26 August 2014

Mechanics or maintenance.

So, a couple weeks ago I finally looked  at Portland State University’s  website. I was seeking information about Architecture.  I emailed them, to ask questions about  the Masters Degree program.  I received an email from the administrative assistant almost immediately.  I expected she  would answer the questions I posed in the email but she made an appointment for me to meet with the head of the  Architecture Department, which I totally appreciated. I didn't expect that at all-it was more than I asked for.  So, the meeting was the following Tuesday at 4 30 pm.
I met with Tuesday of last week. We chatted for about an hour about the complexity of the program, which is a 5 yr accredited program concentrated in 3 full yrs of coursework, then working  with an architect for 2 years following.   As he spoke, my mind kept going to how overwhelming the experience would be to achieve my child-hood dream. I kept going back and forth in my mind, alternating between the possibility and the impossibility- I would have to submit an application by February 1 and the first semester each year is in the summer. I would have to submit an example of any kind of artistic achievement.  I asked about the 5 novellas I have published on Amazon Kindle, and he said that would be sufficient. Then he said I would need to take the GRE exam.
One of the subjects on the GRE is calculus.

Many many many moons ago, I wanted to be an architect. I was planning on taking precalculus in high school to prep for my future career choice but my guidance counselor convinced me that I would be a failure and that I may as well not take precalculus as I would never use it for anything. She suggested I look into mechanics or maintenance instead of architecture.  My self esteem was low; it was such that I believed her. I was thinking I was a kid and she was a grown woman; a professional. She must know what she was talking about, so I listened to her and I complied. I didn't venture into mechanics or maintenance though.  I still have the floor plan to my dream house.  I had drawn it up while in high school. I still alter the drawing from time to time.

I ended up being 2 people away from being the valedictorian of my graduation class.  I wished my self esteem was higher back then. If it was higher, then what she said would have pissed me off and I would have told my mom that night and she would have been pissed off. She would have told me I could be anything I wanted. She also would have gone to the school the next morning and would have told the woman off.  
But I digress.  In order to know calculus I need to learn pre-calculus. So I'll put the dream aside for a year and study and prepare for the GRE and will apply in February of 2016, If i haven't given up on that dream and moved on to something else.
I thought I would take this time to follow another one of my passions since Small Group Underwriting is gradually changing, and will not be the demand job it used to be.
When I was in Paris a couple years ago, I went to church with my host's mom.  She's from Cameroon, and lives in Paris during the school year. She used to be  an english professor but  decided to become a guidance counselor. She noticed that all the African kids in school  who were ambitious and intelligent and doing well in school, were being discouraged from being whatever they wanted to be, and she wanted to do the opposite.  She said that black kids were encouraged to become failures then when they succeed at failing, then the white people basically shake their heads, calling them dumb and lazy.  She said that her son ( who owned the apartment I lived in when  I was in Paris)  was  good in math but was  constantly discouraged by teachers and guidance counselors.  She put an end to the discouragement, and today he is an Auditor for the City of Paris. 

Interesting to know this isn't just an American thing.

If you have kids,  or grandkids, or nieces or nephews, or if you're the guardian of any kids, PLEASE, make sure you are their biggest cheerleader, in whatever it is that they dream of becoming.  And if you even suspect that your child has low self esteem, PLEASE help him/her discover what makes them happy, and do or say whatever is necessary to make them feel tall. And do  it/say  until they believe it.   Take it from me.  I was the shyest person I knew, and I was filled with doubt.  I'm still shy.  And that guidance counselor stumped on that dream like it was a bug. And I let her. I didn't even tell my mother about it until years later. And she was furious that I didn't tell her.

The world needs more dreamers, and less of people to squash them.


'been such a long time

i forgot that i was fine

I choose me

21 August 2014


if I could just attract the right moth to my flame....

16 August 2014

Matthew 25:21

A friend called me at 1 this morning to drive him home from the bar that he just got kicked out of.  He was coming on a bit too strong to a married woman and her brother was the manager and had him leave the bar. He didn’t have money for a cab and he didn’t want to leave his Jaguar in the parking lot. I’m glad he had the frame of mind to not drive drunk.  He didn’t want his girlfriend to get pissed at him (that’s why he called me instead).

The bar he was at was a mile away. I told him I would be there in about 20 minutes.  So I walked there to find him asleep in his car and I drove him home.    His speech slurred, he said: “you ‘re a rrrreally ggggreat  fffriend. I wwwwouldn’t do the same tttho. I would have left you tttthere.”

I said, “I know.”

He said  “Aaaaand you sssstilll pppicked me up?”

I didn’t respond.

I picked him up for this reason:   I wouldn’t have wanted to read the paper the next morning and read that he died in a car crash, and I had the opportunity to prevent  it and didn’t.   Also, I try to (sometimes failing, but nevertheless) behave on the premise that I might die right now. This might by my last chance to be Christ-like:  I always imagine God asking me (even though He already knows the answer) if, when my friend Jeff called last night, needing my help and I was able to help him, did I?  I want to be able to answer  Yes.

I have a tattoo on my arm, written in Arabic, that says ‘ Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servant.   That’s what I’d like God to say to me:

 Well Done, Thou Good And Faithful Servant.

15 August 2014


Sometimes you have to show people that the things you do for them are optional.

Just a thought

Some people just need for you to listen to them vent so that you can help them ramp it down several notches.

Friday Flashback

14 August 2014

An Elliot Moment

And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding behind you or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

--T S Elliot

05 August 2014

Me, sometimes

Another great weekend

 My friends Kahiro and Joseph and I were going to go to the beach  (Seaside Oregon) to attend the annual volley ball tournament  and relax on the beach,(our third year going)  but my friends got the weekend wrong, and as we were trying to think of how to spend the day, Caroline called  Kahiro minutes later, asking if he wanted to go to Multnomah Falls. He asked if he could bring two friends along and she said yes.    It was a great day.
Joseph, Caroline and me

Joseph, Caroline and me

Joseph, me, and Kahiro at the Columbia River

 Kahiro, Caroline and me

Joseph and me.

04 August 2014

But when I wake up ...

everything i went through will be beautiful.

La Vie

                                                                                                              It's okay to cry

for a minute.

                but eventually you must accept it for what it is, strap yourself tight and keep it moving.

For Battle

occur but once
and having occurred
fall into dust
and occur not again
                                        exist in soul
                                        but speak only
                                        of time and space
                                        and the words fly off
                                        to nowhere
as us now
the clock races on
time prepares itself for battle
pages turn
heads are bowed.

-- Alexgeorge
a repost



i'm pretty sure i'll be happier overall once i lower my expectations and accept that very few people will treat me as well as or better than i'd treat them. whoever coined the phrase 'out of sight out of mind' knew exactly what he/she was talking about. (and that's why, when people go above my expectations, i'm so happy that i gift them with homemade bundt cakes, cupcakes, pies, doughnuts, canneles etc.)

01 August 2014

An epiphany

Regarding something I haven't done in a minute, not for lack of trying. The art of not doing it has a name, but it's intentional.

I may as well be practicing it.

-Raphael Saadiq

TGIF ! Friday Flashback