Tuesday, September 30, 2008

God Grew Tired of Us

Today I had the amazing opportunity to hear John Bul Dau speak. John Bul Dau is one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. He is the co-author and subject of the book "God Grew Tired of Us" and the film of the same name. His speech was incredible and I just want to write a little bit about what stood out to me. He began by explaining a little bit about his history. He was chased out of his home and he and a large group of boys ages 8-15 stuck together as they endured horrific trials.

He explained that one day they reached a river that was filled with crocodiles. They spent a few days trying to build a rope swing, but before they could figure it out a militia came and opened fire on them. Boys jumped into the water. Some drown because they couldn't swim, some were shot, some were eaten by crocodiles and a lucky few made it across. John was one of the lucky few. They survived by eating anything they could find and had to drink urine to stay alive. John explained that he had been saved by the Almighty God and by his perserverance. He told us, "you must never give up." He could have given up so many times, but he never quit. He compared his commitment to keep going through everything to the students. He told us not to give up studying. It's hard to compare studying for a test to swimming across a river with crocodiles, but he managed to do it.

John was fortunate and was brought to America. He told some funny stories about seeing snow for the first time and going to a grocery store and seeing whole aisles of dog and cat food, he couldn't imagine a country having enough wealth that they were able to feed their animals like that. That is something that I have definitely taken advantage of in the past. As John compared his life now to what it once was he explained that success comes with struggle, they go hand in hand.

At the end of his speech he opened it up to questions and people asked him about the current situation in the Darfur. He explained that the real problem in the Darfur is that they don't have schools and hospitals, they don't have clean water. When you have nothing you fight, if they had hospitals and schools that would be destroyed by fighting they would stop. John then explained his goal. He talked about the earmarks in congress that everyone keeps complaining about. He said, 300 million dollars to the state of New York will make little difference to the people in New York. 300 million dollars in the Sudan could change lives. He wants to build up the Sudan and once peoples' needs are met they will stop fighting.

Overall I was incredibly impressed with John Bul Dau. He was very inspirational as he encouraged to keep going, to never stop fighting. It's easy to get discouraged, but as long as we stick to it, we can overcome all obstacles.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

political commercials

I'm a teachers assistant in a media class. In this class the students learn how to critically analyze the media. As part of their reading this week they had to look at a site that has political ads for presidential candidates dating back to the 1952 election. I was looking at them and got totally sucked in, they are hilarious.

Click to Watch Political Commercials

The best are the old ones with jingles, Eisenhour and Kennedy's are my favorites. Also the daisy ad, the KKK ad, and some of the more controversial ones in the 70s are fun too. Anyway thought you all might enjoy a look at how politics have changed in the past 56 years. In my opinion, I wish we'd go back to the old school cartoons with songs, I feel like that's much better than the stupid innacurate attack ads we get nowadays.

Monday, September 22, 2008

a blog of my own.... finally

Ok so many have complained that my blog is lame, truth is I'm not sure which blog they've been looking at, because in my journalism career at Utah State I have had to create 4 different blogs each with different requirements. So now that I'm out of those classes, I've decided to adapt one of my class blogs into a real blog... although I'm still not sure what a real blog is. Oh well maybe I'll figure it out.

Today I was thinking about the tender mercies in life, and I've found that since becoming a poor college student it is increasingly easier for me to find happiness in the little stuff. Take tonight for instance, my friend made me some homemade chicken noodle soup. It made my whole day. It was delicious and a total relief not to have to worry about cooking after a very long day. I feel like often it is easy to focus on the negatives in life, but today I'd like to recognize the good, so here is a random list of things that have made my days this semester:

-watching the bats at 2nd dam
-floating the canal
-front porch sittin'
-guitar nights
-laying on the front lawn
-aggie ice cream
-random visits from friends at 2 am... :)
-movie quote texts
-the leaves in sardine canyon
-shortened readings
-intelligent political conversations
-having my very own CLEAN bedroom
-the posse
-hastings dvd sales
-free laundry cards
-the happy birthday kyler song
-the SNL skit with Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton
-teaching class
-planning trips to wisconsin, canada and hawaii (all paid for by USU!)
-going to a class taught by Justice Scalia, of the Supreme Court
-the Logan Temple
-going for drives in Logan
-talking on the phone for hours
-clean socks
-the daily show
-the combo meal
-poetry and a beverage (pobev)
-James Taylor songs
-playing my cello
-new friends
-old friends
-tres leches
-m&ms on sale
-Koch Scholars dinners
-pasta bar
-weekends home
-the monk dance

The list could go on and on, I am really so blessed. Pretty much I love life :) I am super busy, but I feel like even with all my responsibilities I've found a nice balance in life. Anyway that's all for this blog attempt, maybe I'll post again soon.