The Excessive Need for More

Embedding a video into a post! I found this ability extremely useful because a link to a video can only persuade you to follow it to a certain degree. When the video is there for the viewer or reader to watch it is extremely helpful when creating a post. Embedding a video is better than providing hyperlinks because having the video accessible within a click of a button while also being visible. It is almost luring the viewer or reader to watch it. The enticing play button in the middle dares you to press it.

On a side note, in relation to the video below:

Have you ever thought about what you want to do for the rest of your life? This is a question I have been asking myself lately. The common pressure to be successful is something felt on every college student when deciding what career path to chose. Society unfortunately ties success to making money. This video states otherwise; it is definitely something to think about.

The video discusses if money were no option, what would you do with the rest of your life? What inspires you?

Listening Literacies

There are three given types of literacy: “functional literacy (the ability to use reading, writing, and/or other basic knowledge required to accomplish what minimally needs to get done in everyday life or in some field that matters to you); critical literacy (knowing how to analyze, create, and critique texts or other forms of knowledge, identifying their purposes, and evaluating their ethical or social consequences)” (Writing in Many Media). This situation is a perfect example of advanced literacy defined as “sufficient mastery of reading, writing, and/or other essential knowledge that equips you to mentor others, to detect and troubleshoot basic kinds of problems, and to begin using your literacy in more skillful ways” (Writing in Many Media).

The ability to listen is categorized as “other essential knowledge.” One must first master listening before he or she can offer advice to others or identify issues during conversation. One must be able to sense troublesome topics and grasp the feelings the speaker is expressing. People who are oblivious to their conversation partner’s feelings can be offensive or insensitive.

Being engaged is also very important when considering the definition of advanced literacy. Again, “being able to detect and troubleshoot basic kinds of problems” stems from being an engaged listener. If one wasn’t truly engaged in the conversation he or she would not pick up on the problems presented in the conversation.

Image

Preconceived Notions

While casually looking for an apartment online, I come across a link to this website. Turns out, there was a shooting last fall at the apartment complex I was googling. I instantly thought, “Next, heck no.” I began to ration it may have been a random unfortunate event; just because it happened once doesn’t mean it will again.

I reminded myself there are shootings and tragic events happening all around Oklahoma regardless of the area. There was actually a homicide-suicide down the street from my old house in Edmond. My mom, my stepdad, my sister and I lived in a small quiet friendly neighborhood in the heart of Edmond. There were constantly children playing outside, elderly couples walking their dogs and people running up and down the streets of the neighborhood. It was a couple years ago when a dad and son had a disagreement concerning the son’s recent jail time. That was the first and last major neighborhood disturbance, other than petty things like grass not being trimmed according to code, etc.

Then I got to thinking how one incident, despite the circumstances, can tarnish a reputation, or give one. One fact can instantaneously change someone’s opinion about the topic, when in reality, one must know the background to truly know the incident. The incident or fact, such as the shooting, gave the apartment complex an appositive such as, “Adam’s Crossing Apartments, the place where that shooting happened.” The area around downtown isn’t known to be the safest, I can agree with that. These are just some random thoughts about reputations. So take care of your reputation, especially the one on the internet! You don’t want to end up like Adam’s Crossing Apartments (article below) whose reputation is tarnished forever on the internet!

Residents shocked after OKC shooting

Learning to How To Listen

Through a series of seemingly unfortunate events, I met my friend Connor my junior year of high school in an AP Psychology class. Our friendship has taught me how to listen—how to really listen to someone and feel what they are feeling.

The first day of class, I walked into the room and see a couple friends at the front of the class, but there were no seats near them. I reluctantly sat in the back next to a guy I had never seen before in my life and an empty chair. The teacher announced that was to be our permanent seating chart and tutorial, a twenty minute free time open for studying or talking, would be spent in those seats as well. I thought, “Great, I have some shy guy and an empty chair to talk to all year.” During first semester, we had a couple awkward conversations to avoid the awkward silence.
That year, I was on the leadership council for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), which met every Wednesday night at 8:30. We would pray, worship and listen to a guest speaker. I found throughout high school, FCA was my retreat from stress and worries.

Second semester came and the awkwardness continued. We spoke more often, but still weren’t to the point of calling each other friends. February came and Connor was abruptly absent for about a month. Our teacher told us that Connor’s mom had died back in the beginning of February. That night I messaged him on Facebook telling him I was sorry for his loss and if he needed anything to let me know and I would do everything in my power to be there for him. When he returned to class, I assisted him with his makeup assignments, but he had grown quieter than he already was. We talked even less. It was a Wednesday and with nothing to lose, I decided to fill the silence with an invitation to FCA that night. Connor came and went and I thought nothing of it.

It was more than that to him. It was life changing.  He came to every FCA after that and began coming to church with me. We would talk about how he was doing and how his father was doing. We decided it was best for him to seek counseling with his dad and join a Lifegroup at church. That was two years ago. Connor and I still go to church and talk on a regular basis.

Everyone has that person they go to when they have a story, or need advice. You can never be too good of a listener. I never knew how important listening was until I met Connor. Today people say, “hey guess what I did!” and ask how someone is just so they can say how they are and what’s going on in their own life. I have learned to ask, “how are you” and mean it—how to actually listen to someone and be totally with them. Being engaged with people when talking about personal aspects has been something I have tried to become better at with each passing year. What I hate most is talking to someone and you can tell they’re not really listening, not really engaged. My goal is to know something about each person I encounter. To never let a chance to listen to somebody pass me by. Everyone has a story, all you have to do is listen. 

Positively Positive Thoughts On Thoughts

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Inspiration: Silver Linings Playbook

First off, this was an amazing movie—from the cast down to the detail. The movie cast was absolutely amazing: Bradley Brooks and Jennifer Lawrence were flawless. The two are a perfectly damaged, but fated match.  “Pat’s” family was also remarkably casted. Many personality disorders are hereditary and the father is portrayed to have slight OCD that would put his sons at higher risk to have a disorder, such as Pat’s bipolar disorder.

Although I predicted the ending very early during the movie, it was still a wonderful film. I think that movies with happy, positive endings are much more worth watching than movies with sad endings—such as Titanic. Although it might be extremely cliché for the protagonists to get their “happily ever after,” watching it still warms the heart. I might be an extremely easily pleased movie critic, but I think even if you predict, “Oh, they will end up with each other,” it is always nice to see it actually happen. To see it play out the way you would want real life to. I left this movie thinking, “I’m so happy for them. I’m glad they’re together.” Movies like this make you wish you knew someone with their story. 

We must realize real life would rarely play out the way we would like for it to—the happily ever after movie perfect ending. You don’t always win in the end. You don’t always get the guy or girl. But, as the movie title says, one must look for the Silver Linings. A positive attitude and outlook on life is an outcome of our own effort yielding inner happiness and, in Pat’s case, closure. Your thoughts shape your being. When you make the effort to eliminate negative, deteriorating thoughts, the clouds disappear and the sun is warmer, the grass is greener, and the silver lining is easier to see. 

The Bloggist

There’s something about putting thoughts onto, figurative, paper—something about putting my vulnerable thoughts out in the open for others to read, ponder and judge. Thinking deeper into my thoughts causes me to think more creatively, think more broadly, about both opportunities and possibilities. Blogging is defined as a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections and comments. The word is both catchy and trendy. It is short for Weblog—blog.

I am a now a blogger, and here are my thoughts to be critiqued, ignored, or shared.

Here are a couple blogs I admire that contain aspects I will try to incorporate into my own blog. Happy web-surfing!

  • Franceleclerc: This is a fairly new blog; the first post was posted on August 31, 2012 and it only contains about five posts. The photographs of the blog are the meat of the blog, but the text gives it life. The author is fascinated by foreign cultures and cares, most importantly, for the children of the world.
  • Aric Visser: I absolutely love the story telling aspect of his posts, especially the most recent post. I also admire that posts are written in both English and Spanish.

Where I’m From

ImageBy Brooke Crutchfield

I am from an old battered t-shirt, from Comfort Fit and Hanes.
I am from the unexpired mounds of canned soup and the cereal with the catchy jingle.

I am from Tom and Jerry, the Price is Right, and Bedlam and the Red River Rivalry.
I am from “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” and Lie to Me, from berries and cream from a little Darth Vader with remote start and from a pug with a craving for Doritos.

I am from 9 o’clock news and the lack of a television and the educated hearsay of classmates.
From never watch a Scooby-Doo alone at night and always keep a handy-dandy notepad for emergency reminders. I am from Oklahoma, Choctaw, France and Germany, from Spalding volleyballs and homemade hamburgers on Sunday.

I am from Joe’s Catfish, the small comfortable catfish restaurant with the friendly waiters and home-style food.
From the very first concert to Dixie Chicks in second grade with matching shirts with Velcro letters saying “We Love Dixie Chicks!” the getting dressed up in New York with the team and seeing Sister Act on Broadway.

I am from country music and Garth Brooks and We Shall Be Free and The River.
I am from the CD section of the store, and the endless ITunes library and blaring music in the car with the windows down and the heat on.

I am listening to a playlist designed for starting my day beginning with “Beautiful Day” by U2 and ending with 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.

Live the life you've imagined