Other Affairs – Daily Prompt

Image

Emotion plays a huge role in my writing. Whether the piece is written as reference or fiction, I cannot seem to get past the onset of writer’s blocked caused by negative feelings. The worst is attempting poetry during these times; my work ends up resembling a mediocre emo band’s song lyrics from their earliest EP – it’s that bad. At that point, I normally decide it would be advantageous to take a step back from my overheating processor, for the sake of both my writing quality standard and the readers expecting genius dissertations. The pressing question: when not blogging, what does the developing eccentric do with her unstructured time? I greatly enjoy art and have experimented with various styles and mediums; this probably comes as no surprise, being that sketches and painting are simply the visual exertion of a creative mind. Much of my time is allotted to reading, from blog posts via WordPress to classic works of literature preserved by the ancient stylus pens of scribes. I am simply enamored with the city – the swelling excitement when exiting the dank Metra terminal, followed by the bustling throng of individuals carrying briefcases, textbooks, and DSLR cameras that few know how to function. [Listening to] music is another major interest; men who wear flannel button-downs and endorse unruly beards are often the creators of much of the bluegrass indie/folk alternative I’ve grown fondly accustomed to. The remainder of my time is shared with my family and friends, people who never cease to inspire and support me. Well there you have it – despite the fact I may appear blurry eyed and have the symptoms of premature carpel tunnel, I do occasionally click the “power off” button of my laptop. However, my phone is a completely different story – to expect one to disregard all sources of technology and thereby render him helpless without the 4G speed to answer to all life’s questions? Why, the idea is preposterous and utterly unheard-of.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Bloggers, Unplugged.

Daily Prompt: Social Networks, Health Care, and Miley Cyrus

opinionated_people1256328679

The given prompt asks the question, “What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?” My response is simple: anything that is up for debate. Author and environmentalist Edward Abbey once stated, “How could anything non-controversial be of intellectual interest to grown-ups?” I’m definitely described as a multi-faceted person, embodying a plethora of various studies and beliefs. This being said, a wide range of subjects interest me – factual content is always beneficial, personal accounts are amusing. But what captures my undivided attention is controversy – I cannot identify with the passive individual who is complacently ignorant and refutes development of opinion. I feel that it is imperative to have a stance on important controversial topics; this refers back to Hamilton’s statement, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Despite the fact that this cliché is reblogged ten thousand times on Tumblr (typically meaning the post is of no scholarly merit), the concept couldn’t be more accurate – to truly be knowledgeable in a contentious subject, one must be familiar with various perspectives and form a personal opinion that can be supported with dependable information. To simply become a conformist of others’ ideas is unprofitable, considering most base their opinions by referring to untrustworthy sources. (e.g. No, Obama is not constructing concentration camps for conservatives… however, he is socialist.) The example given is most definitively a controversial statement, and any reader who passionately disagrees now feels the need to comment on this post in order to degrade me and my thoughts towards this issue. Bingo! – controversy produces discussion, intensity, and the opportunity to share one’s conceitedly dogmatic thoughts. (This is why everyone feels the need to criticize, for example, a post that praises Miley Cyrus as a role model.) Anyhow, when participating in these heated conversations, it is always important to consider the opposing party. Feel free to solicit my opinions on issues concerning religion, media, sexuality, environment, politics, and so forth; I would love to hear others thoughts as well. We are all intellectuals striving for excellence in thinking and constantly in need of reproof. Growth is caused by open-mindedness, respect for the opposed is imperative, and eclectic education is key.

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Reading Material

Idiosyncratic Idioms – Daily Prompt

Last night, I was down to the wire and running around like a chicken with its head cut off, but my procrastination turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Original price, these concert tickets would have cost me an arm and a leg, but I was saved by the bell thanks to StubHub. Those online markets are sometimes a toss up – I know people who have had bad experiences with such websites, and I wouldn’t want false tickets to queer the pitch tonight. But I went out on a limb and bought the seats with high hopes. And now time is moving at the speed of molasses; I’m on pins and needles, dying to head off into the city. Iron and Wine should be top notch, and the fact that the venue is the Chicago Theater is the icing on the cake. Let me cut to the chase – I’m one of those people who doesn’t know how to hold their horses. It might drive some up the wall, and most probably aren’t willing to lend me an ear, but when I’m excited I can’t seem to put a sock in it. To make a long story short, I’ll master the virtue of patience when pigs fly.

written for the Daily Post, Daily Prompt: A Bend in Time

Sound Encouragement

“Sometimes in order to rise, we first fall. Take that first step, remember to keep going and finish the journey. This is one of those projects- one of those moments that will either break you or build you. Focus on creating a positive mindset, build that experience, and make something beautiful. With no right or wrong, there’s no pressure.” -Yohannan Lee on Creating Art

20130924-171356.jpg

Causes for Homelessness: Choice vs. Inevitable

In the hands of a tattered man are a makeshift cardboard sign stating blatantly, “I am homeless. Any amount will help,” and a drained McDonald’s coffee cup jingling with spare change. According to the National Law Center of Homelessness and Poverty, an estimated 2.3-3.5 million people in America annually experience homelessness. How is such a devastating situation possible in a country that is so economically and socially developed as the United States? There are various reasons for homelessness, all of which fall into two categories: an individual’s choice or an inevitable situation. Both categories have several similarities, but the prologue behind one’s homeless condition is the variable.

The stories of the homeless are greatly diverse; some brought the burden upon themselves due to lack of discernment, whereas others were completely unable to avoid the situation. An example of choice would be a background of substance abuse which resulted in homelessness. The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment conducted a survey and found that 85% of youth-related homelessness cases involved some sort of alcohol or drug dependency. In addition, the National Coalition for the Homeless identified that 38% of homeless adults were a product of alcohol abuse and 26% had a history of drug use. On the other hand, mental and physical disability would pertain to the category of the inevitable – the individual’s impairment rendered him unable to work or function in a normal society, therefore resulting in the unfortunate event of homelessness. A study by Samhsah’s National Mental Health Information Center revealed that 13% of the homeless are physically disabled, 39% have a report of mental health problems, along with 36% who are plagued with other acute or chronic illnesses. Sadly, forms of disabilities like these are often the reason that many United States military veterans find themselves homeless. Abandonment due to family conflict is contingent upon situation – if neglect was caused by one’s unacceptable actions, such as drug/alcohol involvement, unwanted pregnancy, or violent tendencies, then this cause for homelessness falls under the category of choice. Granted, perhaps the authority figure responded incorrectly by abandoning said individual, but the offender is equally to blame. Consequences, including vagrancy, for unjust actions are to be expected. Economic inadequacy is often the cause of homelessness; in the case of innate circumstances, job loss, or underemployment, the events leading up to homelessness would be out of the hands of the individual.

Despite the various scenarios, each individual who finds himself homeless share several qualities. Businessmen and tourists alike avoid eye contact when walking by a beggar on an urban street – regardless of the individual’s background, homelessness is looked down upon in society. No one plans to be homeless, and every person in destitute desires for a solution. Whether one is responsible for the situation or the outcome was unavoidable, any homeless individual is qualified to receive government aid and help from various organizations designed to support the homeless. Temporary and emergency shelter, dietary needs, housing advisement, and even career training and placement assistance is available.

Award winning author Wallace Stegner one said, “Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.” Many with homes, especially those in the United States, cannot comprehend the idea of extreme financial hardship, the effects of starvation, or living with an unrelieved ailment without medical treatment. Current America is often viewed as a land of greed and thanklessness; rather than fighting up the economic ladder, one should consider the impoverished below him in order to truly benefit society.

visit chicagohomeless.orglakeviewpantry.org/charity, volunteermatch.org, or any other volunteer website to get involved in your community and make a difference.

Image

Speaking with Confidence – Daily Prompt

Several surveys have been conducted to determine humans’ biggest fear. The results showed that public speaking, formally known as glossophobia, struck the majority of those tested as the most intimidating. It could be argued that the task seems daunting due to the fact that many are “inexperienced” in this area; however, this is far from the case. Humans interact with each other and develop communication skills on a daily basis; therefore, “lack of exposure” to public speaking is an illegitimate excuse. Granted, many people lack organized thought process and education concerning correct gestures and tone, resulting in poor speaking skills, but this isn’t the case for the entirety of the seventy-five percent of those who claimed to have glossophobia. So what exactly causes this apprehension? Public speaking is subconsciously viewed by many as a threat towards the demoting of self value. Self value is determined either by comparison to others or feedback from others. To avoid public speaking is actually a method of preserving one’s image; the true fear isn’t communicating to an audience, but actually of harming one’s own self value.

Being that I am confident in my communication skills, as many of the writers here on WordPress are, I feel that public speaking isn’t an intimidating task. Whether it is a formal practiced speech or an extemporaneous rendition, I feel that if one is confident in his message and has the ability to express his thoughts in an appropriate and organized style, then what is there to fear? To continue with that idea, if one is not learned in the fundamentals of proper communication, he must become educated in order to conduct not only a profitable career, but also to effectively maintain relationships and develop confidence so that self value is no longer a factor. Promote a better society by becoming educated and comfortable with the idea of public speaking. 

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Naked with Black Socks 

Studies & Starbucks – Daily Prompt

Image

She looks frazzled.  Undocumented receipts protrude from her wallet as she scrambles for plastic to cover the cost of an overpriced caffè mocha with an extra shot of espresso. The duties of a barista aren’t elaborate, but essential – by the looks of it, this poor girl could desperately use an energy boost. I prepare the drink with ease and expertise, then slide a zarf onto the sizable venti cup. Before questions are raised, you know those disposable cardboard sleeves that proudly announce the Starbucks emblem? – those are zarfs. Anyhow, I scribble “Abby” onto the cup and speak her name above the noise consisting of patrons’ friendly chatter and business garble, along with the faint humming of Iron and Wine in the background. She picks up the drink and grabs a couple napkins before walking out the door. When outside and away from the chaos, she chooses a table and pulls out an enormous textbook and an infamous Texas Instrument from her tote. I periodically glance at her through the window for the next hour or so as she fingers her way through the book and methodically sips her coffee every few pages. Her furrowed look has slightly softened and she appears more relaxed, despite the bulging backpack lying on the ground next to her, with book corners jutting against the seams, beckoning the zipper to part its teeth. Being end of semester, I imagine she’s studying for finals, cramming every underlined phrase and bold word into the little available space left in her memory capacity. I commend students for their labor – regurgitating facts and understanding foreign material is no easy task. Judging by the time lapse and disregarded cup no longer in reach, it is safe to assume her beverage has been depleted. My shift ends in five minutes, so I quickly make another sweet mocha and generously froth whipped cream over the steaming dark liquid. On the side of the cup, I quote Erdos: “A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.”  I place the drink on her table and give a cordial nod before walking to my car. The product I endorse serves as comfort for those long, studious nights – and the possibility of free drinks, a motivation. 

written for The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: The Cat Says Meow