Tuesday, October 31, 2006

To Proofread, or Not to Proofread?

We’ve all done it. Anyone who has ever written anything comes to that point where you just want to get it over with and you don’t want to see it anymore. Therefore, you cut corners and fail to give it that one last read, assuming that everything is will be fine, only to find a glaring mistake once it is too late to correct.

Working as a journalist, I have had more than my fair share of mistakes. Many of which are pointed out so graciously by blue-haired, bitter, old women who desperately need a life.

I had to chuckle, however, as I glanced over a story written by a co-worker. I was about to send it to the local media outlets. Our school’s annual “scholarship pageant” will be held within the next couple of weeks. Being a good, faith-based institution we are especially careful not to call it a beauty pageant. In fact, we are so worried about stereotyping that we go way out of our way to not pick the prettiest girl, even if she is also the most deserving. ... but that's a soap box for another post.

Anyway, about four paragraphs down, as the story talked about the talents and abilities of the young ladies it said, "... it will be a touch decision for the judges.”

… ooops!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Silly questions ...

I stole this from my sister who said I should do this.

1. List two things that are true of you that are not stereotypically true of members of some group that you belong to.
a. I never sleep past 7 a.m., even on weekends, no matter how late I stay up the night before.
b. I cook the majority of my own meals.

2. List two unusual talents that you have.
a. I can wiggle my eyes back and forth really quickly.
b. I can curl my tongue.

3. List two unusual weaknesses that you have.
a. I have a very strong gag reflex. I get the dry heaves while brushing my teeth.
b. There may be others, but I’m not going to tip off my mortal enemies in fear that they may use the information against me.

4. List two unusual things that you aspire to.
a. I want to write a book.
b. … apparently I have very low aspirations for myself …

5. List two words that you use more than most people do.
a. I don’t use any words more than other people. No catch phrases, no identifying statements. Some people think I am rather quiet and don’t talk much at all. They apparently just haven’t found the right topic to get me motivated.
b. …………….

6. List two foods that you dislike and most other people like
a. onions
b. more onions

7. List two strange habits that you have
a. I am not a habitual person … or I’m habitually not a person; something like that
b. I tend to fabricate the nature of my unorthodox behavior.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Inquiring Minds Part II ...

... And furthermore, just because a mouse has a bigger head, ears, eyes and teeth, does that really make it a new species? I've seen humans like that and we don't classify them as a new species.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Inquiring minds ...

Breaking news from the world of science!

It appears that a new species of mouse has been discovered on Cyprus. I just read an article on the MSNBC Web site that says, and I quote:

“The "living fossil" mouse has a bigger head, ears, eyes and teeth than other European mice and is found only on Cyprus…"

My question is, if they just found it … it has just recently been discovered … it has been hidden and undetected for however many thousands of years (or perhaps just a few days) … then how do they know it is found “only on Cyprus?”

… just thought I’d ask.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What can we do?

I should be working right now, but I must admit that the thought of being a slave to anything at the moment is relatively unpleasant.

I’m sure anyone who is half-way human and some of those who aren’t have heard all about the school shootings in the news lately. I don’t know the full stories about what all is going on and I don’t care to know. Watching the news programs disturb me a great deal. I get so tired of hearing all the crap surrounding the idiots in society. I hate hearing all the bad news all the time. And that’s exactly how new stations should promote themselves … “All bad news! All the time!”

To top it off, the reason I don’t really feel like working at the moment is that we had a shooting/non-shooting at the local high school this morning. I haven’t heard any of the facts, but unsubstantiated rumors say that no one was injured and there were no fatalities. Radio reports are saying there were no shots fired at all, but a mother of a high school student just walked past my door after picking up her son who said he heard the shots and hit the ground.

At this point, I don’t know the truth and I don’t really care. It still invokes in me a rage, born from disgust, discouragement and cloud of depression about the state of society. I would love to rid the world of stupid, bad people, but that is not an option. The Christian in me knows that we should love these people, pity their situations and pray for them, but the human in me wants to see them disappear.

Why do I get so upset about these things? My wife is a teacher in the school system. My daughter is a first-grader in the school system. The university for which I work currently has student teachers working in the school system, several of whom I consider friends. And some of those were at the high school this morning.

… As I walked out of the class just the day before, a young lady in the class walked beside me. This class is doubling as an undergraduate level course for traditional students like her, as well as a graduate level class for old(er) people like me. As we exited the building she said in a somewhat light-hearted manner, “I thought we were all going to die today.”

Our class ran a little long and in the process one of the students for the next class came into the room. He was a big guy, a wide body, with a slicked back pony tail and had the general look of someone who might want to thwart the government. I can’t really explain the look other than to say he didn’t really look like the proverbial alter boy. He was wearing an oversized shirt and moderately baggy pants.

“When he came in,” the young lady said, “he had his arms down by his side and I couldn’t see his hands. I wasn’t sure if he was carrying his books or a gun.”

Although she said it in a light-hearted manner, I could tell there was a hint of seriousness about it as well. In moments like that, you realize how much these situations affect the people around us. While that thought never crossed my mind, it had crossed hers and it is apparently something some of our students worry about. And what could I do? I couldn’t reassure her. I couldn’t tell her not to worry because that will never happen here. I couldn’t tell her that if someone did attack our school they would surely choose to shoot up the education building, not the business building.

So what did I do? I reassured her that we had all survived. … Boy, that’s a big help isn’t it.

I guess there’s no real point to this blog entry other than to say I just don’t understand what makes people do this kind of thing. And furthermore, I have no idea what can be done to prevent it.

… I guess that’s why I’m not ultimately in charge. Thank God.