The Christmas Spirit

One thing I've learned from composing blogs: you can't use the back and forward navigation buttons to undo and redo like in MS Word. I just lost a full page of blog text that I was just about to publish. Some of it was drivel, but other stuff was good. Oh, well.

The good stuff was that I found "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley at the library today. I've never read the book but its one of those things floating out there in society that you associate with even though you don't substantially know what it is. Not like I'm trying to fool anyone into thinking that I know about the book, its just a loaded word that sounds good for my blog title.

I wanted to write about the Christmas Spirit because I'm not feeling too much of it at the moment. Usually the gift buying phase gets me warmed up but this year I shopped on line for one person because we're doing something different this year. But, ultimately its about the Christ coming to lift up mankind, not about giving presents.

So that's the short of it. Writing this journal is fun. Why don't I do it more often?


allowing yourself to be served

I was thinking about some stories that I've heard recently about service.
In my swim coaches' newsletter, the lead story was about the brother of a
coach who'd been paralyzed in a car accident. He was a lawyer and swimmer,
so he was very active and spoke for a living. Now he couldn't move below
his nose and he couldn't talk. He became very depressed for a few years.
What pulled him out of the depression was a new perspective on his
purpose. He realized that his purpose was to allow others to fulfill
themselves by serving him. That included the nurses who cared for him and
the family members who take time out of their day to help him with the
most basic of human needs.

In the Gospel story of Jesus dining with Simon and accepting the service
of Mary Magdalene, there is a similar message. Simon was trying to show is
love by hospitality, yet he forgot some of the most simple and respectful
customs in his effort to provide a lavish meal. Mary was penitent and
served Jesus out of that motive. Jesus allowed himself to be served by
others because part of worship is fulfilling one's self through service
and contrition.

The same can be said for hosting parties and being a guest during the
holidays. Americans don't really draw the line between serving others and
allowing others to serve them. Guests must be polite by offering to help
the host/ess. In Russia, guests don't lift a finger. When the guests
become hosts, their guests don't lift a finger either. Culture can go both
ways on this issue. But in spiritual terms, there is value in serving AND
there is holiness in allowing others to serve you. I'm going to remember
this and relax when I'm in the position to be served. The gratitude shown
to me will make me a better servant to others when the time comes.


the sophomore edition

Ok I'm back for another short entry. The initial feedback from friends and
family about my blog have been good. It still seems like a rather new idea
to them though. That's ok, 5 days ago it was new to me too. I think my
biggest concern has been privacy and security. I mean, if this thing is
going to be searchable on the web, then anyone with any motive can access
it. I'm a believer in the the honesty of mankind and find people to be
mostly harmless who give an intimidating impression, but still you never

Identity theft is an increasing problem in the USA these days. Last year,
someone stole a paycheck out of my mailbox and tried to get credit cards
in my name. Fortunately I was alerted to the problem before any harm or
money could be charged, but for thousands of others, it costs like 7-800
dollars to correct the problem.

And then there's the issue of privacy. What will people think of me? I
don't have a trendy angle on the news or technology. I just like the
latest things that make life easier or more interesting. But there's a
place on the web for all sorts. I'll keep my real name off this blog for
the time being, so you can just call me Fuzz or Jefe or Fuzzy Jefe if you

I see that I can add design changes to my blog. That will be the next
thing I do, but right now I have to write a paper about native speakers in
second language acquisition! Hooray!


Starting to Blog

At first I was really skeptical about bloggers and blogging. I thought it was only for those who spend a lot of time on the internet and are opinionated enough to have to write something. Then I heard about how bloggers contributed to the exposure of the false military documents that CBS used to question the President's military record. And how they helped the press get the story right or wrong. Hmm, I thought, maybe blogging isn't that bad.

Then during my graduate studies, I heard about how blogging is changing how we use language. I'm an ESL teacher, so this kind of stuff interests me. And I know my students are blogging, so in an effort to relate to my students in class better, here I am. It's very freeing to have an outlet to write. Don't expect any radical conspiracy theories, or rantings from this blog. Maybe some political theories, language teaching ideas, and day-in-the-life reports to the fam. I like how the interests that I list connect me to other bloggers, interactivity is what blogging is all about.

So its takes a little bit of bravery to start blogging, but once you do, it grows and becomes easier. That's what I'm finding out. I'm open to your tips and thoughts about what makes a good blog. See you on the Net.

Countries I have visited

Where I've been in the USA