Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thought Paper Number One

For my Psychology of Personality class, I will be writing several deep-thought/reaction/reflection essays in regards to assigned articles.

I will be posting them here.

I have not yet adjusted to APA style. That really needs to happen soon.


Carina Botterbusch
Dr. Randy Young
PSY 430
27 January 2010

_____Thought Paper #1
_____What Do We Know When We Know a Person?

_____Personality and character traits have always been things I have enjoyed considering, particularly in my personal reflective writing, both about myself and about others. Before reading McAdams’ article, I did not have any concrete, tangible opinion about personality theory, outside of the simple belief that personality is influenced by both internal and external factors. As I read the article, I noticed I disagreed with a few points the author made, specifically the fact that I place more emphasis on traits than he does. However, by the time I finished reading the article, I agreed with his main theme that there are levels of personality when it comes to how well one knows a particular person.
_____The author primarily asks what is meant by “knowing a person better,” after simple personality details and character traits have been noted. My original opinion was that getting to know a person better simply refers to getting to know more of these personality details and character traits. McAdams disagrees and says that getting to know a person better refers to knowing something deeper about the person, specifically how the person views their own identity and how they relate this through autobiographical narrative. After reading this, I agreed that getting to know a person better should consist of some deeper connection and communication, but was still not convinced that personality is much more than just traits.
_____The theory that personality consists of only traits makes sense to me because I believe that non-trait personality items (values, motives, and goals) can be broken down and reduced to the trait they represent and are motivated by. For example, my career goal of being a youth counselor is motivated by my personality trait of compassion, my value of integrity represents my own characteristic of integrity, and my goal of writing a few books is motivated by my characteristics of being intelligent and outspoken. I agree with the author that knowing traits is not enough to fully know a person. One must also be familiar with how these traits are internalized by the individual; how they influence their values, motives, and goals; and how they are perceived by the individual.
_____I also agree with McAdams that rating personality is difficult because there is no real standard and the average must be estimated. Rating one’s own personality is also difficult because self-perception tends to differ from objective-perception. Subjectivity is an obstacle in any social sciences topic, but especially in regards to studying personality. McAdams’ Level III, identity through narrative, is entirely subjective because it is how a person tells stories that define them. Because of this, when considering one’s own personality traits, it is important to consider both personal perceptions of personality, as well as the perceptions of friends and family.
_____The most interesting thing about personality that I am now considering is the fact that it seems like personality traits tend to divide themselves into two categories. McAdams discusses the “Big Five:” extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, but also mentions other, purely positive characteristics. These positive personality traits include having compassion, being a good listener, and volunteering time. These traits sound more like good deeds to me, but I have often heard them talked about as if they are inherent personality traits. I even included “compassionate” on my list of three characteristics that define me.
_____Such transient characteristics are certainly different than the “Big Five,” at least in some way. McAdams somewhat makes this distinction, but refers to them as dispositional traits (the “Big Five”) and personal concerns (what people want). I agree with McAdams more than I originally thought I did, although we do use different terminology. Traits are the actual characteristics of the individual (extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) and personal concerns are positive “traits” that the individual strives to have (compassion, empathy, listening, concern, volunteerism, etc.).
_____I also thought I disagreed with McAdams’ claim that traits such as extraversion and agreeableness exist independent from development based on the fact that all three of my defining characteristics have surfaced and been solidified very recently. However, now having made the distinction between traits and “personal concerns,” I see that my three characteristics (outspoken, confident, and compassionate) are more strived-for traits than foundational personality traits. Because of this, these “personal concerns” have arisen recently because I have realized how important they are to me and now concern myself with making them true in my personality.
_____So what makes a certain trait a real “dispositional trait” and not a “personal concern”? It at first seems like those characteristics that are strived-for are all positive and that the “Big Five” personality traits have opposites that are negative. But is this to say that one cannot strive for and attain a higher level of extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience or a lower level or neuroticism? It is my opinion that this is possible. I believe that the factor with the most influence is the individual and their attitude and that, with the right attitude and commitment, one can strive to be and be more extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, and open to experience or less neurotic.


Humanism? Not.


I figured it out. I am not a Humanist, I am a Humanitarian.

/hyuˌmænɪˈtɛəriən or, often, yu-/
[hyoo-man-i-tair-ee-uhn or, often, yoo-]
1. having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
2. of or pertaining to ethical or theological humanitarianism.
3. pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering: a humanitarian crisis.
4. a person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist.
5. a person who professes ethical or theological humanitarianism.
1810–20; humanit(y) + -arian Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

In Social Welfare class last night, we wrote a short essay answering three questions:
What is poverty?
Why are there poor people?
What should be done about poverty and poor people?
While I was writing my essay, I had a small, earth-shaking epiphany that there is a word for human-centered that is less human-is-superman than humanistic. This is humanitarian.

I am concerned for the welfare and happiness of people.
I will help to improve the welfare and happiness of people.
I may save human lives.
I will alleviate suffering.
I will promote human welfare and social reforms.
I am a humanitarian.

I may often sound like a Buddhist.
I may often sound like a Taoist.
I may often sound like a Pragmatist.
Some may interpret this as Humanism.

It is not.

It is humanitarianism.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Complaining (with a bit of Humanism)

It has occurred to me that many of my viewpoints and attitudes and opinions sound a bit more Humanistic than I’d like them to sound. …specifically my opinions and attitudes and viewpoints on things such as how situations should be handled and how responsible everyone is for most everything in their own lives.

See? Humanistic-sounding. At least I think so…

Now, everyone should know that all Humanistic ideas and ideals should not be thrown out simply because they come from a larger body of beliefs with which we disagree.

That would be like banning written text because cuneiform was developed by pagan Phoenicians. Or like banning traditional ceremonial dress because of its origin in ancient Druid cultures.

Yeah, you heard me.

I’m kind of a bitter person. Haha.

Anyway. My Humanistic-sounding philosophy on complaining.

Essentially, you’re not allowed to complain. This is very similar to my philosophy of why I have nearly no sympathy for people who procrastinate. More than 99% of the time, the circumstances that “made” you procrastinate were not beyond your control and you are therefore responsible for any consequences you encounter because of having procrastinated. That sounds a little Humanistic to me. You’re responsible. It’s all about your attitude. Etc. Perhaps Humanistic isn’t quite the right term.

But it’s very human-centered, which makes sense, as a Sociologist and a counselor, but when does human-centered become too human-centered? Hm, yeah, that’s the problem. I’d rather not cross the line from human-centered to Humanistic.

((I am not Humanistic because I believe in the depravity of man and that mankind is far too fallen to ultimately succeed))

Back to complaining.

You’re essentially not allowed to complain. This is very similar to procrastination. You don’t get sympathy from me when you procrastinate because there is a minimal chance your procrastination was beyond your control. It’s your responsibility, so take it like a man.

I’m a pretty cynical person.

You’re not allowed to complain because there is a minimal chance that your situation is beyond your control. It’s your responsibility, so… if you’re not happy, change it. You have the ability to change it. And if your cost-benefit analysis says that it’s unwise to change it, then don’t. And don’t complain. There are obviously enough good reasons to stay where you are. If there are enough good reasons to stay where you are not particularly perfectly happy, then get over it. And now we’re back to how it’s all about attitude.

Quite often, I wish that I could have an audio-blog because I know for a fact that the way you hear my words in your head as you read them is not how I heard them in my head as I wrote them. Perhaps a video-blog! Perhaps one day! I just moved here from Facebook! I can't leave so soon!

Upcoming post is entitled, “Not Causes, Catalysts.” Upcoming topic is jazz rhythms.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Placebos and Attitude.


Everything’s a placebo.
You, me, love. Placebo.

So, I have this new theory. Everything’s a placebo… at least to some extent. Everything’s a placebo.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am no big fan of the medical system, no big fan of medicine, and certainly no big fan of doctors. The type of person I am most prejudiced against would probably have to be doctors… and nurses… pretty much all medical personnel with the exceptions of emergency responders.

This “everything’s a placebo” theory is pretty simple.

Essentially, you wouldn’t take a certain medicine if you didn’t believe in it in some capacity. Therefore, every medicine, whether medical or natural, has the potential to be a placebo to some extent.

So… if everything’s a placebo, why take a potential poison?

Aside from some placebos containing poisonous substances… aside from that… there’s nothing inherently wrong with the concept and philosophy of placebos. Placebos have astoundingly high success rates. Placebos work. It’s all about attitude. Everything’s all about attitude.


Everything’s all about attitude.
Bad attitude, bad day.
Better attitude, better day.

Notice I didn’t say “Good attitude, good day.” A good attitude is no guarantee for a good day. A great attitude is no guarantee for a great day. There are those who believe that a supremely positive and optimistic attitude can overcome any negative obstacle, any negative situation, any negative person. I disagree. There is more to overcoming everything than attitude. This is vision. Vision. The ability to see past such obstacles and keep one’s sights set on the ultimate goal, the ultimate hope. Vision. Having an ultimate hope for the ultimate goal.

However, the degree of your attitude greatly affects not the outcome of situations, events, and days, but how you view such situations, events, and days. Your attitude affects not the situations, events, and days, but your perspective of them. A positive attitude allows a positive perspective of even the most negative of situations, which ultimately provides the opportunity for a positive outcome.

Your positive attitude is a catalyst for positive influences from negative events.

Attitude is everything. Everything’s all about attitude.

I'll probably definitely discuss attitude more in depth in the few upcoming entries. Attitude. The issue's been coming up a lot lately.

Upcoming topic is complaining.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gossip, Deep + Other Things

Gossip, Deep + Other Things
I believe I have pinpointed my real number one antipathy (pet peeve). My antipathies include arrogance, ignorance, being unnecessarily loud, bad parents, really bad grammar, and so on. But this one takes the cake: a lack of integrity.

“Takes the cake.” What a funny expression.

After compassion, integrity is probably the character trait I value the most.

in⋅teg⋅ri⋅ty [in-teg-ri-tee] –noun
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

1400–50; late ME integrite < L integritās. See integer, -ity

1. rectitude, probity, virtue. See honor.
1. dishonesty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

Sound and unimpaired, virtue, honor. Mmm, I like words a whole lot. Mmm, words. It gets better!

[Middle English integrite, from Old French, from Latin integritās, soundness, from integer, whole, complete; see tag- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Middle English “integrite” and Latin “integritas,” from integer, meaning whole and complete.

Integrity is to have the qualities of being whole and complete.
Integer means whole and complete.
An integer is a whole number!

Mmm, words! See, kids? It’s fun to be a nerd! Anyway, on to the point! Gossip.

This is a draft text from approximately Jan 8, 2010.
Gossip is false witness. It all comes down to a lack of integrity. You put up this image, this front, but it’s all a ruse, it’s all a lie. It’s just a front. This is a lack of integrity and it is bearing false witness. You may not be specifically telling a lie, but oh, how you are. Gossip is a lack of integrity and so is putting up this front image. You’re spreading unsound knowledge, you’re lying. It all comes back to a lack of integrity. This may just be my ultimate antipathy, above all others.

I essentially don’t remember what I meant, exactly. I suppose it was all about the connection between putting up an image and bearing false witness and bearing false witness and gossip. It all comes down to unsound knowledge. The quality of not being sound. A lack of integrity.

I hope that makes sense.

In regards to this and the two previous entries about gossip, I feel it is necessary to say that I understand there are and can be exceptions. Even within my non-gossip philosophy, a person or two can have an exemption. For example, a non-related third-party confidant and best friend, to whom one tells basically everything. And, even though I see putting up a front as a lack of integrity, I realize that there are and can be times when “keeping up appearances” is both important and acceptable. But I am even not entirely sold on this exception. I believe I wrote about this in regards to brand new friendships at college. Amongst a community of strangers, I feel that my new friendships are some of the most honest friendships I have because they are newly established, free from expectations, preconditions, judgments, etc.

Upcoming topics include placebos and complaining.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gossip, Amended. (Jan 5, 2010)

(posted to Facebook, January 5, 2010)


My conclusion from Jan 3:

Essentially, if you tell me something about someone else that I have not observed or intuited on my own, I will listen and I will take it in and I will consider it, but I will not give it much weight.

I suppose that’s more like the converse? Applying my non-gossip philosophy to the gossip I hear from others? Sure. Converse.


There is an additional converse of my non-gossip philosophy. I will summarize each of the three strategies (the original and the two converse).

If Alvin tells me something about Miranda that I otherwise would not have known (ie something I would not have been able to gather from my own intuition or observation), it is my philosophy that I cannot morally share that with anyone else, especially Miranda and anyone that knows her.

If Alvin tells me something about Miranda that, through logic, I otherwise would not have known (ie something I would not have been able to gather from my own intuition or observation), it is my new, amended philosophy that I will not treat that gossiped information with as much weight as my own personal intuition or observation, objective information.

If Alvin tells me something about Miranda that, through logic, I know Alvin could not have gathered by his own intuition or observation, it is my new, amended philosophy that I will not treat this second-hand information with very much weight, if any.

There you have it. The same concept applied in three directions. Just like responsibility and critical thinking should be taught in PDP instead of being overshadowed by the teaching of the four pillars (whatever they may be, lol).

At Justin Cerra's request, I am considering blogging instead of facebook noting,
but would first have to post my previous facebook notes to my blog. Everything
has to be at the same place. Thoughts?

Gossip. (Jan 3, 2010)

(posted to Facebook, January 3, 2010)


[gos-uh p] noun, verb, -siped or -sipped, -sip⋅ing or -sip⋅ping.
1. idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others: the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.
2. light, familiar talk or writing.
3. Also, gos⋅sip⋅er, gos⋅sip⋅per. a person given to tattling or idle talk.
4. Chiefly British Dialect. a godparent.
5. Archaic. a friend, esp. a woman.
–verb (used without object)
6. to talk idly, esp. about the affairs of others; go about tattling.
–verb (used with object)
7. Chiefly British Dialect. to stand godparent to.
8. Archaic. to repeat like a gossip.

bef. 1050; ME gossib, godsib(be), OE godsibb, orig. godparent, equiv. to god God + sibb related; see sib1

Related forms:
gos⋅sip⋅ing⋅ly, adverb

1. small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. Scandal is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious: The town never lived down the election scandal. 3. chatterer, talker, gabbler, rumormonger. 6. chatter, prattle, prate, palaver. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

I’ve written briefly about this before, kind of. I’ll explain it again differently so as to clarify.

Well, no, first I’ll start with a word study from

Idle talk.
So, gossip is what you do when you have nothing real to talk about? Nothing of substance. You gossip when you have nothing of substance to talk about? Weird. But that makes sense. Because people are not comfortable with talking about their own lives (substance), they talk about the lives of others. They talk about what they do not have the right to talk about. Or perhaps because their own lives have nothing
of substance?
Perhaps this stems from politeness. Politeness has created the need for idle talk, I believe. When a person is not close enough to another to talk about anything of substance, politeness says that one cannot just sit there awkwardly. We’ve all experienced that, eh? So then develops idles talk and then develops gossip, maybe.

Light, familiar talk or writing.
Politeness. Hm. I’m not the biggest fan of politeness, you’ll find. It’s all politics. A lot of it is shady. Political politeness, formal formalities. There is a time and place, indeed, but… like anything, it can go too far and often does. I’m not the biggest fan of politeness, you’ll find.

Gossipper = a person given to tattling or idle talk.
Hm. Tattling? Tattling tends to refer to information that is relied that is privileged information, not allowed to be relied. Not that tattling is an absolute taboo. I’m a big fan of balance and moderation, you’ll find.

The synonyms are absolutely my favorite part, so I’ll relay them again:

Idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others: Small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. Scandal is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious: The town never lived down the election scandal.
Gos⋅sip⋅er, gos⋅sip⋅per. a person given to tattling or idle talk: Chatterer, talker, gabbler, rumormonger.
To talk idly, esp. about the affairs of others; go about tattling
Chatter, prattle, prate, palaver.

So… gossip is non-substantial conversation material that is “light chat or talk.” Scandal is damaging to reputation. Hey, kids, no such things as synonyms! Gossip isn’t what we think of. Of. Hm. We tend to think of gossip as damaging. Scandal is damaging. Gossip is the political politeness one reverts to when there is nothing else to say, when one is not secure enough to talk honestly about themselves. Gossip has since become the scandal.

Before I move on to the final thesis of this note (my personal opinion, philosophy, and strategy in regards to gossip), another word study!

Idle talk.
idle or foolish and irrelevant talk [syn: prate]
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

[preyt] verb, prat⋅ed, prat⋅ing, noun
–verb (used without object)
1. to talk excessively and pointlessly; babble: They prated on until I was ready to scream.
–verb (used with object)
2. to utter in empty or foolish talk: to prate absurdities with the greatest seriousness.
3. act of prating.
4. empty or foolish talk.

1375–1425; late ME praten (v.) < MD praeten. See prattle

Related forms:
prater, noun
prat⋅ing⋅ly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

My personal opinion, philosophy, and strategy in regards to gossip.
Or scandal.

My personal strategy (opinion, philosophy) has always been this: If Alvin tells me something about Miranda that I otherwise would not have known (ie something I would not have been able to gather from my own intuition or observation), it is my philosophy that I cannot morally share that with anyone else, especially Miranda and
anyone that knows her.

I do believe that is the most simply (simplest?) I’ve ever explained that. Hm. I’m becoming more… um… concise? Likely story. >.>

That has always been my personal strategy, at least since I was “old enough” to be involved in such confrontations of what to say, who to tell, what to say to whom, etc.

Recently (like, two days ago), I realized that my personal strategy can be applied in reverse. Inverse? Converse? That was my favorite part of geometry, but I don’t remember the difference.

If Alvin tells me something about Miranda that, through logic, I otherwise would not have known (ie something I would not have been able to gather from my own intuition or observation), it is my new, amended philosophy that I will not treat that gossiped information with as much weight as my own personal intuition or observation, objective information.

This made more sense in my head, I promise. Perhaps it will make as much sense to you as it did in my head.

Thesis Statement! Conclusion!

Essentially, if you tell me something about someone else that I have not observed or intuited on my own, I will listen and I will take it in and I will consider it, but I will not give it much weight.

I suppose that’s more like the converse? Applying my non-gossip philosophy to the gossip I hear from others? Sure. Converse.

Have a great day!


Sabbatical, Shmabbatical (Jan 1, 2010)

(posted to Facebook, January 1, 2010)

We'll see, we'll see, we'll see.

So, Carina, what deep advice do you have for the youngsters
after the six days of your "social sabbatical"?


So, Carina, what deep advice do you have for the youngsters
after the six days of your "social sabbatical?"


Lessons learned, lessons learned.

One does not go on a sabbatical. One takes a sabbatical. One goes on hiatus.

What, that's it?


Things don't matter so much. So many things do not need said.

However, I do need to journal for my own fulfillment and emotional health.

One of the background research articles I used for my statistics project studied and discussed the importance of writing to emotional health. It is titled "Stress Management through written emotional disclosure improves academic performance among college students with physical symptoms." A study by Mark A. Lumley and Kimberly M. Provenzano. It is only nine pages long. You should see my printed copy. I make a lot of notes when I read. A lot. You should see the Buddhist book I had to read for school.

Annnnnnnnnyway. Written disclosure---> ^ emotional health. Remember that.

Happy New Year?

Addendum: After writing this and deciding I would no longer say so much, I wrote in my journal for no one else to see, simply because I had so many things to say that did not need to be public. I now feel that I have a greater sense of what to say and what not to say, although I also believe that nearly everything should be written in some capacity so as to be properly processed.
(Jan 16, 2010)

Pioneers! O Pioneers! (Levi's Commercial) (Dec 13, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, December 13, 2009)

Have you guys seen the new Levi's commercial?

The narrator's text really ignited my Libertarian spirit.

The text is Walt Whitman's Pioneer! O Pioneer!.

The commercial and a short opinion article can be viewed here:

Walt Whitman can be read about here:

PS. If you're in the mood for some GREAT poetry, find a recording
of T.S Eliot reading his The Hollow Men.

Come my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines within,
We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Colorado men are we,
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the continental
blood intervein'd,
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all the Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O resistless restless race!
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult, I am rapt with love for all,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Raise the mighty mother mistress,
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry mistress,
(bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang'd and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weapon'd mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

See my children, resolute children,
By those swarms upon our rear we must never yield or falter,
Ages back in ghostly millions frowning there behind us urging,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

On and on the compact ranks,
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the dead quickly fill'd,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the gap is fill'd.
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the pulses of the world,
Falling in they beat for us, with the Western movement beat,
Holding single or together, steady moving to the front, all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Life's involv'd and varied pageants,
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their work,
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the hapless silent lovers,
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the dying,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores amid the shadows, with the apparitions pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Lo, the darting bowling orb!
Lo, the brother orbs around, all the clustering suns and planets,
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

These are of us, they are with us,
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in embryo wait behind,
We to-day's procession heading, we the route for travel clearing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you daughters of the West!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move united,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Minstrels latent on the prairies!
(Shrouded bards of other lands, you may rest, you have done your work,)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Not for delectations sweet,
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and the studious,
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame enjoyment,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock'd and bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Has the night descended?
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discouraged nodding
on our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you in your tracks to pause oblivious,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the daybreak call--hark! how loud and clear I hear it wind,
Swift! to the head of the army!--swift! spring to your places,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Hey, mewithoutyou, would you please use this poem to make a song?

That would be STELLAR.

My Liberal Arts Life (Nov 18, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, November 18, 2009)

The following essay was written for a 3-4 page essay assignment
for Personal Development Portfolio 150, in regards to "understanding
the liberal arts."

The following essay is equivalent to approximately eight typed pages.


Sorry if the formatting got super messed up. Facebook notes do not
like indentations and formatted long quotes. :[


Carina Botterbusch

Professor Scott Cole

Personal Development Portfolio 150

November 18, 2009

______________________My Liberal Arts Life

_____Before coming to Bridgewater College, I did not have any concrete expectations or stereotypes in regards to attending a liberal arts college. Since being exposed to the liberal arts environment, I have come across a few jokes and stereotypes about people that attend liberal arts institutions, most of which I do not believe apply. However, according to the definition of “liberal arts,” I have decided that my entire life has been somewhat fashioned after this philosophy of the “development of the whole person” (PDP Syllabus 3). Between the definitions and stereotypes of “liberal arts,” the educational philosophy behind my life, and experiencing a liberal arts education firsthand, I am somewhat torn on the topic because I believe that the liberal arts are often pursued in the wrong manner and that there is a time and a place for a non-liberal arts education.
_____The Encyclopædia Britannica defines “liberal arts” as the:
"college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities in contrast to a professional, vocational
or technical curriculum. In the medieval European university the seven liberal arts were grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium) and geometry, arithmetic, music, and astronomy (the quadrivium). In modern colleges and universities the liberal arts include the study of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science as the basis of a general, or liberal, education. Sometimes the liberal-arts curriculum is described as comprehending study of three main branches of knowledge: the humanities (literature, language, philosophy, the fine arts, and history), the physical and biological sciences and mathematics, and the social sciences" (“Liberal Arts”).
This definition of emphasizing a wide range of studies is similar to what is found in the PDP Syllabus:
"Educating students in the liberal arts tradition means, on a basic level, giving them the broad skills and knowledge one acquires from study in such areas as literature, history, philosophy, and the arts, as opposed to the more specialized and technical education one would receive in professional and vocational training programs. But on a deeper level, acquiring a liberal arts education refers to the development of a certain habit of mind, an ability (and a desire) to question, to examine, and to understand issues and ideas with increasing clarity and depth. ...students at a liberal arts college learn to go beyond simple acquisition of information..."(1).
Essentially, a liberal arts education strives to provide the opportunity for a well-rounded education, rather than focusing on one vocational training.
_____My entire life and education has been fashioned around this philosophy. Having been homeschooled from my birth to my high school graduation, every year was focused on gaining new knowledge and applying what I learned. This philosophy is drastically different from the public education system, which has recently become a system of preparation for standardized testing in order for schools to get maximum funding. Not that this funding is used for bettering education, but rather for even more test-preparation.
_____My homeschool education does not reflect the typical stereotype. I was involved in the community; I participated in extracurricular activities; and, yes, even socialized with people and had friends. Most homeschoolers do not reflect the typical stereotype. Homeschoolers do not homeschool to be isolationists. We homeschool because our educational philosophy is vastly different from that of the public education system. We homeschool because our educational philosophy is, more accurately, a life philosophy.
_____My homeschool education was centered around creating a custom education that would keep me interested by focusing on things I enjoy and prepare me for real life by living in the real world. To be perfectly honest, I do not have concrete examples of this prior to my junior year of high school, aside from my memories of outside-of-the-box learning, like sentence-diagramming, Cuisenaire rods, Exchange City (now JuniorAcheivement), and so on. The reason I am not able to recall very many concrete examples of my liberal arts homeschool education prior to eleventh grade is because that is when I began taking college courses and now, in my memory, I can only very vaguely remember doing anything else for school.
_____Fall 2007 I took Elementary Spanish 101 at Harrisburg Area Community College-York. Looking back on my time spent at HACC, I genuinely appreciate starting college at a community college because it allowed a smooth transition from homeschool to Dual-Enrollment to real college here at Bridgewater. During this first semester, I found a community within my class, where everyone thought I was twenty-two.
_____Spring 2008 I took Elementary Spanish 102 at HACC, The Modern Novella at Lancaster Bible College, and Human Biology at Penn State York. My community continued to be established at HACC. The Modern Novella at LBC was one of my favorite classes because we read a novella each week and wrote a short essay about it. Although I was frustrated with open-ended essay questions at first, I became accustomed to them and excelled in the class. For our final project, I wrote a 1,885-word short story and I treasure the comments of my professor to this day. My biology class at PSY was not enjoyable in the least. In this biology class for non-science majors, the averages for the sixty-some students on the four tests wavered around a 60%. PSY was an unattractive taste of a college education, which I decided was because the majority of those students were simply waiting around until they could transfer until the third-highest party school in the United States. This sense of wasting time until the next step did not serve to create a sense of community like there was at HACC, where the students varied greatly in age, but all were serious about their education.
_____For my senior year, my course load was comparable to a traditional college student. Fall 2008 I took Redemptive Cinema at LBC; College Algebra I at PSY; and General Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, and English Composition I at HACC. My Redemptive Cinema class at LBC was painful at the time because the newly-engaged professor was slow in returning assignments or giving feedback, but, looking back, I learned a great deal of applicable information from the class and continue to reference the class whenever I watch any movie, trailer, or television show. My math class at PSY was more bearable than biology had been, which I think was primarily due to the fact that I befriended a classmate who was an adult student. This variance in age resembled a sliver of HACC, which is the thing I miss most about HACC. I absolutely loved my social science courses at HACC, because I am a social sciences nerd. For Sociology, writing an essay about the Communist Manifesto and not completely throwing away everything Marx had to say was very influential in how I view other worldviews and created an attitude of absolute disdain for people who disregard everything a person says simply on the fact that they subscribe to some very wrong philosophies. English Composition I was a struggle, not because it was difficult, but because it was so dreadfully easy. However, I still learned a few things and, most importantly, was exposed to the writing genius of Ray Bradbury.
_____Spring 2009 I took Interpersonal Communication (Speech), World History II, Introduction to Philosophy, and English Composition II at HACC. Speech was cake because of my theatre experience, but proved especially valuable in regards to working with others and stretching my comfort zone when it came to our group project, which was about Artificial Insemination. My history class was frustrating because of an un-engaging teacher. I got an A in the course, but it was certainly the class that taught me the least from among my college courses thus far. My Introduction to Philosophy class was incredible. Our assignments consisted of watching and discussing movies in class and writing a certain number of available essay reflections based on the textbook reading. I know what pragmatism is. I have a deep respect for Taoism. And so on. I was exposed to great movies like The Truman Show, Memento, and The Butterfly Effect. For my final paper, I compared and contrasted Stoicism (Marcus Aurelius) to St. Augustine, since Augustine is one of my heroes. By the beginning of May, I was thoroughly frustrated with my college career (mostly because of my history and English classes, probably) and very much wanted to start classes at Bridgewater. Now, after having been here for nearly a semester, I fully appreciate my Dual-Enrollment experiences and environments and how they continued what homeschooling had started in providing a liberal arts education.
_____Recently, I have come across a few stereotypes about liberal arts colleges. Cartoonist Jeph Jacques references liberal arts colleges in connection to “massive amounts of self-loathing, drinking too much, and horrible sleep habits” ( I honestly do not understand this reference and whether it is supposed to be funny because it is ironic or because it is blatantly untrue. Bridgewater College as a liberal arts institution has not made me a self-loathing individual and I have not observed this in others, although many express a disdain toward their required general education courses. I am not a part of the alcohol culture, so I cannot testify to this first-hand. And, finally, although my roommate and I occasionally subscribe to a less-than-optimal sleep schedule, I do not think that this is true solely for colleges in general, much less for strictly liberal arts colleges. There are plenty of employed adults who have terrible sleep schedules. So why the jokes and stereotypes about liberal arts colleges? I don’t know. The only possible reason I can see is the fact that students of liberal arts institutions have the potential to come across as haughty because their education is well-rounded and they may think this makes them better than students of technical, professional, or vocational institutions.
_____Although I deeply appreciate my liberal arts life and mostly deny the stereotypes of liberal arts institutions, my opinion about liberal arts is more on-the-fence than one would expect. This is because I believe that liberal arts educations are often pursued in the wrong manner. In my liberal arts homeschool education, the most important foundation of that education was the fact that I was taught how to be a thinking, reflective, and sensitive person. Not only did my homeschool education provide opportunities to study what I wanted to study, this foundational concept of being a well-rounded person prior to taking well-rounded courses allowed me to appreciate my experiences when I did have to take courses I didn’t particularly enjoy (math, history) or when I was frustrated with classes that sounded enjoyable (cinema). In my liberal arts homeschool education, the foundational concept was thoroughly taught before it was applied.
______This is where liberal arts can be incorrectly pursued. Instead of teaching the foundational concept and building from there, institutions have their students dive into the applicable courses and hope that the foundational concept will be somehow stumbled upon during their studies. This is a haphazard method of education. It is a good concept, but it is a bad idea to pursue it in this way. This is a good concept pursued in the wrong way. This is PDP. The four pillars of PDP can each be reduced to outlets for learning the skills of critical thinking and responsibility. However, PDP does not focus on these foundational concepts because the course is arranged in such a way to make these concepts the end goal. But this is not effective.
______The end goal of liberal arts education is to be a well-rounded individual and PDP strives to achieve this by trying to teach critical thinking and responsibility through four individual facets. However, it would be much more effective to start with teaching critical thinking and responsibility because the rest of being a well-rounded individual would follow naturally…the four pillars and beyond.
______In addition to a liberal arts education frequently being pursued in the wrong manner, I am also on-the-fence about liberal arts education in general because I believe there is a time and place, certain set of circumstances, when a non-liberal arts education can be justified. An example of this would be after unemployment when a person needs a narrow and efficient education so as to acquire a new set of skills to qualify for a new job in the shortest amount of time possible. Situations like this typically occur later in life, after a portion of or a complete college education had already been completed. However, another set of circumstances can also justify a vocational education, which would be when a person has a well-defined career goal and wants to enter the work field very quickly. Although a liberal arts education is not likely to happen with vocational educations, a philosophy of being a well-rounded individual still persists, as a vocational student will study a wide array of subjects within their particular field.
_____Because the liberal arts can be pursued incorrectly and because there can be a time and place for a proper vocational education, I am not whole-heartedly opposed to anything but liberal arts. Even though it seems like I should be a valiant supporter of all things liberal arts because of my own liberal arts life, there is a need for balance and moderation and there is certainly not one strict way one should go about their education.
_____Although there is no strict formula for the best education, I do believe there is a strict underlying concept, just like there is behind the four pillars of PDP. The most important philosophy to hold, regardless of the type of education a person may be pursuing, is to view all of life as a liberal arts education. This has been developed in me because of my lifetime career of homeschooling, which has engrained the liberal arts philosophy into my soul. If all of education were pursued with this philosophy, there would be less antipathy at liberal arts schools toward general education classes because students would appreciate them for their value, even if it is not immediately recognized. If all of education were pursued with this philosophy, there would be no real need to differentiate between liberal arts and non-liberal arts institutions because all of the students at every institution would be driven by the same motivator. If all of education were pursued with this philosophy, vocational institutions would acquire more respect because their students would view their specific education from a liberal arts perspective and thus glean more from their training. All in all, the type of institution is not as important as the driving philosophy behind that institution and, more importantly, the driving philosophy of the students.

______________________Works Cited

“Liberal Arts.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. 18 Nov 2009.

“Number 1529: The Webcartoonist Lifestyle.”

Questionable Content by J. Jacques. 2009.

PDP Syllabus. Personal Development Portfolio 150. Bridgewater College. August 31, 2009.


College# Overview (Nov 11, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, November 11, 2009)

[[[ this note gives a brief overview of my classes this semester ]]]
[[[ please make sure that you read the PDP section of epiphany ]]]

New Testament
Interesting class. Intimidating. Rumor on the streets is that I have a really tough professor. Yeah, he's not so bad. Especially now that he is showing himself to be less biased and more concerned with the virtues of compassion and loving relationships. Hello, kindred spirit. I seem to be finding a lot of kindred spirits lately. I'm doing the work required for the course and Prof. Watson is not difficult. I am not, however, looking forward to writing my paper. But I'll be okay. Just not excited about having to do all the work on my paper in the library. However, I am enjoying the class, learning from it, and enjoying the opportunities to apply what I am learning. That's the whole point.

Introduction to Western Music
Worst class ever. Worst teacher ever. I did not pick this course, but it sounded interesting. And hey, music class for non-music majors? That'll be cake! It would be cake if my professor didn't have Alzheimer's! Even after resolving myself to take a proactive approach to this class and to not rely on my forgetful teacher to teach me, although I do feel I am doing better in the course, the class itself continues to act as a mechanism for misjudgment personal insult. Dr. Adams repeatedly makes a point of how he would bet we don't listen to anything but what is popular and implies that, because of this, we could not possibly be capable of appreciating non-modern, non-popular music (classical). To me, this is very insulting because I not only enjoy classical music, but also because the modern music I do listen to is typically less-than pop. Granted, his statements and implied opinions are true for the majority, but this kind of blanket stereotype is insulting to the non-majority and is therefore unacceptable.

Also a frustrating class because most of my classmates react to songs sung in German, Italian, or Latin by saying that they didn't enjoy them because they couldn't understand the words. Can one not enjoy something that is incapable of being understood? I do not sympathize with my classmates because many of my favorite artists do not sing in English (Rammstein, Vitas, etc). Sure, you might not be able to enjoy the actual text (in the case of Rammstein, you don't want to), but this presents the opportunity to appreciate the voice as an instrument, rather than a communicator.

I am proud to be in the minority, as long as I get to rant about it. Thanks music class, for showing me that Mr. Rodkey rightly deserves to be on the influence list for having a substantial influence in developing me as a cultured individual.

Intermediate Spanish I
Oh, Spanish, I loved you two years ago. Not so much anymore. But that's not so important. I'm pretty much acing the class, even if I may never be able to communicate in Spanish to any practical degree. If a job offer came down to it, I could probably pick it up well enough to function, especially if I were constantly in that environment. But hey, I'm getting A+'s and I don't have to take Chemistry, so yay!

Measurement and Statistics
I feel like I'm not learning as well as I was before the first test. But I continue to ace the homework and turn it in early and annoy Dr. Young with my over-achiever personality and... my survey project is coming together pretty well, I just have a bucket load of data entry to do. I have to dummy code for my 5-point likert scale and then enter the answers of forty students to twenty likert questions. Yay. And then analyze it. And fix my powerpoint. And present it. And take the two finals (practical and multiple choice).

Personal Development Portfolio
Ugh. Good concept, poorly executed. I had an epiphany tonight and can now explain what I mean by this. Good concept, poorly executed. There are four pillars of the PDP program: Citizenship and Community Responsibility, Intellectual Curiosity, Spiritual-Ethical Growth, Physical-Emotional Health. I have realized that all of these are inherently interconnected. Citizenship and Community Responsibility means thinking critically about how you can contribute and taking responsibility for that contribution. Intellectual Curiosity means thinking critically about everything and taking responsibility for your knowledge. Spiritual-Ethical Growth means thinking critically about your values and taking responsibility for your convictions. Physical-Emotional Health means thinking critically about behavior and taking responsibility for your well-being. Anyone else see a pattern?

The four pillars are striving for the exact same character traits. PDP is so backwards.

In New Testament, we are studying Romans in order to establish a representative view of Paul and his teachings. In Romans, chapters 1-11 portray Paul's theology and chapters 12-16 portray his ethics. Unlike Judaism, where the law (ethical behavior) brings one to the proper theology, Paul understood that ethical behavior would flow naturally AFTER the proper theology had been established.

PDP is structured like Judaism. The four pillars are emphasized in order to try and establish the character traits of thinking critically and taking responsibility, but, just like what typically happens in Judaism, the law begins to overshadow the faith-relationship (key concept). The pillars are overshadowing the character traits (key concepts).

PDP is so backwards... trying to instill the character traits by focusing on the pillars, rather than focusing on building up, encouraging, and inspiring those traits. Now the pillars overshadow the traits and their priority (the character of being first, prior) give them the appearance of being more important than the actual character traits.

PDP is so backwards. It would be much easier, less frustrating, and more effective if PDP focused on building up, encouraging, and inspiring the traits of critical thinking and responsibility. And, by instilling these traits, everything would flow naturally from this bettered individual, including the four pillars.

[[[ if you caught it, I made a controversial statement in this note ]]]
[[[ something controversial enough to get me shunned by some ]]]

[[[ oh, but those that would shun me already have ]]]

Shakespeare and Karl Marx and Paul (Nov 4, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, November 4, 2009)

If you have not read the essay I wrote for my SOC101 class at HACC during the Fall semester of 2008, you need to do that.
It should be posted as a note.

It is titled "Marx Missed Some Things" and it is pretty gold.

Tonight, I referenced a quote that I always misquote. You know, the one about how, when you protest too much, it means it's true. How, if you deny it too strongly, it means you're in denial.

So I googled.

And I found it.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
- Shakespeare's Hamlet

Apparently, everyone who has ever quoted the above line has misinterpreted it. In Shakespeare's time, protest did not mean to object, but rather meant to affirm.

The third hit on my Google search took me to a list of misquotations on Wikiquote (subsidiary of Wikipedia). Browsing through this list, I came upon Marx's infamous quote, "Religion is the opium of the masses."

"Religion is the opiate of the masses." - Karl Marx
* Correct quote, but often misinterpreted: "Religion
is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a
heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It
is the opium of the people."

Wow, modern culture. Way to eliminate the study of items within their proper context. Can you imagine if the immediately prior clause had been the one taken out of context?

"Religion is the soul of soulless conditions."

That's just a wee bit different, no?

In my experience, the religion=opium quote is generally interpreted to mean that religion suppresses the critical thinking of a population.

However, within this new context, it seems like religion is more of a comfort. Opium=feelgood? While many will continue to say that Marx is still radically incorrect in regards to theology, that does not nix the value of learning things within the proper (original) context.

Furthermore, I would argue that, largely, religion is not used as anything more than a feelgood.

The paper that I wrote for SOC101 said, yes, that Marx did miss some things (we read the first section of The Communist Manifesto), but I also proposed that Marx was not entirely incorrect.

Even if a person has some perverse ideas, that's not necessarily a good reason to disregard every single thing they say.

Hello, deja vu.

In other news...

My New Testament Professor explained that there is a word Paul uses repeatedly throughout his writings that is the verb form of faith.

However, because English does not have a verb form of the word faith, it gets translated as "to believe."

This has since caused a severe theological misinterpretation within the modern Christian church because "believing" is actually a work. As is confession. It is very likely, then, that modern Christianity gets reduced to nothing more than just another works-based "faith."

(In quotation marks because that is an incorrect usage of the literal word.)

Believing is a work because, if you believe a particular set of beliefs will save you, you would probably be able to get yourself to believe just about anything.

However, as my NT Professor explained, Paul knew that faith had nothing to do with works (belief, confession).

Instead, faith refers to the unmerited love (grace) that God shows us.

Faith secondly refers to the positive human response to that unmerited love (grace).

Consequently, this was Paul's definition of righteousness.

A loving relationship.

Not religion.

Not works.

Not an opiate.

I quite enjoy seemingly misinterpreting people like Marx.

Addendum: This, "Believing is a work because, if you believe a particular set of beliefs will save you, you would probably be able to get yourself to believe just about anything." has a LOT to do with my newest idea... everything's a placebo.
(Jan 16, 2010)

A Note About Notes and What's Meant to Be (Oct 27, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, October 27, 2009)

I have posted a lot of notes to facebook since August 2, 2007. One hundred fifty-four to be exact. Well, one 155 now that you're reading this. Some of them have been whoa-oh-lame-o and others have been philosophical, political, emotional, intellectual gold that will someday be published in one of my books. Many contain philosophical, political, emotional, intellectual gold that will never be formally published, but will be shared through words and actions.

This winter, I hope to organize this philosophical, political, emotional, intellectual gold in some sensical way.

Hey, you know what's REALLY weird? Now that you're reading this, I have posted 155 notes to facebook.

There are currently 155 people that RSVP'd "Attending" to the Nov 5 one-year Vendetta commemorative event.

A coincidence that is made and exponentially greater coincidence because I wrote a journal entry about coincidence on Sunday.

For my journal entry, I did a brief word study of "coincidence." To remind you, I do not believe in synonyms and I take the literal denotation of words quite seriously. Sure, connotation is important to me as an emotional writer, but one must first understand what the word is supposed to mean. It's like artistic laws. One cannot break those laws until they know them and know how to create art within them. Likewise, one cannot use connotation until they know the denotation and know how to use the word literally.


Most people believe that coincidence has to do with happenstance situations that just happen to happen together. Yes. And it does, but coincidence is not just random chance, happenstance.

/koʊˈɪnsɪdəns/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [koh-in-si-duhns]
1. a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance: Our meeting in Venice was pure coincidence.
2. the condition or fact of coinciding.
3. an instance of this.

Coincidence is the condition or fact of coinciding.


Ohhhhhhhh, see it now?

/ˌkoʊɪnˈsaɪd/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [koh-in-sahyd]
–verb (used without object), -cid⋅ed, -cid⋅ing.
1. to occupy the same place in space, the same point or period in time, or the same relative position: The centers of concentric circles coincide. Our vacations coincided this year.
2. to correspond exactly, as in nature, character, etc.: His vocation coincides with his avocation.
3. to agree or concur, as in thought or opinion: Their opinions always coincide.

To remind you, I tend to use definition denotations further down the list of definition denotations. For coincide, I personally prefer number three.

And here is where I get into trouble when I communicate.

I'm having difficulty bringing this all back around to my thesis and I turned in my journal so I don't have that entry to post, so...

What's Meant to Be

My advance apologies for the following being extremely vague.

A recent situation of social drama had been stressing me out because of its potential to cause secondary effects of breaking apart friendships on top of the primary effect of splitting the aggregate by opinion.

This secondary effect was evident in my social circle momentarily.

However, there was a secondary effect that was entirely and completely unexpected. Instead of the primary effect causing vast negative secondary effects. The primary effect has had vast positive secondary effects in two specific cases.

The social drama of the failing of an immature friendship instigated the discovery of TWO deep friendships.

And that's what's meant to be.


More Draft Texts (Oct 24, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, October 24, 2009)

(I have been on a mewithoutyou kick lately. I need to get their album "It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright!" My favorite songs are "Goodbye, I!" and "The Fox, The Crow, and The Cookie" and "Fig with a Bellyache.")

This was going to be a private note, but I decided against it. In the words of Joel Salatin, "If I don't want anyone to see it, I probably shouldn't be doing it."

I tagged those that were tagged in the previous one.

Please tell me what you think, especially about numbers one, four, eight, and nine.

If you think they're about you, chances are they're not. :]

When I have an idea of something to write, I have this habit of saving it to my phone as a draft text. The following entries are draft texts I have been saving from August, 2008 to the present.

[This was written on a Sunday.]

Big families create an environment where kids must fend for themselves when it comes to entertainment, largely. This leads to kids shouting "Mine!" to claim a run-away toy that has been picked up by a sibling, even if that sibling was picking up that toy with the sole purpose of returning it to its captor. The oldest is the least oppressed, but the most ignored, leading to a lonely and outcast attitude that is reacted to by separating himself from the crowds, which only serves to deepen the outcast feeling. One middle-ish child will inevitably develop an attitude of feeling they deserve to be provided with every good thing and protected from any danger or distress, no matter how inconsequential. This feeling stems from previously being the most cared- for youngest, but being moved down the hierarchy many times. Weird.

[I have since concluded that big families do not automatically equal negative environments and bad kids. It is the mother and father that largely determine this. Poor parents lead to a negative environment and a negative environment socializes bad kids. This equation simply is further compacted in a large family. Although, I suppose it could equally be further compacted in a single-child home, since all the negativity of the environment falls on a single child and the spirit of the negative environment is not spread thin. However, in a large family, where the environmental factors are spread thin, they are re-compacted by the sheer volume of people. Does a medium- sized family experience less effect of the poor parent equation? Or does the poor parent equation negatively affect anyone, anywhere, no matter what the other circumstances? I'm not sure, but I do know that a negative environment has negative consequences, unless counteracted by some other source of positivity.]

[This is a dream I had. It was very strange. Take note of the details of nineteen minutes and Natalie. I did, but I don't know why.]

He told me to meet him at the restaurant. I arrived before he did, so I went ahead and got a table for two. Nineteen minutes late, I saw him open the door, followed by a woman. I immediately stood up, feeling like a fool for thinking he wanted to have dinner with me. Then the three of us were in a lounge of some kind and he gave me a book, I hit the wall with it in anger, and went to leave. But I stopped before I went through the doorway and turned around to say something. "I'm sorry I misunderstood." But I didn't so much misunderstand as I believed he meant what he had said. Who tells a person to meet at a restaurant, but does not intend to eat with that person? I want to say more, ask more. I had an opportunity to gain closure and I wanted to take it. I started to ask why, but i stopped. I didn't leave. The girl, I had learned her name was Natalie, said, "She really is obsessed isn't she?" Obsessed? Only confused about what happened and why! :( I left. Later, we were talking online (I don't know how) and I said, "So Natalie thinks I'm obsessed with you? Did you tell her that? I'm not. i simply miss talking to you and I want to know why you suddenly stopped. I have no idea why and I am so confused."

[SO weird. I find it terribly interesting how much apathy I feel when I read things I've written about this particular topic, situation, or person. The most I feel is a bit of sadness, but I do not believe it is because I miss the person. I believe it is because I miss the romanticism of the idea.]

[This does not convey what I wanted it to communicate.]

I miss you so much. I've essentially known you for three and a half days, but I miss your spirit, I miss your soul. I love your spirit, I love your soul. You are so alive and so connecting. I love your spirit. You are so wise and knowledgeable. I love your soul.

[Each "you" refers to a different person.]

I seem to be attracted to guys that can read me. It's never immediately obvious, but that's how it tends to turn out. You were the most aware person ever, even though I was ignorant of this. And you sensed when I was excited and when I was nervous and when I was upset. And now you, you knew quite immediately that I liked you. Weird. Am I that easy to read or am I simply drawn to guys that are capable of reading me? Weird.

[I want to know more about this and I wish it were (researchable). Does this mean that other boys see things about me that I am not aware of? How can I guard my thoughts?]

[This is the most shallow thing I've ever written, I do believe.]

I would talk to you and ask you how you are, but we need to go through that weird phase of "I want to be friends with you, but I'm not sure how to be friends with you without liking you without not talking to you." :/

[This is very much edited from what I have in my phone.]

What exactly did you have in mind? You were fishing for something and I want to know what it was. I will no longer buy your excuses. I will no longer accept your lines. It's time to be both honest AND truthful.

[Also edited.]

... Maybe. It could also all be fabricated. Maybe. He could be a bad communicator. Maybe. He could be a really good liar. Maybe.

[I love college.]

What I like about college: Meals - meals do not require as much time as they used to because the food is mostly prepared and it really only takes about two minutes to get food and two minutes to eat food. The Level of Independence - I am in charge of most everything I do, mostly. Not Knowing Anyone - because I arrived with minimal to no personal attachments to anyone here, I have been able to portray myself accurately and portray who I really am, because no one had any preconceived opinion of me. (Interestingly enough, those who did come here with attachments to others also here have allowed those connections to fade as they found more compatible acquaintances to make their friends.)

[Do you think it's odd that I find it easier to be myself with complete and absolute strangers than with my closer friends? While I am very much at ease with my closest friends at home, college presents a new opportunity of being able to be who I am in the presence of people who have absolutely no preconceived judgments or expectations about me whatsoever. This is a feeling that I quite enjoy and I honestly almost feel like the friends I have really know me on a deep level, at least when compared to the length of time we've known each other.]

[A bit of rant.]

I don't understand how someone cannot remember what they said. If you can't say it now, why did you say it then? If it was something of your opinion, you should have the same opinion or at least be able to remember your old opinion. People's opinions do not change unknowingly. If you can't say it now, why did you say it then?

[If you can't say it now, why did you say it then?]


Spring 2010, + (Oct 24, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, October 24, 2009)

9-9:50a PSY230
2-3:15p SOC352

8-9:15a SOC317
11a-12:15p SPAN202
3:30-4:30p MUS444
7-8:15p SOC255

9-9:50a PSY230
2-3:15p SOC352

8-9:15a SOC317
11a-12:15p SPAN202
3:30-4:30p MUS444
7-8:15p SOC255

9-9:50a PSY230

I cannot yet register for classes until Wednesday, but this should be my schedule for next semester if everything goes according to plan. And, if it does not go according to plan, that's okay, Bunko. If it does not go according to plan, then it was not meant to be.


PSY230 Research Methods
An exploration of descriptive, correlational, and
experimental research methods and statistics.
Topics include an introduction to science as a way
of thinking, the fundamentals of ethical research,
sampling, hypothesis testing, reliability and
validity, the nature and correct use of inferential
statistics, and how to interpret main effects and
interactions. Students will develop expertise with
SPSS as they analyze data to test the hypotheses
of a group designed research project. Three
lecture hours and one lab per week.

SOC352 Qualitative and Ethnographic Research
This course introduces practical, theoretical, and
ethical issues involved in interpretive, field-based
cultural research. Students will gain exposure to
the questions and assumptions associated with
various approaches to qualitative inquiry. Specific
research methods addressed may include participant
observation, interviews, field notes, archiving
and analysis of multimedia materials, and
ethnographic writing. Students will gain hands-on
experience through small-scale field projects, and
develop a plan for their own original research.

SOC317 Sociology of Birth and Death
An examination of how events often assumed
to be “natural” are conditioned by social and
cultural forces. Emphasis is on the socialization
of nature, changes in medicine and technology,
the transmission of cultural mores regarding birth
and death, and the rituals that surround them.
Questions of how society supports, controls, and
constrains our arrival into and departure from the
world are addressed, as well as the ways in which
birth and death become cultural metaphors for
other social phenomena.

SPAN202 Intermediate Spanish II
Strengthening the skills of speaking, listening,
reading, writing and culture at the intermediate
level. Modern cultural and literary texts are

SOC255 Introduction to Social Welfare Systems
Traces the origins and development of current
social welfare institutions and illuminates the
philosophical and ethical considerations under-
girding social policy while considering the merits
and deficits of current social services. While a
primary focus is on the political, economic, and
social context of the American welfare system,
cross-cultural comparisons will be considered.

MUS444 Jazz Band
Jazz Band.

If things don't go according to plan, the worst that will happen is that I will have to take SPAN202 MWF 1-1:50p. But hopefully my Fridays will be SWEET.

My New Testament professor mentioned a movie called Paperchase, which is about a law student who shifts his focus from grades to his learning and teaches himself to love learning. This newfound love of school turns him into the best student ever-more devoted, more confident, and absolutely not concerned about grades at all because he knows his devotedness and confidence have allowed him to excel.

So, this is my experiment for the rest of the semester, especially in regards to my terribly music class (from which I am learning NOTHING). I am going to be a relaxed student (I've actually been very relaxed this semester, so far) and just enjoy hanging out and learning stuff and being exposed to more and more information. Going to class and reading and doing assignments not for the grade, but just to gain a wealth of information and experience.

We will see how my grades are at the end of the semester. Not that they need improving, but as long as they continue to be well, I predict that my end-of-semester stress will be significantly lower than ever before.

Addendum: Alongside many other things, there is nothing I believe in more than the fact that one is ALWAYS gaining experience. Always. I've met people who do not agree with this and I simply do not comprehend. EVERYTHING's an experience, ALWAYS, no matter what.
(Jan 16, 2010)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Best Kind of Survey (redone) (Oct 15, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, October 15, 2009)

I did this survey back in May. I'm doing it again. I do not intend to have all different answers, because I would like to compare how I've changed. So, without reading my post from May (as much as possible), I deleted my answers and re-filled them in.

Compare to...
The Best Kind of Survey. :) (May 27, 2009)

..Ten things I wish I could say to ten different people. (but don't say their name)
10. Thanks for showing me that I am capable of getting over it with closure. ...and
thanks for making me more bitter and cynical about things... not.
9. I am so entirely at peace with it, but I kind of really tend to get jealous over you.
But maybe I just don't want you to lead anyone on. Yeah, let's go with that.
8. I do not like you anymore, at all, but I don't know how to convince you of this
without sounding like a cold-hearted meanie.
7. Thank you so much for establishing camaraderie with me. It means more than
you'll ever know and I'm sad that you'll be gone next year.
6. I thought we were going to try talking again... where are you?
5. It's kind of funny to think about how complete opposite our friendship has become
over the past four years or so. Even to the extent of non-existence. Um, not fun.
4. I miss you, but I don't think that really bothers you.
3. Hey, you guys, you need to get over this.
2. I like to watch you dance in front of me.
1. I saw that.

Nine things about myself:
9. I'm picky about meat.
8. I eat too many carbohydrates because of that.
7. I love college.
6. It bothers me when too many sentences in a row being with "I."
5. I really like grammar.
4. I think I'm really good at grammar.
2. Jazz piano is now a big thing for me.
1. I like plants. and birds. and trees. and clouds. and bridges. and falling-down houses.

Eight ways to win my heart.
8. Don't try so hard.
7. Know what's important to me.
6. Don't try to get me to improv.
5. Respect my taste in music.
4. Have a nice jawline or hands.
3. Compliment me sincerely. (This ties in a lot to number 8)
2. Sing. Or, at least, don't be afraid to.
1. Know what HOBY is. :)

Seven things that cross my mind a lot.
7. Not wanting kids.
6. College (loving it, how it's weird, etc).
5. People (in all capacities).
4. Arm veins. :]
3. Piano lesson.
2. Homework.
1. How much I miss HACC and why (I know!).

Six things I do before I fall asleep.
6. Put on PJs.
5. Switch earrings, maybe.
4. Brush teeth.
3. LIE down.
2. Get comfortable.
1. Get comfortable again.

Five people who mean a lot. (in no order whatsoever)
5. My jazz boys.
4. Dr. Weir.
3. The girls (Olivia, Anna, Vik).
1. The home gang.
(and everyone else, no lie)

Four things you're wearing right now.
4. Wooden ring. Yeahhhhh.
3. HOBY shirt.
2. Purple door shirt.
1. Shorts.

Three songs that you listen to recently.
3. Maggie Mahony by Seabird.
2. 42 by Coldplay
1. Dance, Dance by Vitamin String Quartet

Two things you want to do before you die.
2. Go on a gallavanting cliff-coast searching adventure with Steph.
1. Own a (sexy) white baby grand piano and house it in a room with
hardwood floors and mirror walls.

One confession.
1. I know less about music than I portray.

HOBY (Oct 14, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, October 14, 2009)

I'm trying to write a short reflective essay about HOBY to submit for the compilation of the HOBY coffee table book. HOBIES, if you didn't see the email about this project, check your email; if you didn't get the email, tell me, give me your email address, and I will forward it to you. I want lots of participation from the CentralPA group, since we are the representative seminar of the program.

Essentially, this will be identical to the section of The Influence List devoted to HOBY, possibly shorter, maybe. I know I've written something like this before, but cannot seem to find it. Perhaps it's in my email?


All I have so far is what I originally wrote for my biography in the Graduation
HOBY. I attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar in 2007 as the Ambassador Representative of YHSA. The weekend program taught enthusiasm, leadership, and volunteerism and I haven’t been the same since. I am more willing to be publicly enthusiastic and expressive. I am more willing to take on the responsibilities of being a leader. I better understand the value of volunteering and take my service more seriously. Words cannot sufficiently express what HOBY means to me, but its influence should be evident by the fact that I have twice returned as an alumni volunteer and seriously plan to return every year for the rest of my life.

And the fact that "HOBY is everything I want to be" and "HOBY showed me that I am capable of being enthusiastic and being a leader" and "HOBY is the womb I live in (McKenzie Jones-Rounds)."

I simply do not want to sound cliche or insincere.

I consider myself an eloquent writer, but eloquence seems to be difficult when talking about HOBY. I wonder why that is.

Here goes...

Carina Botterbusch
HOBY 2007
Central Pennsylvania

HOBY means more to me than words can express, but I will try nonetheless. Although I, like most everyone that attends HOBY, had no idea what to expect, the experience of HOBY and the HOBY program now permeate every inch of my life. I never thought of myself as an enthusiastic person, but now, after HOBY, I am willing to be publicly enthusiastic. I considered myself to be expressive through written words, but HOBY has given me the confidence to express myself through speech, even if I am not the most eloquent speaker. Before HOBY, I tended to find myself in positions of leadership simply by default, but now I am more willing to actively take on these responsibilities. Throughout my life, I always volunteered in things I was interested because I wanted to, but now I better understand the value of volunteering and the positive impact I can have on others.

HOBY is everything I want to be. While I do not think words can sufficiently express this, it is evident in the internal commitment I have to HOBY, evidenced by the fact that I honestly plan to return to HOBY every year for the rest of my life. HOBY is what the world needs. This fact was most eloquently expressed during the Central PA Staff Reflections after the 2009 seminar when McKenzie Jones-Rounds said, "HOBY is the womb I live in. It's a very warm and cozy place to grow up inside." HOBY is the essential acceptance that everyone needs, most are looking for, and few find.

Aside from the contented seriousness of HOBY, HOBY is also fun. At the 2008 seminar, Team Alumni washed firetrucks for their Saturday service project. During the 2009 seminar, [writer's block].

Second try...
Carina Botterbusch
HOBY 2007
Central Pennsylvania
HOBY means more to me than words can express, but I will try nonetheless. Although I, like most everyone that attends HOBY, had no idea what to expect, the HOBY experience affected me deeply. I never thought of myself as an enthusiastic person, but now, after HOBY, I am willing to be publicly enthusiastic. I considered myself to be expressive through written words, but HOBY has given me the confidence to express myself through speech, even if I am not the most eloquent speaker. Before HOBY, I tended to find myself in positions of leadership simply by default, but now I am more willing to actively take on these responsibilities. Throughout my life, I always volunteered in things I was interested in because I wanted to, but now I better understand the value of volunteering and the positive impact I can have on others.

HOBY is everything I want to be. While I do not think words can sufficiently express this, it is evident in the internal commitment I have to HOBY, evidenced by the fact that I honestly plan to return to HOBY every year for the rest of my life. One of the criterion for picking a college was that the year’s end had to be before HOBY. The values and spirit of the HOBY program permeate every inch of my life. I’ve probably mentioned HOBY in every single one of my school essays that require life examples. Every time I make pizza or go to Taco Bell, I do the pizza and burrito cheers. I talk about HOBY all the time and my HOBY friends are some of my best. I wish that everyone could go to HOBY.

Aside from this reflective seriousness of HOBY, HOBY is also fun. In 2007, after going to the Harrisburg Capitol building, a student from my group told the rest of us how he ended up on the roof after going through a window that looked like a door in search of a bathroom. At the 2008 seminar, Team Alumni washed fire trucks for their Saturday service project and told students to “Leave room for Hugh!” at the dance. I got to relive the Ambassador experience as an Associate Facilitator in 2009 and my personal favorite part was the heartfelt and honest Staff Reflection on Saturday night. Reflecting on the past three years, how could I pick my number one HOBY high? The more recent experiences seem better simply because they are closer and more vivid, but every year of HOBY has been beyond anything else I’ve ever experienced. While it may not be possible to pinpoint the highest HOBY high, it is obvious that HOBY is my favorite and I try my hardest not to lose my HOBY magic. Do not lose your HOBY magic.


I submitted the above "Second Try" and I definitely forgot to include McKenzie's quote and the fact that I do spirit fingers all the time and get lots of odd looks from my friends. Aw man. Oh well.

Let me know what you think, HOBIES.

Judge John Jones (Sep 17, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, September 17, 2009)

Note to self: Read the Constitution.

Judge John Jones ruled in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District and decided that a book about Pandas couldn't be used in the classroom because it presented the idea of Intelligent Design. He ruled that Intelligent Design is the same as Creationism and, because the Supreme Court had already ruled Creationism to be unConstitutional to teach in schools, Intelligent Design would be treated the same.

(Wow, I apologize... the above paragraph is probably among the most poorly worded things I've ever written. I cannot write at all right now.)

The following are un-edited notes taken during his lecture.

Constitution Day - Judge John Jones
self-fulfilling prophecy
Darwin's prediction being "proven" by molecular biology.

judicial independence
= system of justice with judges adhering to the Constitution, acting responsible
/=/ unfettered justice system not accountable for anything

{judges do not decide to gain approval, it is like calling the third out as an umpire. they hear the criticisms and are aware of them, but do not rule based on those criticisms.}
--> okay, but sometimes criticisms should be heard AND considered
--> you may be aware of those criticisms, but do you THINK CRITICALLY
--> about them?
: yes, some criticisms are ill-advised and directed at attacking the individual, BUT NOT ALL. +
...v...come on, guys. argue eloquently. don't attack the individual. don't call them names. argue with their argument.

"there are precedents from the Supreme Court that keep me from judging to the popular opinion, even if I agree with that opinion."

John Adams = {facts are stubborn things. they cannot be swayed by our wishes or our passions...}
FACTS WILL NOT BE SWAYED, but our perceptions and interpretation of those facts ARE swayed, as are our thoughts of the implications of those facts. :(

Brown v. Board of Education
= unpopular decision was right and is now accepted
/=/ that does not mean that every unpopular decision is right*

* in fact, i would hope that we, as a people, have matured morally that unpopular decisions ARE NOT right.


"students should have more training in civics"
yes, I agree. however, who's to say that they'll be taught the Constitution correctly?


ethical (and spiritual) intelligence is not imposed, but encouraged.
--> I encourage you to have some ethical and spiritual intelligence.

I respect you for your courage to rule the way you felt just.

----------- barely talked about the Constitution AT ALL

Alex Hamilton --> {the constitution is gone; it is dead letter.}

This is essentially the question I asked him during Q&A.

you said there are certain
precedents you have to
follow as a judge, even
if you don't agree with
where those precedents lead
you... there anything
...that you'd quit
...your job for?

He essentially did not answer my question and said that one potentially could step down from the bench if they felt it necessary, but that one should not shirk their responsibilities. He basically said no.

Afterwards, I asked him if he agreed that biases can influence the conclusions that someone draws from looking at facts, no matter how stubborn those facts may be. (Oh man, why wasn't I this eloquent THEN??) He said yes, and illustrated it by the fact that the Creationists want Intelligent Design to be true and so they will look at the facts in such a way to support their desire. He failed, however, that it also works the other direction.

College(4) (Sep 14, 2009)

(posted to Facebook, September 14, 2009)


I had a really excellent idea for this fourth college update, but alas, I have forgotten. So I shall proceed with a slightly less excellent college update.

I did laundry for the first time. It's really not so bad. I didn't shrink anything.

I wash my dishes in the bathroom sink. I made a pack of Lipton noodles in a four-cup measuring cup with no butter, no milk, just water. They were good, but it was the most ghetto thing ever.

Apparently, I'm the only pianist on campus. It's SO weird. Everyone in Pennsylvania plays piano! At least it seems like it. Perhaps the people with whom I associate are mostly pianists. Perhaps it's a homeschooled thing? Yeah, that sounds reasonable. Homeschoolers are more likely to play the piano. Anyway, I know that Paul from Jazz Band plays piano, but it's not his primary instrument and he's busy directing the music for the Fall Musical and Dr. Taylor, my piano teacher, also does, but he plays organ and piano and everything else all the time, so he's really busy. And I know that there's at least one more pianist because Dr. Flory also gives piano lessons.

Anyway... evidence that I'm the only pianist (only meaning one of VERY few)...
(1) Dr. Weir jumped on the opportunity for me to be the Jazz Band pianist.
(2) Dr. Taylor asked me if I would be interested in playing for church services or anything else.
(3) Paul asked me if I could play the piano part for the Fall Musical.
(4) Dr. Weir asked me if I could play piano for Symphonic Band for a few songs for a few concerts.

However, I know that I'm not the only pianist on campus because Dr. Taylor has about eight piano students, I'm pretty certain. Plus Dr. Flory's students.


I suppose I'm the only pianist interested in being a pianist? Hm.

I'm the Jazz Band Pianist.
I told Dr. Taylor I would look at church opportunities on a case-by- case basis.
I told Paul that I would play piano for the musical, but cannot because I'm going home that weekend.
I'm now the occasional Symphonic Band Pianist.

Dr. Weir asked me about Symphonic Band on the way to the football game at Shenandoah University on Saturday night. He knew that I wasn't enthusiastic about taking on another project and I said that I would have to look at the music. He said that it's well within my level of skill. Awh. :]

You know what EVERYONE says down here?

"Well, that just warms the cockles of my heart."


Also, I think I figured out that convocation is the Southern word for conference. Maybe.

Everyone said that each college has its strong point and its weak point. For example, Millersville's food is FANTASTIC, but their housing is awful. And I believe Kutztown's housing is good, but their food is not? Regardless. Bridgewater's food can be pretty ghetto (the dishwasher broke today and Trayless Tuesday doesn't work because the dish conveyor is not a belt), but it's not the worst caff food I've ever had. The hibachi can be excellent if you get the right cook. I'm a genius at making cranberry-orange-Sprite. Housing seems good, but I haven't had any troubles, so I wouldn't really know. I have not, and will not (most likely), need the Writing or the IT Centers.
So what is Bridgewater's strength? The sociology department, it seems.
And Dr. Sheppard, the Dean of Academic Affairs.

I CHANGED MY MAJOR, btw. I used to be a Psych major with a Spanish minor and I am now a Socio major with a Psych minor.

Remind me that I need to go to the Registrar's Office to confirm that my plan of major includes my Psych minor.

And I need to meet with my Sociology adviser. Next Monday at 2pm.

We had our first reading quiz in New Testament today. It was ten mc questions and one bonus mc question. I missed one of them, so it was an ace, essentially.

Addendum: I am now and forever will be a Sociology major with Psychology and Social Work minors.
(Jan 9, 2010)