Monday, November 21, 2011

"Only God Can Judge Me"

So, I just read my most recent post and was genuinely amused at how much of a word
nerd I am. Sufficiently. Suffice. Awesome. I'm awesome. I am some worthy of awe.

Word nerd!

In other news, I have a somewhat official criteria list. This criteria list has the
very important caveat of not being concrete or all-inclusive or exclusive or so on.

Let me have my friends, don't be damaged or insecure, don't exploit my compassion,
and don't demand that I rescue you. Oh, and don't make me not cut my hair.

I think having friends, not being insecure, and not exploiting my compassion are the
most important. Not exploiting my compassion is creeping to the top of the list, but
all three of these are fairly close in importance.

So, before I get to the real topic of this post, I'm going to re-update about school.


Biological Psychology.
I have been tutoring my classmate and I've really grown to like this course, as well
as the professor, even if I don't fully agree with his teaching methods. But he'll
read about that on his course evaluation from me. Haha. My two fellow group members
and I just completed our neurological behavior study with mice, where we tested the
effect of alcohol upon sociability in mice. We got mice drunk, you guys. We haven't
analyzed our data yet, so no results. Assignments left in this course are the results
and discussion sections of my paper about this experiment and the final exam.

Assuming that my projected test grade analysis accurately predicts my grade on the
final - which I am nearly certain it does - I only need a 60% on my project proposal
paper to maintain an A overall. The girl who constantly talked during class (and
also failed the first test) has since moved where she sits and no longer talks to
her classmate. She also did not fail the second test. Hmm. Assignments left in this
course are the project proposal paper and the final exam.

Memory and Cognition.
After scoring a 103% on the first test, I scored an 87% on the second test. What?
I would think that a professor who also teaches Statistics would be able to develop
a more reliable measure of learning. She'll read about that on her course evaluation
from me, but with less attitude. And, although I know my current percentage grade
in the course, I am uncertain of what proportion of the points remain for the
semester, so I have no way to calculate what I need on my literature review and
final exam. I am also upset that the literature review is only worth as much as a
single test, even though I am spending disproportionately more time on that.
Assignments left in this course are the literature review and the final exam.

Eh. This has turned out to be an interesting course, but not really one of my
favorites. I'm not really sure why. I don't really have much to say about it, which
I think is because I feel somewhat uninterested by the course at this point in time.
We just finished reading the book, Longing and Belonging, which I didn't really like,
so maybe that's why. Assignments left in this course are a paper (due Nov 29) and
the final exam (in-class essay).

Hooray for night classes! No seriously. Really, hooray. Over the course of the
semester, I have gone from being reassured of my counseling career goal to being
uncertain of my counseling career goal. But that uncertainty is not the fault of
this course, I believe. Assignments left in this course are two quizzes, two journal
entries, an in-class activity, and the final exam.

Jazz Band.
I wonder if I cry over Jazz Band-related issues at least once each semester. Hm.
Last semester it was because Dr. Weir was leaving, the semester before that may have
been because of graduated members who were no longer present, the semester before
that may have been...?, and the semester before that would have been sheer newness
and crazy girl drummer. This semester it was outside stress and an improvisation
piano solo. But Dr. Taylor came to the rescue and wrote one for me, so we'll see
how it sounds and if/how I want to adapt it at rehearsal tomorrow. I miss Dr. Weir
and all of the members who have left since Spring 2010. Concert on Dec 2. Eek!

Honors Project.
The draft of my paper has been completed! Saturday night I finished! I was going to
go to an on-campus concert Saturday night, but I was so close to being finished that
I buckled down and finished and went to the concert on Sunday afternoon. Hooray!
My diagrams have been drawn and all pertinent information that was previously missing
has been added to the paper. All that's left is to revise, check ASA formatting, and
revise again. Advisor meeting tomorrow morning.

Going fairly well, although I've only completed two pieces this semester, which I
believe is the least ever. Starting on the first movement of Beethoven's Pathetique
Sonata, after having learned the second movement last semester and the third movement
this semester. I'm pretty excited to (eventually) have learned a complete sonata.

Library Work and Tutoring.
Library work is always my favorite. People-watching, people-visiting, and getting
work done, plus getting paid? What could be better? Tutoring is pretty cool, too.
Methods tutoring has tapered off, but will probably pick back up before finals week
and BioPsych tutoring helps me and is fun. Yay! Plus money! Yayyy!

PDP and Convos.
After receiving approval from my previous PDP advisor, I am not planning to being
my PDP paper until Christmas break, although I imagine I will do some preliminary
planning and writing during finals week, since that is always my least busy week
of every semester. Knock on wood. Convos are completed and, by a miscalculation, I
attended one too many, as compared to my twice too many my first semester. Hehe,
oh, priorities, how silly you are as you shift and change.


Fyi, I don't reach my true point until later on in this section. Sorry I buried it.
See paragraph four if you're lazy. (The next paragraph counts as paragraph one.)

Okay, maybe. But not really. I really do disagree with this sentiment, even though
it gets to be a really touchy topic with other Christians, as the general philosophy
is that a person cannot judge another person because all people are fallible. Okay,
so I agree with the statement about everyone being fallible, but I do not agree with
the argument that this negates the utility of "judging." I say that with quote marks
to lessen the negative connotation that the word has received. It's a very heavy
word and I don't mean it in a heavy way, so I hope the quote marks can lighten it
to a point. Ew. Look at all those short words at the beginning of each line. Ew.
Anyway. And I don't mean utility to sound like a utilitarian - also a silly life
philosophy, when adhered to dogmatically - I simply mean that, sometimes, making
a judgment is useful. Making a judgment sounds lighter than judging, no? We make
judgments about situations every day. Is it cold enough for a sweater? Is it dry
enough to wear suede shoes? Am I hungry enough to eat lunch? Am I not hungry enough
to skip lunch? Do I have enough time to run an errand? And so on and so on. And you
say, "But those are examples of judging a SITUATION. Judging a PERSON is different!"

And I agree. Judging a PERSON is not what I condone. Judging a person is a problem
because doing so is too much of a blanket statement. And you, as a regular reader,
should know very well how I feel about blanket statements. (Not well at all.) For
example, a judgment of a PERSON could sound something like this "That person is too
___(fill in the blank)___, I'm not going to talk to/help/etc him/her." This blanket
statement is damaging (and what true blanket statement isn't?) because it removes
any and all possibility that the stater of the statement could change his/her mind.
Sure, it happens sometimes, but it's unlikely. Plus, there's the whole issue of the
complete negativity of such a blanket statement. And who likes negativity? Not I!

So, if judging a PERSON is not what I condone, then what type of judging do I condone?
Well, it goes back to being able to judge a SITUATION. Instead of making a damaging
blanket statement that applies to the whole person, try rewording a judgment so that
it applies only to a specific situation. For example, instead of saying "She's really
mean and I don't like her," say, "She's really mean in class, and I don't like her
in class." When a judgment applies to a SITUATION, rather than the whole PERSON, it
opens up all kinds of possibilities for that person to defy that judgment in other
situations. (This has really happened to me. I think I wrote about it before.) Even
better, judgments can be made even more specific in order to refer to an even more
narrow situation... "She's really mean in class today, I wonder what's wrong."
With all of this said, it is not an easy practice to instill, but hopefully you
have noticed that simply shifting the focus of a judgment away from the person and
onto the situation makes the judgment feel entirely different. A person-directed
judgment is extremely damning and that's what really makes people (myself including)
uncomfortable. A situation-directed judgment is not damning because it has built-in
caveats. (And who doesn't like a good serving of caveat?)

But anyway. My REAL point has to do with the sentiment, "Only God can judge me."
Okay, maybe. And, according to my above argument, yes. I cannot judge YOU. I can
judge* how you act in a certain situation on a certain day under certain circumstances,
but I cannot judge YOU as a WHOLE PERSON.
The fact that "only God can judge [you]" does not relieve you of your responsibility
to behave as a sane and upstanding individual. This sentiment does not absolve you
of your basic human responsibility to not behave as a donkey might behave. Really.
This sentiment does not remove all possible consequences from you or your future.
Because, even if I can't judge YOU (and I won't judge you as a whole person), the
law, the system, the federal government, the IRS, or someone will. Eventually, so
long as they get their bureaucratic act together. And, even if not? As a believer
in eternity, you will eventually meet the one God you claim is the only being that
can judge you. And, to reiterate what I really mean, just because you claim that
"only God can judge [you]," that does NOT mean that you have no obligation to judge
yourself. Where is conscience and remorse? Have you none?

* I feel it necessary to explain what I mean when I use "judge" as a verb, as in
"judge how you act in a certain situation on a certain day under certain circumstances."
As a word nerd, and one who is heavily influenced by connotations, using "judge" as
a verb does make me uncomfortable because I recognize that it has an extremely heavy
and negative connotation. When I used "to judge," I feel that most first reactions
will picture a typical holier-than-thou attitude. And that is not at all what I mean.
"To judge," in my world, is not snooty, arrogant, or cocky. "To judge" simply means
to form an opinion, to decide upon critically, to conclude about, or to assess.
(Thanks,!) And that's what I mean. None of this nose-in-the-
air nonsense that give judgment a bad reputation. Think of all the ways that "judge"
or "judgment" can be used in a positive manner! I would guess that the only form
of "judge" that I would reserve for negative instances would be "judgmental."

And, for your additional reading pleasure... Is it Bad Rap or Bad Wrap?
I decided to use neither, thus bad reputation in the above paragraph.

And, in closing, my Counseling textbook said something cool in the chapter I had to
read for tomorrow. I can't remember exactly what it said, but it said that avoiding
responsibility diminishes a person's power and his or her power to change the self
or the situation. And I like that a lot. I like that a lot more than the victim
stance that everyone around me expects me to take. Sure, it will never make sense,
never ever, and while taking absolute responsibility for it would absolutely damage
my self-esteem beyond repair, I am determined to find the happy medium. Balance and
moderation. Responsibility and POWER. I am a whole person. Apparently my session
today actually did help a lot.

Edit: So I just proofread this after posting it and realized something huge. You guys!
Judgments are like stereotypes! :O Also, I meant to post these lyrics, which I was
reminded of when I said "Not I!"

In an ocean of noise
I first heard your voice
Now who hear among us
Still believes in choice?
Not I!

Ugh, that song is SO GOOD.

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