Tasks for Today

I want to set goals for today.

  1. Work my shift at F&L
  2. Attend COMM 407 class
  3. 100 crunches, 100 jackknives
  4. Shower
  5. Email Prof. Emenhiser about ODK applications
  6. Lunch
  7. Print out fresh copies of matrices
  8. Insert readied materials into portfolio
  9. Draft my communication strengths as they have grown through various COMM courses
  10. Draft my communication weaknesses that I have come to realize
  11. Dinner
  12. Attend Capstone class
  13. Draft the strengths and weaknesses that I see in the major
  14. 100 crunches, 100 jackknives
  15. Shower
  16. Write in journal
  17. Complete correspondence
  18. Go to bed by 9:00pm

Duras and Her Lover

I finished The Lover, by Marguerite Duras today. A couple months ago, I watched the film version and really appreciated it. When I read that it was based on Duras’ life, I planned on buying it. Yesterday, I found a hardcover copy of the book at the bargain bin in the bookstore, so I bought it.

The movie was better. Granted, the book gave each character more depth, but the movie had more impact, more images. Well… in many ways, the flick is like soft porn. No porn, however, has a storyline like Duras’ book. Moreover, it’s more than just a story: The Lover is an autobiography. Reading her words is like being a spectator in her life — I feel like a voyeur — a witness to a moment in time which defined a person’s life.

Why am I so fascinated with The Lover? Perhaps, I am intrigued by the story of a white-girl who is sexually drawn to a Chinese man? In the film, I was mesmerized by Jane March’s smoldering passion. You can sense the anticipation, her curiosity with sex, and her conscious decision to become a de facto child prostitute. Maybe those reasons explain my fascination… maybe not at all. More than anything else, I think my fascination stems from the sensations of voyeurism. I get a peek into the life of another person, their thoughts, their motivations, their fears and desires. It is a vicarious experience that leads me to understand more of the Human Experience.

That is an important function of good films: they allow us to experience a life that we might never have lived. This explains why I love movies about heroin, homosexuality, prostitution, and other areas of deviancy. These are lives that I do not see myself ever living, but they intrigue me. Even though I don’t live it, someone does. I want to understand. Their lives are as much a part of the whole of Human Experience as mine. Understanding their experience can very well enrich mine.

Never Debate with Friends

I had lunch today with Raam. A long time has gone by since we’ve last done that. So, I’m glad to have met up with him.

He mentioned the homosexual debate Mike and I had last week. Apparently, Mike felt humiliated that he couldn’t articulate his views. Now, I feel bad that I debated with him at all. By now I should realize that debating with people who have never had training before is a no-no… unless I want to lose them as a friend.

Reparations must be made. Next time I see Mike, I must apologize for forcing him into a debate he was not ready for. I must make clear that I accept him as a person and friend even though I might disagree with his moral stance on homosexuality.

This is a lesson I should learn now lest I suffer worse consequences in the future. I should never debate with another person without their consent. I must ask the person if she/he is ready to uphold her/his views for an audience. If not, the subject should be dropped.

Moreover, rather than debate, the alternative is to discuss. The discussion would involve everyone, and I can serve as facilitator if no one else is willing. As facilitator, I would prompt participation, offer my own views at times, and even play the Devil’s advocate.

Perhaps, as a general rule, I should never debate with friends. The debate-style in which I have been trained is used to persuade an audience. In so doing, the opponents may feel personally attacked. I don’t want friends to feel that way. Therefore, stick to discussions with friends and debate only with people whom I care not to relate with.

Never “Mother Knows Best”

The relationship that my mother and I share has an open communication climate. She is in the power role, but her communicative approaches remove any barriers that might exist because of a hierarchical nature. For instance, she minimizes her role towards me as a mother and considers herself to be more of a friend. I don’t ever recall my mom ever saying “You will do this-or-that because I am your mother,” or “Mother knows best.” Getting me to do something usually involves a discussion based on reason.

The spontaneity of our relationship is important. If my mom doesn’t like a certain behavior of mine, she tells me straightforwardly. There is no manipulation through loaded questions or “game playing.” This allows me to be straightforward with her, and if I was discontent with her behavior, I feel free to tell her so, as well.

Our open communication is perhaps more strongly rooted in the rewards of self-disclosures than anything else. The numerous times that I have revealed aspects of myself that many children would consider a no-no to tell their parents, I have been received with honesty, unconditional love, and leveled criticism. In other words, I felt closer to my mom rather than rejected by her. So, I am encouraged to tell her more. The more I told her, the closer I felt towards her. Now, my mother is one of the two people in my life who know me the best.

“Do Something Productive!”

I’m not doing anything productive. I won’t be later tonight, either.

Do I subconsciously know that everything will all work out? Is this why I am slacking? Perhaps.

I am tempted to blame my lack of focus on playing D&D or video games. Yet, I would find any excuse not to do my work. So, they can’t be it.

I know what is keeping me, though: lack of goals. I am not setting any. If I want to get things done, I need to set goals and stick to them. I need to understand why accomplishing those goals are important. And, believe that they are.

All right… enough of this self-lecture.

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