Sunday, November 19, 2006


A friend of mine recommended Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World, which I have been reading on the bus and in between activities. Admittedly, I have skimmed/skipped several parts not of interest to me. But for the most part I have read and enjoyed the many stories of those living simple lifestyles. It has made me realize that I choose to live a more simple life than typical. I choose to live without a TV, limit my spendings, live in a place which is not at all fancy, and choose a job for love rather than money. I wonder what it is that has made me live this way when I see other family members in a much more hectic lifestyle. I believe I will spend some time checking out some of the listed resources at the back of the book. I really appreciate the list at the end of the text:

A Prescription for a Simple Life

1. Write in a journal daily, or almost daily.
2. Take three to four months off every few years and go live in some very different place, preferably a foreign country.
3. Limit your work (outside of the home) to 30 hours a week, 20 if you are a parent.
4. Don't let any material thing come into your home unless you absolutely love it and want to keep it for the rest of your life or until it is beyond repair.
5. Spend at least an hour a week in a natural setting, away from crowds of people, traffic, and buildings. Three to four hours of nature time each week is even better.
6. Live in a home with only those rooms that you or someone in your family use every day.
7. Select a home or place of work no more than 30 minutes away from each other.
8. Do whatever you need to do to connect with a sense of spirit in your life, whether it be prayer, religious services, meditation, spiritually-related reading, or walking in nature.
9. Seek the support of others who want to simplify their lives. Join or start a simplicity circle if you enjoy group interaction.
10. Practice saying no. Say no to those things that don't bring you inner peace and fulfillment, whether it be more things, more career responsibility, or more social activities.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Freedom Writers

At NECC 2005, I went to Erin Gruwell's keynote speech. Her story was great and some of us were left in awe. I remember her telling us that there was to be a movie out of her story and Hillary Swank would be the star. On January 12, Freedom Writers will be out in theatres. It is the story of her class writing about their world. Their stories were published in The Freedom Writers Diaries. And today, Erin Gruwell and freedom writer have programs to spread the what she started in her classroom.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Educating Linux

Here is Linux:

He has been taught by sitting and being spoken to. He does not seek out information, but let's it come to him. He is a computer, not a boy.

Here is Linux:

He is living life, because learning is FUN. We hope he will be given the same information and will absorb it through active learning, hands-on, mistakes, and adults & peers to help him out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

procrastinator voter

I have labeled my type of voting. I am someone who continues going on day-to-day knowing I need to vote--civic duty, right? Well, I feel it's necessary anyhow, and I don't like the idea of sitting back and watching other people make all my decisions for me. But... I'm not very politically active. I have a hard time keeping up with all the BS that comes with it! I can't handle all the debating because I feel things just get old. Having said that, I could possibly handle it if I did a better job of informing myself day-to-day and discussing issues with those I already know, rather than strangers on the street.

Anyhow, I put off all consideration of how I'm going to vote until... oh!, it's November 7th! And I struggle to find the issues, the candidates and make decisions. I feel I do a fairly good job, given my procrastination, but I still choose to not make all decisions based on my lack of knowledge. I was recently told that I should blog about the pre-vote atmosphere. Obviously that time as past, but given that I am lucky enough to be a part of voting for such an influential government, I feel it is also my duty to do the best I can to represent what I do get to see and hear. With that, here is my email of random experiences to Cherrie in New Zealand:

Today, I voted along with...well not as many people as would make sense in a democratic government.

To be honest, I don't see much more than you do or could. Most of my information comes from the internet. Sure there are fliers everywhere about local elections, and I hear about this event or that relating to the city governor, etc., but I'm not much of one to attend these events. I have no TV so I do not see the crazy advertisements I've heard about, and I'm busy in my own little world.

I have seen that graphical representation of the system before. It's pretty neat. There are different numbers of representatives from each state, and this is why you can see a very obscure version of the USA in blocks. It's cool to see which states are more definite one way or other and which are not. I sometimes think I should vote absentee in my own state just because my vote would help the weak vote there more. But even though, it wouldn't change the vote as it doesn't much change it here in my new location. I do, however, feel it is necessary to vote no matter how the atmosphere is or the likelihood of my vote changing the result. Civic duty. Many, however, don't think much about it.

From my understanding New York City is pretty crazy today. Everyone is talking about the elections, or so my friend tells me. She has been told to vote so many times, it's apparently getting annoying. (She voted just before I went off to.)

Oh, the other thing that I get is a lot of people asking me to sign petitions before the election comes (actually almost year round). These petitions are to get things on the ballot. Very often I just walk right by them because the petitions are things I'm not comfortable standing out for, but occasionally I'll let someone give me their spiel and sign when I see something I'm interested in.

One of my friends texted me to day: "have you voted today :)". Although many people nagging me is bothersome, this friend I appreciate the reminder/push from. She has always been a bit of an idol for me in her efforts to be involved and create change. So I guess it's those who you know best that have more of an affect on you, right?

Anyhow, that was really long, but I thought I'd try to get as much as I could of my personal experiences in there. It must be pretty exciting to watch from afar... the elections to me seem more important if I look at them from an outsider than the typical American living the life... how sad. We'll have to see if there are any major changes in American government/politics coming soon.

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