36. How to Empathize with Children

I enjoy being with kids.

Throughout High School, I volunteered as a coach/counselor for a camp, teaching kids fundamentals of basketball and the Christian life. After High School, I volunteered in my church as a youth leader.

I’m pleased to inform you that during the month of July, I will be working at Camp Hydaway, a kid’s camp organized by Thomas Road Baptist Church. During the camp, I will be supervising activities and teaching fourth and fifth graders about God. FUN RIGHT?!

I won’t have much free-time, but I will bring a book just in case.

Enders game photo.jpg

I first read Ender’s Game a few years ago, and when I finished, it immediately became one of my favorites. The protagonist, a 6-year-old genius, gets recruited by the government to protect humanity from an alien invasion. Although he bears an enormous responsibility, he still experiences the everyday struggles of a kid.

Considering the atmosphere I’m about to immerse in, I thought Ender’s Game would prove beneficial; I will be surrounded by children.

This might sound crazy, but I believe the more I read children’s books, the easier it is to empathize with kids.

Do you agree with my theory? Or is it actually crazy?

     

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35. Great Books for Vacation

Vacation is a great time to kick back and relax, but how is vacation fun without a book or two?

Or in my case… Seven.

I spent a few hours perusing my shelf for the perfect beach reads, and I came up with a combination of genres that will hopefully keep my attention all week.

Since I have A.D.D., jumping from genre to genre is the best way to keep my mind fresh and alert. Excluding the Harry Potter books, I have never been able to finish a series without reading different books in between.

So with only one week for vacation, I had to make sure the books were all different. Hopefully you will find some in the list that pertain to your liking.

So without further ado, here are the seven:

In the FANTASY category, we have The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien

LOTR

I was told by a friend that no one could call themselves a Fantasy lover without reading The Lord of the Rings. Convicted, I felt the need to begin reading it as soon as possible.

I’ve read the first few chapters, and I’m loving it. Although more difficult to read, it definitely reminds me of The Hobbit, which in my opinion is one of the greatest novels ever written.

In The Childrens’ Fantasy category, we have The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West

BOE

I bought this book two years ago at an outlet store near my house. Obviously judging a book by its cover is shamed upon, but let’s admit it: WE ALL DO IT.

The cover art shows a young girl entering a strange new world (full of adventure and mysterious places no doubt). Hopefully the book contains as much adventure as its cover predicts.

In the Science Fiction category, we have Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card.

enders-shadow

Ender’s Shadow is a parallel novel to Ender’s Game, the award winning book about Andrew “Ender” Wiggin who basically saves human civilization from a presumptive alien invasion. Although the plot sounds cliché, Ender’s Game was actually an amazing book; Card brought originality that simply astounded me.

Ender’s Shadow is a parallel novel to Ender’s Game, meaning it’s the same story, but from a different character’s perspective. The protagonist is Bean, one of Ender’s friends from battle school.

A friend of mine said Ender’s Shadow was the better of the two, and if he’s right, then I’m in for a great vacation.

In the Dystopian category, we have Messenger by Lois Lowry

msnger

The Giver was an excellent read. Messenger, along with Gathering Blue and Son, are companion novels to The Giver. The stories follow, Jonas, Gabe, Kira, and Matty as they embark on dangerous journeys to discover the truth about the outside world and themselves.

For the Childrens’ / Young Adult Fiction category, we have The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

hamlet

I have absolutely no idea what this book is about, but according to the title, I’m assuming it has something to do with Shakespeare; and I love Shakespeare (hence the photo of me dressed as Benedick from Much Ado about Nothing).

benedick

Novels like this one are my favorite types of books. I don’t know about you, but I’m fascinated by stories with geeky protagonists who battle High School, bullies, and young love. Everything comes together to make the story worthy of Shakespeare himself.

For the Spiritual Improvement category, we have The Disciples’ Prayer by Donald T. Williams

the disciples' prayer

I bought this book when Williams visited my church to preach. The book is a phrase-by-phrase walk-through of the Lord’s prayer from Luke chapter 11. I’ve already started it, and I’m looking forward to learning more; Williams definitely offers great insight on the overlooked topic of prayer.

And for the Bible category, we have The Bible itself

Whenever I leave home, my father encourages me to bring my Bible. Developing a daily routine of scripture reading is imperative for my life; I try to read it before I read anything else.

So what do you guys think? Are there other books I should be reading while on vacation? Is my list good? Let me know in the comments!     

 

 

34. The Positive of Summer School

I’ve always hated the idea of summer school.

The very thought of it made me throw up.

Despite these atrocious thoughts, I’ve decided to write this blog post as an encouragement to all who might be considering summer school.

Because it honestly might be the coolest thing you ever do.

This past week, I participated in a History 310 intensive. The class lasted one week, during which I studied Albion’s Seed, wrote papers, and explored two amazing historic locations.

After the first three days of class, we took a field trip to Jamestown and Williamsburg, which was definitely the highlight of the class. It felt great to escape the classroom and to build friendships with the other classmates (hi guys).

The best parts of the field trip were as follows:

  1. We Shot Footage for our Documentary Assignment

Jamestown had a lot of great sights. We gave interviews, watched archaeologists, and took as many photos as our phones would possibly muster. Considering that I’m a Journalism major, these tasks were a blast! We also filmed a little extra for a blooper real.

  1. We Played Card Games

This was our way of relaxation. During the bus rides and at the hotel, we enjoyed the competitive games that cards always offer. We played Spades, Trash, and—my personal favorite—Fifteen.

  1. We ate Bacon Donuts?

Until last week, I had never heard of bacon donuts. Apparently there’s this place called Duck’s Donuts which serves literally every type of pastry. The variety of foods reminded me of Harry Potter’s Every Flavored Bean, which is a geeky comparison, but totally valid.

  1. My Historical Knowledge Grew

Believe it or not, I actually learned a lot during the field trip. I learned, for example, that Pocahontas did NOT marry John Smith as the Disney movie foretold.

I actually stood where Pocahontas—to my disappointment—was married to John Rolfe.

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So all in all, my summer school experience was a blast. I met new people, built friendships, and learned a thing or two about Colonial America.

So if you’re interested in taking a summer intensive, check to see if it offers a field trip.

Because if it does, stop what you’re doing and enroll.

P.S. On our way back to Liberty University, my friend caught me in an unfortunate sleeping position. Maybe you will find it enlightening…

Comments Welcomed! 

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33. Reasons to Love Action, Adventure and the Uncharted Series

Action/Adventure video games are my favorite.

I first fell in love with the genre when I played Tomb Raider, a game about a young woman unraveling a mystery about an ancient island. The action combined with the puzzles, cool characters, and interesting plot made the gaming experience incredibly enjoyable.

My passion for action games has grown even more after playing Uncharted and Uncharted 2 (remastered for PlayStation 4). I’m currently playing Uncharted 3, and I can’t see my passion diminishing anytime soon.

I had reasons for buying a PS4, and those reasons are becoming clearer as I progress through the Nathan Drake Collection.

uncharted-drake-collection-header (1)

A friend of mine reminded me of something that rather shocked me:

The only PS4 games I’ve played have been remastered ones; I haven’t actually played any games specifically designed for the PS4.

Despite this, I’m still mesmerized by the graphics and gameplay of the Nathan Drake Collection. Although build for the PlayStation 3, the games transfer their content quite nicely.

Once the fourth and final Uncharted game is released (May 10, 2016), I will hopefully experience the PS4 in its full potential.

Check out the trailer for the new game.

 

What’s your favorite video game genre? Why do you like it? If you’re an Uncharted fan, what are your expectations for the new game?

Comments are Welcomed 

32. The Problem with Poetry

 

Celery raw develops the jaw

But celery stewed is more quietly chewed

  • “Celery” My favorite poem

Poetry Image for blog

I’ll never forget my 7th grade poetry class. I remember immersing myself in the world of rhymes, fascinated by the numberless similarities that pattern our words.

 

Look at my puppy all sweet and shy

If it were dead I’m sure I’d cry

And Look how it licks my hand so sweet

Wagging its tail and patting its feet

Why so innocent? How so small?

When his spirit dances above them all

And when I think of him before falling asleep

I like to drink orange juice and sit on the couch.

 

This is the only issue I have with poetry: When it doesn’t rhyme, it sounds HORRIBLE!

During the past two weeks, I studied poetry in my college English class. And as I examined the poems, I nearly fainted…

Because nothing rhymed!

Consider the following poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

Glory be to God for dappled things – 

   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 

      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 

   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough; 

      

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. 

All things counter, original, spare, strange; 

   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 

      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; 

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 

                                Praise him.

 

WHERE’S THE RHYMING? The greatest element of poetry?

Obviously “cow”, “plough” and “how” rhyme, but look how far apart the words are! The gaps are too big for anything to sound cool!

Obviously there are elements of poetry other than rhyming, but the rhymes are what make or break the poem; and in my opinion, there are too many poems that lack this basic element.  

 

To me, Hopkin’s poem sounds equivalent to:

 

Roses are red; violets are blue

I poop, you poop

Which means our digestive systems probably work

 

Do humans really consider this art? Is it just me? Or is my brain incapable of comprehending such complicated word structures?

In my misery (and confusion), I wrote the following:

 

What is happening to my mind?

Will it surely fade

Away from all existence?

Or stored inside my brain?

Without the rhyme it is a crime

To write away the line

That brings about the harsher reads

And slowly fades my mind

– 

There is a larger difference

It will always be

From minds, brains and other things

For minds you cannot see

I haven’t rhymed in some time

I’m sure you figured that

But what’s the prob? I have a blog

Which fosters that for me

 

Seriously… I wrote all this in like ten minutes.

So what do you guys think?

 

Is poetry defined by the rhyme?

Or is it something else?

That takes our breath away

And surely makes the count?

 

Comments are welcomed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31. How to Bond with your Father

My father and I love to watch TV together. Ever since we discovered AMC’s The Walking Dead, TV has been our primary go-to for relaxation after stressful days at school/work.

Between seasons five and six of The Walking Dead, my dad and I watched Breaking Bad, a show that continues to stimulate our everyday conversations.

We are now excited to be caught up with its spin-off series Better Call Saul, a show that takes place seven years before the notorious Heisenberg.

Now that season two of Better Call Saul and season six of The Walking Dead have finished, I have decided to suggest another show to fill in the time…

I’m pleased to inform you that after days of pleading, I’ve finally convinced my dad to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Avatar the Last Airbender

Avatar was my favorite show growing up. It’s about a 112-year-old boy (yes… BOY) who possesses magical abilities of manipulating the elements (air, water, earth, and fire). I remember being fascinated by the different martial arts incorporated in the show, each art form subject to an element.

I’m excited most of all that I can enjoy this show with my dad. Although it’s not my dad’s ideal show, it will be interesting to see what conversations ignite concerning its plot, characters, and themes.

More than anything, though, as long as we can enjoy it together, it will be worthwhile.

After all, that’s what it’s all about…

What do you guys think? What are some cool aspects of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Are there other shows we should be watching instead?

Comments are welcomed…

 

 

29. Three Ways to Improve Your Blog

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Blogging is hard.

There. I said it.

Although simple in theory, blogging can be quite challenging. Sometimes it drives me insane, yet other times it clothes me with a blanket of satisfaction.

When I began the Lingering Lamb in October, I assumed blogging would be easy, quick to fill the desire I had for writing.

I can’t say I was completely wrong… or completely right.

The Lingering Lamb is still young; its wool is cushioned with almost 30 articles and nearly 1,500 hits. I never imagined it would do this well in only five months. Of course the success is attributed to my awesome subscribers (both in and out of WordPress); without you guys, my job would NOT be fun.

I know there’s still lots to learn, so I’ve uncovered three aspects I need to improve on as a blogger:

ONE) Consistency

My heavenly Father, family, and school are my number one priorities; blogging/free time come second (or fourth… however you want to interpret it).

Of all my priorities, school drains my time the most. It burns away hours that could be well spent blogging, reading, or playing video games.

With all my homework deadlines, it’s difficult to meet my personal goal of posting every Saturday and Tuesday. But if I push myself to be consistent, I can make my blogging goal work.

TWO) Relaxation

I have this twitching urge to constantly check this blog’s stats. On average, each post gets 50 to 100 views, and I’m always wanting to see if a current post breaks the record for the most views.

If I can somehow learn to prevent from clicking the stats button, I think my focus would be geared more toward the writing than the progress.

THREE) Inspiration

Inspiration is something bloggers yearn for more than anything.

It is also a lie…

Although important, inspiration is not what sustains a blog or book (or anything for that matter). It is a lie because inspiration is not the energy that propels a work forward, rather it is the spark that ignites possibility.

Unless I fuel my inspiration with habit and practice, my blogging/writing dreams will never be realized.

It is habit that gets things done, not inspiration.

I suppose number three can tie in with number one. After all, a great way to develop habit is to be consistent… That is… If you don’t worry about it (hehe…see what I did there?).

When I merge these three weaknesses together, I believe my blogging journey will be much more fulfilling (and your reading experience more enjoyable). If I write on a consistent basis, develop writing habits, and just be “worry free” everything will work out for the better.

So what do you guys think? Are there other things that would make my blogging experience better? And bloggers, are there areas where you need to improve?

^Comments Welcomed