Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Late Night Stream of Consciousness

I've heard that staring at artificial light before trying to sleep is not recommended, but my lot in life has placed me in a situation where it's inevitable most nights. Every other night it happens anyway because I can only read a research paper or a book for so long before I'm compelled to check my email and see if anything shocking has occurred in my social networks. Most nights I fall asleep just fine, but occasionally, like tonight, thoughts tumble around until I have no choice but to blurt them out. For the sake of whoever might be my roommate at the time, I try to do this as silently as possible, so here I am. There will be very little structure from here on out, so either bail or buckle up I guess.

There are certain social situations I don't think I'll ever be comfortable in. Eating at restaurants is near the top of that list. Also haircuts and orthodontist appointments. Dentist appointments aren't so bad because conversational expectations are always lower when there's a tiny javelin inside your mouth.

It shouldn't be so hard to come up with fresh ideas. Considering how absurdly random the chemical interactions in our brains are, it seems odd that brainstorming sessions usually just result in reinventing the wheel.

I've done a lot of thinking about the topics that are covered in Rob Bell's book Love Wins in the past week or two. I haven't read it, but I've read about it, and I'm trying to formulate my opinion on the subject matter before I do. Some things I think are important in the discussion:
  • "Christ Alone" is non-negotiable. Always.
  • How someone views the mechanics of heaven and hell is not a matter of salvation.
  • We don't get to do any judging. Rob Bell brought up Gandhi as an example of someone who seemed to be a good person that many Christians would say is in hell, but others would give the benefit of the doubt. The flip side is someone like Hitler, who almost everyone would agree is (and should be) rotting in hell. The problem is, we don't get to make either of those decisions. Pretending that we've got some sort of secret code that lets us decide where to draw the line between the saved and the unsaved is at best arrogant and at worst a damnable offense in and of itself.
  • Many more things. Please don't take this as my whole belief system. Not sure blogger can handle that.
I've gotten back on my bike in the last few days, which has resulted in some wheezing and a sore hind end. Soon it'll be warm enough for me to get out for a significant weekend bike ride instead of just the 10 minute commute to class. Can't wait.

Parsing back through my day, I'm trying to figure out if I ingested something that would be keeping me awake. I had a Mountain Dew at noon, but I doubt that's it. I really hope I didn't accidentally get caffeinated milk. If I did I'll probably be up for a while yet.

I discovered that if I ever want to teach I'm going to have to work on my chalkboard skills. Profs make it look so easy (and I always mentally complain if someone's handwriting on the board is messy) but I gave a half hour presentation today and it's much more difficult than I remembered. You start writing big and neat and within a few words the audience needs a pair of binoculars and your line is sagging down towards the chalk tray by about eight inches.

That said, I would still love to teach. Now to find something I can learn enough about that someone would actually let me teach it. Let me get back to you on that in a few years.

I'm going to try to sleep again now. Questions, comments, concerns? There's a comment box for a reason.

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