Archive for the ‘ College ’ Category

Time to write again

Something that I believe I’ve never appreciated when I was younger was the concept of simplistic and understandable communication.  While in school (especially middle school and high school) I believed that more was better.  Rather than boiling my ideas or concepts into their most fundamental and basic structure I would use complicated and unnecessary language to appear to have a LOT to say about something which often was very simple.

 

While communicating clearly is a valuable tool, the ability to make something beautiful can complement an important message as long as you choose to use techniques (be they written words, powerful quotes, or interesting videos) to make your message more impactful.  When I was in the military my words carried their own gravitas.  This was, in my opinion, because of the historic time of my writing, as well as the emotion I was conveying.  Since then, I have not felt the same motivation to write and communicate on a personal level.  Part of this is due to my own struggle with what happened to as a soldier and what Iraq represented for me.  Having some distance from that time and from the complicated and nuanced mental (and physical) luggage I was encumbered by, I now have greater appreciation for what I went through when I was such a young man.

 

Now, you may be asking yourself why I’m writing this (ironically over-complicated) message.  I am also asking myself why I am writing, and I believe I have my answer.  I am writing simply to write.  Over the last decade or so I’ve written quite a bit, but post Iraq most of my writing has been for work or college.  Writing for myself was one of the most cathartic things I have ever done, but we (I’m using the royal we when I really mean I here) often make excuses to do those things which are good for us.  The same holds true for working out (for me).  Speaking of working out, I’ve begun swimming 1000 meters about 2 times a week.  Never have I liked running so swimming is a great mental compromise for my cardio health.

 

Perhaps you have enjoyed my writing in the past (and maybe you are even enjoying this rambling piece), while I do write for your sake I want to make it clear that on a much deeper and meaningful level I actually write for myself and my own sake.  My children have even enjoyed a bit of my fiction writing and have asked me to finish the story I once began for them.  Perhaps with that too, I will find my motivation and finish it, or who knows, I could begin a new story and see where such a story takes me.  If you have made it this far then you may be wondering where my simple and concise message is.  Perhaps someday I will get to such a message, but for today you will have to accept this instead.

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I’m pretty proud of myself today

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New Videos of Baby Ducks and the Turtle

My kids and I caught some awesome footage of baby ducks and we saved a turtle, come check out the videos we filmed:

Life is adventure, and fear…

Days blend to weeks and weeks to years.  We often find ourselves feeling spent and done with.  I feel that way lately, stressed about school, about work, and about the finalizing of my divorce.  Not to mention bills and such.  Then I look at life, look at those around me, the strangers I see pass me by.  They too are living life.  This stressful world we live in is wonderful, difficult, and absurd all at the same time.

The things that happen to us, part of me believes that there is a reason for everything, but the other side of that coin is that there must be some level of chaos, of unpredictability.  I get lost in it all, but I also think that is the point of life as well.  People talk of thriving, of never having a care in the world.  I am content right now to keep my head afloat, and in a few weeks or months I will be sailing again on the choppy and wonderfully unpredictable sea of life.

One last thing… something my father once told me.  There are always choices.  You can do anything you want to.  You just need to do it.  People travel the world on less money than I have, they build wonders and write of their adventures.  There are very few real excuses to be made.  Me?  I will take life one day at a time, but with my eye on my goals.  I never want to lose sight of my dreams entirely.  So next time the waves cover my head, I will remember that the surface is above me, all I need to do is swim back up to it.  Sometimes easier said than done, but that is indeed life.

USF Orientation

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So I’m sitting here at USF (University of South Florida) for transfer student orientation.  I’m one of those military guys who has a bunch of college credit but no actual degree.  I’ve gone to 3 different schools… I figured it was time to settle down and just complete my BA.  In what you ask?  Yeah, I’ll tell ya when I know.  I have a bunch of language credits (I’m fluent in Arabic), a bunch of Psychology credits and that’s about it.  It is my first time in a brick and mortar institution, most of my time in high education has been spent doing online classes or in military college institutions (like the defense language institute).

So what am I feeling you ask?  Not overwhelmed but out-of-place may be more accurate.  I see so many young boys and girls here, freshmen or sophomores who are in their late teens or early twenties.  At least with the online classes I didn’t feel so old because they were impersonal and anonymous.   We shall see how I do.  I think that I can fit in here and it will be exciting to expand my horizons and options but for now I’ll be happy to sit here with my headphones on by my lonesome self rather than to mingle with those who I can no longer identify with (I am a 3 tour combat veteran, a single father of 2 and a full-time job).  Perhaps in time those connections will form.