Sunday, April 26, 2009

Maine Melodrama

So Maine and the graduate studies program associated with it are turning out to be surprisingly difficult.

Full ride: Check
Teaching position: Check
Monthly stipend: Check
Funds to move out there so I can partake in all of this academic goodness: Bueller...Bueller...Bueller...........

Seriously it should not be this difficult. I worked hard to obtain the things that I have. It's beyond frustrating feeling like I can't partake in what I've earned because I don't have money to get out to Maine. I can't feel OK turning down these amazing awards and positions simply because I haven't the ability to MOVE!

Turns out though, moving to the completely opposite side of the country is more expensive than anticipated.

Apartment deposit:$500+
First two months rent (since I won't get my first stipend, grants or possible loans til mid September):$1200+
Food to live on for two months:$400+
Attending Graduate school while simultaneously not living in a homeless shelter:Priceless.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Religion and Nationalism

I preface this little diatribe with a disclaimer: I could easily be wrong, but obviously I don't think so. If there is a Supreme Being out there, I fully concede that He or She would probably know more than I. Based on my reason though...I don't think I'm wrong. That's the beauty of reason - having a basis and path for my conclusions. Feel free to argue said conclusion....

I am becoming despondent with Christian Nationalism. If I hear one more time that this is a Christian nation, I'm going to, well, just get really upset.

This country was founded primarily by deists. Many of them, Thomas Jefferson being my current favorite, despised Christianity and the perversion it thrust on, so-called, Christians. I believe the founding fathers were inspired, yes. That is EXACTLY why one will not find a reference to Jesus Christ or Christianity in ANY of the legal documents setting up our Government or the rights/privileges of U.S. citizens. They left it out for a reason. Piety and religion do not a stable government make.

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

The only document that comes close to representing Christianity is the Declaration of Independence but even that only does so in that it references God. Not a Christian God, mind you, just God. Furthermore even if it was the God of Christianity mentioned in the document, The Declaration is NOT a legal document of the United States. It was written long before a Government or system of laws was in place.

All I'm saying is this - DO NOT pretend to know that your beliefs are those of the founding fathers or your country. It is religious bigotry. You want to believe that what you think or feel should be a standard to all those living around you. Hitler wanted the same thing. This country was meant to set people free from a solidified state religion. Please quit trying to get us back to that place. It dishonors the very men you esteem for establishing this country.

Those, who after reading this blog, worry about my eternal soul - no worries. I still am quite fond of Jesus Christ. It's His self-proclaimed, militant followers I can't stand. Also, I believe that many of the ideas imbued in our Constitution may in fact align with many Christian principles...but many of those principles are also found in Judaism, Buddhism and so on. Just, please, stop ascribing the principles this country was founded on solely to your faith system. Furthermore quit trying to force that belief system on others through your government. It's not nice and certainly not Christ-like.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Isolated Space

I feel the need to be isolated lately; for reasons aplenty. Is it a strange desire, to crave solitude? I want to not necassarily escape civilization but know that life as I've known it is far away and nearly impossible to reach. Suprisingly I'm not depressed about this, more...cautiously optisimistic.

Perhaps I see this quasi-isolation as a gateway to solidified adulthood. A life of my own, seperate from the lives of those that got me there. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish to abandon all those I love but rather have those I love get used to the fact that I've become my own person and in an isolated space.

I've come to the realization that one can never really call a place their own and, in truth, I don't really want that either. I just want the place I land to live and breathe that it loves me being there. And that it loves me being there for the new person I've become and the newness I brought to that place.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Letter to the Donor

We finally got to write the donor family a letter. Each of us wrote one. Here is mine.

Dear Donor Family:

I am a 23-year-old college student. You don't know me and most likely never will. I do want you to know that I think every single day of your loved one. I'm sorry you had to lose them.

The day my dad got his liver was one of the happiest of my life. But in the back of my mind I knew that as happy as my day was, yours was just that bad. I'm so grateful that in your time of hurt you were thinking of others. Of course you didn't have my dad specifically in mind, but you helped him, specifically, nonetheless.

I've thought about what I could say to you ever since my dad received the liver. Thanks seems so entirely inadequate. So I thought maybe I could just try to paint the picture of what it means to me.

The relationship between my father and I has not always been healthy. We had our problems. But when he became ill we got everything out of the way. We were able to admit things that both of us did wrong. Finally gaining that relationship with my dad, every part of me wanted to keep him here to make up for, I guess you'd say, lost time.

My dad was totally emaciated. He weighed 105 pounds when he got the liver. He would slip into comas at our house and I would have to carry his frail, unconscious body out to the car, while my mother and baby sister watched and cried. He was constantly hooked up to tubes, throwing up and generally in agony. We spent Christmas in ICU opening our presents around him. He was barely able to speak. He just cried.

Now he is healthier than I've ever seen him. We wear the same clothes and I'm 23. He works out for hours on end. He knows he's been given a great gift and tries to live worthy of it. He takes care of himself. I don't know if that's a consolation to you but there it is.

I haven't been told much about your loved one, but I think part of them carries on in my dad. He has changed so much since the operation. Little things: He now likes to shop and before hated it, He loves chocolate, He takes interest in smaller details where before he wasn't concerned.

If nothing else I just want you to know you really changed an entire family. I'm sorry, again, for your loss. But because, in your time of loss, you thought of others, we didn't have to lose my dad. I love you and hope the best for you. I hope these letters help rather than hurt. You gave us something amazing and priceless and all we have to give are these letters and our sincere thanks.

With every part of me, Thank You,

Jeremiah Miner

The Movies

Okay it's rare that I update my favorite movie list. It's hard to
make it on there - none of this Dirty Hairy or James Bond shit. Deep films with deep emotion and plot and usually artsy in one way or another. Here's how it looked:

1. Immortal Beloved
2. Dolores Claiborne

3. Shawshank Redemption

4. The Green Mile (yes it appears that I DO have a thing for stephen king movies)

5. The Life of David Gale

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

7. Everything is Illuminated

8. Sophie Scholl (German film about The White Rose Papers)

9. The Joy Luck Club

10. Nirgendwo in Afrika (German film - won best foreign film Oscar)

11. Shattered Glass

12. Children of a Lesser God

13. The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio

and now 14. Lars and the Real Girl
Anyway tonight I watched one that is close to making it on the list. Lars and the Real Girl. Seriously, watch it people. I don't know why but it just really hit me. I think it's amazing that sometimes to make someone normal you have to join them in their crazy. Maybe it takes a village to raise a child but sometimes certainly it takes one to heal a grown man. Wow! Go rent it, I'm going to buy it.

Loving Your Unknown: A Love Sonnet

A brief explantion of said sonnet: I had to write it for my professional writing class. Sadly, my imbecile of a teacher didn't realize this is more creative writing than professional...
I love you so without knowing your name,without knowing your life or even your place.I don't know if you're there; feeling the same.If you're there, I'm on my way, quick in pace.

I've known your soul without knowing your look,although I'm sure your look's past my station.We'll love without caring - the world forsook;loving your unknown: an awful sensation.

The wife of my eternal visioning;amazing mom to our children unborn.I get you first myself, in my planning -us alone before between kids you're torn.

All my decisions are made for our "US." I worry there's no you and never was.