How I supposed to decide what is in that bottle I found? I didn’t write whatever was in it! It could be a call for help (most likely far overdue), John 3:16 in twenty languages, or I don’t know what else. Which of these options are true? Until the hypothetical letter is read, all of them. One thing cannot be exclusively true until it has been observed.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
I have just finished reading King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild. It tells about how Belgium’s King, Leopold II, managed to purchase the Congo as his personal estate. Many people are familiar with Stanley’s expedition of the Congo River, where he famously found Dr. Livingstone. What people do not know was that Stanley went to Congo in Leopold’s behalf, and that the duration of the journey was marked by monumental death and destruction. Torching villages, wiping out elephant herds, all of which laid a template for how Leopold would mismanage the Congo for the next several decades. What the book focuses on is how Leopold manipulated the global community into believing he was some great philanthropist (who took over the place simply to end bad things like slavery, female genital mutilation, and eating Pygmies), and how brave visitors eventually blew the whistle and led to his downfall. Congo’s resources have been proven to be more of a curse than a blessing, because the ample ivory, minerals, palm oil, timber, and rubber make it a very attractive place for exploitation. If Leopold didn’t take over someone else would have. Westerners have long viewed Africa as the Dark Continent, and this has proven to be a self fulfilling prophecy. Spreading lies that Africa was a savage place provided an excuse to exploit it, and as a result for the past three hundred years Africa’s history has been very Dark. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been one of the worst places in the world, and reading King Leopold’s Ghost will help you understand how it got that way.
You are currently convinced that nothing happened during by sabbatical, however there is one thing that I failed to mention. In early December I was selected to one of seven students who will be going a month long trip to Tanzania for a month from mid June to mid July, where we will be staying in a village to help a Benedictine convent; numerous of the Sisters were educated at our university. The goal is to teach English at the convent school and orphanage, in addition to being completely submerged in village life. Around the time the prompt gives us I will probably be readjusting to life in the First Word, perhaps a different person than before. Also I am applying to be an RA for next school year and if so training will begin in July 31st.
I’ve blogged about time and my fluid perception of it before, but nothing drives home that point like when my birthday comes around. My 16th birthday was no big deal to me, and birthdays honestly haven’t been since I turned thirteen. And the only thirteen was a big deal was because it meant I had at long last crossed into the threshold of teendom. An era of my life that ended two week ago. Now I am twenty, and I really feel no different than I did in my late teens. It was only a big deal because I entered my second decade. Eighteen was a big deal because it signified majority. Nineteen was kind of weird because it was an age in between milestones, much like eleven and twelve. Now the only big milestone left is 21, than I will be a full adult and birthdays will return to mediocrity. I do like presents and parties, it’s just that the occasion itself isn’t nearly as big a deal as when I was much younger.
With virtually every circle I have been in, I have been told countless times that I was very funny, and very smart. I don’t try to cultivate any particular image, it just happens naturally. There are too many times to count when I have said some which people thought was hilarious yet I wasn’t trying to be funny. When I do, it’s usually with one of the 200+ Chuck Norris jokes (or CNJs) I know; the appropriateness of which varies according to the audience. The smart thing is similar, something I do not try to show off. However, I am usually in good standing with professors and classmates for my contributions to class discussions, to the extent where I am sought after for my input. I am also one of those people who everyone knows, despite not knowing everybody. On campus not a day goes by when someone I don’t even recognize greets me by name.
Well with this post before afore mentioned sabbatical is officially over. If you haven’t noticed, this is my first post in a month. My winter break was to boring to really post about. It pretty much started with me packing to visit out of state relatives for Christmas, peaked with me actually visiting said out of state relatives, and ended with me playing AC: Black Flag and Skyrim for the rest of the break. Now I’m back on campus with all my friends and life and I will be starting classes tomorrow.