The New Testament and Bird Box

One of my goals for 2018 had been to read through the entire Bible, a goal I did not complete. However, this morning I finished my NT read through with the book of Revelation.

It was interesting timing because yesterday I watched Bird Box, a recent Netflix movie set in an apocalypse. The main idea is that there is some sort of evil demon monster that causes people to commit suicide if they see it. Quite graphic, disturbing, and the characters spend much of the movie blindfolded.

So as I was reading about the end of time in the Bible I was making these connections between plagues, Satan run amok, angelic hosts and the woe to those humans unfortunate enough to live through the terrible end of Earth as we know it. Mildly amusing and entirely unexpected.

This reminds me that our current experiences in life, with art, and other factors can influence the lens with which we approach other arts, in this case my Bible reading. I’ll revisit this goal again in 2019 and should meet it this time.

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Reflections on Generation Me

I’ve finished my second book by Dr. Jean Twenge about generations. The title Generation Me is another name for Millenials, also known as Gen Y. The short version is that Gen Me is at its core very focused on the self. Believe in yourself. You can do anything and essentially narcissistic, even compared to other American generations.

I found it to also be a quick and compelling read. This generation is now roughly the age of 22-37 and makes up the majority of young adults in America now, including a significant part of the workforce. I’m still mentally transitioning to the fact that students these days are no longer Millennials but are the younger iGen, AKA Gen Z.

I think a key difference between the two generations (Y & Z) are that the older ones (Y) believe in themselves and are self-focused, while the younger generation (Z) are distracted and living primarily through digital-based social media. They both are missing out on real community and personal relationships compared to older generations, but for different reasons. My personal opinion is that this is one of the few key factors contributing to their disenchantments.

This wraps up my generational book reading for this year and I’ll be focused on finishing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation heptalogy. After that it will be 2019 and I can focus on my main reading goal for next year: establish a foundation of modern English literature by reading the works of Shakespeare, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 1611 KJV bible.

English Literature

I’ve spent most of 2018 reflecting on my use of media and what sort of goals, if any, I should establish for myself for this year, or the next. To that end, I have decided to pursue a literary review of the pillars of modern English. I have decided to blog about my reading of the works Shakespeare, the King James Bible (1611) and the Book of Common Prayer (1662). From this starting point, I will delve into other classic works. I won’t be limiting myself to English authors only, and am anticipating reading some works of Tolstoy, in addition to Dickens, etc. I tend to naturally blog about topics related to my various other hobbies, and I am sure they will make an appearance once more. So, here is to a renewal in my blogging activities, which I have neglected for far too long. I will close with an excerpt from The Valley of Vision.

“Open to me the springs of divine knowledge,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing clear and unsullied
through my wilderness of life.”

The Arts

I’ve spent the last seven months or so exploring watercolor. This month I’ve branched out into gouache as well (an opaque watercolor medium). I have always enjoyed drawing in pencil, and have tried drawing in ink once more. I’ve even revisited chalk pastels but didn’t enjoy them at the time, and I’ve toyed with the idea of other paint mediums, mainly acrylic and oil.

Two years ago I deleted my first blog of ten years Continue reading “The Arts”

September Update

The past three months have been the busiest in my life. I am seeing major success at school with my updates in the science classroom. I’m pushing the envelope with technology integration and piloting a bunch of new technologies in preparation for a one to one initiative the next school year. Next week should see a new chromebook cart arriving with five different convertible models to choose from and put their their paces for the selection process this December. Fun times, but super draining on my mental energy.

I have definitely cemented watercolor painting in the mixed media urban sketching style as a new hobby. I have a large collection of paints and have developed what you might call a passion for color and pigments and I think the watercolor medium is excellent for showcasing these pigments due to their transparency as opposed to most other media which are generally opaque in nature. I think I’ll start putting some watercolor content up on this blog soon.

That reminds me… I’ve been thinking about blogging every week for months now but have hit a time issue and energy issue. Also, as far as content, I was really hoping to focus on poetry and bible study when I deleted my old biblioblog and created this one. Due to my varied interests I think I’ll need to just post whatever is on my mind. I don’t think I’ll be writing my own poetry any time soon but I can go back to posting poetry that I find and that I enjoy. Same with scriptures; I can post things that stand out to me.

However, I think I’ll add in art content and technology and other things I find interesting. I definitely am learning a lot of new things in the fields of psychology, mental health, as well as in the education technology areas. So, I’m hoping to just start creating here again. I’m also hoping to get more active in Instagram, which is a great art format. I’ve been seriously thinking about upgrading to an iPhone SE to get a better camera but keep the small form factor of my 5S which I love.

Speaking of Apple products. I am also using an iMac for the first time. I have some high flyer students who I really pushed earlier this week to try some new things in class. They came back with a request for a video camera, lapel mic, green screen and computer with iMovie so they could write and film some video content for our current lesson. I’ve spent the past week assembling such from misc. resources in our school and they filmed their footage Thursday. Monday starts the editing process. I have one of the two iMacs updating to High Sierra, and the other is already in use. More soon on that front.

Finally, I’ve been back to game mastering table top role playing games, mostly D&D 5e right now. I am running two campaigns, a Tuesday/Thursday after school group is running through Tomb of Annihilation. I have a former student playing four PCs in Curse of Strahd on Friday nights, who is also thinking about taking up the DM wand for the first time; and I would switch roles and play a different party of four PCs. Anyways, lots going on and I anticipate becoming more active in October as I settle back into a routine now that school is back into full swing.