing, even though this isn't necessary a creative piece, there is an element of wordsmithing that I think requires a greater degree of freedom for it to be fully realized.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Study Methods

It occurs to me that its not whether a person actually works on an assignment or not, that determines whether they the assignment will be done. Rather is has more to do with what the person is doing when they are not working on the assignment. Its insane how much time can pass needlessly when we do necessary activities during our day, due to us not effectively performing the task. An examples of this could be getting up in the morning to get out of bed, into the shower, and out again to get dressed. For me this call could be accomplished in under 20 minutes if I were fully focused on doing this, however laying in bed not wanting to get up, or checking the phone in the morning prevents this from being happened. In all this whole process that could of taken 20 minutes when fully engage in the activity, takes 30 or 40 minutes. Time that could of been used studying or getting to the AS building to start the day. Although the difference between being fully focused and half assing it is maybe 10 or 20 minutes, this does inevitably add up over the course of the day. At the end of the day a person could of lost 1 or 2 hours to not being fully focused in the task at hand. I've come to the realization then that becoming efficient in accomplishing our daily tasks comes down to controlling our attention. Makes sense why someone might advocate meditation for increasing productivity.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Explanatory Synthesis Notes

What am I explaining?

In the explainer I am writing, I am talking about Marcus Aurelius and his impact on Stoic philosophy. The reasoning for doing this is because often wisdom that was once unique and unheard insight, eventually becomes assimilated into everyday thinking, and eventually vanishes from wisdom as the original context is lost, thus the wisdom is thrown out. Another scenario is that there is wisdom that becomes everyday common fact and people end up forgetting where it comes from and what it really means. By digging back into history and finding where these insights come from, it is possible to expand the context of the wisdom and gain a fuller understanding of what is being said, than simply knowing the general jist of the idea at surface level. My goal is to explain the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius and his impact on stoic philosophy, which in turn impacted society.

The first sources is the book that Marcus Aurelius wrote, which is Meditations. Meditations is a collected or short, pieces of wisdom and insight from his life. Usually from 1 line in length to generally no more than a page long. His book is a book of aphorisms. This will be the sources from where I will draw examples the original pieces of wisdom.

Another source will be the a biography of the life of Marcus Aurelius. By knowing his life I can explain who Marcus exactly was and what made him so good as an emperor and how his philsophy might of influences his rule and why it brought him so much praise, to the point where he was often considered the "ideal" roman emperor. 

I am also considering using Epictetus's book Discourses, as he was the most important Stoic philosopher from Marcus Aurelius's time. Marcus considered him only a humble student of philosophy so it is expected that he was deeply influences by Epictetus's work.

Finally my last source will be some kind of video on either stoic philosophy or Marcus Aurelius's life. Currently I am not sure which one I will be doing yet, however I have collected a few videos that I could use.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Teleological Vs Deontological Ethics

Two very important concepts that are used throughout modern common knowledge are the ideas of teleological and deontological ethics. Long complex words that form the concepts of what most people know intuitively, such is the ancient wisdom that has become assimilated into everyday knowledge.

Statically speaking most people of the world follow a form of ethics that falls under the category of denotological ethics. Deon coming from the greek word for duty, and ological, meaning modality of something, is ethics where the end goal is not the total sum of the argument but in reaching that goal, the methods used are dictated by some authority. The reason why denotological ethics falls under the category of what most people follow is because judao-christian religions follow deonotolgical ethics. People do not live for an end goal but they have duty in how they live there lives. There is some form of authority that judge how they live.

On the other hand telelogical ethics or ethics with end, are focused soley on the end result. An example of teleogical ethics would be egoism which is the belief that happiness is the goal of human existence and it doesn't matter what it takes for you to reach that goal of happiness. If you achieve happiness, then it is good. Another example would be utilitarianism which is the belief that whatever benefits the sum of humanity is good, and it is good irregardless of what path it takes to get there.

These two classes of ethics makes up the a large portion of the creeds and ideologies we follow today in some way or another. Personally I find myself falling into the camp of teleological ethics. Teleological ethics I believe is a belief system that allows more freedom for the individual and it takes out a lot of the heem and hawing of trying to figure out if something is good. Along the lines of what the roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Arulius once said. "Stop arguing about what is good and do it." Essentially it is better to simply be what you personally believe is good, instead of trying to argue semantics. If more people were to follow in teleological ethics I think that it would relief alot of people of the anguish they find themselves dealing with. A few examples would be a gay christian trying to reconcile his homosexuality with this religion, or a scientist coming to a conclusion that refutes what his religion teaches. If they followed a teleogical ethical process then it cuts alot of the intrepeting and get to the real meat of doing what is good. What you personally believe is good.

What does it mean when I say freedom?
Freedom to me is something that is very important to living a fulfilling life, however there is a certain clause that affects this joy of freedom. I believe it was Soren Kierkegaard who made this statement, "The vertigo of freedom". Freedom is something that should be looked for in a personal understanding of the world. When someone chooses a belief system it should be a system that allows the person to be the best that they can be and to reach the highest degree of their potential. Another quote that pertains to this would be what Ernst Becker said, something of a paraphrase of this is "Our beliefs are only an illusion as the truth is too hard to comprehend. So what is the best illusion to choose? actual quote (I think the whole question would be answered in terms of how much freedom, dignity, and hope a given illusion provides). The most detrimental thing a belief system can do to you I believe is deny you of using your life to live the way you want to live. To purposely stifle your wills and desires simply to conform to a creed. A major example of this would be Christianity. As what the existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said "Christian morality is a life denying morality" and even more than that he said "There are two great (toxins) of Europe, the first is alcohol, the second is Christianity." A reason for this sentiment is that Christianity lulls one into a false sense of thinking that everything is ok. Everything is good when really things are not ok and because they have this false sense of security they will never see the situation they are trapped in. Mental slavery in a way. Another way of saying how this is a life denying morality is the fact that Christianity follows a slave morality. What is desired but too hard to obtain is condemned and what is possessed but not necessary wanted is praised.

The Revision Process

Revision is something I struggle with but am slowly becoming better at. Revision was always a hassle for me as I am a person who loves the idea of the spontaneous prose, often when I write my brain turns off and I simply write which allows the subconscious to emerge and often times the writing is very creative and forms a unique insight that not many people would expect. After I'm done writing I don't want to go back and clean it up because that would mean that I have to alter what is essentially the transcription of my thoughts, however not all writing is suited for that kind of approach. Often work done in that method shouldn't even be done outside of person journaling as the grammar, spelling, and sentence structure typically lacks (fragment city).

When revising now, I try to revise by going through and reading the paper 3 times before I even have someone else look at my paper. I'll go through the first time looking for spelling and grammar first usually, making sure my paper sounds like it wasn't written by a first grader. The next time I'll go through and make sure that this is what I really want my paper to say. Am I presenting the right ideas to my readers? Is the message on the paper the same one I have in my head? Finally I'll go through the third time which is the time I check for everything I did in the last two read through, however I read the paper thoroughly to make sure that all the error I can notice are gone. Once my 3 reads are done I'll call that a first draft then take the draft to someone else to read to see if they can help me improve the paper further.

One revision method I tried experimenting with was writing my first rough draft in pen. I figured that having to write via pen and paper would cause me to slow down my writing and think a bit more about my word choice. What I soon found however was that my writing slowed down too much. Each sentence was like an island unto itself and the paper didn't flow well. My explanations also tended to be sort as the hand written copy would take so long I assumed my explanation last alot longer than it really did reading it. Finally I found that it is harder to rearrange what you want to say as your writing the paper. One of the big advantages I found when writing and revising on the computer is that I can clearly see all the words written out before me and I can change and rearrange them on the fly so I can get my message right the first time, or at least a clearer way. In the future I want to experiment with writing a rough draft with pen and paper. There is something about the old ways of writing seems appealing to me. (my collection of fountain pens would indicate this interest).

Overall the revision process is something that requires times and diligence. Even though it may be the least exciting part of writing, it is the part that separates okay writing to great writing. It is during the revision process where the real message of the writing comes on the page and where you find the gem within the page.  

Synthesis Essay Reflection

Overall, I think my essay turned out the way I hope it did. While the essay does not really reflect my initial design plan, it does in essence captures a synthesis between two ideas, which helped me make a fundamental shift in my thinking. If there were a process I could have improved upon it would have to be the initial design and outlining stage. Those are the parts of writing I hate the most, even more than editing and revision because I am stuck to whatever I plans prior. In terms of making the final draft and revisions, those I feel were the easiest parts. The idea was already laid out on the page. The only thing that remained was to polish those ideas so they could be presented clearly to anyone who reads the paper. I am very happy with the way the paper turned out and I think it would be a nice edition to my writing portfolio. The reason why I liked this paper so much was that this assignment allowed me to shift the focus to something I wanted to talk about. As a whole, I am happy with the work I produced and cannot wait to see what comes of it. Moving onto what I do next, I hope to do better with my design plan. For this synthesis essay I felt that a design plan wasn’t imperative to the paper was only two outside sources were used and it is hard to go astray when comparing to the structure and organizing required in the upcoming research and analysis papers. Those papers I am excited to write as research and analysis are my favorite genre of writing because I get to tear into ideas, break the apart and find out what they are worth. Moving on from here I think I am in a good place to improve my writing abilities.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Responsibility of Bloggers

In Snider's opinion there is a sense of community and connection between those who read each others blogs. A person may simply stumbled upon a blog thread and find themselves becoming deeply connected to the person on the other side of the transaction. The person reading has a window into the authors life and acts as a "fly on the wall". The fact that there can be an audience to someones life has a unique position that is rare to find in life, outside of the famous which I can imagine alot of people  find appealing. Overall Snider held the idea that there is a genuine connection between people across a theoretically infinite amount of space. The possibles are fantastic knowing that interpersonal connections are no longer confined to locality.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Blog Purpose

It finally occurred to me that maybe I should begin to actually write this blog of mine. After-all I do need the grade and me continuing to put this off isn't going to help anyone. Before starting however, I think it is necessary to sent out a purpose of what this blog is going to be. Having a unified subject matter or at-least theme for the blog would allow some unity.

The purpose of this blog is to act as an idea journal. A journal were I'll discuss unfinished ideas and what I consider to be "a work in progress" as well as anything I find through my day to be worthwhile of further analysis and prodding. The a recount of my day and the analysis of what happened perhaps. Ultimately this journal/blog to me is going to be a place of reflection and analysis which I hope will reward me with some more insight into my life. If you care to come along then feel free to do so. Hopefully you'll gain to insight into your own life and we might be able to help one another.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What are our responsibilities to each other when we blog? Do we have responsibilities to others when we communicate?

One can sit in the silent solitude of their room and transcribe what thoughts and experience ones notices throughout their day into a small little journal that one hides under their pillow at night. Experiences and ideas that transports the reading into the mind of the author. A chance to delve into the idiocies of the subject and reveals what cognitive functions and preconceived notions makes the subject what they are.

What blogging does to the author is bring these reflective moments of solitude into the public domain and allows their innermost thoughts and ideas to seep into media where the process of writing is not only active but is also reactionary. People can be exposed to what ideas and realities that lie within ones head. It allows the reader to meet the author and the author meets them in return. Blogging allows the reader to step into another persons "reality tunnel", a reality in which ones dwells equipped with their own preconceived notions and understanding of the world which in turn shapes the direction of their moment to moment experience. As a person reading a blog the reader has a chance to break out of their personal "reality tunnel" and see what another person can see. A type of inter-subjectivity mediated by the technology of blogging.

As stated earlier, a persons blog in essence is a manifestation of the subjective reality the author dwells in. As such it is important to come to the realization that the reader has the duty of being a fly on the window, to peer into a person see how they see. I believe there is a duty to the reader to approach a blog with a sense of humility.