Friday, December 24, 2004

Doll using Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Alan Duff's "Once Were Warriors"

I might have to read this book someday. An excerpt from the summary:
Following in his father's footsteps as a displaced warrior is Nig Heke, the eldest son, who becomes a member of the Brown Fist gang. While Maori warriors of the past fought with honor, even tending to their wounded enemies in an effort to ensure they could continue to fight, these Brown Fist modern day warriors have no such code of ethics. Instead they threaten their neighborhood with unprovoked violence, even going so far as to kick a woman in the face. As Nig poignantly reflects, "The dream'd turned to a nightmare" (Pg.153).

After becoming a Brown Fist, Nig has his face tattooed like his Maori warrior ancestors. He gets his tattoo done with a tattoo gun, rather than in the traditional Maori method of chiseling it on. Nig has a dream one night in which he asks men with detailed face tattoos if they are his Maori ancestors. They answer:

'No. We are not of your cowardly blood, for we know you are knowing fear. We are warriors'... Nig gestured frantically towards his face, his new tattoos just like theirs and freshly swollen from doing... Their tattooed faces were deeply etched, while his manhood markings were but lightly marked (Pgs. 182-183).

In this passage, Duff reflects upon the difference between the Maori warriors of the past and the recent Maori gangs. The "deeply etched" tattoos were chiseled in, often taking several weeks or even months to do, symbolizing the deep honor, responsibility and work that went into becoming a warrior. The Brown Fists and other gangs were "lightly marked," both literally and figuratively. The tattoos took less time, pain, and investment to have done.

Functions of poverty

I was going to just type out what my college text says, but then I thought, "Surely someone else has done this already." And a quick search lead me to the original article:

Herbert J. Gans. The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All.
Social Policy July/August 1971: pp. 20-24.

To quote:

The Functions of Poverty
First, the existence of poverty ensures that society's "dirty work" will be done. Every society has such work: physically dirty or dangerous, temporary, dead-end and underpaid, undignified and menial jobs. Society can fill these jobs by paying higher wages than for "clean" work, or it can force people who have no other choice to do the dirty work - and at low wages. In America, poverty functions to provide a low-wage labor pool that is willing - or rather, unable to be unwilling - to perform dirty work at low cost. Indeed, this function of the poor is so important that in some Southern states, welfare payments have been cut off during the summer months when the poor are needed to work in the fields. Moreover, much of the debate about the Negative Income Tax and the Family Assistance Plan [welfare programs] has concerned their impact on the work incentive, by which is actually meant the incentive of the poor to do the needed dirty work if the wages therefrom are no larger than the income grant. Many economic activities that involve dirty work depend on the poor for their existence: restaurants, hospitals, parts of the garment industry, and "truck farming," among others, could not persist in their present form without the poor.

Second, because the poor are required to work at low wages, they subsidize a variety of economic activities that benefit the affluent. For example, domestics subsidize the upper middle and upper classes, making life easier for their employers and freeing affluent women for a variety of professional, cultural, civic and partying activities. Similarly, because the poor pay a higher proportion of their income in property and sales taxes, among others, they subsidize many state and local governmental services that benefit more affluent groups. In addition, the poor support innovation in medical practice as patients in teaching and research hospitals and as guinea pigs in medical experiments.

Third, poverty creates jobs for a number of occupations and professions that serve or "service" the poor, or protect the rest of society from them. As already noted, penology would be minuscule without the poor, as would the police. Other activities and groups that flourish because of the existence of poverty are the numbers game, the sale of heroin and cheap wines and liquors, Pentecostal ministers, faith healers, prostitutes, pawn shops, and the peacetime army, which recruits its enlisted men mainly from among the poor.

Fourth, the poor buy goods others do not want and thus prolong the economic usefulness of such goods - day-old bread, fruit and vegetables that otherwise would have to be thrown out, secondhand clothes, and deteriorating automobiles and buildings. They also provide incomes for doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others who are too old, poorly trained or incompetent to attract more affluent clients.

In addition to economic functions, the poor perform a number of social functions:

Fifth, the poor can be identified and punished as alleged or real deviants in order to uphold the legitimacy of conventional norms. To justify the desirability of hard work, thrift, honesty, and monogamy, for example, the defenders of these norms must be able to find people who can be accused of being lazy, spendthrift, dishonest, and promiscuous. Although there is some evidence that the poor are about as moral and law-abiding as anyone else, they are more likely than middle-class transgressors to be caught and punished when they participate in deviant acts. Moreover, they lack the political and cultural power to correct the stereotypes that other people hold of them and thus continue to be thought of as lazy, spendthrift, etc., by those who need living proof that moral deviance does not pay.

Sixth, and conversely, the poor offer vicarious participation to the rest of the population in the uninhibited sexual, alcoholic, and narcotic behavior in which they are alleged to participate and which, being freed from the constraints of affluence, they are often thought to enjoy more than the middle classes. Thus many people, some social scientists included, believe that the poor not only are more given to uninhibited behavior (which may be true, although it is often motivated by despair more than by lack of inhibition) but derive more pleasure from it than affluent people (which research by Lee Rainwater, Walter Miller and others shows to be patently untrue). However, whether the poor actually have more sex and enjoy it more is irrelevant; so long as middle-class people believe this to be true, they can participate in it vicariously when instances are reported in factual or fictional form.

Seventh, the poor also serve a direct cultural function when culture created by or for them is adopted by the more affluent. The rich often collect artifacts from extinct folk cultures of poor people; and almost all Americans listen to the blues, Negro spirituals, and country music, which originated among the Southern poor. Recently they have enjoyed the rock styles that were born, like the Beatles, in the slums, and in the last year, poetry written by ghetto children has become popular in literary circles. The poor also serve as culture heroes, particularly, of course, to the Left; but the hobo, the cowboy, the hipster, and the mythical prostitute with a heart of gold have performed this function for a variety of groups.

Eighth, poverty helps to guarantee the status of those who are not poor. In every hierarchical society, someone has to be at the bottom; but in American society, in which social mobility is an important goal for many and people need to know where they stand, the poor function as a reliable and relatively permanent measuring rod for status comparisons. This is particularly true for the working class, whose politics is influenced by the need to maintain status distinctions between themselves and the poor, much as the aristocracy must find ways of distinguishing itself from the nouveaux riches.

Ninth, the poor also aid the upward mobility of groups just above them in the class hierarchy. Thus a goodly number of Americans have entered the middle class through the profits earned from the provision of goods and services in the slums, including illegal or nonrespectable ones that upper-class and upper-middle-class businessmen shun because of their low prestige. As a result, members of almost every immigrant group have financed their upward mobility by providing slum housing, entertainment, gambling, narcotics, etc., to later arrivals - most recently to Blacks and Puerto Ricans.

Tenth, the poor help to keep the aristocracy busy, thus justifying its continued existence. "Society" uses the poor as clients of settlement houses and beneficiaries of charity affairs; indeed, the aristocracy must have the poor to demonstrate its superiority over other elites who devote themselves to earning money.

Eleventh, the poor, being powerless, can be made to absorb the costs of change and growth in American society. During the nineteenth century, they did the backbreaking work that built the cities; today, they are pushed out of their neighborhoods to make room for "progress. Urban renewal projects to hold middle-class taxpayers in the city and expressways to enable suburbanites to commute downtown have typically been located in poor neighborhoods, since no other group will allow itself to be displaced. For the same reason, universities, hospitals, and civic centers also expand into land occupied by the poor. The major costs of the industrialization of agriculture have been borne by the poor, who are pushed off the land without recompense; and they have paid a large share of the human cost of the growth of American power overseas, for they have provided many of the foot soldiers for Vietnam and other wars.

Twelfth, the poor facilitate and stabilize the American political process. Because they vote and participate in politics less than other groups, the political system is often free to ignore them. Moreover, since they can rarely support Republicans, they often provide the Democrats with a captive constituency that has no other place to go. As a result, the Democrats can count on their votes, and be more responsive to voters - for example, the white working class - who might otherwise switch to the Republicans.

Thirteenth, the role of the poor in upholding conventional norms (see the fifth point, above) also has a significant political function. An economy based on the ideology of laissez faire requires a deprived population that is allegedly unwilling to work or that can be considered inferior because it must accept charity or welfare in order to survive. Not only does the alleged moral deviancy of the poor reduce the moral pressure on the present political economy to eliminate poverty but socialist alternatives can be made to look quite unattractive if those who will benefit most from them can be described as lazy, spendthrift, dishonest and promiscuous.

My college text pulls out two more functions - 14) absorbing political and economic costs of social renewal by providing "foot soldiers" for these programs and 15) adding to political stability and centrist policies by non-participation. I noticed that some other sites also add two more, but state them differently. It seems to be a matter of how you break it all down.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Short summary of “Public Assistance and Income Maintenance”

In “Public Assistance and Income Maintenance”, H. Wayne Johnson introduces the social and demographic makeup of American poverty, and the functions that poverty serves in our society. He summarizes antipoverty programs like social insurance and public assistance, dispelling a few myths along the way. The chapter concludes with a short discussion of tax reforms.

Some poverty is insular, based on social grouping and geography, such as minority communities and areas with a high manual labor force. Other poverty is more of a case situation. People who are poor because of job lay-offs, disability, marital status, health problems, addictions, or lack of education. These people can be living in affluent communities and still are poor. Like some other social problems, poverty is tough to correct because it serves many roles in our society. The most obvious being cheap labor and someone to do the “dirty work”. One of the not so obvious roles is the prolonging of marketability of obsolete or lesser quality manufactured goods. Then there is the psychological dependency of the more affluent who use the poorer classes as a means to boost their perceived self-worth and give them a chance to experience the excitement of “slumming”.

Most antipoverty programs can be separated into social insurance and public assistance. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation are examples of social insurance programs. These are meant for all citizens, regardless of their social economical status, race, creed, age, gender, etc. Public assistance programs are usually aimed to a specific group(s), like the handicapped, aged and children, mothers and so forth. They include services like housing, food stamps, food assistance, Medicaid and educational assistance. Tax reforms have also brought more relief in the form of deductions and tax credits.

This chapter is informative and gives the reader a good basis for coming to terms with the truth of American poverty and the programs designed to combat it. One could ask themselves, though, if it is possible to remove some of the psychosocial need for poverty in our society might help us to actually succeed better in reducing it - or even removing it. To remove the deep cause of poverty and our reliance on it. Perhaps it is not, but it does cause one to stop and think of our convictions and beliefs.

tick -tick -tick

Monday, December 20, 2004

For my entertainment.

Though I will give you a personal invitation to my insanity.

The Changeling Chronicles

You'll have to click on the pictures to read most of them. I'm not a big time webcomic artist. I'm just a nut letting off steam.

The story actually begins here.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Meeting Spiritual/Emotional needs Iroquois style

Each nation is also divided into two halves, or moieties. Moieties provide ceremonial services for each other. In particular, they bury the other side's dead and console them during their grief.
(from Carnegie Museums)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Someone else caught this.

A friend checking out my objections to The Wealth Building Foundation, brought this to my attention:

Note the unauthorized use of the Verisign logo near the submit form ;) the form is not submitted securely, and there's no https:// version of the site, so there are no valid reasons to use the logo.

As I said before, an obvious scam.

Meanwhile, the debate goes on. One of the participants is summarizing his experience:

Nase in a corner

Saturday, December 04, 2004

He's still at it.

The genius of The Wealth Building Foundation is still at it. Here's what they supposedly want summarized by someone who studies economics:

What I'm getting out of all of this is that it's a cult. Members live, work, and donate everything to the foundation which controls everything. The company car, the debt management, the house, everything. Everything that the foundation takes in the form of savings goes to making the foundation more profitable for those that run it.

In return for the foundation disciplining the members, the foundation gets to syphon off some of the money. If people learned to be more disciplined with their own money, whey would have the full benefit of the "free" houses, cars, and such without the foundation. (But were is the extraordinary profits of telling them that.)

I once thought of running a sort of cult, when I was very young. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should. I remember seeing pictures of Jim Jones with pictures of food that was supposedly grown in Jonestown. The food was in grocery store bags.

If you promise 1000 people that you can give them the world. One of them will believe you. Jim Jones had over 700 people following him when his final pyramid came down. (Don't remember the exact numbers.) How long do you think you can keep up your scams? How many people are you going to take down with you? As many as Charles Manson? David Koresh? Are you going to have people kill themselves to join you on the other side of a comet, or will it be because your AI became God and gave some secret reason to drink the poison.

You can see the full reply with quoted text if you want.

Yep, that's WBF for you!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Main paper for Family Dynamics Class

(without the oral presentation, of course)

A Comparision of Historical Archetypal Intergenerational Family Roles

From the beginning of history, people have told stories and myths to pass on morals and role expectations. These archetypes live on in the lives of people even until this day, in some form or another. Carl Jung from his work with psychology and specifically dream symbolization summarized these roles into two categories with different incarnations. Joseph Campbell found many archetypal constants in his studies of ancient myths, folk tales and ceremonies. Much of Western Civilization takes its expectations of family roles from the Bible and Greco-Roman mythology, yet even in Native American legends, there is a correlation among many aspects of family roles. This is not to say that there are not exceptions or that the roles match completely, but the agreement of certain positive role traits for grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters appears to support a stable intergenerational family interaction structure.

As people mature and grow, their specific family role often changes. Women can go from daughter to mother to grandmother. Men can go from son to father to grandfather. Not all do, but for most these two generational progressions are very likely. It makes sense on one level to look at the difference between the genders in a generalized manner before going into the specific role archetypes. Jung named the generalized gender archetypes animus and anima. In its positive form, the animus is a mediator of religious experience and ceremony, a champion and protector, an initiator of action, objective and full of spiritual wisdom. In its negative form, the animus is a robber, a murderer, a rapist, brutal, distant, cold and always sees absolutes. Likewise the anima in its positive form is a mediator between Ego and Self, a guide to the inner world, personal, spiritual and full of transcendent wisdom. In its negative form, the anima is a seducer, a "poison damsel", a witch, insecure, moody, depressed and uncertain. The aspects of the animus and the anima are present in folklore and legends and provide good comparison points for gender roles that seem to cross many cultures. (Jung, 1968, pp 186 - 207).

Though Joseph Campbell arranged his research in the form of archetypal hero stories, it is not that hard for us to see the family archetypal roles in the framework of a family gathering or feast. At the head of Campbell's dining table would probably be the Hebrew "Aged of the Aged", an ancient male ancestor, seen only in profile for no one can know all he knows, with a long beard that contains the Truth of all Truths, guarding the gates of mercy and dispensing splendor, descending in equilibrium and a balance of power (Campbell, 1973, pp 268). To his right possibly would be the Native American Spider Woman, a grand-motherly figure who keeps track of paternity, gives advice to the young and instructs them in the matter of traditions (pp 69 - 70, 131). To his left would be the archetypal Ruler or Sun God, the father and ruler who tests and challenges his children until he deems them worthy to receive his knowledge and power (pp 131 - 136). Next to him, is the Universal Mother, nourishing and protecting creatrix and life giver (pp 113-114). Across from her, is probably the Archetypal Hero-son, constantly challenging the father in preparation to someday take his place (pp131-136). Possibly keeping the peace, would be the daughter, The Princess of the World, the treasure of her father's eye as are all Sleeping Beauties and Midas's own child. A pure and affectionate young lady, destined to be the future wife of another hero (pp190 & 243).

This family feast would probably look like many that have been portrayed in film and literature. Grandfather giving out advice and direction. Grandmother making sure the traditions are being followed. Father demanding order and respect, while the Mother is creating a nourishing meal and occasionally breaking up tensions between the Father and the Son. And the Daughter trying to smooth things over between Father and brother to keep their conflict from coming to a head during this special time.

Still, one had to wonder if some of this primitive tableau may be influenced by Campbell's own experiences - it matches so well with many of the family gatherings shown by Hollywood. What would the same family feast look like with the Greco-Roman gods in attendance? Our grandfather figure, Kronus (alternate spelling "Cronus") was once the ruler of a great golden age (Buxton, 2004, pp 54) and tried to keep his off-spring from succeeding him by swallowing them whole (pp 48). One can only imagine the interaction between this grandfather and the father Zeus, who while not quite matching his ancestor's golden era in his endeavors, at least found a way to keep his own off-spring from usurping him (ibid.). "You'll never be the ruler I was!" would probably be said more than once, answered by, "At least I'm still in charge, old man." Our grandmother would be in the form of Rhea, the universal mother and goddess of grain and fertility. We could probably imagine her intervening between Zeus and Kronos, while making the meal. Hera, the mother figure and protector of marriage (pp 71), would probably be making sure no one was misbehaving. Her son Hephaestos, or Vulcan, who despite his despised lameness still uses his skills to support his father's rule and his mother's power (pp 84), would find himself often in the middle of the fights of his parents, making neither of them happy with him. While his half-sister Athena, goddess of wisdom, craftsmanship and war (pp 69), busies herself in a productive manner.

Looking at the Greco-Roman tableau gives us a much more contentious family gathering, more so if the rest of the Titans and Olympians are in attendance. And yet, we can see an exaggeration of the stereotypical Italian/Greek family dynamic also shown in films and on stage. The family still has a structure in which there the family needs are being met.

Continuing on, let us consider the Bibical family archetypal roles. Jacob, father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, is the greatest example of a grandfather in the Old Testament. Head Patriarch of his family and its spiritual head, Jacob gave guidance, blessed his off-spring and became a surrogate father to two of his grandsons (Gen. 48: 1-20). A good example of a Biblical grandmother would probably be Naomi, mother in-law of Ruth. In the Book of Ruth, Naomi is the keeper of traditions and advisor of the younger women in her family. Through her knowledge and love, she helps her son's widow to find a stable life. Due to the amount of material written, our supreme father figure is Abraham, grandfather of Jacob. As shown in the Book of Genesis, Abraham was head of the home, provider, disciplinarian and teacher of his children. If any woman can be called the ultimate mother of the Bible, then it would be Mary, the Mother of Christ. A handmaiden of God, the Four Gospels of New Testament shows her to be a introspective nurturer, a pure soul and a keeper of social customs. The ultimate son could be none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Throughout His earthly ministry, he sought to do His Father's will and even on the cross, He made sure his mother was cared for in His absence (John 19: 27). In the Books of Esther and Ruth, we find the ideal daughter in their main subjects. Both women were obedient humble, demur, faithful, loyal and cared for their elders.

This family dinner would be much more peaceful than those diagrammed before in this paper. Here all members would do being their duties with thought and consideration. There would be knowledge given freely from elder to youth. There would be teamwork shown among the family members to bring the feast together, each using their own skills and talents to benefit all. There would not be the insecurities of father against son, or mothers fearing to be displaced. The needs of the family are not only met, but are met with little conflict.

So far, we have found among the cultural forces discussed family structures most European Americans are familiar with. What would a Native American family structure be like? Interestingly, the legend of the Warm Wind Brothers Versus the Cold Wind Brothers from the American Northwest, describes a family dynamic very close to the Bibical one in regards to intergenerational roles (Edmonds & Clark, 2003, pp 26-27). The Grandfather is chief of the tribe and a diplomat, who doesn't withhold knowledge from his sons. The Grandmother is very supportive and alert to the spiritual signs. The chief's youngest son serves the tribe and dies doing his duty. His wife and mother of the Grandson, makes sure her son is trained to save his father's people and give him instruction to guarantee his success. Like the Bibical archetype, knowledge is freely given and the family members work together as a team.

In the American Southwest among the Hopi, the Spider is consider their Grandmother because she spun a web to give them light when they first came to the Earth's surface, which could be considered guidance - an archetypal grandmotherly role (pp 68). Later as the Spider Woman, she continues to give guidance and "light" the way. Death and the Locust are considered their Fathers because Death lead them onto the Earth's surface and Locust showed them great medicines, both actions acts of knowledge and an archetypal father's role (pp 70-71). In the Hopi legend of the First Journey through the Grand Canyon, the Wise Son goes on a quest for something helpful he can bring back to his clan as their tradition dictated (pp 77).

Among the Cheyenne of the Great Plains, grandmothers are also dispensers of wisdom and knowledge (pp 183). The surrogate parents of Falling Star, Father Meadowlark and Mother Meadowlark, prepared him to protect his people as a good son by making him a bow and giving him advice respectively (pp 190). The Dakota-Sioux, another Great Plains nation, has a legend of a grandfather who taught his people how to grow corn (pp 211). There are similar archetypes among other Native American nations. Daughters in most Native American tales are usually obedient girls waiting for a husband.

Summarizing the American Indian tales, we find an overall family dynamic in between John Campbell's primitive archetypal family and the Bibical one. A family dinner among this archetype would have the grandfather giving instruction, grandmother giving much wisdom and knowledge. The father would protect the family and make sure his son could same (unless he is the Sun-God). The mother and daughter would be making the meal. Here in this family there is also a sharing of knowledge and working together for the good of the whole.

Based on the archetypes studied for this paper, it would appear that an intergenerational family structure needs to have a sharing of wisdom and knowledge and a sense of teamwork to function smoothly. The more the elders share with the younger generations in regards of knowledge, skills, powers and responsibility, the less relational conflict there is between the generations. And the more the younger generation seek to learn from the elders, the more successful they are in their quests.

  • Jung, C. G. & von Franz, M., -L., (1968). The Process of Individuation. Man and His Symbols, New York: Dell Publishing.
  • Campbell, Joseph, (1973). Hero With a Thousand Faces, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • (1979). Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.
  • Edmonds, M. & Clark, E. E., (2003). Voices of the Winds, New York: Castle Books.

Another Essay for Class

Revolution in Family Structure Forces One Teacher
to Add to Her Teaching Methods

". . . After 1960 the proportion living in one-parent families with their mother also increased. The rise in the proportion of children living in dual-earner families or one-parent families was extremely rapid, since the increase from 15-20 percent to 50 percent required only 30 years . . . to take place." (Hernandez, 2003, pp 266)

In the 1970s, Stephanie Herzog was starting her career as an elementary school teacher. Much to her frustration, the greatest challenge she had was trying to keep enough discipline in her classes to allow effective instruction. She searched, studied and tried many methods to bring order to her classroom, with only lukewarm success. As the years passed, she saw a constant increase in troublesome students (Herzog, 1982, pp 1).

She had a system of discipline that gave some results when she attended a teachers conference and heard Deborah Rozman talk about teaching children how to meditate to help them concentrate better. Herzog was so entranced by the lecture that she decided to introduce it to her second graders - only to avoid the religious connotations of the word "meditation", she called it "centering" instead (pp 2, 53). Thinking only of the benefit of increase concentration, it never occurred to Herzog that this practice would produce a calmer classroom and less behavior problems. However, to the delight of her substitutes, the effects were still in place even when she wasn't (pp 7 -10).

The positive effects of using "centering" were widespread and contagious. Some of Herzog's students taught it to their families and improved the atmosphere at home (pp 29, 58-59). Some parents were so impressed by their child's improvement that they asked to sit in occasionally on these exercises (pp 55-57). Not everyone benefited from the exercises right away. Some students took several months to train themselves to sit still and just concentrate. Others needed clarification of what was actually expected and accepted of them. Many needed encouragement to pretend or imagine during the exercise. Surprisingly, having them imagine their mothers hugging them usually opened the gates and brought great progress (pp 47). Disruptive students whose families were in turmoil seemed to take to meditation right from the start (pp 74). In fact, Herzog found that many of her students spent many hours at home alone because their parents had to work (pp 77). Lacking parental guidance, the centering exercises help these children to be more productive and less helpless. The practice helped Herzog personally as well. She was able to teach with more confidence and enjoy herself in her work (pp 62).

As promised by the original lecture, meditation did increase the students ability to concentrate and helped several below performing students improve their skills. One student seemed unteachable for the first two months Herzog had him. He seemed to retain nothing that was presented to him. When he finally managed to keep his eyes closed and body still during the centering exercises, a great change came over him. "It was as if he had heard and learned everything during all the previous lessons had taught him, but could not concentrate long enough to show me what he knew."(pp 26)


  • Hernandez, D. & Myers, D. E. (2003). Revolutions in Children's Lives. In Skolnick, A. S. & Skolnick, J. H., (Eds.), Family in Transition (pp 263 - 272). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Herzog, S., (1982). Joy in the Classroom, Boulder Creek: University of the Trees Press

Family Dynamics and Structure Essay

Family Essay on Violence and Abuse

Violence within the family has occurred since Cain slew Abel. Infanticide is a common way people have worked to insure they had sons instead of daughters. Parricide has been done either as a means to gain financial or emotional independence or as retribution against earlier child abuse done to the murderer, as is some elder abuse. The transmission of victimization doesn't always return to the instigator, abused people often go on to abuse others.

Because of their lack of physical stature and societal power, women are the most frequent targets of severe domestic abuse. Men can be abused too, but a woman is more likely to be hospitalized because of it. Men who are guilty of woman battering are far more likely to batter children than men who don't. In fact, sexually and physically abused people are far more likely to become alcoholics after the abuse according to studies. Though it was once believed that alcohol caused the abuse, further research is showing that it is more often occurs as a coping mechanism afterwards. It is also used as a scapegoat in battering and sexual abuse. In most cases, it is obvious that the abuser has more control over their actions than they want to admit, due to the fact that they are very careful not to leave physical marks on their victims in places where they can be readily seen. The same has been found with most sexual abusers, who claim that they cannot control their urges.

Victims of rape, incest, battering and other forms on intimate abuse often go uncorrected due to victim blaming. After all, who would attack an elderly parent who had been a loving one? What parent would hit a good child? What spouse would harm their better half without a very good reason? No one deserves to be abused, though. When it is all boiled down, abuse is purely a matter of having power over another person.

Ever wonder what type of person does scams?

An Obvious Scam

Check out their locations page and compare it to here. Eerie, isn't it? I know SYSCO is a well established company.

Ignore the BBB nonsense - the company was only "started" July 2004 - there's no way that any complaints against it has had time to make it through the BBB paperwork and procedures yet. The BBB believes in being thorough and giving the offending company a chance to correct problems before it will list them as a problem.

and look at this site again...

Recently one of the "senior partners" of this website joined a mailing list, where he has made many unsupportable claims - including things like claiming to written an expansion on Einstein's Theory of Relativity (while screwing up on basic Physics and mathematical principles) and recently creating the Light Transistor.

His greatest claim is to have developed a working AI, while showing almost no understanding of programming and logic. He started out saying he wasn't trying to get any money and trying to make it sound like he's just a poor inventor who wants to help the world, then says later that he is trying to raise $100 million and already has 23% of that goal.

When confronted with evidence of his misinformation, he insist his opponents are retards and posts things like:

"Yes, I have been called a genius many times in my life by mathematicians, physicists, business people, and people without education. I also didn't plant the idea of calling me that in their heads, nor did I give them a brief explanation of an idea, and just expect them to believe it. So the answer is that I am willing to help you understand, otherwise I wouldn't be writing you. Yes, the conversation is stimulating, but playing games with everyone isn't worth my time."
(And yet he goes on to write reams of babble.)


"The problem is that people who claim to be experts cannot fathom how a novice could have a different point of view (that was not preprogrammed with the common belief system on the particular field of study) and run circles around them within the scope of innovation."

followed by:

"Yes, I've taken lots of courses in Physics. I've also applied this knowledge to real life experience. I do have an extensive formal education and have attended the best schools in the country."

(Someone needs to explain to me why someone with 4.0 averages school hops so frequently.)

And heaven forbid you start really taking his business plans apart. He starts to threaten you with illegal lawsuits and harrasment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

shaking the email queue

I hate that emails take so long to post sometimes.

*kicks blog*


Anagram fun



Saturday, November 27, 2004

way too funny

At this moment, my son wishes his mom didn't have as much chemistry
knowledge as she does. His grandparents took him to a new heath food
place and he got a Neopet(tm) branded treat called Tigerfruit
Crystals. While he was busy enjoying it, he read the ingrediants to
me, "Freeze-dried grape juice concentrate, maltodextrin, silicon
dioxide (prevents caking)."

"Silicon dioxide?" I said. "That's sand. But if it's ground small
enough, I suppose it wouldn't cause any harm and it would prevent

My son looked at me in disbelief. "Are you sure that's sand?"

I checked Google and sure enough, Mom's memory is correct on this.
Silicon dioxide is the most common form of sand. My son is now a bit
put off on the treat, but my daughter isn't phased by eating sand at

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thought while watching "Moonraker"

First, I realized today that I enjoyed the Bond movies a lot more when I was much younger and only got half of the sexual innuendos. It's hard to take a character serious when you keep wanting to snicker whenever you think of their name.

But anyway, I was letting the thoughts of psychological transformations, evolution and the progress of humankind, while watching my favorite part when Jaws and his bespeckled girlfriend realized that Hugo Drax wouldn't want their kind in his perfect world. Such a perfect world, with no deviations, would probably lead to stagnation.

It is indeed ironic that Drax would have needed the help of someone with physical deviations from the normal to succeed in his plan, but yet how many times has mankind and civilization advanced just because of a deviation from the norm? How much has been revealed to us about the laws of nature and the nature of things through the abnormalities?

I'm sure many sociology experts would agree that society functions because you have a norm and outliers. No advanced organism exsists without a stable support system with specialized members.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

dream snippet

I was dreaming I was studying a book for class and I was marking a
passage that said some like this:

"According to the studies of Joseph Wallace, a frown is a release of
negative energy, just like a smile is a release of positive enegry.
This release is a healthy means of dealing with emotional energy,
which would otherwise be trapped."

While I knew where most of the "text" comes from, I had no clue who
Joseph Wallace was. I doubt he's someone I've read for school, because
when I Googled the name I got X-File references and I've never gotten
into the X-files. I don't even think I've sat through more than 5
minutes of an episode. None of the other entries were anything I would
have read either.

It just seemed weird in the dream that I needed to remember the name.
I guessed it must have been a fusion of persons.

Later I figured it out - at least I think so. It's a combination of Charles
Wallace from A WRINKLE IN TIME and probably Joseph Campbell, whose
book HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES I've been reading recently.

I shared the snippet with my mother in case JW was someone she knew
and she focused on the text, saying she disargeed with it, because she
frowns when she thinks. (She just like to disagree with things
sometimes.) I told her it was a symbolic thing, which made it easier
for me to figure out my Joseph Wallace.

But really, based of several sources I have been studying, exchange
"smile" with "controlled expression of a positive feelings" and
"frown" with "controlled expression of a negative feelings" - and you
have in a nutshell what I have been studying. And to take my mother's
example, usually when she is thinking with a frown on her face, it's
because something isn't making sense. In other words, she is dealing
with confusion, which could be considered a negative energy/emotion.
I've seen her when she's planning something artistic and there isn't a
frown on her face when she's thinking then.

A side note - I'm still having nightmares about my last boss. Not
horrifying ones, just very anxious one.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Cleito of Atlantus Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Having some fun with a dollmaker and Paintshop. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Getting in touch with my inner Centrist

One political selector always calls me a "Centrist". I finally decided to research the term and found that there were actually organizations for people like me.

Centrist Coalition

The Centrist Coalition is a gathering place for moderate Americans who have a certain distinct vision of political leadership in our country.

We believe strong leadership involves a bold mix of views drawn partly from the right and partly the left.

On the one hand, we embrace an economic agenda focused on growth and fiscal responsibility. We believe in free trade, fair competition, and limited government.

On the other hand, we embrace an inclusive social agenda that celebrates the rich diversity of American life, and seeks to avoid imposing one person's choices on another. We are pro-choice and pro-civil rights.

I'm everything, except I'm more pro-life. For me, the choice comes at the time of conception or before it - not afterwards. In those situations, like rape and incest, where the ability to choose has been compromised by another person, then abortion should be allowed.

Centrist Policy Network

The Centrist Policy Network is a non-profit, non-partisan social welfare organization formed under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Its goal is to provide timely commentary and legislative resources pertinent to its social welfare mission: improved health care, pension and retirement security, budget discipline, economic well-being, corporate responsibility and performance-based government.


Centrists.Org is a small think tank and communications center for bipartisan policymaking. Centrists.Org provides detailed and practical centrist policy ideas that adhere to basic principles of fairness, cooperation and responsibility. It also serves as a clearinghouse for centrist ideas from outside experts.

Radical Centrism Manifesto

Cute little ditty. From the "about" link:
Radical Centrism grew out of Dr. Ernie’s attempt to apply the intellectual rigor of physics and the spiritual values of his Christian upbringing to the reality of business in Silicon Valley. The resulting synthesis is a creedal statement known as the Ground Rules of Civil Society, which acts as a manifesto for this website. This balanced focus on Reality, Character, Community & Humility forms the basis for a principled critique of existing ideologies as typically emphasizing one aspect at the expense of others (e.g., materialism, conservatism, liberalism, and postmodernism, respectively).

American Centrist Party

It is with great anticipation that I am announcing the formation of a new political party for 21st Century America. It has always been the expectation of the Framers of the Constitution of the United States that there be multiple political parties in competition with each other when deciding the presidency of this great nation. Yes there are multitudes of political parties available for one to join. However, not many of these parties are given serious consideration by Americans, and even fewer make it to the presidential election ballot. Upon contemplation of why this is, I am convinced it is because each political party has at its heart, one or only a few "fringe" or niche issues which keep its membership low, and isolate that membership from the "mainstream" of American politics. There are even political parties whose own purpose is self-defeating, and squanders an otherwise huge potential following. The net result is that, over the decades, only two "major" political parties have kept an iron grip on the jugular vein of American presidential politics. These two parties are of course the Republican and Democratic parties.

Another The Radical Centrist - personal blog.

Let’s All Calm Down
With nothing left to prove, Bush's second-term presidency could be surprisingly centrist.

We can hope.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Term limitations

I was rather shocked to find out that a very good friend of mine thought that all conservatives were for lifting term limitations. I really don't know where this idea that all conservatives think alike comes from, but then I'm more of a moderate and am used to disagreeing with both sides - as well as ignoring the fringe element of both parties.

Anyway, my reasons for why we should not only keep term limitations for the presidency, but also add it to a few other elected positions that don't already have it.

  1. It allows other qualified people to do the job and take care of issues that maybe the previous official was weak in. Everyone has a slightly different focus and skill set. Changing candidates without necessarily changing parties allows us to have a more rounded approach to the needs of our regions. Most parties will stand behind the incumbant no matter what, when there may be someone who would be better for the voters condemned to stay on the sidelines until the another party candidate gets them out of there. Some of these people never get a chance to represent the voters.
  2. It makes crony-ship less likely, since lobbyists will have to reforge relations with the new guy. Also keeps the influence of past favors down a little.
  3. It forces the voters to think more about who they vote for. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" sentiment becomes less of an issue.
  4. It gives less of a chance for pet projects to become core projects. Even if one does, it isn't as likely to stay one for decades.
  5. It keeps candidates from creating "legacies".
  6. For the Presidency itself, it's essential for us to save the candidates from themselves. Being president is hard on a person physically - just look how they all aged. (Those who weren't assassinated, that is.) It really is in their best interest that we keep them from endangering their health too much. You may think I'm joking with this one, but I'm really not. No person should serve more than two terms as President for their own good. They should do their allotted time and then spend the years after engaged in other pursuits.
  7. Ex-Presidents and others have a great ability to do more good for the country. They can take what they learned and gained in office and then apply it in ways to help the people that they wouldn't be able to do if they were still in office. Even writing memoirs helps beause it gives us some idea what makes a world leader think and a chance to better evaluate decisions made in office. And there are many charities and organizations that could benefit from the experience of such a person.

Of course, I would never be a career politician, but I do think that a person can learn a great deal by being one and use it to benefits other parts of society, if they chose to. And if it becomes more of an expectation that an expolitician uses they experiences in serving the public publicly to continue to serve the people afterwards, more would be likely to do it - if only to keep their time in office looking good.

What works between parent/child doesn't work between strangers.

Amazing that so many people don't realize that.

When a parent insults a child, it does have a very definite affect and can cause change. Occasionally, it goes the other direction too.

However, insulting someone who doesn't know you and is not emotionally connected to you will only make them less likely to give a damn what you think. And some people like that. They don't expect to change their victim's mind. They're just enjoying themselves. Not a good reason, but it's more honest and aware than those think they can make people change that way.

These others, though, are too infantile to realize this and think that people will change their ways to stop the abuse. And if they don't then that just means they're horrible people. *stomps little baby foot*

Using emotional balckmail is manipulation, people. If others don't succumb to it, it is probably because they know that. Not to say it can't work sometimes, but you have to know your target and show some reason for them to actually let into their emotional world. Otherwise, you're wasting your time throwing rocks at stone walls.

"Let me bully you or you're the bully" is a stupid social platform.

An Australian friend pointed me here.

A series of articles that talk about what lead to the Iraqi War. He says it's very good reading. I'll have to make time between my homework, housework, parenting and income-making activities.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I've never really been that political.

But I have really been bothered by the trend lately to demonize everyone. So it helps me to realize that I'm not the only person looking at all of this and saying, "What the?"

Some suggested reading for my fellow moderates:

Jane's Law - she's right and read the comments too. There is a LOT of good information posted by other people there.

Unabrewer's observation - one that I've come to too.

A summary of the CNN exit poll - Bush took 46% of first-time voters. He took 52% of college graduates. 48% of working women. 44% of those earning less than $50,000. 45% of those aged 18-29. Given these are conventionally supposed to be strongly Democratic demographic groups, it suggests the stereotype of Bush voters as middle-aged white guys is equally suspect. Kind of takes the wind out of the "smarter people voted against Bush". Of course, a lot of the reliance on IQ scores is bogus. There are so many factors that affect IQ scores that it is amazing that any educated person would put any serious faith in them - outside of perhaps predicting the ability to do certain tasks.

What the Democrats need to do - A good guide for more than just the Democrats to appeal to us moderates. Some Republicans need to learn this too.

New Blogs added to my sidebar

Democrat for a Free America

Louisiana Conservative

Semi-Intelligent Thoughts
Read Open Letter to President Bush

Not going onto my sidebar, but a good read and something I agree with:

Open Letter to the Democratic Party

EDIT: After reading ALL the comments, I want to add my observations and since I can't get that screen to come up there, I'll add it here:

1) I found it amusing that the writer was told she would never be a Democrat or wasn't a real Republican. She didn't really claim to be either. Which leads to...

2) One person wrote that she couldn't be a moderate because they don't exist in this day and age. They DO exist. They just DON'T have someone they can vote for. This "you're either for me or against me" is stupid.

3) It doesn't matter if the letter is a hoax or not. It obviously summed up the feelings of many and therefore deserves to be considered.

4) I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh or AirAmerica and yet I felt the sting of what she talked about. The part that got me was when even those liberals I respected even gave into the name calling. The conservatives that I respected did not change on the regard. THAT WAS SCARY! Yes, I still got irrational conservative stuff sent to me too, but it was from people I'm used to getting it from and I deleted most of it unread. It was the change I saw in normally responsible people that started to make me wonder what would happen if Kerry had more power.

5) Voting against someone because you couldn't stand the behavior of the other side isn't any better than voting for someone only because they aren't someone.

6) Neither Kerry nor Bush are the epitome of evil. Deal with it.

7) Feeling abused is not something that can just be shrugged off, not matter how logical you are.

8) I am just as guilty as the next person of being nasty on occasion. While it helps in short term endeavors, it doesn't work in long term ones and it never convinces the person I am arguing with that they are wrong.

I think this next link is more me, because it's just practical. Your candidate can't do much if they aren't elected:
Thoughts for Democrats, Liberals, and other Depressed People

Re: Testing

Weird. Do I have to send another email before what I sent before will
be posted?


Let's see if I can publish via email now.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Adult Intelligence

I'll need to look into this more, because in my last class we did have some required reading that did show that intelligence could be improved in later years through effort. Not just knowledge, but the ability to manipulate it. I do know that physiologically myelination does not stop until about the 70s.

From Papalia, D. E., Olds, S. W., & Feldman, R. D. (2004). "Physical and Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood." Human Development - Ninth Edition (pp. 459). New York: McGraw-Hill.

"Does intelligence diminish in late adulthood? The answer depends on what abilities are being measured, and how. Some abilities, such as speed of mental processes and abstract reasoning *may* decline in later years, but aspects of practical and integrative thinking tends to improve throughout most of adult life (Sternbreg, Grigorenko, & Oh,2001). And although changes in processing abilities may reflect neurological deterioration, there is much individual variation, suggesting that declines in functioning are not inevitable and may be preventable."

"Measuring older adults' intelligence is complicated. A number of physical and and psychological factors may lower their test scores and lead to an underestimation of their intelligence." - as measured by the WAIS. The next few paragraphs explain why the WAIS does not give accurate results for older adults. One of the reasons being a lack of interest and motivation. Others are higher amount of test anxiety, poor vision, high blood pressure, etc.

Apparently many gerontologist are now using the dual-process model of intelligence. They break processes down into crystallized intelligence and fluid intelligence. Fluid Intelligence is the ability to solve novel problems that require little or no previous knowledge. Example: seeing a pattern in asequence of numbers. Crystallized Intelligence is the ability to remember and use information acquired over a lifetime. Example: finding a synonym for a word.

You might say that the first one is intelligence and the second is knowledge, but you would be inaccurate in your definitions. Crystallized intelligence is the ability to use and integrate the knowledge one already has. One can study and add to it, but if they don't know how to use it, it does not raise their crystallized intelligence.

The fluid does decline for most, but the crystallized continues to improve. The Seattle Longitudinal Study does show that some fluid abilities last until late middle age. Unfortunately, I will have to find the study to see which ones, because my text didn't list them.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Found this link in a discussion about those who want to become expatriots:

The whole thing is educational, as well as amusing. But I found this particular passage interesting:

"Should one candidate win, those who opposed the Iraq war might hope to find refuge in France, where a very select few are allowed to “assimilate” each year. Assimilation is reserved for persons of non-French descent who are able to prove that they are more French than American, having mastered the language as well as the philosophy of the French way of life. Each case is determined on its own merit, and decisions are made by the Ministère de l’Emploi, du Travail, et de la Cohésion Social. When your name is published in the Journal Officiel de la République Français, you are officially a citizen, and may thereafter heckle the United States with authentic Gallic zeal."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

reasons for raising the voting age

I know Kerry supporters of various ages and I think the older ones can handle the loss better. Even those who are very anti-Bush.

The younger ones, though, are looking for something to feel important about - so much of it is just being anti-Bush. However, a lot of them are also trying to break being identified with their parents and want something they can fight against.

But the real reason there will be temper tantrums is because most of these younger ones are at Ericson's Identity vs Identity Confusion development stage and are in the commitment stage of resolving it according to Marcia's identity resolution model. Winning is more to them than just who is President of the country - it's how some of them are measuring their success as individuals.

Add to this the fact that many of them are still at the social concern and conscience stage of morality, while not yet achieving metacognition - which is just a fancy way of saying that they don't recognize when their own actions are not appropriate and hypocritical.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


And even if my candidate loses, it's okay. Because the guy who wins will know that there are some people who didn't agree with him. Our forefathers wanted elections to be a mature process and I, for one, intend to honor that spirit by facing the outcome - whatever that maybe - with dignity and composure. I will not curse people or tell them I hate them or otherwise behavior like a spoiled brat. It does nothing except perhaps shows a lack of maturity.

Voting matters!There was more at stake than just the presidency on my ballot. Education referendums and other issues.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Something from my imagination

Created at
Rendel Posted by Hello

An idealized me

Seeing if I can post more than one image to an entry Posted by Hello

Apparently, I can't.
Image created at

New Picture for my Profile Posted by Hello

Due Thursday

I think I went cyclic in my thinking while writing this.

What We Really Miss About the 1950's - a summary

Basically, the 1950's was an island of economic and relative social stability, wedged between the war-torn 1940's and the activist 1960's. After dealing with the decades of uncertainty before it, people needed and wanted a "better way" and set about as a society to create one. Using mass media techniques, the American public was introduced to a new "traditional" family - one superior than the miserable one they were raised in, as penicillin was superior to sulfur powder in the treatment of infection. The solution was the creation of the nuclear family and the suburban lifestyle.

The author does a very good job of describing the instability that existed in the 1940's. Those of us who grew up after 1960 tend to see the 1950's as the era of traditional family values. Though history classes taught us about the Great Depression and WWII, the prevalence of old Hollywood movies and early television shows have also convinced the following generations that this was the way a family was meant to be. Like Spain sending her best warriors to bring Christianity to the New World, Hollywood only showed movies that reinforced the image of the perfect nuclear family. Visually, it is very hard to find examples of real families that existed before then. So effective was this indoctrination by mass media that its vestiges continued on in television shows like The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show.

But perfection is what people wanted. As the author stated, they didn't want to see their own lives reflected back at them - they wanted an example to follow that would give them an alternative to the family structures of their families of origin. However, the author neglected to add the mind set created from the technological advances made during WWII. People believed that there was a solution to everything and it wasn't in the ways of the past.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

A poem for a rainy night. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 29, 2004

Possible books for my next class's research project

Changed my subject. The previous list was not used.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cosmic Siren Posted by Hello

Last assignment for Adulthood and Aging Class

5. What are some of the issues regarding work and retirement in late life, and how do older adults handle time and money?

They have to decide what to do with their later years. Do they want to keep working? Can they still work? Can they afford to retire? Should they start another career? Work for short periods of time and live a retirement lifestyle between several jobs? Enter full-time retirement spent in leisurely pursuits, with family or actively engaged in charity or other social calling? And some adults semi-retire by working the same job, but with less hours and divvy their time up in a more balanced manner between work, family and society.

Most will have fixed incomes, which will require financial planning on their part. If an elderly person's income dips into poverty, it is almost impossible to rise it again. This is probably why some people choose to "age in place" - stay where they are because their homes are paid for and they can predict their expenses easier. Others may not have this option due to health or finances. Some will move to be closer to family, especially if they choose a family focused life-style. Some may have to move to some sort of facility because of their health or their neighborhood has changed so much that they need to have more people their age around for social support.

[I think my next class is Families in Crisis.]

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Gave my resignation today

Handed it to the receptionist. Hopefully HR has read it by now. No matter what -

I'm Free!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Obligatory Political Post

I am seriously considering writing a post next Monday on why the US won't become a fascist state no matter who wins next Tuesday.

I'm getting tired of hearing how the world is going to end or that we're going to find ourselves back in the dark ages if this candidate or that candidate wins.

Let's see. Our country has survived:

- a civil war
- a Great Depression
- FDR and the New Deal (where the Pres overrode Congress and a lot of his stuff was overruled by the Supreme Court later)
- McCartyism
- Richard Nixon
- Andrew Jackson
- Puppet Pres. Grant
- 2 World Wars
- The Korean War
- Vietnam
- 9/11
- the Sexual Revolution
- the "Great Awakening" of the early 1800s
- Civil Disobedience
- the Cold War
- Women's Sufferage
- the Temperance Act

And yet we never totally derailed our constitution-based federal republic with strong democratic tradition. Not even when Regan was president and he was popular with most of the populace. How can we possibly become a fascist state when the voters are almost evenly split between the two parties?

It can't happen. For a fascist government to occur, one side must be more powerful than the other. We don't have that here.

Whoever wins - wins. I will neither celebrate nor will I bemoan and rail against the fates because of the outcome. George Washington wanted the election of presidents to happen in a civil and mature way. I plan to honor that.

The summary on why do some women stay with men who abuse them..

  • They cannot admit to themselves what is happening to them.
  • Some have low self-esteem and feel that they deserve to be beaten.
  • Constant emotional and mental abuse may destroy their self-confidence and overwhelm them with self-doubt.
  • Some minimize the extent of the abuse.
  • Some hold themselves responsible for not being a good enough spouse.
  • Some feel it is a private issue that should be resolved within the family.
  • Some have been so isolated that they feel they have nowhere to turn.
  • Sometimes the risks of acting against an abusive partner outweighs the benefits.
  • Some are afraid to leave - for very good reasons, since some abusive husbands later track down and kill their estranged wives.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Only because the results will amuse Mexigogue

You are a Square. What a weirdo.

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thoughts on last week's aging class

According to my prof, who also works in a hospice, and Naomi File, the author of Validation Therapy, many older people dealing with dementia get stuck on unresolved traumatic events from their lives. Not all of them, but a large percentage do. After hearing my prof's personal experiences and some of Naomi File's stories, I had the following epiphany:

It's better to resolve your inner conflicts before you get old, so you can enjoy a peaceful dementia - instead of scaring your family and care givers with your buried demons.

After all, what would you rather have - being strapped down to a bed and sedated OR being able to sit in a rocking chair and talk to the butterflies all day?

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #5

I am not going to post it on here.

Basically, it's a self evaluation of strengths and short comings in certain areas and then making short term and long term goals in the same areas.

In summary, my professional and academic goals are intently being worked on. My personal and social goals are being neglected. And my spiritual goals are going as well as can be expected at the moment.

See. That's all you need to know. No point in boring you with details.

I might go ahead and repost some of my course work from earlier classes on here. Come to think of it, I do have something on why women stay with abusive men. I'll post it tomorrow.

Fixed the comments

Now not only can anyone comment, but I will get email notification. Hopefully I won't get found by spambots anytime soon.

Adulthood age ranges

Thought I should post this to make things clearer:

Young Adulthood 20 - 40
Middle Adulthood 40 - 60
Late Adulthood 60+

Now I am going to sleep. The last entry I have to do in the Lifespan Journal is in a different format and I'll need to shift gears.

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #4

Late Adulthood

The following is of course, all projection of what I think my late adulthood psychological development will be like. I figure I will be widowed some time during this time, if not sooner - assuming of course, I do manage to remarry during middle adulthood. I hope I will be able to take care of myself and be able to visit with my family and continue writing things to be published. (Assuming I do manage to get published, of course.) I don't need to be rich, but I do hope I will have enough to take care of my own needs and to buy gifts for people occasionally.

By this time, all my self-analysis and learning should produce a wise and good person. One who could look back in her life and see more integrity than despair in the final conflict as proposed by Erikson. I will have contact with many intelligent and creative people who can benefit from my experience, while I benefit from seeing them fulfill their potential. My children will have managed to overcome their own "Intimacy vs. Isolation" crisis and be in loving relationships, raising healthy children.

I will not carry grudges nor would I let petty things interfere with my relationships with people. There would be no room for that in my life by then. I will live somewhere where I will have silence and solitude when I need it and yet have the room to entertain company, even if I have to bake cookies to lure them in. I will try to listen to the life stories of those around me and save my own for my personal writings or command performances.

Most of all, I will dedicate my life to creating beauty - beautiful art, beautiful poetry and a beautiful atmosphere around me. I will also cultivate emotional and mental power in my creative works. When my final minutes come to me, I want to be in the middle of a creative endeavor.

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #3

Social and Psychological Development

Young Adulthood

Based on the theoretical approaches to social development in young adulthood discussed in my text book, I would have to say that I have pretty much failed in the social growth aspect of life. I am hoping that within the next few years I will be able to resolve Erikson's "Intimacy vs. Isolation" crisis. I am not even going to discuss Levinson and Valliant's theories, because I don't even come close to either of them in my opinion.

I did get married in my mid twenties. I wanted someone who I could make a life with. I also wanted a protector and a father for my future children. To say I was feeling lost and alone would have also been true. I was glad to find someone of my own faith, at least superficially, and near my own age who also shown an interest in me. Unfortunately, I ended up marrying a cross between my mother and father, which would have been okay if it had been a mixture of their good qualities. He basically told me what I wanted to hear before we got married and then after a year or two, he emotionally withdrew when I needed his support. This continued until he was actively trying to destroy me emotionally and mentally. I went into therapy, got us into marriage counseling and tried everything I was physically capable of to save our marriage. The only problem is that he didn't want it saved and I had neglected my own health to the point that I couldn't do much. When he began to include the kids in his program of health neglect, I left. He then filed for divorce before I could and jerked everyone around for two years until the courts settled everything.

I got pregnant right away in our marriage and had our second child fourteen months later. My children are one of the greatest joys of my life. They constantly amaze me with their insight and humor. A lot of the difficulties I expected to have with them based on the other families I had observed did not happen. Instead I have to help them to learn how to deal with insane people while retaining their sense of self and sanity. Teaching them about science, literature and other things happens naturally in our family and I often forget the impact of that until my children surprise someone else with their knowledge.

As a parent, I am definitely an authoritative parent. I like my children to develop their own strengths and talents and I try to help them by giving them space to learn within proper boundaries. I let them discuss things with me and occasionally I will make compromises with them, if they have a better idea how to handle something. It doesn't bother me in the least that my son hates sports and my daughter loves them. Though it does bother me that their authoritarian stepmother is telling them that this means that they are going to be homosexual and will want gender changing surgeries when they get older. Luckily, I have plenty of examples to show them that this isn't true, but I may have to take this up with the stepmother if it continues.

My circle of friends is rather limited to those who can either understand my unusual views or don't care about them. Most of my friends are intelligent, creative, trustworthy and solid. Some may not have all four characteristics, but they all have at least two of them. I usually choose my friends on the basis of how they expand my knowledge of the world. Even if I don't agree with them, I do find their insights useful.

Middle Adulthood

Hopefully I will catch up on social development during middle adulthood. Despite my lagging on the "Intimacy vs. Isolation" conflict, I do feel I have made headway on Erikson's "Generativity vs. Stagnation" crisis. I am already expressing generativity in a communal way by nurturing my children and a few others. However, I have made goals which will ensure I will take on more and more of an agentic form as I grow older.

I already see an improvement with my relationship with my parents and in time this should reoccur with my siblings. There had been some improvement there, but then things got sidetracked. I now understand what I need from social interactions and learning ways to achieve my needs. I hope I will eventually find a companion who I can share my life and goals with.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry #2

Cognitive Development

I research for fun and relaxation. While experiencing clinical depression in my later twenties, I found solace in researching topics like industrial waste treatments, naturally occurring soap in plants, and alternate house building methods, in addition to being introduced to the field of psychoanalysis. Even during the worst part of my depression, I could recall New Testament parables with just a few details given.

Being good in math most of my life, I would plan gardens, waste treatment systems and self-sufficient homesteads down to all the technicalities I could think of. I even wrote down a five year plan to start a natural soap business and even learn how to make my own soaps. Pulling from my knowledge of chemistry, I created a "primer" for people ignorant in the history of alchemy. I taught myself how to make stained glass art and several needlework techniques.

I also developed my creative writing ability by writing poems, short stories and even a couple of novels. Some of the poetry and short stories have be published in other publications, but outside of a poetry book I self-published, I haven't received a dime for my creative works and do them mainly for my own peace of mind. Though I have received some money for my crafts and sewing ability.

I have always been considered above average intelligence. I don't think that it is possible to get a clear picture of my intelligence from the normal tests. I say this because I found after I was able to get my anxiety disorder under control, I found that my mental ability increased noticeably. On average, I had a jump about 30 IQ points according to the tests I did for about six month period. However, my mental abilities vary greatly with my stress levels and physical state.

Five years ago I would have told you the Sternberg's aspect of intelligence I was strongest in was componential intelligence. However, as I have explored and developed more, it has turns out that this is not the case. My strongest Sternberg aspect is actually experiential. I have had this pointed out and confirmed by at least two professionals in the mental health field. Though in my case, it has been compounded according to these same professionals to the fact I use my preconscious mind differently than other people. Whereas most people have a brick wall will gates and occasional windows on the boundary between their conscious and unconscious, I have the equivalent of a rod iron fence between my conscious and unconscious, which allows me to make connections others miss, while still having a definite boundary between the two. Unfortunately, this has become more of a hindrance than a help for me. Because I make connections between several sources, I come across as very strange to most people. When I try to explain the connections that lead to my conclusions, I either lose people or I become agitated and end up sounding insane. My best friend and some other people, however, do have the interest and patience to hear me through and enjoy my insights. I am often correct, but it helps to have people who are patient enough to wade through my explanations, because I can miss something.

This ability to pull from several sources mentally and a permeable boundary between the conscious and subconscious has another side effect. I get overwhelmed easily when I am trying to downshift to relate to others. When I am able to talk to my friend Roberta and a few others who can think fast enough to keep up with me, it is an amazing and heady experience. I wonder if part of my anxiety disorder is due to my inability to verbally explain myself off the cuff.

However, this same ability does make me an excellent one-on-one tutor. When explaining someone else's ideas or concepts, I am capable to find analogies that my pupils can relate to, including my own mother in algebra. Adding to this the knowledge of poetry and historical archetypes, I have been able to help several people to release their own creativity in writing. I plan to use this ability to bring the ability of written creative expression in my future career as well as in the visual arts.

As for my moral development, I have reached a cross between Kolhberg's seventh stage of "Why be moral?" and the second transition of Carol Gilligan's feminine moral system - "going from goodness to truth". My divorce and experiences re-entering the workforce has lead me to this level. I still revert to the lower levels at times and I have never been a physically violent person, but I am not to Gilligan's level three "morality of nonviolence". I still cause harm to myself and sometimes to others using the written word. I have eliminated this in my vocal communications, though.

I'm hoping that I can continue to develop my cognitive abilities and find a way to harness my unique abilities to benefit my life and others. My goals are to create a new medium for therapy and a series of workbooks to help others get in touch with the archetypes inside themselves. I plan to document my thoughts and works as I go, so when I do reach late adulthood, I have enough material to put together a definitive work on human experience. I realize this sounds a bit grandiose, but I think anyone could do the same if they tried to.

And if I don't write this work, at least I won't have to worry so much about forgetting parts of my life. I just need to make sure I set up a good retrieval system for myself. Or I could just leave it to my posterity and let them sort everything out.

Adult Lifespan Journal Entry # 1

From my Adulthood and Aging class:

Physical Development

At age 20, I was at my best physically. I was 160 pounds, which with my body frame actually made me look very nice, despite my shortness. I used to walk a great deal and take stairs instead of elevators most of the time. I ate well and looked good.

I add on extra weight whenever I was subjected to the unwanted attentions of a male who would not take my less than subtle hints to be left alone. I had done this as an adolescent, but had lost that weight in college. When I moved back in with my parents, I began gaining again, because I did not have the peer support I had in college and I suppose it was my way of protecting myself. I did lose the weight again when I moved back out and had a job that required a constant amount of physical activity from me. When I got married and pregnant, my weight was not a problem, but I did have problems taking the weight off because I got pregnant a second time about four months after my first child was born. A few months after my second child was born, I went into clinical depression, which was not connected to post-partem, but due to the stress of a major upheaval and tragedy within my family. I was later determined to have an anxiety disorder.

At that time, I began to develop severe menstrual problems, which were first diagnosed as stress and are now classified as atypical endrometrial dysplasia after a biopsy in April 2004. During age 29, blood was found in my urine, however after two years of testing, my doctors could not find a cause and again gave me the diagnosis of stress. About the same, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Between the fibromyalgia, anxiety and an inability to get proper dental care due to my ex-husband's mistrust of dentist, I ended up having dentures at age 36. My fibromyalgia did disappear for a few months between the time I left my exhusband and the time I had to deal with him again because of the divorce proceedings.

During most of my early thirties, I had constant bronchitis and chest infections due to a lack proper rest and medical care. I became so bad at one point that the nurse threatened my then husband that if he did not help with the house and kids and let me have two weeks of total bed rest, that she personally would put me into the hospital. Many of my chest problems began to lessen once I was divorced, but it wasn't until I had sinus surgery to remove two very large cysts that the chest infections stopped all together. Now I just get sinus infections.

As for my sight and hearing, neither has change significantly since I was age 19. I have developed more skills with my hands, though my body in general has declined in all around fitness due to gross inactivity on my part and depression. I am no longer able to read as fast as I did as a teenager. While I do have problems with physical activity most of the time, I have noticed that I am not as bad when I am visiting old friends. It is as if I have returned to a younger age. This may be due to the stresses I have in my life being a single mother, dealing with my aging parents regularly and dealing with a very dysfunctional workplace.

As for how I see my health progressing into my middle adult years, I am hoping that with the reduction of work stress and having a goal to go for, that I will be able to reverse some of the ill health I am currently experiencing. I have been making more of an effort to eat better and to increase my physical activity. I am also trying to be more social outside of the work environment. Over a year ago, I visited some old friends during the Fourth of July and was amazed to see how my physical endurance improved while I was with them.

If I can reverse the stress and lose weight, then the affects of aging I will still have to contend with is some changes in visual ability (reading speed, night vision, etc.) and hearing. It is very possible that I may have to have a hysterectomy before I reach menopause on my own. In either case, I will have a period of hormone imbalance to contend with. However, this is not something new for me.

In my later adult years, it is very possible that I will not be able to live alone because of limitations in movement. Based on family medical history, I will have to be most careful of pneumonia and other lung infections. But if I can stay active, it is quite possible that I will live into my nineties. My great-grandmother made it to age 104 on pure attitude. I hope I can do the same.

Now opened for business


Here I am Cosmic Siren. Other places, I have other names, which some of the visitors to here know me by. Please stick to Cosmic Siren on here. You probably already know why.

Here's something to jusify the name:

just imagining an atom
pulsating slowly with power waves
then increasing to the long-wave radio frequencies
broadcasting its desire into the short-wave range
until it is too steamy for television waves
entering into microwaves
before vibrating into heat waves
next its photons jump a level
to release the passionate energy of red
then dancing throught the rest of the visual spectrum
until finally the photons fling themselves
free of the atomic restraints into the ultraviolet
and the atom begins to disintergrate
into revealing x-rays
unleasing the gamma beast inside
before soaring to comsic heights