April 30, 2006
Hwang Sun-won ideas
I haven't read much from "The Book of Masks," by Hwan Sun-won, but I already like his writing. He seems to focus on common human attitudes through their reactions to life. It's suggested in the forward that he did not attack the problems in the world directly but by showing honest reactions by the characters to what is going on around them. Much of his writing seems to deal with the commanalities we all have as human beings and attempts to bridge the gaps between us instead of focusing on the separations we create. I want to read more. And I can see why he is considered one of the best short story writers in Korean history.
In the introduction Martin Holman says about Hwang, "Hwang approches his labor aware of the loneliness, depravity, squalo, and brutality in the sould of man, but, recognizing that there is also great strength and virtue in the heart of human bonds, he strives to forge the links that save the human spirit from the void."
"Now the soldier worked hard alongside the farmer." It's very good.
Hanja as a motivation tool
I did not know it would happen this way, but it has. This is the brief story of how I regained my motivation to study the Korean language, and languages in General...
First I met a man my age intensely studying Japanese at the coffee shop. He studies daily and has been fun to talk to about linguistics and language learning, AND the commonalities between Japanese and Korean. So we've been talking since about January off and on. His enthusiasm and determination is inspiring. It's catchy you know?! He has the same attitude toward language learning I had in the first two semesters of Korean at the U. In the third semester I lost much of my motivation for learning. I like my new friends attitude. "Can't" is not part of his vocabulary. He's methodical and experimental. When one thing doesn't work, he tries another. He uses both traditional flashcards and watches newscasts and movies. He also listens to audio and practices speaking out loud. Many of these language learning techniques prove to be useful.
He's been studying Hanja, or Chinese characters. He has all of radicals memorized and can look things up in the character dictionary. It was very interesting for me. Yesterday I went to Half-Price Books in the Highland Park business district and ta-da! I found a Korean/Hanja book. It covers the 1800 chinese characters taught in Korean schools, along with the corresponding Hangul. Very cool. My task for today was to learn the Hanja characters for the Korean days of the week. Sun, Moon, Fire, Water, Tree, Gold and Earth. As an additional learning tool, I stopped by a local store where the Chinese shop owner wrote the actual Chinese equivalent of the days of the week, which turns out are the numbers one through seven with the addition of the character for the word 'day', ie. 'day one,' 'day two,' 'day three,' etc.
Anyway, after studying Hanja for a day, I can write these seven characters fairly well by memory. It's motivating and encouraged me to study more. I like it. I think my motivation has been building, because languages really are fun. The thoughts and feelings of people are shared with others through language. I don't think it was the Hanja itself that motivated me but it definately pushed me over the top. Learning the history of Chinese characters was very fascinating and interesting. There are over 50,000 chinese characters, but really only about 4,000 are necessary to be fairly fluent in the common every day language. One thing that is interesting to me is how about 60 percent of the Korean vocabulary is borrowed from Chinese. I love practicing and writing these very specific symbols, that have very specific writing directions. One of my goals with this is to make an artistic calendar of the days of the week in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Hanja using symbology and imagery related to the meanings of the characters. Fun. I am excited by the possibilities and the creative side of learning.
April 28, 2006
What I am currently reading
I think it's good to read widely and don't settle for less. Sometimes I read a lot, sometimes not so much, but in all I keep reading and am not afraid to read different points of view or ideas from different cultures. So just for you insight into my current life, here is what I am currently reading:
The Book of Masks, by Hwang Sun-won, a master of Korean short stories.
Conquering Depression, by Wina Sturgeon
To Celebrate a Time, by Mary Virginia Micka
The Path of Power, by Sun Bear
What every person wants to know about Prayer, by Marilyn Hickey
Frank Lloyd Wright, Writings and Buildings, by Kaufmann and Raeburn
Never Before: Poems about first Experiences.
No matter when you graduate, or even if you don't, continue learning. Continue learning because it's what we do as human beings. Don't settle for less.
April 27, 2006
Today I was filing and organizing. I learned the korean word for 'file folder' while I was sorting papers into them. I don't know if I'll ever use this word in the future. This is anj issue with learning a foreign language. The object is to communicate in someone elses native language in any given situation. So I have to learn every word that a native might know. I know the word for file folder in my language. I guess I learned that word sometime as a young teen. I never had a need for it before then. But now I do.
So I really believe I am the most organized now, just after the move to the new building. I was only this organized when I first started the job. Then the pressures of time and volume of work caught up to me and I lost my motivation for being so detailed and clean. I did what I had to get done. But it wasn't enough. Now I have a chance to start over and it feels good. Starting over does feel good, because I threw out a lot of stuff (recycled a lot of stuff).
Tomorrow is Friday and I'll have spent one whole week in my new office and I think I'm getting used to it now. I already like having the larger, shared lunchroom. I see more people from different departments that I've worked with than I did in the old building. It's kind of fun.
April 25, 2006
Melvin and the Car wash
Today I experienced something great; a bond or connection with Melvin. Melvin shows up at the bike shop every so often to keep his bike running. He's kind of eccentric and very interesting. Today after work I just ran into the shop to check the mail. The shop wasn't even supposed to be open, since our hours are short on Tuesdays. But as I was coming out to go home, Melvin rode up. We were talking about his pedials. I asked him if he needed something urgent and was willing to go back in and help him with whatever he needed but he said he was going to the car wash on Robert Street because they have a wash special for 50 cents. He wanted to powerwash the grease off his new crank that he got at the shop on Monday so he could put it in. He just came by the shop to see what was going on. He found me there. And so together we rode off. We both go in the same general direction so I said I would love to ride along with him. But we didn't go right to the car wash. First he wanted to show me this really sweet 3-speed bike he saw with mustache bars parked at a bike rack nearby. We checked it out and it was still there. It was nice! It was a brand new Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub on an old green Raleigh frame, with nice cream-colored plastic fenders and mustache handlebars. I loved it. We talked about that bike and the tenspeed next to it that had sawed off drop bars reversed to simulate mustache handlebars. Both bikes were nice but the three speed was cool. It even had a brooks saddle on it.
After the bike tour he wanted to show me a building that they were remodelling in downtown. I looked and he was telling me all about the good work they were doing and had me ride right up into the recessed doorway, "Go ahead, you can ride your bike right up in there so you can see inside, that's what I did." So I did and it was cool to experience what he did. I did see inside without getting off my bike.
Then we rode together down Robert Street to the car wash. It was only fifty cents and that's exactly what I had in my pocket. So I decided I'd also wash my bike to get all of the winter salt and grease off my bike. It worked. But another amazing thing was that someone had left a few quarters on the pay box so I paid my 50 cents and used 50 more cents to rinse my bike. Melvin used half of my rinse, switching it to soap, then paide another 50 cents for a high-pressure rinse. It worked great. Then he kept the rest of the quarters and we rode on together. He showed me a shortcut to the road I wanted to get home, then he turned and continued up Robert Street. As we were parting, he told me that he really appreciated the ride and the chance to get to know me better and that this is what happens when people get out of their cars. I like Melvin. He's very interesting. He showed me the cool bikes, the renovated building and the 50 cent car wash on Tuesdays. And now my bike is clean. Tonight was full of great experiences. And tomorrow I get to witnes Melvin change out his cranks. Pizza tomorrow night at the Depot, come on down and check it out.
April 24, 2006
The new cubicle
Today I moved into my new cubicle at work. Here is what I discovered:
1. I like a brand new environment. Sure there are problems with the design and layout that I think were a result of poor planning, but overall the new environment is refreshing.
2. My cubicle is directly across from my boss and I can hear every word he says, and I imagine that he can hear every word I say. I discovered today how frustrated my boss is. I heard him cursing himself over and over about the amount of 'crap' he had, and mumbling how "I haven't made any progress at all!" He was obvioulsy agitated and frustrated and upset. Unpacking for him was very stressful.
3. It was a good thing that I spent so much time and effort purging all the old, outdated stuff in my office before moving. Today I simply unpacked and filed everything in it's place. It was cool.
4. Our whole division is now on one floor, instead of several. I like this because many of the people I work with are now much closer. This is a good thing.
5. Even though our office is only two blocks away from our old office, it feels like it's in a better location for bicycling. One of the major streets coming south toward our new office has a bike lane and I rode it twice today and it was very convenient. I liked that. I also like that our new building has quicker access to the skyway system. We are not connected to it, but the entrance is only about 15 feet from our front door.
6. I am more organized in the new space than the old. Mainly because I had a chance to plan how I was going to arrange my cubicle before moving in. Moving was a great opportunity to rethink how I was doing things. Some of the things I was doing was because that's the way my predecessor was doing it. For example, my file cabinets were already labeled and contained past information. I redid the whole filing system in my new office.
Well, anyway, it's hard for me to be angry at my boss when I overheard him being so angry and down on himself. I did not have a chance to see this side of him before. Before all I experienced was his anger at others. So I consider myself fortunate. Today was a good day.
April 23, 2006
Art Crawl Over, moving into a new cube
It seems that life can get out of balance really quickly. I don't know if there is a way to avoid that unless we are uninvolved, unengaged in life. Once involved, there are many things that need to be done and there are deadlines. So life gets out of balance. That's one reason we are all here. With great responsibility comes the need to discover and learn what is really important and how to to the best we can with our resources, including money, time, talents, etc. Today I had to focus on the bike shop and close up my art studio because I just had to. I could not do both. But it was a good day and that was more important than showing my artwork. I think it was a good decision. So the St. Paul Art Crawl is over and I can move on to the next thing.
Speaking of 'next things,' on Thursday at 5pm I finished packing everything in my office into boxes in preparation of our move to a new building. On Monday I will be going to work in a brand-new cubicle. The moving company was moving our boxes on Friday and Saturday. I took the day off to get ready for the art crawl. I ended up working on Friday at the Bike shop because our Shop Manager had to have emergency dental work done. So it was serendipity that I already asked for Friday off and was available. I'm glad I made the right choice to run the shop instead of get ready for the Art Crawl. Those needs were more important. I'm really please with how the weekend turned out. Now I'm going into a new building, a new cubicle and a new work atmosphere. So Monday will be filled with unpacking. How fun is that!? It's a fresh start after a great weekend. Balance has a lot to do with what we let go of. What is really important in life?
April 20, 2006
Bush in bed with Hu, while Macalester bans freedom of speech
Life is very strange. President Bush kisses Hu's butt because he doesn't understand the the true meaning of life. He apologizes for the outburst by a Falun Gong member, who supposedly doesn't understand. Life. Bush is not a true Christian. He doesn't know the meaning of Christ. It's funny how the Christian community has fallen for his lies. Strange how people believe lies before they believe love.
In a second note, Macalaster College cancelled the Chibaganza, marijuana festival, after stating that they support the student's right's to free speech and legitimately stating their desire to change the laws regarding marijuana use. It's too bad the college caved to the conservative desires and cancelled freedom of speech. Bush should have gone to bed with Macalester college officials too. They already agree on the need to squash true freedom.
Bush apologizes to Hu for the embarrassing Macalaster students who want to speak out. They unfortunately talked to the newspapers, so he had to cancel their event. And America sees nothing wrong with this. It just hums along while Macalaster College officials sleep with Bush. It's all in the family. Hush. We should not speak of this publicly. It could be seen as an embarrassment to the administration.
St. Paul Art Crawl
If you haven't ever gone to the St. Paul Art Crawl, it's a great, energizing event where the Artists of St. Paul open up their studiios to the public, like a giant open house. It's fun to talk to the artists and see all of the artwork. Check it out! It starts Friday and runs through Sunday. http://www.stpaulartcrawl.org/ You have to at least come and see Jaak's bike art! He'll be displaying his artwork made from bike parts at the Renessaince Box building at 9th and Sibley. He has these really interesting guitars and banjo's welded out of bike parts.
Also, The Sibley Bike Depot will be having an open house, serving Peace Coffee. And of course, I'll be displaying my artwork. Remember the offer? I posted it on a previous blog entry. I hope to see you there! I'll be there and would love to meet you!
April 18, 2006
Some woman warriors in history
Hua Mu-Lan, China's most famous female warrior, fought as a man for more than ten years. In battle, Hua Mu-Lan (5th century A.D.) used her father's name as well as his armor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hua_Mulan
Fuhao, China's first female general, wife of one emperor of the Yin Dynasty, woman general during the Shang Dynasty (1324-1265 B.C.), a wealthy ruler and military leader, led armies of some 10,000 troops. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-06/13/content_1523114.htm
Wu Zetian The only woman in Chinese history to rule as an emperor (625-705 A.D.): http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/heroine6.html
Treiu Au, resistance fighter, female warrior (222-248 A.D.): http://www.geocities.com/imperialvietnam/Trieu_Au.html
Transitions and growing up
It's difficult knowing how to handle transitions. As we grow up ther eare definately transitions between childhood and adulthood. There are also transitions between student and professional.
April 16, 2006
The world of food
Food is very intesting. People have as many varied tastes as there are foods available. Different foods come from all over the world. Food is something we could spend a lifetime learning. Human beings do not eat just for physical sustenance, otherwise we would all be satisfied with the same foods all the time. We are creative beings and our food preparation becomes creative. We flavor things to our taste. We flavor life to our taste too.
April 15, 2006
A wonderful, exciting, full bike day
I have to tell you, it is very interesting dealing with different personalities. There are some people that should not be 'in control' of things. There was another incident this morning, but with a different person. So, when I later talked to the others who were involved, the story was way different than I heard originally. Anyway, finally I got the whole story and not a skewed alternative version and I feel much better and less concerned.
Then today I went to the TCBC Swap meet and sat at a table talking to people. It was really cool. Then after the swap meet I went back to the bike shop and it got really busy. So I got sucked into working the register. I was very busy for about an hour, then I had to go, but it was ok.
Overall it was a great day. The main lesson for me today was in 'how I talked to other people.' Real communication can get muddled when we are not sharing all of the information with each other or when we put our own agendas ahead of the other person's needs.
April 14, 2006
Running a volunteer non-profit corporation
Running any business takes a lot of time. We have a non-profit 501c3 organization with a board of directors who are responsible for the welfare of the corporation. I'm the President of the corporation. It's a real business but none of the board members get paid. We are a volunteer run, non-profit. So what volunteer would be crazy enough to run a business on the side with no compensation? Because most of us have to have real jobs also. We do it because we believe in what we have here and feel like it's a good thing to keep going. We're not generating a lot of revenue but we are touching a lot of lives and making people more self-sufficient and empowered. The low-cost services and products we provide are only part of the benefit of this organization. A major benefit is the learning that goes on inside our walls. But it's still crazy because it takes a lot of time. Volunteering is like that. Sometimes we put in a lot of our life's energy, passion and time into a volunteer activity, not to mention our own resources. Why do we do it? Maybe it's just because it's a good thing to do.
April 13, 2006
Are there design flaws in other people? I think it's an attitude we have that prohibits us from seeing the true, beautiful design of each individual.
April 12, 2006
I just finished watching the Korean Drama, Emperor of the Sea. The message seemed to be, If you compromise your love, even though you gain the world you lose. The series is over, and in the end the bad guy won, all the good guys fought to the death and the woman who Bo Go loved escaped with his son alive. Basically she and BoGo's baby son were the only ones to survive the slaughter. Did it make sense? It didn't prove anything except that the bad guys won and the trusting, loving ones all were murdered. This is the way of this world it seems. But I agree with the statement that even if we win we lose. There is something about power and force that corrupts our hearts. We can gain a lot in this world by taking advantage of others, lieing, cheating, steeling, killing, etc. but what good is it in the long run? We have already compromised who we are and lost out on life. We are the most dead when we lie to ourselves, pretending we are the most alive. Do those corrupted by power really think they can take it with them beyond the end? What gain is it? It's shallow and meaningless and so short lived.
Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the series, but I didn't like the ending. Yang Kim should have died instead of taking over, and Yoem Jang should have turned from evil instead of killing his best friend from youth. And the young emperor boy who was put on the throne, surrounded by corrupt nobles, oh what a sad, manipulated life he will lead. Nothing about this ending was satisfying to me. The woman who escaped lost everything and everyone she loved, but I suppose it's a sign of hope that she gained a son from the man she loved. Still, it was a very sad ending. The end.
April 11, 2006
"I did not even know him"
There are several things coming together at once for me with the theme, "I did not even know him." Meaning, "I thought I knew who that person that was so close to me was, but I didn't really know anything about him." First, I have been watching a Korean Drama on TV. It's 50 episodes total and is now nearing the end. I believe there are only two episodes left to see. In this Drama, or soap-opera style epic series, mortal enemies can suddenly join forces to fight a third enemy or be sentenced to death in one episode and be leading the country in another. In many cases what is so obvious to the viewer as a lie is totally unseen and unexpected to the people involved. It's the way they write these things in soaps. It's why they call it drama. The drama is exagerated and what infuriates us also drives the ratings up.
The second thing with the theme, "I did not even know him," is the disturbing movie I watched last night, Ted Bundy. The serial killer, Ted Bundy was directly responsible for more than 150 deaths and was eventually caught and executed in the electric chair. When his long-time girlfriend finally realized that Ted really did commit all of those terrible crimes, she left him, crying and shaking her head. She later said, "I did not even know him. How could I have been so close to someone and not even know him?" I can't answer that except that Ted was very adept at saying what others wanted to hear. I was disturbed by this movie, as I should have been. It was intended to wake people up.
Many times when we feel like we've been betrayed, we look back and feel like it was all a sham. We want to be trusting of other people and have other people trust us. But we can be disappointed when things don't go that way.
Now the third thing is a process of discovering another person's true soul. It's easy to not really know another person if we don't connect with them on a deeper level. That happens when we don't value another person enough. In reverse of the Ted Bundy and the Korean Drama idea of, "I did not even know him," there is the person we underestimate and discover later they were much, much more capable than we gave them credit for. This is why it is important to talk to each other and open a dialogue. It is the great conversation of souls. When we value someone and help increase their capabilities and trust them to do it, even if it's not the way we would do something, we won't have to say, "I did not even know him." Underestimating and undervaluing another human being is disappointment to both parties. There are better ways to communicate and enhance each other's lives.
April 10, 2006
I paid my fee so I have to do it
I officially paid my fee for the Triathlon training course yesterday, so I'm now committed to doing it. I feel good about starting something new and getting back into a hard workout routine. Paying the fee is a motivation since I don't have much money to work with. I think it will be a great experience though.
April 8, 2006
Pysanki Demonstration Success!
Today I did my first ever Pysanki demonstration. It was a lot of fun! I love talking to people about art anyway and explaining how it's done and exchanging artistic ideas, etc. Art is a good way to connect with other people I think, and we are all artistic in some way, though we often feel self-conscious about allowing ourselves to be creative and worried about what others think about our creative efforts.
I spent about six hours in the Lisan gallery of art and design today talking, showing my work and demonstrating. Actually I was only supposed to be there from noon until three pm, but I was having fun. I didn't sell any eggs, but it was still fun. My next event is to display my eggs in a coffee shop downtown St. Paul. We'll set them up during the middle of this week. Then on April 21st, 22nd and 23rd is the St. Paul Art Crawl. A busy month for artwork. Thankfully then the pressure will be off until July for any kind of displays or demonstrations. Then I'm teaching a workshop on Ukrainian 'Pysanki'. So I guess today's demo was a good taste of what's to come and good early preparation for July.
Return of the missing kitty
I got to experience another one of life's lessons over the past few days. I know I've complained about having too many pets in the house and the work and responsibility that entails, but when one of our cat's left home the other day and there was a big rain storm and she wasn't seen again, yes, I was sad and worried. I wasn't happy that she was missing. I have secretly thought that it would be nice to get rid of some pets and not have to have that burden at this time in our lives, but when it comes down to it, I don't want to lose a pet by having some tragedy befall it. It's just sad. No, I think it will be a sad day when our older cat passes away too. Tonight our cat was found in the neighbor's yard wandering around meowing. She seemed happy to be inside and came running to me and rubbed up against me and wanted snuggling. Yes, I have to admit she's a good kitty. I still wonder how she survived the rain storm and was sad to think we lost her, she returned. I'm sitting here at the computer looking at some posters my family just made up with our cat's picture, "Help me! I'm Lost..." well, it seems she found her way back home, thankfully in one piece. For an indoor cat she must have had quite an adventure. But it's good to have her back. Isn't that the way it is in life sometimes? When we lose something it brings us a different perspective. We have the opportunity to think about our attitudes and our feelings. I didn't feel jubilation over losing a pet, but sadness that something terrible could have happened to her. I don't think I will be complaining any more about having too many pets. I won't be adding any either but I won't be complaining. I think I learned a lesson about griping about something that I would not act on. I wouldn't get rid of any of our pets and they are good pets, without causing us troubles. They are affectionate and all get along pretty well with each other. Well, the rabbit gets a little amorous with the cats sometimes and we have to intervene but other than that it's a peaceful zoo. Here is the rundown: Two large dogs, three cats , one bunny and four goldfish the size of a human hand. The fish come inside for the winter but usually live outside in our backyard pond. That's how they get so large; Lot's of space to swim around. The zoo is all together again and I have to admit that I'm happy it turned out this way.
Consider Supporting My Friend Terry Sainio
Terry needs help raising money for a good cause and he has a good heart. Please consider giving support to terry. He's a long way from reaching his goal. Check out his reasons for riding in the Red Ribbon Ride:
On top of all of his other issues, Terry is one of the greatest volunteers I've ever seen. He shows up for others. Please show up for him and make a difference in his life. I am supporting Terry.
April 7, 2006
Elusive but vital
This will be another strange entry. I want to tell you about Terry. Terry is a homeless guy who has put in thousands of hours volunteering in the bike shop. This week we paid him for working the whole week with the other shop staff to teach a class for high school students. As I tried to take his photo he abruptly got up and walked directly into my camera, thwarting my attempt to photgraph him. Oh well, next time. Actually Terry is a great guy, and I wish more people could be like him in that he doesn't want or seek attention for what he's doing, he just wants to live and do what he likes doing. Terry is vital, because Terry IS community involvement. Those with grander aspirations need not apply.
April 6, 2006
A nice night relaxing and talking
Tonight I had a great chat with a friend. Even though we were closed, I opened up the bike shop for someone to work on his bike. I sat there and stripped down a few bikes for scrapping while he built up his radical touring bike, all the while talking about life, bikes and the bike shop. And what made tonight extra special is that it was pouring-down rain outside. It was just the two of us working on bikes and talking with the sound of the rain outside, flashes of lightning and Peace inside.
This is a point I never really understood in life until the past few years. There are many people effected by the effect we have on just one person. We don't have to love the whole world at once. We have to love one person beyond the whole world. This is also called the ripple effect. One drop of water on a still pond sends out ripples in all directions moving great amounts of water, creating movement far out. I would assume that the size and distance of the ripples is directly proportionate to the velocity and force of the one drop as it hits the pond. The love we show one other person uses the same ratio. Except unlike a ripple in one direction outward, Love has the effect of also sending ripples inward. The power and force of loving another person flows both ways!
Then on top of all the great things that happened tonight, I got to ride home in a beautiful rain that felt so cool and refreshing and exhilarating! I can't beleive what I would have missed had I not opened up the bike shop tonight for this one person! And to make things better, I got to ride alongside him half-way home as he was riding the bike he just built. It was a great night that I feel has led me to a deeper understanding of another human being and made us better friends.
April 5, 2006
I don't know how he did it, but he went everywhere blind and went through countless near-death experiences totally unaware of any danger. He knew no fear because he did not see any danger. And somehow he continued living. I think a person can capture this kind of fearless living not by being blind, but by being wide awake, more aware. Then just go on doing what you know to be good and right and just. The more aware I become the less fear I have of doing that.
April 4, 2006
The Reality of Being
Crap! I exist! Now what!? In the Reality of Being, life situations dictate life. Yeah, dictate. Like Hitler. Too often we condemn others and consider them our enemies. Life is like Hitler when we think we are just doing our jobs, and not really loving each other. Do you realize the reality of being is realizing the reality of being alive? Being alive is a reality that many of us don't realize. We go through live unfulfilled and unrealized. Life sucks. But it doesn't have to be that way. Isolationism isn't the anwer. We cannot claim ignorance. We are guilty. We are the cause of our own problems. We are indicted and have no recource but to serve time. The reality of being is that we are the cause of our reality. So what do we do about it? Comedians make us laugh, because we can relate with somethign they say. We can relate because we are dealing with the human condition! It's the reality of being alive. The reality of being. Life happens. Life is real. It's not going away. So what does it mean? Don't be a pig. Live life and live life in love for other people. Chang the world by love, not fear. This is the reality of being. Don't live in fear. Fear is the reality of not-being. Love is the reality of being.
April 3, 2006
Sometimes there are baseline rules that people must follow to live in a civilized world and in harmony with each other. For instance, two high-school students in our week-long bike class were fighting and spraying chain-lube into each other's faces today and lost their priviledge to be in the class. They are lucky they didn't damage each other's eyes. And this was on their first day of class! It's a great deal for these students to be able to take a week-long bike repair class and even get a free bike out of it. But to ruin it on the first day by fighting and spaying chain lube into the face of another student? Sometimes there has to be a baseline of behaviour in our society to just get be able to participate. Many programs for youth end up being programs for the good kids, unfortunately for those that fall through the cracks. I know there are other programs that deal with kids like these two, but again, unfortunately we are not prepared to deal with them, so they cannot return. I think the rest of the week will go very well. In life how much do we miss out on when our attitudes prevent us from participating? Maybe they didn't really want to be there. Their director of the school program was notified and they may or may not have consequences beyond not being allowed to come back to our shop for our class. I think we need some baseline rules of behavior in society to get along. It doesn't mean we need to follow all the rules by the letter, because creativity often comes from breaking the rules, but there are rules of safety and respect for others we should follow as a minimum. Otherwise many things break down and people get hurt or it detracts from ours and other people's ability to learn and live and persue happiness. Then it's not just about us.
April 2, 2006
Box design and creation is very slow!
I didn't realize something as simple as creating locked display boxes to hang on the wall would be so complicated and difficult. It's seems to be a complex wood-working project. Another thing I discovered, is I have 'Almost' the right tools, but not quite, so I improvise and have to be creative. That takes longer. I have to keep working on these boxes all week to make sure I have them done by next week. After the Art Crawl, I already have another coffee shop lined up to display these eggs in, plus my paintings and batik prints, so it's kind of fun! That's another reason I'm trying to make very nice display boxes. Well, as nice as I can make them with my so-far-limited skills. But it's coming along.
April 1, 2006
Yesterday and Today, I have been building stuff. I've been working on making my own wall-hanging 21"x14" curio cabinets with mirror backs and hinged glass doors on the front and glass shelves. For now the lights are a no-go because I couldn't find suitable lights for what I want, so I'm planning on building my own with LED's later. For now they'll be unlit. This project will take me all weekend to finish. I'll end up with three boxes to display my Ukrainian Easter Eggs in. This is cool because they are small enough that they can be hung on the wall like pictures.
Then my other project this weekend is installing under-cabinet lighting. You know what I find interesting about projects, any project, is the guess-work involved. And the second-guessing-work involved. How do I do this (whatever project) so it looks good and is functional and doesn't look like a child put it in. And then there is also the problem of coming up with the right tools. Today I had to buy another miter box because I couldn't find my old one. I did not want to try to cut these box pieces without an accurate angled cut. Trips to the store have delayed these projects enough. That's one reason why it'll take me all weekend to finish these projects.
This is where the balance category of this blog entry comes in...This morning I went down to the bike shop to haul away scrap metal. But I didn't go back. Tomorrow I have to go back to the bike shop to haul away some older junk that's just taking up space for now.
Today I was discussing priorities and all of the things we get involved in. Life can get crazy sometimes. And when it gets crazy we can't do everything we want to do. So, part of our lesson here on earth in this form is learning how to prioritize and learn what is really important in life. Yeah, our families are important. Our jobs are important. School is important. Recreation is important. Art is important. It's ALL important and has meaning.
Balance in life is important. When going to extremes in one area, another area of life breaks down from neglect. But maybe that's ok in our different situations or phases in life, but maybe it's not. The answer is not to shun responsibility, but to think about our choices and conciously decide what is most important to us and understand why. Then we have to think about balance and if we really want to have another area of our lives be neglected. Balance is a life-long lesson I think.