Saturday, December 31, 2011

Portrait Pencil Drawing

I love to draw. Yet, even more, I love to draw for other people. I took Drawing 1 last semester in the intent to take all the prerequisites for the photography classes. However, I found that it is very difficult to minor in art. It's far too time consuming. I am thankful God has gifted me with a natural ability to create quality art, but I don't intend to make a career out of it. Nonetheless, I will definitely use my ability to bless others. Art is the perfect gift. I love creating and giving away the blessing to others.

Corrine & Maelyn, Christmas 2011^

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Plan

It is necessary to have a clear life vision to strive toward throughout life. In other should dream and dream vividly.

1. My future ambition is to be a writer/journalist. My goal is to publish a successful book/novel.

2. I want to live in my own apartment in China for several years teaching English and getting my master's degree online in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

3. I am open to the idea of marriage, but not dependent on it. I can pursue my life goals without a significant other.

4. I want to spend good chunks of time in rural areas of China, studying the people's way of life and looking for ways to improve their standard of living, as well as share the gospel with them. Possibly getting involved with a non-profit organization or NGO.

5. Also, I want to become (almost) fluent in Chinese...if that's even possible.

6. I will be active as an older adult. Committed to daily exercise, whatever that might entail. I will never be overweight.
- Side note: I want to break 18 minutes in a 5k during my collegiate career.
- AND run a marathon

7. I will remain classy, but will not spend undue amounts of money on stylish clothing. I intend to make the things I wear or buy them at second-hand stores. Essentially, acquire a style of my own.

8. I never want to live in a big house. I will spend my money on traveling (that is, if I make enough money to do so).

9. I don't know if I'll ever have/want children of my own. Regardless, I want to empower and significantly help children in whatever way I can (support a child, foster, etc.).

10. No matter how old I am, I never want to stop learning and being open to new ideas and concepts.

11. If I ever return to the States after China, I will never live in a suburban area. I would love to live in Chicago or the city of Grand Rapids. Someday I intend to go to New York. Possibly even live there.

12. I want to make multi-ethnic friends.

13. I would love to get my doctorate (even if it takes an extended period of time) and teach at a university.

14. I intend to develop my art in photography, drawing, and possibly painting.

15. I will read as much as possible.

16. Perhaps most importantly of all, I want to know and love God more. That sounds cheesy and trite, but I sincerely mean it. This, above all else, is my life ambition.

17. I also intend to be very involved in my church. Too often I complain about the shortcomings of the church, but I am the church, so I want to be a working force to foster improvement in whatever ways possible (i.e. reaching out to the immediate community in the name of Christ).

18. In addition, I will be adventurous no matter what. Even if it scares me half to will expand my comfort zone. I want to have an enormous comfort zone.

19. My goal is to ALWAYS speak my mind. This perhaps is my greatest shortcoming. I will do so with delicacy and grace. No matter what, I must find the courage to be honest.

I'm sure I will add to this list as time goes on...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I have been doing some investigation on the brain, primarily the parietal lobes. Apparently, this part of the brain has two functions. According to the Centre for Neuro Skills, the first function of the parietal lobes integrates sensory information to form a single perception (cognition). The second function constructs a spatial coordinate system to represent the world around us. Individuals with damage to the parietal lobes often show striking deficits, such as abnormalities in body image and spatial relations (as cited in Kandel, Schwartz & Jessel, 1991).

I can't help but wonder if I had mild damage to my parietal lobes in childhood. For reasons I cannot explain, I have a terrible sense of direction. I get lost constantly in local areas I should be familiar with. I also have difficulty distinguishing my right from my left, another indication of parietal lobe damage. In addition to this, especially as an adolescent, my perception of body image was completely distorted. I had no concept of it, and always considered myself fat when in reality this was not the case at all.

The brain fascinates me. So much of who we are derives from the health and function of our brain! More on this later...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Incurable Disease of Writing

Taken from an interview by Paula Byron, found in the Autumn 2003 issue of the Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin.
Hypergraphia—the medical term for an overpowering desire to write.
Certain brain conditions can trigger it, and they all seem to involve the temporal lobes. It was Norman Geschwind [’51] and colleagues who first showed an association between temporal lobe epilepsy and hypergraphia.

Writer's blockall blocked writers share two traits: they don’t write despite being intellectually capable of doing so, and they suffer because they’re not writing. One of the tragedies of block is that it also afflicts unknown people—talented individuals who just disappear from their fields because they stop being able to produce... Also, some blocked writers struggle with critical inner voices. The writer Anne Lamott personified one of these critics as, “the vinegar-lipped Reader Lady, who says primly, ‘Well that’s not very interesting, is it?’” Low doses of atypical dopamine antagonists may quieten those inner voices.

Clearly, though, you don’t have to be sick to be creative. It may be that engaging in creative work not only is a sign of health, but also makes you healthy. The relationship between illness and creativity doesn’t mean we should foster disease. Perhaps we should think of creativity as an adaptive response to difficult situations such as illness...In psychological terms, it seems that drive is more important than talent in producing creative work.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Half the Sky's Children

A friend shared an non-profit organization with me dedicated to help orphaned children (particularly little girls) in China:Half the Sky's Children. I read a book called Half the Sky for my International Development class, its themes are women oppression and the fight against human sex and labor exploitation. This is something I could see myself getting involved in after I graduate.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Creativity is Prayer

“The really creative person is not interested in dominating anybody. He is so utterly rejoicing in life — he wants to create, he wants to participate with God. Creativity is prayer. And whenever you create something, in those moments you are with God, you walk with God, you live.” – Osho

When I look at the work of my hands I am pleased, for I know that it is good. I share a moment with God as the created beholds her own creation. There is something sacred about such knowledge.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I also have access to post from my phone, so there's no excuses if I'm not near my computer that day... I'm making it real easy on myself.

A New Year's Resolve.

The new year is upon us. It's about that time to make New Year resolutions, eh? Rumor has it most people fail to keep their previously founded commitments for the coming year. However, there can be exceptions, right?

Therefore, as an exception to the statistical evidence:

I hereby commit to keeping a daily blog for exactly one year.
No exceptions.
No excuses.
365 entries.
I will write every day.
Doesn't matter how long or short, just as long as I post something.

It's good for the writer's soul to write...or so I've heard. So let's get down to it.

Thanks. That's all.