Thursday, May 30, 2013

Documentation of No Mindless, Purposeless Television Goal

Today I watched the Dr. Phil show at 3 and part of a Nature documentary at night. I watched these shows while I was eating. My goal for this is to remove distractions with no benefits. I think what I did watch today was alright. No objections to. Today was Day 1. Funny thing today. Today we were supposed to be heading on some sort of 3 day trip before my EMT class starts on Monday. Time just ticked down with no real good options given the time restraints we have. I considered going to Yosemite again but honestly, part of me did not want to go anywhere because of all the things I feel I have to write about and get started with. If I don't write about it now, I have no idea when it's going to get done. I'm still working on the story of my dog Lucky. It's still a work in progress and has taken much longer than I expected to finish it by.

Today is Friday, May 31st, 2013, and it is also Day 2. I watched the Dr. Phil show and that is it. I do still watch stuff on YouTube while I eat. Don't know if I eat too much or if eating while watching slows me down too much as I did not feel that productive today. Probably because for a lot of the time today, I was running around, going to Whole Foods, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Water store to get Serrapeptase, Glyconutrients, and BPA free plastic water containers. Also played ball today. Worked a bit on my story on Lucky. It is currently 10:19 PM as I finish typing this up.

Today is Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 and I watched zero television, mostly in part because I went to Safari West today plus getting ready for the first EMT class tomorrow.

Today is Monday, June 3rd, 2013, and was the first EMT class. Seems like I will learn to apply a lot of the information that I have learned knowledge wise before in nursing school so far. Look forward to it very much. Spent lots of free time anytime I had practicing the primary assessment. Today I decided to forgo the Dr. Phil show to write down my notes and organize them on my pdf version. I did watch a bit of the Miami Heat game 7 versus the Pacers but it was not close at all so I watched only a tad bit of the game. All in all, no mindless, purposeless television today at all. Proud of myself.

When I Feel Behind On So Much to Write About, I Feel Like Closing This Blog

I feel confused at myself. I was talking about how this blog’s purpose was to give me analysis and understanding to who I am and what’s important to me. Yet often times, like right now, I feel burdened by this blog. I feel as if I have to document everything. Every thought predominant in my life, this story on my dog is something that is very important to me yet I find myself being overwhelmed with the amount I have to write and amount of information if have to put on this paper. My typing words just cannot catch up with the thoughts spewing in my mind. I was thinking about everything being out there, meaning beyond space and time, as scientifically evidenced in the fabric of the cosmos and how it relates to what DC has found and what people like Anita Morrjhan has found. I’m excited about all this information yet I feel so overwhelmed by it. At the end of the day, what am I getting out of all this understanding? All this writing here? What would I be doing if I got rid of this blog? Time goes by every day, how can I possibly write about everything that is going on in my life? I want to have it right or be free of the burden of having it perfect and having it all. I want the recognition of knowing about these things. To be able to show other people, look what kind of depth and maturity I had at this young age.

The problems:

I want understanding but from this, what I want to understand is colossal and is overwhelming me and I’d rather be rid of this feeling of burden than not have it perfect the way I like it. I tell myself not to give up and persist, that I’ll regret it I close this blog. I tell myself, just leave it online and do not touch it when you feel burdened. Don’t close it. But I still feel burdened knowing that there is this wonderful blog that I’ve started that I feel is special yet I’m falling behind in terms of updating it.

What about my self-expression?

Self-expression, recognition from the world vs. feeling of falling behind in terms of putting down thoughts

How Personal Should a Personal Blog Be?

An answer to a question of mine:

"As someone who writes a VERY personal blog, I would advise her to be herself, but to be mindful to balance her posts. Recovery is not all about doom and gloom. There must be some light posts in with those heavy ones.

I am in recovery, but I do not endorse anything - that is another fine line. If you are versed in the Traditions of ALL 12*Step fellowships, revealing your identity as a member via "press, radio and films" is strictly verboten. This is because in the early 90s when every celeb went through The Betty Ford Center (or so it seemed) the general public got the idea that the 12-Step fellowships do not work.

No one should ever endorse a 12 Step fellowship in their blog. I would advise her to tread very lightly on that topic.

I have blogged about it for myself, and related it only to me, and endorse NOTHING!

That all being said, I keep my blog about 'life and the pursuit of happiness" because it is a broader topic that I can pull nearly anything from. If someone asks, I can always tell them that painful experiences are part of life and that sometimes my blog is very heavy. Other times, it is light.

Balance is crucial, and that is my suggestion for whatever it is worth."

- NancyD68

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Goodbye To Mindless, Purposeless Television

In my pursuit of completion of the countless tasks and things to do, I have decided I need to get rid distractions. This means, the television. I think about to myself upon contemplation, do I want to live my life vicariously through the "lives" of characters on television, or do I want to live my life through myself? Television can serve as a distraction and an escape from the many things I've set out for myself to complete. This has also seriously sidetracked me from my focus of things I wanted to do this summer. The feeling of the beginning of summer has faded and I need to get down to business, towards my goals that I listed out here in a previous post, or it's going to be another semi-wasted summer. Sure I'm taking an intensive 9 week EMT course that's starting this upcoming Monday. But that's not the only thing I expect of myself. Along with waking up early, productivity and time management is crucial. I will be documenting my progress of this goal here, listing if I watched television that day, and if I did, how long, and what it is I watched. Now as I type this, the thought of the NBA playoffs come into mind. Should I watch those? I enjoy watching them for the most part. How much do I really get out of watching these games? If they serve a positive purpose in my life, it should stay. I give myself permission to watch the 4th quarter of the game, if it's close. The excitement of the anticipation prior to the jump is enticing and I cannot promise that I won't watch, but I should not be watching to the second quarter. I need to see how this will go. If necessary, I need to completely remove this temptation from my life, as its benefit to me is less than if I use the time to do something more productive. I define watching television as indulging in a show that is lacking in its value to my future benefit.
My most enticing nemesis to this goal would be the activity done during relaxation. Stretching, exercising, looking outside, or engaging in something that does not drive my mind into a mindless stupor are all alternatives. This does mean I cannot watch something that I find inspirational, like a nature, educational, or science documentary. The purpose to rid off "television" is to rid myself of the hypnotic, time-warping distraction that at the end of the day, serves zero benefit to myself. If it serves to be a positive purpose in my life, it can stay.

I just took the first step after coming back from picking up my sister, by not even turning on the television to the show of Two and a Half Men, thus not giving that temptation its power in the first place. I just need to replace this time with something constructive that will benefit me. Replace this distraction with something more empowering in my life.

Just remember anytime you find yourself anticipating the thought of heading towards temptation, ask yourself, "Is what I am going to be doing going to benefit me?" And if the answer is "No", don't let yourself fall into temptation in the first place.

Tomorrow is the official Day 1 of ridding this distraction in my life.

Today after posting this, I watched part of a Nature Documentary on PBS followed by a Frontline Documentary called "Outlawed in Pakistan". The girl featured is living one tough, painful life. I can empathize with her and couldn't help but feel bad for her. It's popped the thought of educating myself on the injustices women in third-world countries face. Perhaps that day will come and will be part of my goal of understanding the lives others and doing what I can to help them.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Reminder to Myself of What This Blog is About

I constantly oscillate between the desire of having the public read and relate to my posts here with that of having privacy of what I put online.

                                               Misdemeanors Don't Go Away, from Judge Judy

"People should know, and should tell their children that stupid things that they do, like posting some of the most intimate details of their young lives on the Internet is the most ridiculous thing you could do. Companies, schools, graduate schools, bar associations can open up your Facebook page look at your Facebook page and see you at some drunk really have to impress upon children that what they do when they are [growing up] can have an impact on their whole lives."

I need to remember the reasons I started this blog. It certainly was not a ploy to become famous! It's a form of self-expression. Sometimes we all have thoughts that we just want to jot down, and some of these thoughts may be ones that we want to keep in the long run to analyze and understand our unique human experiences, growths, and journeys. This is the reason for this blog. To document my growth as an individual for however long I have on this planet. Perhaps I just care more about understanding myself and immersing myself in the feeling of nostalgia from time to time. I do hope that the character I demonstrate of myself on this blog is one of admiration, respect, and inspiration, and not a method that my future employers will use to spy surreptitiously. Perhaps to play it safe, while still allowing my thoughts to be expressed to anyone who may relate to what I post, I will temporarily turn it private when I feel the circumstances are appropriate. I'm glad for that option.

To Myself, If and When I Choose to Keep this Blog Private:

Remember that we all enjoy recognition for our hard work and endeavors, but find a safer outlet to express and demonstrate the diligence you have put in. When you desire something, and the expression of that becomes restricted, your desire will grow and burn, and now when properly channeled, will transmute into something great that the general public can benefit from, while having the privacy of your most inner thoughts that you need.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Abortion- An Unethical Necessity

Complete credit goes to my brother who wrote it:

Abortion results in the loss of life, which makes it a serious and controversial matter. The ramifications have lasting and permeating effects on everyone involved. Denial, anger, anguish, guilt, and depression are some of the emotions felt by those personally involved. It’s an agonizing process. Oftentimes, our actions have more profound effects than we intend or realize. We may not mean to hurt living beings. We, most certainly, have our own interests and future at stake, but whenever our actions impede on another living being’s right to live, we need to take a long hard look on what we plan on doing. I argue that abortion should be legalized, should be made available to the mass, but if the mother of the child is 16 weeks or more into pregnancy, a formal committee must take a long, hard look at the intentions, logistics, and circumstances behind each unique scenario presented to the board to determine the final choice of action. Hence, I’m offering a polarizing viewpoint, in which the pregnant woman will not be making the final call if she is 16 weeks or more into pregnancy. That’s not to say that I believe the pregnant woman’s thoughts and her preferred choice of action should not be explored and are irrelevant, as frankly, the antithesis is how I strongly feel. I do believe that the woman’s motive-driven decision needs to be deeply examined by psychologists, but I also feel that under certain cases, abortion shouldn’t be allowed, in which the ensuing birth of the child will have to be a responsibility the woman has consequentially-incurred into her life. I realize this sounds tantalizing, and this is likely something many people are vehemently against, but I shall explain further in much detail of my viewpoint.

            I feel that it’s important to elaborate the intricacies needed for this committee board that I am proposing. Pregnant woman, who are less than 16 weeks into pregnancy and have their abortion scheduled prior to week 16, have complete volition in deciding the course of action. The only exception to that would be pregnant teenagers below the age of 18, who will require parental consent. The board will only review cases in which the pregnancy is at the minimum, 16 weeks in. With that requisite stated, the board will only review if the pregnancy incurs a serious threat to the woman’s life, and / or has potentially serious conditions in which the fetus will have genetic defects or other life-threatening damage. A fetus as a result of rape, incest, or poor socio-economic status will not be sufficient excuses post 16 weeks in. The board should consist of an impartial amalgamation of unrelated individuals to the client, as they cannot have any previous prior connections to the individual. The board should consist of male and female psychologists, physicians, three judges, and designated women who have gone through similar abortion situations to act as potential advocates when influencing the final decision. The committee needs to gather all information related to the client’s case, including assessments of the client’s history following up to this proposal for abortion. The client will be given sessions to discuss with psychologists their feelings, emotions, and desires behind how they wish to proceed, and this will be discussed at the table privately. Each psychologist will give his or her take on the unique situation at hand and offer what they feel is a reasonable and justifiable course of action. As will all the physicians and designated spokeswomen, each will give their own professional input into the situation at hand. Lastly, the pregnant woman, herself, takes the stage and discusses her own personal preferred course of action and motives to the judges. Judges will then be allowed to ask her questions and converse. Privately, the three judges, upon taking all that into account, shall review all assessments and information at hand, while taking into account the mother’s current pregnancy stage, and draw their own conclusions in a written, clandestine voting. Each judge shall come up with a response of either for abortion or against abortion and will have to list their specific reasons and thoughts behind why they chose that action. Since there are only a total of three judges, the vote that is either unanimous or tallies two will be the vote that stands. Should the pregnant individual feel that the board has been biased and discriminating, an appeal can be filed, in which an independent committee will immediately review if unreasonable, biased arguments were present. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, as a fetus is rapidly developing. Hence, as time goes on, the mother’s current stage of pregnancy will start to largely affect the outcome, and exceptional contentions will be needed to permit an abortion.

            I’d like to elaborate on why I made the cut-off point, week 16. From a strictly fetal developmental viewpoint, week 1 through week 6 is when fertilization occurs and the embryonic period starts (Pregnancy Week by Week, 2012). Week 5 is when the fetus’ primary organs, including the central nervous system- the brain and spinal cord, heart, and the other vital organs begin to form (Pregnancy Week by Week, 2012). Week 6 catalyzes the primitive development of basic facial features, the jaw, the C-shaped curvature of the body, and such (Pregnancy Week by Week, 2012). Week 7 -12 incurs the rapid proliferation of the fetus’ head, eyes, neck, genitals, toes, and fingernails, as this ends the first trimester. From week 13-14, the fetus may be able to put a thumb into its mouth and suck on it, along with an exhibition of constant arm and leg movements, but understand that these movements are reflexes stemming from the spinal cord and are not voluntary movements (Becher, n.d.). By week 15, sensory receptors are augmenting. At Week 16, the cutting off point, the baby can “grasp with his hands, kick, or even somersault” (Baby Development, n.d.). While the child’s earlier muscle movements may be slight and involuntary, the “first voluntary muscle movements occur around week 16” (Baby Development, n.d.). “After this point, awake or asleep, the baby moves 50 ties or more each hour, flexing and extending her body, moving her head, face, and limbs, and exploring her warm, wet compartment by touch. A baby may touch her face, touch one hand to the other hand, clasp her feet, touch her foot to her leg, or her hand to the umbilical cord” (Baby Development, n.d.). To better understand when voluntary movements occur, we need to comprehend that voluntary movements arise from a part of the brain, called the cerebellum. With regard to the development of the cerebellum, the “primary fissure (of the cerebellum) is visible at week 14”, and by week 16, the “prepyramidal fissure, the secondary fissure and the dentate nucleus could be identified” (Liu, 2011). Cerebellum development starts within the second trimester (Liu, 2011), and week 16 is generally when voluntary movements are seen. By week 18, the fetus may have the capability to hear; by week 21, the fetus can swallow, and by week 25, the fetus is able to interact with the mother’s voice and respond with movement (Pregnancy Week by Week, 2012). Hence, I believe that week 16 should be the designated cutting-point, because that is when the inception of interactions and movements within its environment begin to take place on a voluntary level. A cell in a Petri dish is alive, as there are metabolic processes. Cells that make up a fetus in a womb are also alive, as metabolic processes are transpiring, but it is during week 16, in which anthropomorphic qualities are being exhibited on a voluntary level, and that is what I feel should be the distinguisher. The inception of fetus consciousness occurs when there is the realization of one’s own existence and environment as evidenced by visible coordinated movements with the initial and continual development of the cerebellum. Thus, week 16 needs to be the unequivocal cut-off. No abortions should be allowed unless the fetus causes serious harm to the mother or if the fetus will have profound life-threatening impairments.

            Our current abortion system in the United States, and specifically in California, New York, and Nebraska, is significantly different to my proposal. When Roe v. Wade passed, the Supreme Court permitted abortion to go up to 28 weeks (Laws Regarding Abortion, n.d.). However, the general consensus is at 24 weeks now, as they gauge the cut-off date by when the fetus is able to live outside the womb. Current United States abortion law has prohibited partial birth abortions completely, enacted by the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and upheld in 2007 in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Gonzales v. Carhart (Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, 2013). With the Supreme Court’s decision handed down, each state has slightly different abortion laws regulating the details and circumstances in which a woman may have an abortion. Unfortunately, federal judges in California, New York, and Nebraska deemed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban law unconstitutional, and three appellate courts concurred (Supreme Court, 2007). Hence, California still has Partial-Birth abortions performed up to week 24. In case you are unaware of how gruesome partial-birth abortion is, I shall describe how they perform this procedure. With the use of ultrasound, the abortionist uses forceps to grab the baby’s leg and pulls the baby into the birth canal. The abortionist removes all of the baby’s body, save the head, in which he will take a scissor and stab it into the baby’s skull. They then use the scissor to make a wide hole, in which the scissors will then be removed, and a suction tube will be inserted into the skull to suck out the brain. Afterwards, the entire dead baby is removed from the birth canal (Whitehead, n.d.). It’s an incredibly gruesome process, and this is not a humane process to be performing on beings that very well have basic voluntary movements. That’s why I am vehemently against the use of partial-birth abortion, and this is why after week 15, abortions should only be done as a last resort if the mother’s life is threatened or if the baby will be born with serious physical damage. And even then, there needs to be other, more humane ways of performing late-term abortions. It’s no wonder why some people are so strongly opposed to abortion. Now in some good news, it’s comforting to know that week 12, the end of the first trimester, is the major cut-off point for most healthcare providers in performing abortions.

            Abortion needs to be addressed in terms of consequentialist ethics, rather than deontological ethics. Granted, abortion is a controversial topic, and there is no “correct” answer to go with, but I would like to address the two principal forms of ethical thinking to gauge which style is more appropriate. Consequentialist ethics stresses the importance in the relationship between the “action” and the “consequences.” In other words, a good action is based off the beneficial results for those affected, while a bad action is based off antagonistic results for those affected. Oftentimes, there is a combination of positive effects for some individuals, and negative effects for others, but it is the virtue of doing the greater good for the vast majority. On the other hand, deontological ethics emphasize that a right action is correct in itself because of pragmatic, logical reasoning, without the exploration into the genuine consequences. Deontological ethics is principle-based ethics that focuses on the intent behind the choices and actions. It’s the classic consequence versus intent debate. Well, I argue that many times in life, we are much more strongly affected by the actual consequences of one’s actions rather than by one’s intentions. Hence, consequentialist ethics is more appropriate. Say in sports, an opposing player may not have vindictive intentions, but if you tear your ACL tendon because of him, you are likely furious for all that he will put you through now. He can apologize and walk off, but who is the one left in pain, medical bills, and mobility restraints? You are. So, with regards to abortion, we can come to understand that a pregnant mother living in a dangerous, poverty-stricken neighborhood won’t want to keep an unexpected baby, because there won’t be sufficient money or resources to give her child a quality, safe life. However, the end result of abortion is the loss of the baby’s future and experiences. One could easily argue that the child wouldn’t have had a decent life anyways, so why bring the child into this world? Well, that’s something the pregnant mother should have contemplated over before having sex. Now if she was raped, that would be a different story. But when you choose the action, you are responsible for the consequences. You might be saying, “Well, what if she was on birth control, and the man was wearing a condom?!” Well, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound aloof, callous, and unsympathetic towards them, but both partners could be on every prevention technique out there in the modern world, and the mother could still become pregnant. There are no guarantees in life. Some couples may take no preventions whatsoever when having sex, and the woman doesn’t become pregnant. I’m not saying that is fair. Couples putting in all the extra effort to prevent pregnancies shouldn’t have to get pregnant. Others are seemingly asking for an unexpected pregnancy to occur. Such is life though, and no one ever said life wasn’t meant to be fair. All we can simply do is attempt to ameliorate our conditions and chances, but a utopia will never be. These were the cards that were dealt; this was the way the dices rolled, and ultimately, each of us has to be responsible for that.

            As you can likely tell, I’m staunchly against abortion, but I believe having it available is a necessary service that society needs. I feel that way because for one, the world is already overpopulated, and mentally-competent adults, ultimately, have the capacity and the right to make their own decisions with abortion. But more importantly, I believe that women and men who are not physically, mentally, and financially ready to become parents, cannot possibly provide in a sufficient, healthy manner of that which will help this infant (who is 100% dependent on their parents) to develop prosperously if the surrounding environment and context is not opportune as to those of a “planned child”. Having a child is a life-long “career”, one that will never end until the day you die. Theoretically, it’s only until the age of 18, but for many children, it’s a life-long support that parents strive to give. Again, as I stated earlier, I would argue to set up a committee to review the two specific abortion cases. The birth of the child which threatens the life of the mother is the first case. The significant compromise of a child’s life due to genetic defects or malformations and damage is the second case. These two are the only cases to be reviewed 16 weeks into pregnancy because these overlap into the ethical debate of whose life is more important and if a life riddled with pain and suffering is necessary. These two ethical dilemmas, along with becoming impregnated by rape, are what I’ll call, the “Big 3 Exceptions”. In an abortion-utopia, as awkward and ironic as that sounds, all other cases save the “Big 3”, really have no place in abortion. If one is poor and is struggling to feed herself, you don’t have kids. That is not a difficult idea to entrain. If it means to abstain from sex, you must abstain to ad nauseam, because whatever consequences arise as a result of your volition is your responsibility. A potential life should not be taken away because of a momentary lapse in responsibility for the urge of gratification. It is no better than if a child steals candy so he can taste the sugary, delicious chocolate melt in his mouth. In fact, I would argue that it is worse. Nonetheless, if a full-time career is what you value most during the meantime and the birth of a child will be a huge obstacle, you don’t have kids. This goes both ways for women and men. You do whatever it takes so that doesn’t happen. If not, be prepared to accept any possibility of the whole array of consequences. All the cards in a deck exist, but only one will be dealt into your hands. It’s all a probability game. Taking a life is no trivial matter, and it’s my conclusion that save the “Big 3 Exceptions”, abortion is the route soon-to-be mothers and fathers feel compelled to take because this unexpected child has become a potential inconvenience in life and doesn’t want to take subsequent responsibilities. With that said, I want to make this exceedingly clear that I’m not singling out the mother in this. The father of the child is just as responsible for what has incurred, as it had to take two, one female & one male, to create the fetus. To recapitulate, for both men and women, be the driver in the car of your life. Don’t be the one in which you’re driving late at night, when suddenly a deer swerves into your headlights. The moment to appropriately react is gone before you can blink, and the resulting indelible damage has been done. Be responsible for what you do, and be responsible for the entailed result.


Becher, Julie-Claire (n.d.). Insights into Early Fetal Development. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

Liu, F., Zhang, Z., Lin, X., Teng, G., Meng, H., Yu, T., Fang, F., Zang, F., Li, Z. and Liu, S. (2011), Development of the human fetal cerebellum in the second trimester: a post mortem magnetic resonance imaging evaluation. Journal of Anatomy, 219: 582–588. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2011.01418.x

Whitehead, Kenneth D. (n.d.). Everything You Need to Know About Partial-Birth Abortion. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

(n.d.). Baby Development. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

(n.d.). Laws Regarding Abortion. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

(2013). Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

(2012). Pregnancy Week by Week. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

(2007). Supreme Court Upholds Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. [ONLINE] Available at:,2933,266724,00.html. [Last Accessed May 9, 2013].

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Reasons Men Need to Forgo Marriage

In the fall of 2011, my close friend and I happened to wander into a conversation that I never talked about, nor ever thought about. It was about marriage. My friend gave me his opinions of marriage and I listened closely and asked thoughtful questions. He adamantly and assertively stated his views on the downsides of marriage, all of which I had never contemplated about. It was clear that he had ruminated about his point of view thoroughly. Intrigued by this controversial topic that would have eventually run down my alley, I decided to do more research. There is no one reason as to why marriage exists. Some will say it is to promote a stable, life-long, monogamous relationship between two people who can provide protections for each other and raise children. Sounds reasonable, should all these criteria be met. Depending what source you choose to ascertain, marriages starting out today are at great risk for divorce or marital distress. Some people point that divorce rates are 50% in this country whereas others will point out that statistics can be manipulated to support one’s argument and that statistics can never be the sole argument. In fact according to Tara Parker-Pope, author of “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage”, the grim statistic of 50% of marriages ending in divorce doesn’t apply to most couples getting married today or for even those who married in the last few decades. It does seem however, that more people are at least choosing to be single for an extended period of time and it has accounted for the overall decrease in divorce rate in comparison to the 1970’s. Some studies show that the risk for divorce drops significantly when couples decide to tie the knot after the age of 25 (Gibson). In comparison to the couples that married in the 1970’s, couples generally were in “in their late teens and early twenties” (Parker-Pope) and that “statistics show that the 30-year divorce rate among these couples ‘is about 47%” (Parker-Pope).

Aside from whatever the real statistics may be, I am here to make a case for men to not engage in marriage, and it’s a result of the huge financial risks involved, the unremitting family courts, the partial laws that are in place that target men over women, and ultimately do not treat men with equal rights. In a relatively pessimistic yet honest perspective of marriage from perhaps many men’s rights activists, is the idea that marriage exists as a social convention to take advantage of an important biological quirk of manhood. It’s the deep sexual attraction and infatuation with a particular female. The primal instinct to possess this object of affection occurs naturally for both sexes. The problem begins here though. Women do not stay in the same attractive state as they were when men first fall for them. It’s not a nice fact of life, but it’s the truth nonetheless. A woman’s sex appeal is considerably based on her femininity and having a certain physical physique, and of course I understand that there are men that like women of all shapes and sizes, but the general desire of men of a woman’s physique is to slim; well proportioned; sexy face, hair, and body; and the likes. The difference is for men, as they age, gain more characteristics and traits that are appealing to women, assuming he has developed status, become successful, is confident with himself, and is a leader of men. Looks are not as vital for men as they age and men can get away with being overweight or losing hair, as long as they make up for it in the ways mentioned above.

So the problem is the fact that after the biochemical reaction in the brain that people experience and call love, infatuation, or the honeymoon phase, has halted, the relationship loses its lust, passion, and steam that was present in its inception, but now they remain legally bound with serious ramifications. Ramifications especially for men! The state binds men into a state of obligations subject to serious financial penalties should things not work out. Alimony, it’s one of the most unfair punitive actions targeted against men when divorces occur. And it’s not debatable that the vast majority of divorces are initiated by women! Two-thirds are initiated by women. Women have their reasons for initiating divorce, reasons that very well may be legitimate complaints in a relationship. The most common reason women initiated divorce according to Cathy Meyer in her article titled, “Why Most Divorces Are Initiated By Women” is due to “verbal abuse and emotional neglect”. I am not going to debate whether women who initiate divorces have the moral grounds to do so because each situation is different. I do advocate what TV psychologist Dr. Phil assertively believes in, which is that people need to do everything they can to save the marriage before calling it quits. I believe this should be true regardless if children are involved. The reason for this is simple, even if kids are not in the picture, when a man decides to get married, he is taking a serious and significant investment with his financial status and financial future. Then what about prenuptial agreements? Well first of all, women may feel uncomfortable and turned off with the idea of a pre-nuptial agreement because they feel it is unromantic. Perhaps women feel that men who ask for them are thinking that their relationship won’t last, while men tend to believe that this woman has just revealed her true cards. Regardless if it is or isn’t romantic, it is a very real and dangerous risk men take, if they do not get one. To make matters more disconcerting for men in this position, pre-nuptial agreements do not always get held up in the family courts. As wonderful as a relationship is right now, do men really want to take that chance? Men who think that divorce won’t ever happen to them are deluding themselves, just like how people suppress the thought of developing cancer. Surely the vast majority of couples who get married don’t think they WILL get divorced, but the fact is, a certain percentage of them do.

Attitudes toward Pre-nuptial agreements reveal an unfair double bind for men. If a man insists on getting a Pre-Nup, he is selfish and unromantic. However if a woman demands a Pre-Nup, she is seen as being fiscally responsible, sensible, and looking out for herself. Why can women can obtain Pre-Nups and be accepted by society while men cannot? According to Kate Bolick, author of “All the Single Ladies”, women are becoming self-sufficient. They work, can pay for themselves. Why should men be financially responsible for women? Tradition says yes because men are the breadwinners. Well, women are independent now. To be independent means you don’t take money from other people. You are self sufficient to earn and raise yourself. So why shouldn’t men obtain protection for themselves so they do not lose half their assets, half of everything they will earn in the future, along with the very real possibility of having to support her in the future should the relationship not work? Women who are adamant that their man not get a Pre-Nup are not really after love. Men should be outraged that women who demand men to leave out pre-nups, are after a legal contract, and not love and commitment. Women want to talk about romantic? How unromantic is it to know the trap the legal system has set up for men? Bridal magazines, floral arrangements, wedding dresses, receptions, and wedding showers want to cloud the fact of what men are really getting themselves into. Marriage is as much an unromantic legal contract as a prenuptial agreement is!       

It may surprise people to learn that pre-nups were intended to protect women. That’s right, pre-nuptial agreements were developed to protect the heiresses from men who were digging for their gold. Before the Married Women’s Property Act of 1848, a married woman’s property immediately became the property of the husband’s (Lewis). Like women back in the day, men nowadays want to and need to protect their finances. Or perhaps women were not focused on being romantic back in the day. No Disney movies to feed their young minds with fantasies.  

It is accurate to say that women consider their fiancĂ©’s salary before deciding to jump into marriage. A woman who says that her potential mate’s income range was and is never considered, is lying or is an infinitesimal exception. Perhaps some women want to live up to that fantasy of having a wedding day fairy tale experience to hold up to the eyes of other people in their lives where there may be “friendly female competition”, thereby, suppressing these thoughts of dollar bills and expenses. Underlying whatever marriage means to you, money and assets is at the core of what marriage is about. It’s not completely and solely about commitment. For those that question the veracity of this statement, it’s probably safe to say that you don’t know much about what happens in divorce. Divorce and legal attorneys are all about reducing the holy matrimony into assets, liabilities, child support and custody if children are involved, alimony, and spousal support (Required in California if 10 years or more of marriage). And guess which sex is the main payer of all these things in the vast majority of the cases. Men are. So when I hear people tell me marriage is all about commitment, it is not truthful. People can be not married and be in committed relationships. Why do you need a piece of paper that tells you that you are in a committed relationship? You don’t! An example of this is called cohabitation! Although when it comes to cohabitation, men have to be careful here to! Cohabitating relationships often dissolve fairly simply but it isn’t always the case as seen in the case of the actor, Lee Marvin and his cohabiting partner Michelle Triola Marvin. “Although it may appear that tough guy Lee Marvin got off free as a bird in this case, his freedom came at a significant cost-over five years of litigation and significant expenditures of time, money, and emotional energy” (FindLaw).

The division of assets upon divorce is unfair to men as well. All assets accumulated during the marriage are subject to division. Even in cases where the woman has not worked in years, and has spent god-knows how many hours spending money, she is entitled to half or more of everything the man worked for during the marriage. Would you sign up for a job that contracted you to return at least 50% of everything you made and owned should a final event of separation occur? I do not feel like even dictating the question with the answer, but yet I’ve typed up more letters here in this sentence than that two lettered response. It’s unfair to know that if even the tiniest amount spent from a bank account that is opened prior to marriage is used towards the marriage, that account is considered marital property. It’s angering to know the fact that once a woman moves into the home of the man, which he owned prior to tying the knot, his home is now classified as joint marital property. If she so much paints a wall or installs a light fixture, that house is subject to equal division. What’s blood boiling to know is that men can be ejected from their home if the wife conjures a specious narrative of physical abuse, verbal abuse, child abuse, or of domestic violence. Feminists want to talk about true equality? This is exactly the type of the second class treatment hardcore feminists claim women were getting when they couldn’t vote, couldn’t own property, and couldn’t have the same employment opportunities. If hardcore feminists were truly solely out for the equality of women and not out to turn the tables and to oppress men, they would understand that this type of mistreatment is exactly the type of inequality they themselves were fighting to get out of and would not let this travesty continue. Yet, it does.    

Perhaps one of the worst sins of divorce that some men are subjected to is when children are used as pawns and weapons to hurt men and for women to seek revenge. One of the Men’s Rights Movement goals is the have default 50/50 custody of children after a divorce. The MRM feels that neither the wife nor the husband should be able to have leverage over who gets the kids unless there is real misconduct or abuse conducted by a parent. In the case where abuse is actually occurring, of course the answer is clear, but anger, resentment, and lies should not be deciding factors of who gets to be the parent to the children. In our society as of current, women are almost always automatically, overwhelmingly favored to get custody of children after divorce. “According to some estimates, only about 10 percent to 15 percent of divorced or single fathers have sole custody of their children. The remaining fathers have either joint custody or no custody of their children” ( Courts today use a method known as “in the best interests of the child” to determine which parent is more appropriately suited to care for the child. One of the factors to determine this is the parent’s bond with the child. Usually, the younger the child, the closer the bond is with the mother than that with the father. Another factor that determines who should have primary custody is the primary caregiver factor. The parent who takes care of the child’s daily needs such as feeding, bathing, playing, and so on is the one who is seen as the primary caregiver and the courts favor. The problem with this is that this method is not an analysis of the characteristics and personality of the father but the following of a stereotypical parenting role. And assuming the wife works, she is taking in salary of her own, along with alimony, mandatory child support, and perhaps even spousal support, she will be busy working as well and will not have all day to care for the child. So an argument predicated on the father should not take custody because he will be too busy working is not a fair argument either. Men work hard to raise for their children and to be denied custody because of the caregiver factor and parent-child bond factor, which automatically favor the wives in most cases, in damaging and targets men.  

In bitter cases of divorce, sole custody awarded to women can literally cut off all badly-needed connection children need with their father. When these exploited children begin to quite naturally act out and get in trouble, society blames the father who is removed against his will, for all things, being absent. And for women who choose to lay blame on fathers that are deadbeats, complaining about a lack of child support, it is in fact, largely the woman’s fault that she must come to accept. Women’s blood pressure may have just spiked when reading this but I’ll tell you why this is true. In our day and age, it is women who choose who they sleep with. It is women who choose what type of men they want to date and have sex with. Men cannot go around impregnating women through rape and get away with it. Please do not take level of directness I state here as an indication that I am trying to trivialize the damage rapists cause. However, it is a woman’s choice whether she wants to take birth control pills. It is the woman’s choice whether or not to have protection or have an abortion. Women have 12 different forms of birth control available, there is also morning after-pill or RU486. If abortion is not an option for her due any reason, she can still leave the child up for adoption or abandon it legally- this gets me to my next point in a bit. Men don’t get a final say on this. If a woman wants to have the baby, she is going to have it. One of the most illogical things though? It’s the women who complain about deadbeat men. Women choose to sleep with assholes that mistreat them, yet, when they get pregnant, all of a sudden these women expect the deadbeats to become responsible. I’m sorry, but that does not make sense one bit. Men should be responsible as well. Men who know they don’t want kids should take precautions with use of condoms. Granted, they are not 100% child proof but under these described circumstances, to have sex without protection is completely irresponsible.  

This gets me to the next point of divorce that is unfavorable to men specifically and it coincides with the MRM’s 50/50 custody proposal. It is the idea of abolishing forced child support for men. “If both parents have the kids for an equal amount of time then each parent can support them when it is their time to have custody. People, mostly men, are sent to prison because they cannot afford to pay child support and a lot of the time the “child” support isn’t even being spent on the child. In reality, it is just another form of alimony. Neither should exist. However, since ending child support probably won’t happen before we colonize mars there is a simple suggestion MRAs have put on the table” (White). As stated before, when people are irresponsible sexually and do not take precautions, unwanted pregnancies occur. Women surprisingly have the option of leaving infants up for adoption or legally abandon it. Whereas men have two options: give the mother money or go to jail. Does that seem fair to people of reason, who can see past the tense feelings of comparison between men and women’s flaws and faults? Responsibility gone out the window for women in this case, yet if a man is not financially and emotionally ready to be a parent, it’s just too darn bad. Now hardcore feminists will be completely intolerant to this idea because according to them, giving men the choice to opt out of financial and emotional responsibilities to the child is selfish and irresponsible, but a woman doing the same thing with abortion, putting the child up for adoption, or legally abandoning it remains the most holy of freedoms. Men should be offered similar options to abdicate the responsibilities of childcare before the baby is born and before the baby is considered a child.

You may wonder how the media’s depiction of men will impact the dynamics of marriage for men. How does a comedy sitcom influence your marriage? Well first of all, men are portrayed as bumbling, overweight, sex-crazed, burping, farting, averaged-intelligence- at best in most cases- individuals who mess up and do wrong. What these sitcoms impart to young boys is the message that men are seen as pigs, animals, impulsive, idiotic, irresponsible, and to sum it up in one word, flawed. Well one could say women are held to ridiculously high standards of beauty in the media. But let’s look at the women who are portrayed in these television sitcoms. These women are beautiful, attractive, thoughtful, nurturing, sensitive, do no wrong, correct men when men act irrationally and more or less not at all described with any pejorative descriptions. What other words are used to describe men stereotypically? Any of the following are used to describe men: controlling, afraid of commitment, aggressive, macho, afraid of intimacy, violent, sexist, power hungry. Women are: strong, capable, empowered, sensitive, nurturing, smart, caring, and the list goes on. These answers reveal the true nature of sexism and the chasm of separation in the way we view men from women. Anyone who does this little experiment will see the backlash and cognitive dissonance that yields when confronted with the stark and obvious differences. Cognitive dissonance yields to confusion and confusion yields to irritation towards the person asking the question, even though the answers given for both questions are from the answerer themselves. Such books like “Women who Love too Much: When You Keep Wishing and Hoping He’ll Change” by Robin Norwood; Susan Forward’s “Men Who Hate Women & the Women Who Love Them”; it gets worse, “How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less: Using the Secrets of Professional Dog Trainers” by Karen Salmansohn; and perhaps the most egregious of all, “Men are Pigs and Deserve to Die” by Sonya Steinem. All these books have been runaway bestsellers all predicated on the fixed stereotypes of men who hate and women who love. So, to answer the question from the beginning of this paragraph, the media’s portrayal of men will impact how wives treat their husbands. It will impact the type of attitude wives see women taking towards men and this will impact how men are treated. I’ll give a couple straight forward examples. Commercials and shows that depict men who act without thinking, conveying impulsiveness and irrationality, while the women are the calm in the storm who get their husbands back on track from their emotional outbursts, thus conveying that women are the brains and real leader of the family. Two good examples of this are the shows, The King of Queens, where the overweight husband frequently has emotional outbursts as a result of mishap, and Everybody Loves Raymond, where Raymond is constantly getting a look of incompetency from his wife Debra who has got one of her hands on her hips complemented with her chin tilting upward, staring at her husband in silence from disbelief. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even many women will agree that women are often times the ones who act emotionally and make decisions based solely on emotions, not on logic and reason. Secondly, men are portrayed as buffoons who would be lost and revert into primitive cavemen if it weren’t for the wives; cavemen who struggle to execute the simplest of tasks. Homer from The Simpsons is an exemplary example of this. Should women ever be portrayed on television in the same way, there will be intolerable backlashes targeted at the producers. But if it’s targeted towards men, women are alright with it, no feminists complaining about that.   

In talks about men being impulsive animals, men that cheat are seen as scums of the earth who selfishly jeopardized the family unit, did so with no thought of how it was going to impact his family, and as additional insult, disrespected his wife and children with his sexual addiction. Now what are the first hand impressions people get when women cheat? Oh it’s totally different, especially in a private forum where people are not as likely to censor their initial reactions. “Poor her, the insensitive and inattentive bast@#$”. One of the first things people often ask the woman is what the husband did to justify this behavior, and trust me, it’s not asked in a tone of scrutinization of the woman! “What did he do to drive you into the arms of another man?!” Women’s cheating are portrayed as the husbands’ faults. Even in the case where the husband works long and hard all day to bring money home and at the end of the day, is too exhausted to give compliments that appease her needs to be noticed, she cheats on him with a man that “made her feel like a real woman again”. That’s right, the man who is exhausting himself to provide for his family is labeled as an emotionally negligent husband, and this according to hardcore feminists appears to justify the woman’s affair. As with hardcore feministic viewpoints, women propping themselves to be victims when in reality cheating in a marriage is a symptom of needs not being met as a result of failure to communicate effectively, compromise, and make changes by both sides. Also, let’s not forget what the public perception would be if a man got caught cheating on his wife with a younger woman. It is automatically assumed that he is a superficial, careless, insensitive sex maniac whose sole motivation was to sleep with a younger woman. You rarely, ever, hear a man get asked, “What did she do to draw you away?” It’s beyond seldom that the scrutinization of women is what occurs after he cheats. Not if she was grossly overweight, had developed an unappealing attitude and personality, had become verbally or physically abusive- yes this does happen and not infrequently either as Dr. Phil may lead you to believe-, or if she is withholding sex from him as a means of power and control.        

            Now I want to tackle some of the myths and mistakes that men make when deciding to opt into marriage. A commonly heard reason is fear based, “I won’t die alone” or “I won’t grow old alone”. Well to address the first one, to be precise, most of us will die alone. Whether it is in a hospital due to infection, trauma such as from a fall, or from complications as a result of chronic diseases, most people do not have time to sit with a sick family member all day and night. And should you die in an short, estimated time frame because you are showing signs of being on your last breaths, dying like that with your family there is not really what people mean when they say they don’t want to die alone. They want to die in peace is what they want. And to respond to the second myth, getting married does not guarantee that you will grow old with your partner. Marriage can end at any age, especially since people call it quits too easily nowadays. Married people can end up alone as if they never married, but for men, many of them have been stripped of their assets so they may very well be in worse financial shape than had they not signed that piece of paper. People make the mistake of assuming that unmarried individuals lead bleak, lonely, and miserable lives. You can still continue to date and develop meaningful relationships throughout your life, something which marriage does not do for most couples. This is because marriage influences couples to relax, not try as hard in the relationship, and to let themselves go due to the apparent “security” of the relationship. Before you know it, the husband is letting one rip right in front of his wife and she has no observable reaction because this has become the norm. Relationships where people put their best feet forward, where participants are consistently motivated to share and develop emotional intimacy, and be willing to talk out difficult problems with each other rather than turning to passive-aggressive tactics to express their angers, are relationships that will thrive, and the “security” of marriage changes this for the worse for many people.

            For men that believe marriage means they’ll be getting sex routinely are certainly misinformed. Many men now know that there are plenty of sexless marriages in the USA. Many times sex becomes infrequent once kids come into the scene. If the wives are not happy with the status of the relationship, they may resort to alienation in the bedroom to make their point. Exactly the type of thing women cannot get away with when not married because they know men that aren’t at least somewhat satisfied sexually in a reasonable time period will be looking for a way to say “it’s over”. Not many men will put up with consistent sexless relationships. They will look elsewhere. This problem here is solved by the honest respectable communication you get from two adults in a relationship not based off the idea of “security”.

Men that believe that marriage means they’ll have someone who will cook and clean for them are downright misinformed and should be living in a different era. Modern, Western women work now more than ever, so what’s to say she’ll respond to the husband’s request with a response even close to “Sure thing honey!” Many of today’s women feel household chores and traditional household duties are second class, something they don’t do. Beautiful women tend to be, probability-wise, like this, because they don’t have to put up with these “chores”. Beautiful women tend to marry successful men, and successful men tend to have money. She may demand her husband hire a cook, maid, or nanny. And if a husband asks his wife to complete conventional “womanly” chores because she is not working, he may be referred to as sexist and controlling even though he is carrying out the conventional roles of bringing in money, providing for his family, and executing tasks men tend to be stipulated to perform such as vehicle repairs and the more grueling yard work.           

None of these reasons to get married hold up true anymore when we honestly scrutinize them. You do need to be married to share the last name, to have the state involved in your romantic affairs, and lose half of everything you own, but besides these pathetic reasons, there is no reason for men to get married anymore. Marriage is not about a lifelong commitment. It’s easily reversed. Men need to seriously think about what they are getting themselves into when getting married. Marriage was nothing more than a way for families to merge properties, and pain political prestige and influence. With significant repercussions set up for men whose marriage ends in divorce, our boys need to stop believing in what they are being told is just done and traditional. People need to challenge tradition. Just because our parents, grandparents, and great grandparent’s generation did so does not mean this generation should. For women that read this and feel angry toward these viewpoints, understand that if you plan to have kids, and you have a son, your son’s head- figuratively of course- is the one that is going to get chopped off in the guillotine known as the family courts should he still choose to get married. It’s different when you see a man standing there in the family court while you snide and think that he deserves what’s coming to him. Yet it’s completely different when it’s your son standing there.

The only way for men and women to truly get equality is for both parties to acknowledge both genders have suffered at the hands of each other. I’ve made some points here at the defense of men’s rights but that’s not to ignore that there are certain areas that need to change for women. I understand the horrors of domestic violence, in fact, as this past Saturday morning, I had to call the police because the couple next door had too many drinks and were becoming physically belligerent to the point where it crossed my threshold for the woman’s safety. Saying this does not negate the fact that men too are victims of verbal and physical abuse as well. There are hundreds of studies done by Professor John Archer at The University of Central Lancashire who analyzed a hundred British and American studies and concluded that women are actually more likely to initiate violence than men. He also disputes the myth that women are only more violent as a result of self-defense. Professor Martin S. Fiebert of the California State University Psychology Department has also conducted rigorous experiments showing that women are as physically aggressive or more than men when in relationships (Elam).

Hopefully people will consider the points I’ve made here and understand holistically that men too, can be, and in certain respects are oppressed. Perhaps you, the reader, will come to understand that men’s rights movement is not about oppressing women at all, and it’s true purpose is about attaining equal rights for men. So before women who naturally assume men’s rights activists are simply whiners, women haters, or products of bad mothers, understand with a new light that most men’s rights activists are people who seek justice for themselves and for their sons. For those that consider marriage to be in God’s will, we need to teach our sons to choose carefully. To scrutinize the woman closely before committing his life to her, to evaluate carefully her morals and values prior to getting married. This is all the more necessary when we’ve got show after show on television subconsciously imparting the message that women do no wrong and men are flawed. Does this woman expect you to be financially responsible for her? Does she have a means of supporting herself? In our ever-evolving day and age, women that do not handle “No” to a request very well cannot be considered for marriage by any stretch, because if she reacts like this to “no” now, how is she going to react when she’s got leverage in the relationship as initiated through marriage? Then again, how do we teach boys to carefully scrutinize women when the media is telling them that they are the ones that are flawed and need fixing? Here is where women, moms of sons, need to play their part. It is time for moms to teach their sons that women need to be held to scrutiny just as moms of daughters are teaching their daughters that men need to be held up to scrutiny and accountability. It’s time for women to do this. As always though moms of sons, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to this mirror if it’s not somewhere you want to look, yet if the day comes where your son is being robbed in the family courts, this mirror will rear its ugly head whether you want to see it, or not.      

               Work Cited (n.d.). In Why Do Women Win Most Custody Battles?. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

(n.d.). In Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Cohabitation and the Law. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

dontmarry. (2008, November 21). In Why Modern, Western Marriage Has Become A Bad Business
Decision For Men. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

Elam, P. (2010, April 3). In Domestic Violence- Women are Half the Problem. Retrieved May 9, 2013,

Elam, P. (2010, April 23). In Men, Math and Marriage. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from 

Elam, P. (2010, April 3). In The Psychology of Hate. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

Elam, P. (2011, January 5). In The Reason Men are More Violent Than Women. Retrieved May 9, 2013,

Gibson, D. (n.d.). In The Truth About Divorce Statistics. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

Lewis, J. J. (n.d.). In Married Women's Property Act: 1848, New York State. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

Meyer, C. (2012, June 24). In Why Most Divorces Are Initiated By Women. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

White, J. (2011, September 16). In What’s the difference between the men’s rights movement and
feminism?. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from

Day 21

"In order to do something big, you usually have to do a lot of things.

That takes a lot of work in it of itself.

But after you've worked with all those things, you find there's really
only a couple of essential skills, maybe even only 1, that really need
to be focused on.

And if you could become a master at it, the sky would be the limit.

If you just spend half an hour a day on learning about and applying
that ONE skill, it will probably prove to be one of the best investments
you will ever make in life. "

- Brian Kim MIT of May 23rd, 2013

Man I won't lie, it was tempting for me to go back to bed. But I'm not because I happened to wait long enough to wash my face to feel adequate enough to know I'd choose to stay up. This temptation will be a problem if it persists. I wonder if it will dissipate.

The Pareto Principle. 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. I wonder.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Am Up. Day 20. My Main Motivation Was Long In the Making & Using Momentum.

Today is the first day of my summer break where I am actually up after turning off my alarm. The difference between today and all the other days prior? I did do the procedure I have been doing for the vast majority of past days of waking up at this time, that is putting my alarm in the bathroom so when going off, I have to get up, turn the light on to turn in off, urinate, and just not finishing the procedure by washing my face. The past few days where I've not been up at this time, I've gotten up to do the procedure. It's just that I talked myself out of washing my face, convincing myself that I had no agenda to really do so why not head back to bed for just one more time. I also made the conscious decision to wake up at this time refreshed, instead of being groggy. To be entirely fair, I slept in for the past six or seven days, but yesterday afternoon and night, I made three decisions out of choice for the benefit for myself versus sitting there absorbing mindless garbage called television. I decided to organize my stuff instead of watching Rules of Engagement. I decided to go shoot around and practice my form- the day before I was shooting around and decided to work on my form - instead of watching Family Guy. And yesterday night, I decided to use this momentum and started working on an article that I've been thinking about writing for months.

"Sometimes, people are too afraid to go for what they really want.

They think - What if I fail?

But that's the thing.

By going for what you REALLY want - you've already won half the battle.

You have the DESIRE.

And even if you don't get what you want, you sure learn a heck of a lot
along the way, lessons that you couldn't have learned otherwise.

Lessons that can help get something else you really want in the future.

It's a win/win. "

- Brian Kim MIT of Monday; May 20th, 2013

You know I was watching the Red Bull commercial talking about what inspires you. It's one commercial that I will look up or stay longer to watch all the way. I can't say that about most commercials, and the commercials that use sex appeal are just plain shallow. This one is plain inspiring though. I have many goals, all listed in a previous post. This blog is really all about documenting my journey throughout life of self-improvement and self-empowerment through all the plethora of rich resources and knowledge out there with the advent of the Internet. As I said, I was going through my old stuff yesterday, and throwing stuff out. I was throwing some stuff out that if I have my own place, I might want to organize into a box and keep long term. But since I don't, I reminisced about it and somewhat nostalgically marked the time when I dumped them into the recycle bin. I know, this may sound weird for anyone reading this to understand, but it's never like that when it's our own priceless items. I think to yourself that people will laugh when trying to understand why I have a feeling of nostalgia from looking at the stuff I wrote down to myself in my high school daily planner. But I do, and I don't think it's all that laughable. But as I looked through many of the things I had written down in the past, scribbled away on bent, marked, obsolete pieces of binder paper, I realize that my understanding of who I am today is not something that started with the inception of this blog. It really has been something I've been doing since at least early high school; a lot of the writings in there goes back that far. Back then - surprisingly for me - in hindsight, I already had this desire for adventure that I now know and most significantly, the desire to be noticed for something admirable, respectable, and commendable. Back then, it was a mix of becoming the best basketball player, becoming more popular and having more friends versus what I want know which is to have depth in relationships, getting attention from girls, getting stronger, wanting to become a self-improvement expert for others, becoming a better public speaker, or the likes. It's surprising for me in hindsight because it took me quite long to be able to understand and articulate into words of an educated adult exactly what it is and what it was that I wanted out of life. I was hitting on to key words and ideas, or perhaps I knew what  I wanted but just did not have the time or effort to put my thoughts into an organized manner like I do know. And as I read what I typed back to myself, I realize many of the things I wanted then, I still am pursuing now. Just know with more clarity. As I wrote about here before my 30 day trial of waking early, I feel that quieter people tend to be not noticed by people and by society. And unsurprisingly, this has always bothered me. 

And there it is, my main motivation for my desire for self-improvement is to gain more recognition from others and society. The status of who I am in the future is very much dependent of how much effort I put in towards reaching my goals- and as I've stated before, many of my goals are not all self-serving.

Today is Day 20, it's summer, and my pursuit of my goals will curb any boredom that linger into my awareness.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ways to Improve My Learning Efficiency and Effectiveness

Ways to Improve my Learning Efficiency and Effectiveness:

What are techniques in my toolbox I can use to help me learn? 

Techniques to Understanding your Objectives:

-          List the specifics of what you want to accomplish goal-wise the next day before bed.

Mindset to Adopt:

-          Adopt the kaizen model of improvement, little by little, day by day. (read about in Brian Kim’s “Your Competition Is With Yourself and No One Else” article and Anthony “Tony” Robbin’s Awaken the Giant Within)

-          Adopt the mindset that your competition is with yourself and no one else. (improve upon the techniques you use to focus and retain important information; improve upon habits)

-          Start Early to ensure time for questions to come into your awareness and pick up on information that you missed from reading it last time.
“Upon contemplation of studying on the last real day before HESI, I remind myself, that I got time, don’t rush over notes like I did for last test, and to have quality over quantity. You want to know what’s going to make a chasm of difference from your classmates and all other nursing student’s out there? By spending time to go over the important details that you miss out on from not reading the book, the important understanding portion, whereas looking at the notes is purely just that. Looking at the notes and remembering “oh, yea, that was on the slide”, but not REALLY UNDERSTANDING why which will contribute to your development in the long run. So ask yourself again Michael, do you want to rush, have a quality of moderate at best or a true foundation of UNDERSTANDING? As in the military special forces, do it RIGHT, or do it AGAIN. Plus this is something that other people, who are not willing to spend as much time like you are, will lag behind. Remember your own signature that is sent in every google email you send to OTHERS.

'If you will do what most people are not willing to do for the next few years, then
you'll be able to do what most people won't be able to do for the rest of their lives.

Extremely concentrated effort in a short period of time builds enough rocket fuel to
help you escape the gravity of mediocrity that entraps everybody else.' "                                               

-          Remember when studying and reviewing, understanding pathophysiology can be very helpful to understanding to the S & Sx, but understanding the interventions (the application aspect on the job) is IMPERATIVE.   

Techniques To Use When Looking Off PowerPoints:

-          When looking at the power point slide…

1.       Formulate a question from the title of the slide.
2.       As you look for the answer, be curious and ask questions about what you are reading. Ex: “Why do you need this?” “What is this for?” “When will I be able to use this?” “What does this mean?” Anticipate test questions. “What would I do if…”
3.       Idea / Technique to help remember what you read: read the sentence, then immediately reword that sentence’s meaning into your own words (don’t have to look away from sentence)
4.       After exploring, ask yourself without looking, “What DID I just take away from this slide/section and is this what I SHOULD take away?” (Finding personal application & Reducing the information) Remember only key words when reciting and to put ideas into your own words.    

(You are surveying the slide/reading section, exploring through questions, reading actively by remembering to be selective- remember key words, not whole sentences-, and then reciting what’s important to take away)  

These Two Applications Will Come Naturally When Following the Above Process:

-          Create your own supplemental research notes that are based off insightful and important parts in the book readings along with any questions you have from the professor’s notes. (Questioning, Reading, wRiting, Reviewing)

-          If what you are studying has similarities with another, list the specifics of each disorder. This way you can compare, contrast, and understand the similarities and differences. This is an example of a technique to use in the wRite and Review of the SQ4R method. (Questioning, Reading, wRiting, Reciting, Reviewing)

Problems That Occur When Studying & Proposed Solutions:

-          I’m looking at the words but I’m zoning out- my mind is elsewhere (Pareto principle; the other 80% of the time). 20% of the time, I’m actually reading the material while making connections, and quizzing myself. 80% of the time, I’m just “looking”/ reading over the words. 20% of the time, I’m actually absorbing it. 

“Some Related Thoughts I Typed Up to Myself on Tuesday; May 14, 2013:

**Make your own notes from the textbook (And maybe even combine with applicable important parts from other resources like Silvestri, Lippincott, and professor’s notes). Remember how you took notes with Andy for the SAT II biology? With diagrams and important points that contribute to understanding? This is needed to truly take the next level when in comparison to your classmates and all other nursing students from state schools. Other people say they want to do ER? Want to put yourself ahead of the competition? You need to do this.

Write about how you felt like getting rid of your blog because you felt overwhelmed from studying yet it feeling very ineffective and just wondering what you were actually absorbing from the time spent studying. Thinking about the 80-20 rule and how to apply it. Feeling like I had all this other stuff I wanted to write about yet this studying was hardly being spent effectively. Then I started outlining and taking my own notes of the textbook mixed with DeBourgh’s notes and that time spent all of a sudden became a lot more productive. I could feel I was absorbing information and getting it, whereas, I did not.”

-          Not completely understanding the why's of what I am reading, just reading over that this/these is/are the symptoms or interventions 
-          When look away to quiz myself, I can’t remember the important specifics (ex: list of symptoms) I just read 

Ideas of How to Solve these Problems:

1.       Create your own notes that are based off textbook readings and professor’s notes. (Do the same type of notes you do for the pathophysiology notes you make but do it for the interventions: how interventions relate to pathophysiology)  

**Remember what Giancarlo said, new nurses, as well as you know it intellectually, when it really happens, you need to use mnemonics to guide yourself step by step. (Use mnemonics to retain for interventions)

2.       If your goal is to know it so well until the point where you can talk and educate people about it, that’s what you need to do. Talk about it.  

A.      Record a video of yourself going over the topic based off your notes without looking off the textbook verbatim (okay to answer questions that come up as you talk about it). Writing the notes in a logical fashion with use of charts and diagrams stimulates visually and requires you to know the material, but can be accomplished at a slower pace. Then talk about it as if you were lecturing on it as this stimulates your auditory sense and requires you to know it at a quicker pace.   

B.      The Following process is helpful if you have to respond to specific questions that if not thinking about them now, may have trouble answering on the spot: (Beneficial for in-depth questions, questions that require being well-thought before hand, and for discussion on controversial topics; Not for questions that can be easily answered and have relatively short answers to):

Outline important and insightful parts with interesting questions like from many product advertisement pages nowadays where they convince you to purchase their merchandise by ask intriguing questions- like there is some huge secret, esoteric knowledge kept from the majority of the masses- that get you to really think and desire to know this lost, clandestine body of knowledge. After all, answers to QUESTIONS is an imperative step in SQ4R to accentuate our active participation and ability to retain information that you spend time on. "Mimicking of product advertisement questions" tactic. (Questioning, Reading, wRiting, Reciting, Reviewing)

Techniques to Get Maximum Recovery Between Studying Periods:

-          Experiment with rest times between studying periods. How much time? How often? How should you rest?
-          Mental rest is what’s most important. Change your thoughts to something besides what you are studying when resting.

-          Physical rest: do some light exercise (10 jumping jacks, 5 push-ups, 3 pull-ups); stretch; contract your muscles for several seconds, then release

-          Perform technique number one under “techniques when studying” while standing. You don’t have to be sitting to be learning.