Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some Thoughts on Education

"Attaining the goal of high-quality education offers glittering prizes. It promises to produce a greater proportion of people who are more than mere foot soldiers in the economic struggle, by helping them both to get and to give more in their social and cultural experience, and to have lives more fulfilling and participatory both in work and outside it - especially in the amenities of social intercourse, and in the responsibilities of civic and political engagement. People who are better informed and more reflective are more likely to be considerate than those who are - and who are allowed to remain - ignorant, narrow-minded, selfish, and uncivil in the profound sense that characterizes so much human experience now."

- A.C. Grayling, from the book "The Meaning of Things: Applying Philsophy to Life."

"Aristotle said that we educate ourselves so that we can make noble use of our leisure."
- A.C. Grayling

"A politically conscious civil society...is active organized and alert. Such a civil society will have a good understanding about the existence and functions of the different institutions, and about both their powers and the constitutional limits to their power."

- From the article "Good Governance for Africa" by Julius Nyerere:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Everything was beautiful. Nothing hurt."

- Kurt Vonnegut.

The view from my front doorstep in Lasso, Ecuador.


Thanks to my time in Ecuador, I will always have a sanctuary, a mental image of perfection and peace frozen in my mind forever. It is a place I went to escape all my worries and fatigue, to feel free. Purity was all around me. Now, I will stop to remember and visualize that place of peace to escape whatever problems I may face today.

Beautiful Quote:
"Write in sands your hurts and carve in stone all of your blessings."

- anonymous



All of their songs inspire me. They all reverberate a call to battle. This one especially.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Perfect post-workout snack = a burger and fries.

I chuckled to myself when I went to open my mailbox tonight. I glanced down only to see two very conflicting consumer messages staring me in the face. First enticement: an offer from 'System Fitness', soliciting their latest membership deal, including images of buff and glistening bods who make exercising look way too easy. Second enticement: A McDonald's 'booklet', plastered on the front of which were enticing images of a juicy burger and golden fries and nothing else but the word 'real'.

The McDo's flyer ( or should I say six-page brochure) is just too ridiculous. That place tries its damnedest to convince we the consumers, of its food's 'healthy' and nutritious qualities. It's neither one of these things and I know it's not. Just watch Food Inc. and you'll have all of your answers. The people I know who choose to eat Mcdonald's are usually hungover when doing so. Starved of minerals and nutrients, they will do anything just to mow down on some good ol' grease just to reduce some of the painful side effects from the night before, lacking all concern for a calorie count. Is there a more environmentally sustainable and healthy way to feed the hungover? Because let's face it, that has to be one of the biggest reasons why Mcdonald's continues to function.

In the end, this little experience just goes to show how many mixed messages we as a society, receive everyday from the advertising and corporate world.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Giver. Adventurer. Organizer. Thinker

A' giver' is interpersonal, 'feeling' and idealistic.

An 'adventurer' is classified as imaginative, experimental and active.

'Organizers' are predictable, dependable and confident.

'Thinkers' are mathematical, explicit and realistic. . . (pff)

Taking a test to learn and understand one's learning style(s). That's how I spent my Friday night. Fascinating stuff.

I'm all about self-improvement, maybe that's the 'adventurer' in me. I scored the highest as a 'giver'. I pride myself on these qualities. Sometimes it gets me into trouble though. If I give and give and give, what's left for me?

Everyone always tells me, "Clare, you are always off on another adventure!" or "Where to next Clare?" I guess how I'm perceived is in fact, who I am.

To say I rate low as a 'thinker,' however, is an insult. I think, I just don't think about mathematical equations in my spare time. I am realistic. Yet It depends on the context and when it's necessary to be realistic, and when it's not. To say someone is organized does not always imply confidence. Some of the most organized people I've met also tend to be insecure wrecks.

So perhaps labelling is a dangerous act. No one fits into one category that we can call "thinker" or "athlete," because we are all a bit of everything. Yet, we will always try to fit someone else, and even ourselves, into a box, just so that we can sleep at night.

So the next time you decide to brush off someone who is anal, over-achieving, 'type-A,' take an extra minute to get to know them.