Monday, September 29, 2008

Politics and Religion

I rarely use my blog as a political platform other than the occasional Colbert post, but this post was inspired by something I saw on CNN this morning, as well as something I heard in church yesterday. I'll start with CNN. There was segment on some Christian leaders explicitly telling their congregations to vote for John McCain or in one case not to vote for "Barak Hussein Obama". These openly political actions calls into question these institutions tax exempt status but that is not what I want to focus on, but instead share what I heard yesterday at my church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka The Mormons)

Political participation, Voting and the Political Neutrality of the Church

As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future.

Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good and honest. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties.

Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government. 

The Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates. The church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues. 

After hearing that I wonder if there is candidate running that is wise, good and honest; I don't know but I'm narrowing my choices. What I am sure of is that I am glad for an organization that encourages its members to be educated and make informed choices in all aspects of their lives, be they political or spiritual. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning and Re-learning

Dear faithful blog readers this blog is brought to you by Epid 554. While I enjoy this class it does not require a lot of brain power. We are watching a very powerful video right now that I will post another time. This entry though will be dedicated to my reminiscing about new hobbies and old hobbies, that are a bit rusty. 

New hobbies:

Banjo- A few weeks I was walking to the school of social work when I came upon a young lad playing his banjo-I should mention that I have been looking for a new banjo teacher since mine graduated last year. Initially, I walked on by but then I realized that it is not everyday that I come across a banjo player, so I went back and asked him if he would teach me to play the banjo. It turns out that he is a new freshman and would be more than happy to be my banjo teacher. Last Friday I had my first lesson. It went really well and I learned that chords for CCR's Bad Moon Rising and Bob Dylans's Mr Tambourine man. I can play the chords and the strumming patterns but the songs are a still a little hard to distinguish. James was lucky enough to get a free concert via Skype. 

Swimming: I am putting this in the new hobby category because although I can get from one side of the pool to the other my doggy paddle is hardly
 majestic. Fortunately my friend Lisa (pictured, but not to be confused with the sexy Michael Phelps pic) was a swimmer throughout undergrad and has volunteered to teach me how to swim. I have been twice and I still can't 
breathe but I have killer backstroke, mainly because it doesn't require putting my face in the water. 

Hobbies Take-2: 

Ceramics- Last winter my tall blond twin moved to Ann Arbor. You may be wondering how a short brunette with really great hair can have tall blond twin (she does have great hair too). Stephanie and I found out that we both went to Snow college, took the same intro to social work class- although we didn't know each other- both went on missions and then ended up at the University of Michigan's School of Social Work. One other commonality we share is we both took Intro to Ceramics at Snow. This week I am going with her to rediscover my lost ceramic love and talent. Although there are no surviving remnants of my first go at ceramics and I got a B in that class- worst grad of my undergrad!-please be assured that I was GOOD! If things go well all of my friends can expect post modern ceramic pieces for Christmas and Birthday presents. Yeah!

Violin-I would also like to take up the violin again. Right now my violin sits underneath my bed but I hope it will see the light sometime soon. I am a bit hesitant though because two of my room mates are master students in the school of music. Hence I will have to find practice times when they are not home so as no to offend their musical sensibilities. 

I encourage anyone who has a lost talent/hobby or would like to develop a new one to go for it. Here is a hobby suggestions for Kirsten: picking up Scottish Laddies or picking up Scottish Laddies for younger, soon to be even more talented, younger sister. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Because I am feeling a it overwhelmed by the start of the semester I thought I would just rely on my old trusty friend Stephen Colbert to entertain blog viewers. This is a really great skit that perhaps only pales in comparison to the Palin/Clinton Saturday night live skit last Saturday.