Monthly Archives: June 2008

stylin’ neighbors

We have two new recent neighbors, and they believing in living well, even if it is in a flat.

The first one that I noticed is in the building directly facing us, an apartment on the second floor. It’s easily viewed from the back porch window of our flat, so it was easy to notice that someone had moved in. I think they moved in a week or two ago, but they have decorated now. From my vantage point, they have painted a little, put up some sheer curtains, put stuff up on the wall, and tonight, had a tables and chairs set, complete is a burning candle.

The second is in the building directly facing us, on the third floor, further away from our flat. They have painted a wall blue, also put up curtains, have matching furniture… it’s nice to see people who decorate in a place where it’s assumed most people will be transient.



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my job

Any of you who know me personally know that I love my job at my university. I am a tutor for student-athletes there. I have been there for almost a year, and it has given me insight into a different angle of university.

This job is great!

During this latter summer session, they are actually paying me to attend a class that a large handful of athletes are taking. How great is that? I have taken the class previously, so it’s even more fun. I am there to take notes (no, I do not take notes for the students, nor do I give my notes to the students!), and generally, know what is going on in the class.

Today, as I was coming out of the classroom, one of the guys said, “They were smart to put you in our class.” I wasn’t sure if he was being ironically sarcastic or if he was sincere. Probing further, it appears he was genuine. “We’re gonna do well with class,” he said.

“Yes,” I assured him. “You should do well, not necessarily because of me, though.” I was happy that he was pleased, rather than annoyed, that I was in the class for him and his compatriots.


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Hannah Montana

I submit for your consideration, something I observed recently.

Not having a more glamorous second part-time job for the summer, I have been babysitting a lot later to help out with the bills. One of the great things about babysitting is that most of my clients have cable. No, I’m not the type of babysitters who sits her (appropriate gender stereotype of babysitters) kids in front of the television for as long as I can hold them there. I do let them watch a show or two, depending on the duration of my sit.

Hence, my viewing of the Disney channel. Disney is known for being rather liberal. They embrace modern ideals such as the “you can be anything you want to be” mentality,

Based on my ideas of who Disney is, it wouldn’t surprise me that they would try to do things such as have casts with ethnic diversity. However, the other day, when I suddenly noticed something funny when watching one of their shows, Hannah Montana. I am wondering if anyone else has seen the show and noticed the same things.

If Disney is so up-to-date, why then does Hannah Montana have a housekeeper/body guard who is a black woman? In one episode, frankly, she was reminiscent of the Mammy character in Gone with the Wind? And while many Disney characters tend to be stereotypical and certainly over-the-top, why does this woman seem to sometimes be, in my opinion, too stereotypical (in some less positive aspects) African-American woman?

Further, I noticed a bit about another secondary character. From the few shows I have seen, I surmise that the character is a small boy who works at the nearby beach shack. Some background on this boy: He looks of Mexican descent, and indeed, is named Rico, only looks to be 10 or 12, working in the southern part of California. Why would you cast a little Mexican boy who appears to be evading labor laws as a character in your show?

As far as this instance goes, I am not trying to critique Disney in a serious way. If you work for Disney, are reading this on break, and your manager looks over your shoulder, please tell them that. I was simply thoroughly bemused when I noticed some subtle, rather unfortunate, character and casting aspects of the show, Hannah Montana. However, if there are no more blog posts from the flat after this post is posted, then I would suggest any of you who care about me start by posing questions to the Mouse.



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From my Maryland trip

Eastern Shore bunny

Very indicative of Rebecca’s personality

Rebecca and I


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empathy versus sympathy

Long have I been trying to hammer out the nuances and subtle differences between these two words and these two states (being empathetic versus being sympathetic).This is a bit of what I have been looking at to help me.

I rather like the definitions:

1: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
1 a: an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
2 a: inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord <in sympathy with their goals> b: feeling of loyalty : tendency to favor or support <republican sympathies>
3 a: the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another b: the feeling or mental state brought about by such sensitivity <have sympathy for the poor>4: the correlation existing between bodies capable of communicating their vibrational energy to one another through some medium

The Oxford English Dictionary says:

Empathy-The power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation.
– A real or supposed) affinity between certain things, by virtue of which they are similarly or correspondingly affected by the same influence, affect or influence one another (esp. in some occult way), or attract or tend towards each other.

Wikipedia says:

Empathy is the capacity to recognise or understand another’s state of mind or emotion. It is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes”, or to in some way experience the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself. It may be described metaphorically as an emotional kind of resonance or mirroring.
Sympathy is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. It also can mean being affected by like feelings or emotions. Thus the essence of sympathy is that one has a strong concern for the other person. Sympathy should not be confused with empathy (more than simply the recognition of another’s suffering, empathy is actually sharing another’s suffering, if only briefly).

I always thought of empathy is being about to sense people’s emotions, acutely tell how people are or might feel. “Feeling for them”, if you will. Sympathy, I always thought of, as a sense of feeling the same way as someone else, taking on their emotion and feeling it the same.


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a most pleasant advent

I’m getting that wonderful brooding, introspective sensation creeping into my soul. How awesome is that? I haven’t had a really good brooding mood in nearly a year. I used to get them weekly. They come a lot with slow moving storms. l like myself the most when I am in this mood (actually it’s a tie between this and another).

Yikes! Maybe I should go run my errands now!

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dad’s day

Because I am actually with my dad and won’t be in a week, we celebrated Father’s Day earlier. To mark the occasion, here are ten things that I like best about my dad:

1. He is empathic.

2. After becoming a Christian, He decided to follow Christ.

3. He is interested and knowledgeable about international things.

4. He knows lots about birds, ducks, camping, and sailing.

5. He loves people.

6. He knows he needs people.

7. Well he managed to raise four kids well enough (along with my mom)

8. He followed God into full-time Christian work for twenty years.

9. He is hopeful.

10. He encourages me.

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