Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cell Phones...

Sarah Liz has a good post I commented on about cell phones and texting. Check it out

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Commented back to MAM on a comment she sent me on my stress post. Check it out.
This post targets those who are pursuing a field of work they love. I am a musician. Last week I had some dental problems from an old root canal that put me on the "injured list" as far as paying my trumpet goes. In a way, it was a good break, because I had been playing alot lately and probably been losing sight of why I'm here in the first place - the love for music.
Anyway, I got pretty bored when I couldn't play. I had alot more free time since I couldn't practice, which allowed me to catch up on stuff I had been putting off. But on the other hand, I didn't know how long it would be until I could play again, and if it ended up being anything serious, I would be out of here because my scholarship would expire. So it was kind of stressful. I am also majoring in math, which was looking more and more like the best choice so I wouldn't have to constantly be worrying about when I could play again.
It ended up being alot smaller of a problem than I had first thought, so everything turned out okay. But if you take a second to think about why your doing what your doing -whatever it is- it can help you realize whether your doing the right thing or not. It made me see how even with the stress of always worrying about teeth issues along with tons of other stuff that can block a musicians career, it is still worth it. Sometimes I guess you don't know how much you depend on something until it is unavailable.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Every college student in the world deals with stress. Our reasons for it, levels of it, and control of it vary, but we can't deny that we all experience it. This post is targeting what happens to those who experience sever stress and how to deal with it. The bottome line is, most of the stress typically comes from classes, or academic related issues. Maybew its a combination of how academics collide with something else like your job or your social life, but either way, academics are related. Stress can cause serious health issues, and not to mention put a halt to an individuals pursuit of happiness, and for those who have too much in their lives, simply ease up a little on yourself.

Stress can cause serious health problems. Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a neuroscientist at Stanford, states that natural stress is the anxiety of running for your life, or any similar situation. The stress most people experience is put on them by themselves, and is alot worse than the "natural stress" because we usually experience it for a prolonged time period. Constantly being stressed can lead to adult diabetes, or high blood-pressure. Also, usually people either eat more or less when chronically stressed, and this messes with your metabolism. There have been cases where children have been so stressed that their growth has been "markedly impaired". These all might not affect you currently, but you could be starting them now and not even know it.

Also, if you focus on your future too much (which I think is the main cause of stress now), you will all but kill any chance of achieving flow or happiness. This might help if your classes are something you love, but I don't think just classes can make you happy, regardless of how much you love them. In an article about stress in music students lives, it says one of their main hinderances to being happy is that they are usually alone when practicing. This pretty much knocks out the relationship part of their life for alot of the time. This applies to anyone who spends alot of time alone doing classwork. Most people at this school are very motivated, but sometimes I get the feeling that people think now they just need to work and party, work and party, which to them may be happiness, but it seems like they view all the work now as paying their dues so in the future they will have a more Shumakeristic or real happiness. This is true to an extent, I mean there's alot of stuff you can't do unless you work hard at it, but you have to enjoy yourself too.

Relationships can also be affected by stress. Stress causes people to be angry alot of the time, and tense. If your in your room doing work all the time worrying about everything you have going on, it will tend to anger you. Then if one of your friends says something to you that would normally just annoy you a little bit, you might get mad at them and let out all the tension and worry about other stuff on them. This can damage relationships, and relationships are vital to happiness. Would you want to ruin a friendship rather than take a little more time for yourself and get an A rather than an A+? In Dr. Saoplsky's study, he found that states in the U.S with higher life expectancy rates are those with a more social based society. Utah for example, is hugher lergely due to the close friendships alot of people there get from the Mormon Church.

After reading all this alot of you might still think, "O well I still want to be rich later in life so I need to work now". This not only keeps the stress on you, but It doesn't in any way reflect the concept of flow we've been studying. Stress will always be there, but you can reduce it by choosing a career that you love, which will in turn give you the best chance of flow while at work. This might also be more stress to you if it is in a competitive industry. Eating normally, excercising physically (which is scientifically proven to make you happier), and taking a break every once in a while all help to relieve stress.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Getting A's at the expense of what?

This post is for all the students (myself included), who feel a bit stressed out. The constant exams, thousands of pages of reading each night, and a social life? It can be pretty exhausting.
Stress can be a good thing. Alot of people I know thrive on the pressure of having so much to do at the same time. I feel that I am this way to some extent. Stress can be an indication that you care about what you are doing , which is a good thing. But on the other hand, where does it end? Personally, if I'm worried about all the things I have due monday, I find it hard to fully enjoy myself until they are done, which is typically Sunday night. Yeah I go out with friends and everything on weekends but I still feel a little bit tense.
Last weekend I was on the phone with my girlfriend and she had a question about something (I forget what it was). Anyway when I had to repeat the answer because she didn't really understand the answer, I got pretty mad. She asked why I was being short with her and then said I've been like that alot lately. She understood when I told her of all the stuff I had to do this weekend, but still I felt bad. Saturday night when I was in my room practicing I thought about it. I realized that the things I've been giving her a hard time about are so meaningless I couldn't even remeber them. I kind of realized when I was with a bunch of people and they told me I was acting like a jerk also. My parents have been getting it too (Especially when they interupted me from doing workto help with dinner or something, boy was I mad.)
When I realized that all this school stuff was what was making me tense and testy all the time, I did some research on it. A teacher at Stanford, Robert Sapolsky, had some information about how stress can cause life long problems if it is not handled well. You can read alot more about it here. Anyways even if we disregard the scientific approach, if you're too stressed to be nice to the people you care about, you need to chill out. I know I'm going to. I'm not saying we need to do the minimum to enjoy our life the most, but you can't ruin what's happening to you now for what will happen to you after you get your degree. Just something to think about, and it got methinkin about it so much I might have to put it in our next paper.

Also, an interesting entry about spring break I commented on awhile ago can be found here. Until next time.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Detention for saving lives??

Here's the story. A high school student in California left school early one day because she didn't feel good. She got a ride home on a school bus full of elementary school students. The bus driver hit her head on a turn and fell out of her seat which left the bus pretty much going anywhere gravity wanted to take it. The high school student jumped up and stopped it after hitting only two parked cars, which I think is about the least amount of damage you would expect from a runaway school bus.
As it turns out, the person I would consider the hero of the story got detention for skipping school. From the view of the schoolboard, they will probably say she didn't know she would save a bunch of lives when she skipped school, but think about how the situation would end if it involved celebrities. For example, last year Lindsey Lohan plead guilty to drunk driving and some cocaine use. Now for "normal" people you would expect them to be in jail atleast overnight right? Lohan spent 84 minutes in jail, and her sentence included only probation and attending places to help her kick the habit. Nothing about community service or anything, all she had to do was make herself better. Does anyone reading this have an experience with drunk driving? A friend of mine a few years ago was just in the car of a drunk driver and she was in jail overnight. Maybe Lohan's case was like that because she had money to get out immediately and pay for all the clinics and stuff, but still, no community service? I'm not very familiar with laws regarding this sort of thing but doesn't everybody get that?
This example might not parallel exactly to the high-school student's above, but looking at a broader aspect, the student broke a rule and saved lives, and recieved probably the maximum punishment the school could of given her. Lohan on the other hand, broke some rules, didn't help or hurt anybody but herself, and recieves encouragement to make a better decision next time. I don't want to say whether the ruling should of been detention or no detention, my point is that it should be the same regardless of wealth or popularity. If you have any exapmles involving celebrities that more closely go with the school bus story, please share them. Thanks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Schumacher was right?

So I think I’m a pretty happy person most of the time. I’m getting a degree in what I love, good college, good times, good family and friends and so on right? Well a few weekends ago I went to a church that in a way brought to light a new kind of happiness. It wasn’t as if this new happiness was being felt again, it was like I said, new. Schumacher was right!
First of all for some background information, I went to church irregularly as a child, and through the end of high school (probably even middle school), I hardly went at all. Now I still considered myself a Christian and everything, I prayed (sometimes), but I just never went to church.
Well, Senior year rolls around and I start dating this girl Yvette who is amazing. This is about church though not my girlfriend so I’ll save that for later. She had been trying to get me to go with her to the Potter’s House for a while. The Potter’s Houseis a huge, I mean huge church south of Dallas in 35 (at least I think its 35). It’s mainly African Americans that attend, which gives you a sense of the atmosphere. Well we finally went and it was pretty cool I must say. I don’t want to offend anybody because I know church isn’t about being cool, but this place was fun.
It seemed like the people there -everybody- held the idea like hey, were going to worship anyways so why not have some fun while we do it. The loudness of their choir rivaled most of the concerts I’ve been to. Anyways, once Bishop T.D. Jakes came out and started his sermon, from the very start it caught my attention. It seemed like it was directed right at me because it was addressing some issues and problems I had very recently been dealing with.
Needles to say I paid a lot of attention to the sermon. And when I left, I just kind of felt different. I was happy but not in the same way that I always am. I mainly wanted to share this bit of experience because I think it greatly qualifies Schumacher’s ideas about how our priorities have shifted from church and other things to me, me, me. Well it qualified it for me anyway. Now going to church didn’t really benefit anybody but me, but I think it’s a more self-satisfying way of pursuing happiness opposed to any of that stuff Schumacher said we need to steer clear from. Drugs, materials, and so on. That’s all I really wanted to mention, so thanks for reading.