The odds of me being broke by 25

February 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm (Day to Day)

D.J. and I played some poker last night. It was the first time I have played in a few months. Ideally, I’d much rather play in $5 home games that go to the casino and end up smelling like a walking advertisement for Marlboro (they’re so smooth and mild. Buy Marboro). Unfortunately we have not been able to get a game together the last few times we tried so we were off to pay our respects to the Lakota. Joe inspired me to play by telling me some of his poker stories from the previous two nights—a home game Thursday, and the casino on Wednesday. He has long maintained that I should give up my lucrative career as a doughnut chef and play small stakes poker semi-professionally. I have considered it, but the lack of security and the precarious nature of the game have caused me to shy away from the game. Still, playing every now and then is fun. The game was $1/$2 no-limit hold’em, minimum buy-in was $50, $200 max. I bought in for $75. The table was full, and I ended up waiting for about fifteen minutes before getting to play. I used the time to explain proper table etiquette to D.J. since he has never played at a casino before. I also made myself aware of everybody’s chip count, betting habits, and playing habits (lose, tight). When I got to the table, it didn’t take me too long to get acclimated. After a few hands, I got a delicious A-J and limped in under the gun (mistake). There were a few more callers, and the flop came A, J, rag. I bet $5, got one caller, with the other two folding. The turn came 2. I bet $10, he folded. I assumed he had a J-rag. He turned up a jack and through it into the muck, reassuring me. A few hands later, I got a creative-looking 8-7 of diamonds. There are three things I take into consideration when determining the playability of a hand pre-flop: high-card strength, suitedness, connectedness. Typically I want two of the three factors met in order to play. The odds of winning with 8-7 suited are low, but the low odds of winning have to be stacked up against the value of winning, the typically low cost to play (it’s an easy hand to get away from when you don’t hit), and the pot/implied odds. The flop hit 9-6-queen with two diamonds, giving me both a straight and flush draw. My odds to hit the flush are roughly 2:1 and my odds of hitting the straight are roughly 2.2:1. I am looking at potentially 15 outs. The odds of making either a straight or flush by the end of the hand are 1:1.2 (making me the favorite). Pot odds dictate I play the hand through. I was under the gun and bet $10. There were two callers. The next card did not hit, making my odds diminish. The player sitting next to me made a very unhappy face when the card hit. I had no clue what the other player had, but I bet it anyways. The grumpy-faced player folded, as well as the other, giving me the pot.  I won a few more hands, walking away with $132 more than I started with. Poor D.J. on the other hand lost the $50 he started with.

I texted Joe in triumph. He responded by demanding 20% for what he called a “good advice fee”. I thought about the possibilities how hard it would be to make enough money to quit my job. If I made on average $50 a day, that would be $350/week, $1400/month, which is a considerate amount more than what I am making now. I let it slip through my mind as quickly as it came.

Last week was not the best week in terms of test grades. I had two tests last Friday, social psychology and physical anthropology. I had only missed one class in social psychology and thought I had a good handle on the material. I had very thorough notes but neglected to study them for any longer than ten minutes before the test. That was a bad idea because I ended up making a C on the test. As soon as the test was over, I looked over my notes, taking all of ten seconds for me to realize I messed up bad. Bentel’s tests are typically hard, but I did very well on them last semester, luring me into a false sense of security. I whipped
out my notes for anthropology since I had only an hour before test time. I missed a lot of days for that class but did a good job studying. A lot of answers to the test questions were implied by knowing other facts and making inferences. Still, I only made a B on the test. Both tests frustrated me since Bentel only gives three tests, making it nearly impossible for me to make an A in the classes.

Work was made a lot easier. Joe has decided to move the shifts and slightly stagger them. I will come in at one in the afternoon, with the second person coming it at three. This will get me out by nine, the other by (ideally). This will allow more sleep and the ability to work the next morning if needed. This past week was terrible in terms of schedule. I worked 25 hours, but I had to work Monday morning from 5-9, only to come back from 4:30-12:30. My schedule didn’t allow for any naps, unfortunately. My first class T-R is at 9:30, not allow for too much sleep because I had homework I had to work on before going to bed Monday night. I had to work Tuesday night, the busiest night in terms of doughnut production. We didn’t get out until about 2:00, and I had class at 10:00 Wednesday morning. I zombied through my classes and then went home to sleep the rest of the day. Anyways, this new schedule should help me out quite a bit. The lack of sleep has been one of the main reasons I have been wanting to quit for the past few weeks. This should alleviate that problem. This is until my career into poker stardom takes off.

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Reality check

February 14, 2008 at 2:00 am (Day to Day)

Does it ever seem that people don’t…exist(?) until you really start knowing them? There are so many people that I come into contact with every day that I treat almost as “objects” that happen to be interacting. I see simple, common patterns that are an axiom of humanity. Everybody notices these patterns. You go into McDonalds, “welcome to McDonalds, how may I help you?” So I treat them like I would a vending machine. They do not exist, they do not have a life; they are only there to fulfill their duties of the job. They are the job to me. It’s not always this heartless, though. I try to flash my goofy looking smile to most people I happen to come across, just in passing, on campus. This is out of cordiality for people I don’t even know exist in essence. I was at the Perfect Blend earlier tonight ordering coffee when it hit me that this girl has a story. It was when I saw her reading a book that I actually realized that she is exactly like me in the sense of her humanity: she has desires, she interacts and communicates with people, she texts, she smiles, she has stories, she reads books, she listens to music. That blew my mind that there are six billion people who, like me, are human. D.J. was with me and knows her well enough to talk to her. I found out she is graduating in December and is even thinking about the Peace Corps. By hearing that little bit, she became human to me; she became more than a vending machine but had a personality and a mind and thoughts and feelings. I immediately started wondering what kinds of books she liked to read, what kind of music she listened to, what her opinions on the presidential race were, if she had been or currently was in love. Granted, I projected more humanity on her than I knew from five minutes, but she still became exactly like me. My interaction with a lot of girls like her is restricted to meaningless flirting. That is predictable behavior from a guy and is not an attribute of humanity. Pretty girls like her have probably heard a lot of the same stuff from guys coming her way. As a donut jokey, I certainly have, not so much as flirtation but a common conversation is, “I know these are bad for me but they are so good!” “Oh no! They’re fat free and sugar free. We make them with Splenda.” And we both laugh, but it isn’t real. They aren’t a person to me, and I am not a person to them; it is a situation of customer/employee. This person might be going through a divorce, but I don’t know. If they told me, they would be human to me, and we would be equals. Everybody has some kind of history! This doesn’t even make me happy, only sad. If I become sad at times, my friends become sad at times, there is an entire world that is sad at times.

This made me start thinking about myself. I wonder if I am a situation, not a person. I know how to make people laugh—this is repetitive behavior; everybody seems to have a formula on how to get them to laugh. I know how to make people think I am deep/funny/insightful/religious/charming/saint/sinner/etc. These are all just situations. I can get girls to like me without knowing hardly a thing about me, without knowing my family’s background, without knowing my ambitions and desires, without knowing I play piano, without knowing  I could develop a formula on how to be generally well-received by peers without having one drop in the bucket of humanity. It’s unfortunate because I am a well of emotion. The only problem is that I have dried up. Maybe it’s because I am so introverted while trying to put up a good front. Everything I am swells up internally, and I have a hard time extroverting anything but a formula for whatever end I am trying to produce. Every end is situation. I don’t want a girlfriend, but I am sometimes a good flirt. I have brief, intense friendships that fizzle out when they should go deeper. Again, I just don’t know how to make who I am on the inside the person seen on the outside. Surely this is a problem a lot of people face. It isn’t as though I am shallow on the outside and care too much about what others think. That has never been the case. While I can pander to other peoples’ expectations, I don’t think I have been seen as the guy who is passive and agreeable.

The end. I am tired.

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Boring Monday…minus some

February 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm (Day to Day)

I am sitting at the BSU, watching and listening to eight people laugh and have a good time. I have ear buds on with Sigur Ros’ Takk album playing louder than anybody else‘s voice can talk. Everything seems…infinite when set to the tune of Sigur Ros. Everything should have at least a hint of Sigur Ros ambiance in the background.

I was able to successfully end about ¾ of all girl drama. The remaining ¼ will just have to burn itself out. I am getting way too good at “having talks” with people, and they happen way too frequently.

The Journal is going to run my article, “Saving Darfur isn’t Sexy”. Thanks, Scott for the eye-catching title. I already have another article in mind, a satire on pretentious, indy culture and how it puts itself at opposition towards everything not pretentious and indy. Being on the edge of that culture, and knowing a lot of people fully immersed in it, it makes it fairly easy to point things that are satire-worthy without personally insulting myself. So, speaking of pretentious-indo culture, I was working on ways to increase my credibility as a pretentio. That’s when I started reading some Robert Frost poems. I have to be honest, I absolutely hate poetry and no amount of people telling me what a Good Read™ is can change my mind. Poetry is lyrics with no music, and I have a hard enough time liking music when I have to pay attention to lyrics. So poetry is everything I hate most about music. I can appreciate good poetry and understand what makes it good, but that doesn’t make me enjoy it anymore. I also don’t like sunsets though; they kill the day.

Yet again, I am thinking of new, post-graduate careers. Going to seminary and getting a degree in Biblical counseling is starting to catch my eye. Here’s some sociologizing; most majors have patterns of the kind of student that enters the program; English majors typically come from middle and upper middle class backgrounds and have higher-than-average intelligence. Teachers and nurses are typically working-middle class (job security). Social workers are typically the same. Criminal justice majors either have it run in their family or have had a run-in with the law themselves. Anyways, these are just example. Considering my background and the always-precarious family situations, it could have been predicted that I would counseling or social work—the type of people who want to fix their own world and background by helping other people. It’s nothing but projection. I would like to work in the church in some fashion but not as a pastor. Counseling could allow for that.

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Ash Wednesday and then some

February 7, 2008 at 1:07 am (Day to Day)

I celebrated Ash Wednesday by being sick and sleeping most of the day after class let out. Sniffles aside, isn’t that the best way to start out the season that is meant to be about spiritual preparation for Easter? It is through the discipline of prayer, fasting, sacrifice, and meeting the needs of others that we prepare to remember Christ‘s sacrifice and our own baptism during Easter. I read a great Lenten sermon a few years ago by Pope Leo the Great (c. 5th century). I was having a hard time truly understanding the significance Lent as nothing more than a menial time of giving up something that has very little significance anyways. I was also having a hard time reconciling Lent in light of Matthew 6 (private fasting, prayer). This sermon helped me understand that Lent is spiritual preparation through physical suffering (mortification of the flesh). While there is a very wrong way to fast, as pointed out by Matthew 6 and Isaiah 58:3-4 —Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.—but the right way to go through this period is to heed the words of Calvin, “The greater your weakness is in yourself, so much the more the Lord assists you.” and more importantly Christ himself in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branch, he who abides in me and I in him will bear much fruit. For apart from me, you are nothing.” Chant that over and over and see the effect it has on you, “Apart from Christ, I am nothing, apart from Christ, I am nothing, apart from Christ, I am nothing…”

My idea last year was to give up running. I know, “come on, Rob skillet, isn’t running physical TORTURE? Isn’t it a lost harder TO run than to give it up?” I abandoned the idea because I was running in the OKC Memorial Marathon, and training is bit important. I am entered again this year, but I am going to abandon my efforts and take the next forty days off in preparation for Easter. Running has become something I am just little bit psychologically addicted to: the endorphins, the overwhelming feeling of reaching a goal, the physical fitness, et al. It has become a second-nature habit. Work ran (get it, I’m punny…) late last night, and the first thing I did when I got home was take a quick three-mile run. I was sick and sore all over. my breathing sounded like the breathing of an asthmatic who has smoked since the second trimester. This is how most of my days end. The time gained from not running will be spent various ways, though I haven’t completely worked that detail out.

I learned something this week—girls are territorial. No, they don’t pee on you, but they do get jealous of each other even if they’re friends and you are just friends with both of them. I am no fan of this. I have not had girly problems in a very long time, and I haven’t had girly drama in an even longer time. So here’s the situation: Charissa and me, not a thing. We were never a thing, and other than the “what if” of just getting to know her, there was never much of a romantic attraction to her. Her attraction to me lasted longer than I knew, but if our talk a few weeks ago is any indication, that has passed. Charissa and I, friends, and that is it. She has been irritating to me lately, questioning if I like anybody. If I mention a girl, she inquires. It gets to the point of being ridiculous. The other day I mentioned a girl in my class in passing, and she asked. She is even more adamant with people she does know, namely our proud BSU big wig (no, not the other Rob) and president. They are both friends and get along great. It’s not that big of a deal, but the other day Jhenna and I were walking from Z-tree lunch back to the BSU when out of nowhere she hits me with, “Is our friendship better than your’s and Charissa’s?” That was a bombshell, and I sidestepped the question, responding with, “well, I’m different kinds of friends with different people; it’s usually based on a level of comfort. I am more comfortable with you than I am Charissa.” That halfway answered her question and placated the situation. The truth is, while I am more comfortable with Jhenna, I made a big effort last semester to get to know Charissa. If I had even the slightest problem, I would tell Charissa about it so she could feel “involved” in my life since that is what she wanted. Yes, a little bit sneaky and perhaps it even sounds calculated, but I didn’t get anything better out of it; it was for her sake. That question really bothered me, however, because it was something she had apparently thought about enough to ask. Out of all the girls I have told Charissa I don’t like, she specifically mentioned that Jhenna wouldn’t be good for me. She didn’t even ask if I liked Jhenna; she just let me know that she was bad for me.

The above paragraph was a tribute to the eighth grade. The thing is, I gave Jhenna a couple of mix CD’s and have been paying more attention to her than usual since this semester started. She is a friend; we do have done some non-BSU activities, and I think we actually “get” each other. I really don’t know how healthy relationships are supposed to work, so I am not looking for one. Maybe I am primed to very dramatic relationships and am conditioned to seek that out. In my social psychology class, I have learned the very practical heuristic of “Priming”— social situations that trigger memories, cause us to feel the same way as when the memory happened. I am having to consciously ignore my subconscious since my memory and feelings about relationships are a bit dramatic. Charissa and I haven’t been talking as much, but it has been very pleasant lately. I can safely go on Facebook again, and my phone isn’t filled with messages from her. In fact, she has verbally stated she has a crush on somebody else. Things are well, other than this slight nuisance.

I am having to change the spellings of peoples’ names for a two reasons: their protection (I have done this before) and mine from getting chewed out.

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Ash Wednesday

February 7, 2008 at 12:36 am (Day to Day)

Jesus, you place on my forehead
the sign of my sister Death:
“Remember you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

How not hear her wise advice?
One day my life on earth will end;
the limits on my years are set,
though I know not the day or hour.
Shall I be ready to go to meet you?
Let this holy season be a time of grace
for me and all this world.

“Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.”

O Jesus, you place on my forehead
the sign of your saving Cross:
“Turn from sin and be faithful
to the gospel.”

How can I turn from sin
unless I turn to you?

You speak, you raise your hand,
you touch my mind and call my name,
“Turn to the Lord your God again.”

These days of your favor
leave a blessing as you pass
on me and all your people.
Turn to us, Lord God,
and we shall turn to you.


“Ash Wednesday” by T.S. Eliot


Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree
In the cool of the day, having fed to sateity
On my legs my heart my liver and that which had been contained
In the hollow round of my skull. And God said
Shall these bones live? shall these
Bones live? And that which had been contained
In the bones (which were already dry) said chirping:
Because of the goodness of this Lady
And because of her loveliness, and because
She honours the Virgin in meditation,
We shine with brightness. And I who am here dissembled
Proffer my deeds to oblivion, and my love
To the posterity of the desert and the fruit of the gourd.
It is this which recovers
My guts the strings of my eyes and the indigestible portions
Which the leopards reject. The Lady is withdrawn
In a white gown, to contemplation, in a white gown.
Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness.
There is no life in them. As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each other,
Under a tree in the cool of day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance.


At the first turning of the second stair
I turned and saw below
The same shape twisted on the banister
Under the vapour in the fetid air
Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears
The deceitul face of hope and of despair.

At the second turning of the second stair
I left them twisting, turning below;
There were no more faces and the stair was dark,
Damp, jaggèd, like an old man’s mouth drivelling, beyond repair,
Or the toothed gullet of an agèd shark.

At the first turning of the third stair
Was a slotted window bellied like the figs’s fruit
And beyond the hawthorn blossom and a pasture scene
The broadbacked figure drest in blue and green
Enchanted the maytime with an antique flute.
Blown hair is sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown,
Lilac and brown hair;
Distraction, music of the flute, stops and steps of the mind
over the third stair,
Fading, fading; strength beyond hope and despair
Climbing the third stair.

Lord, I am not worthy
Lord, I am not worthy

but speak the word only.

Who walked between the violet and the violet
Whe walked between
The various ranks of varied green
Going in white and blue, in Mary’s colour,
Talking of trivial things
In ignorance and knowledge of eternal dolour
Who moved among the others as they walked,
Who then made strong the fountains and made fresh the springs

Made cool the dry rock and made firm the sand
In blue of larkspur, blue of Mary’s colour,
Sovegna vos

Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing

White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.

The silent sister veiled in white and blue
Between the yews, behind the garden god,
Whose flute is breathless, bent her head and signed but spoke no word

But the fountain sprang up and the bird sang down
Redeem the time, redeem the dream
The token of the word unheard, unspoken

Till the wind shake a thousand whispers from the yew

And after this our exile

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice

Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

O my people.

Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn

Wavering between the profit and the loss
In this brief transit where the dreams cross
The dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying
(Bless me father) though I do not wish to wish these things
From the wide window towards the granite shore
The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
Unbroken wings

And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth

This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.

Blessèd sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

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A possible The Journal article

February 2, 2008 at 11:57 pm (Day to Day)

I’m thinking about sending this, or a version like this, to The Journal. Suggestions, including titles, would be appreciated.


The college years, the time when young people are supposed to be idealistic about matters they don’t really care about and overly-opinionated about issues they just heard about five minutes ago—all done in between skipping class and lying to their friends that class was cancelled as a ploy to get them to eat with them at Oscars. (Hint: take from plate and insert directly into toilet to save your body the time and energy of actually trying to digest that.) (Second hint: whatever that is/was.) Unfortunately, it seems that only the part that is actually true is the not-going-to-class part.

When reading the January 31 edition of The Journal, I was a bit ashamed after reading “Kenya Violence Goes Unnoticed”. It made me fully realize just how apathetic college students have become to global and domestic affairs. I consider myself fairly affluent to the happenings of the world around me, but it wasn’t until the Facebook status of a Kenyan friend caught my attention that I was actually impacted by what was happening in a country that was hailed as the African beacon of what a stable democracy should look like. And then The Journal article.

Does anybody remember the 60’s? I know I don’t but that’s because I was not born yet. I do know that if I was born, I would probably remember like this. “It was a time of political unrest, with rabble-rousers running through the streets, engaged in all sorts of tom-foolery and shenanigans. Trouble makers were demanding civil rights (thanks Martin Luther King) and birth control was no longer a damnable offense against God (thanks…Super Pope?) The Satan-inspired music of The Beatles was pumping our children’s heads with lyrics that caused rampant adultery and the possible cause of the HIV virus. It was a time of change, and definitely a time of advocacy. It was the youth of America that effected change. Despite grandmothers wagging fingers in young peoples’ faces, screaming ‘That’s how it’s always been! Now time for nuclear duck and cover practice!’ things changed. Kids protested, people wrote congressmen, and bohemians everywhere listened to good music (take that, bourgeois squares!).”

Now, I love wearing my Save Whatever Country it’s Currently Trendy to Want to Save t-shirt and my Live Strong bracelet just as much as the next bro, but it seems like this is what caring about the world has come down to; causes are a trend that come and go—I swear if I see One more One bracelet—they are a statement of social status. Come on, no college student is green, but it sure is cool to talk about that cute new term, carbon footprint, and how to reduce it. It wasn’t long ago that I had a conversation with a friend about environmental protection while going 85 mph in his Chevy Silverado Gas Guzzler Edition with a Think Green sticker on the back windshield. No, he was not trying to make some kind of mind-boggling ironic statement. We seem to create a false dilemma in our minds; that is, it is either all or nothing when it comes to “being involved.” It’s either bomb abortion clinics or don’t do anything. “I’d like to help, but in between only getting $500 a month from my parents and working for only $600 a month I don’t have the time, and I definitely don’t have the money.”  I like to eat, so making sure everybody else does in my place probably isn’t going to happen, but making sure somebody does by volunteering at something like Matthew 25 Mission isn’t going to do much other than take a few hours every month that would otherwise be used sharpening my sloth-practicing skillz.

Perhaps it’s been too many years in the sociology department that has caused me to be so cynical about the world, but the injustices of yore are far from over, and the ones that have been corrected could just as easily return if we allow apathy to ferment. Oh, and a hint to the intro to sociology student: put “blame society” as your answer on every single test question, and you are guaranteed an A.

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