Archive for the ‘School’ Category

We have a highly intelligent but unmotivated fifteen year old boy, and getting him to take school seriously is damn near impossible. No matter how many times we try to sit him down and explain the far reaching consequences of not taking school seriously, he just won’t hear it. The sad part, as I mentioned before, is he is highly intelligent and if he were to just buckle down and try he would be pulling in straight A’s. I think if I knew he was not all that bright I could handle the grades he is bringing home now. The question is how do we motivate him, and get him to see that his actions now will affect him many years down the road?

We have asked him several times what he wants to do when he gets older, and he has said since the age of seven he wants to be in the military, beyond that he has no real career goals.  I am sure this is normal, but you would think he could at least throw out a few different ideas. He seems to only be interested in football, working out, video games, and television/movies. I do consider us lucky that he is into these things, and not doing the horrible things I was doing at his age, but I know he can accomplish so much more than his mom and I ever could have.

We have talked to him about joining the ROTC program, where he goes to boot camp over the summer and is officially enlisted at the age of sixteen. This way he is already two years in before he even graduates. Apparently the way the program works he is able to go to college without ever being deployed. If he enjoys the service he could become a lifer and retire with full military pension and benefits. I think this could be his best road to success. If it were up to me all my kids would join the service before they head off to college.

I want the best for my children, and the last thing I want for them is to endure the struggle and stress that we have to go through due to our poor decision making. I do not want them to be thirty years old living with regrets of missed opportunities. He is only fifteen and completely unable to see the big picture which I am sure is very normal. We have tried almost everything to punish him for his poor grades, but he just adapts to the punishment and waits it out. When his grades in math and science began to slip in 7th grade, we took his games away it motivated him the first few times but after awhile it didn’t do anything. What seems to light a fire under his ass is when we do not allow him to go to weight training. We hate to use this because this is one of his healthy activities. Like most parents I just wish our words would get through to him. You always want your kids to learn from your mistakes, to take your words of wisdom to heart and believe and trust you enough that they listen so intently and perfectly. Getting a teenage boy to see how his Algebra 2 and science grades now, can affect his status and financial life in ten years is not possible.

My wife and I disagree on what steps we should take to try and rectify this problem. I believe if he continues to bring home bad grades, and continues to show an “I don’t give an F” attitude towards school, we need to bring the hammer down on him. I remember reading or listening to a show one time on parenting. The speaker was saying when you run into major issues with your children you need to “show” them all the things they have that they do not need. When you take these things away such as TV, internet, and video game privileges they will be motivated to rectify the problem so they can get their privileges back. As I mentioned earlier we have taken away his games, and this motivated him, but he quickly learned if we take the video games away he still has the television, iPod Touch, and internet. He uses these as substitutes when one is taken away. In my opinion the only way to drive the message home is to cut him off from all of these things, until he is able to right the ship. Our goal is to get him to spend more time studying so his grades can improve, but if he is allowed to continue to have these distracters in his life, he will never make it a priority to do these things.

My wife on the other hand believes that if we resort to such tactics, it will set off a chain reaction of rebellion. She also feels that even if we took these things away, because of his stubbornness he will accept the punishment, and still refuse to do the work needed. I sure I did not properly convey her exact feelings, which I hope she will clarify in the comments section.

Nicole has always taught him since a very young age, to be proud of whom you are, to not worry about pleasing others, but to stick to what you believe to be right and wrong, and to stand true to yourself. These are all wonderful lessons, but this has backfired on us, as he sure does stand true to what he believes in, “I will never use any of this stupid stuff anyway so what’s the point” damn kid.

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My daughter is in the sixth grade, and she has now started to “date” boys. Nicole thinks she is way too young to be having boyfriends, where I feel it is normal and harmless behavior. I remember when I was in sixth grade, I had girlfriends and it seemed to be, a normal practice at this time. Sixth grade is just a time where boyfriends/girlfriends are just the in thing to have. She has taken the next step in life, and this is part of that next step. The question I pose today, is if she is too young to have a boyfriend?

I think the whole thing, is all innocent at this time in her life. The biggest events, which seem to happen, when you are boyfriend and girlfriend at this age, is hugging and holding hands. She did have one boyfriend, this year who wanted to take that next step and kiss, but she was not ready to do that, so he broke up with her. I am happy that my daughter knows her own comfort level and boundaries enough to say no. I have noticed, that they tend to throw the word “I love you” around the day they start to date, which at first bothered me, but then I thought back to when I was young, and that word was thrown around all to casually. These kids have no concept of relationship love, so I am not really concerned over them using the word, because it means nothing.

I also think, dating must be normal at this age, because they have started doing school dances. I again, think back to when we started doing school dances, and one of the thrills was asking girls to go to dances with you, which is what they are doing today. You would think as her father, I would be freaking out over all this, but I am really okay with the whole thing. It is not, that I am not protective of her, because papa bear syndrome runs rampant with all my children. I guess, I just see this as normal innocent behavior for a sixth grader. When I think back I was actually “dating” in the fifth grade, and I am sure things have not changed much from then to today.

I am sure as time goes by, I will be less and less okay with her having boyfriends, considering as how things progress physically as they age. I was a bit nervous, but excited when she had her first kiss, but I will not feel the same when it comes to her first French kiss. Anything after the French kiss completely terrifies me. I think I may get her a chastity belt when she turns thirteen. I may think this behavior is all innocent and fine now, but I can guarantee you as she gets older I will become the dad who holds a shotgun the first time I meet with her boyfriends.

So, which one is it, should she be allowed to date, because it is a normal right of passage at her age, or is this completely inappropriate? As I have said, in looking back at my childhood, this was all normal behavior, thus I am totally okay with what she is doing.

I don’t want any of my regular readers to freak out but I am going to think like a Christian for a moment. I have always pondered on when, why, and how our country started falling apart. I am pondering this question and some verses from Proverbs stuck into my head. This got me thinking about God, and the role he played in peoples lives many years ago. The people who founded this country were religious God fearing people. Although they believed there should be a wall of separation between religion and the government; most of them were still god fearing people. Our ancestors passed on this love and worship of God unto their children, and they passed it onto their children. Using God as the foundation for our nation and everything she stood for is what made us great. We lived by the commandments of God, and followed His teachings.

“The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out”

Proverbs chapter 13 verse 9

Years ago a population of our people were not happy that God was still in our government and in our schools. They believed this impeded on their 1st amendment rights to religious freedom. The people demanded the wall of separation between church and state be enforced. Many were unhappy prayers were still going on in schools, while others were unhappy religious principles and such were used in government. I have always thought this was one of the greatest things to happen, but in looking through the eyes of a Christian I can see how this decision has altered our country.

“If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”

Joshua chapter 24 verse 20

We as a nation have turned our back on the Lord by throwing him out of our government and our schools. This got me thinking about two verses in Proverbs. In the book of Proverbs it gives many lessons on how to live a just and righteous life. I compare Proverbs to the Tao Te Ching because of the philosophical and moral guidelines it gives the reader on how to act and behave. I do not remember every single chapter and verse but there are two I remember which are pertinent to this post the first is Proverbs chapter 14 verse 34 “Righteousness exalts a nation If righteousness causes a nation to be powerful and right in the eyes of the Lord then surely unrighteousness will destroy it.

“But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who turn their backs on the LORD will perish.”

Isaiah chapter 1 verse 28

There are many out there who believe the origin of the downfall of this nation started when we turned our backs on God. We were once a God fearing nation, because of this we were the greatest nation in history. I am trying to view this conception through the eyes of a Christian and to be honest with you I can see some truth in this. In this mind frame I am apt to believe the separation between church and state is the work of Satan. Thinking this way I can see how Satan has infiltrated our country. I also he infiltrated our churches by changing the Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day. In doing this we are breaking one of the commandments on a weekly basis. I think this is another way Satan has deceived us.

“If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you reject him, he will reject you forever.”

Chronicles 1 chapter 28 verse 9

Have we written our own death sentence by turning our back on the Lord? Have we led our children into a life of sin, by keeping God away from them? There was a time when America had the best schools; since we have restricted the worship of God they have gone downhill. If we continued to teach our children about God, would we have had school shootings? We were once the mightiest nation in history, but could our downfall have to do with throwing God out of our government? There are many countries that have a separation between the church and the government. I would like to point out one that does not; Norway. I ask you this; when was the last time you heard about the moral decline of Norway. Have we allowed our people to become not right with God? If they continued to teach the Bible when I was in school would I be the cynic I am today? Would I be consumed with mental illness if I had someone or something to turn to? Have we taken the hand of the deceiver and allowed him to lead us astray? In the Bible it has many lessons for the glory the righteous will receive, and for the torment and despair the unrighteous will experience.

“For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected  forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;”

Psalms chapter 37 verse 28

Okay time to step back into my shoes. I am not a believer in the Bible, and I do not believe the words inside are the Word of God. I still have doubts if my beliefs are correct or not. I have seen shows on the Bible Code which makes me think. My father also tries to get me to read the prophecies to show me these things are coming true. I still find a sense of serenity when I read the word, but like I said before I feel the same way when I am studying the Tao or various other teachings. The seed of fear is still inside of me, that fear of eternal damnation. This was planted in me as a child, and still affects me till today. I wonder if I should be like millions of Christians out there who believe because they would rather be right and live in heaven then be wrong and spend an eternity in hell. I do not think this is the proper motive to worship God. I consider myself a Taoist who studies other religions for fun. In my life I have never felt better and whole then when I am studying the words in the Tao Te Ching. This is what fills that hole which is inside of all of us.  I must say though there are times I read the Bible and question myself on whether I have it all wrong. This doesn’t last for to long… or does it?

Tell me what you think of these songs:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise thee, we bless thee.” From Gloria Canon

“We are marching in the light of God” From An African Celebration

“Let us sing altogether to the Son of God. He is born as our saviour and redeemer. Come see the Christ child in the manger. The sweet little babe, Christ the King.” From Psallite

“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are filled with all your glorious works. Blest are they who worship in your Holy Name. Holy, Holy, Holy Lord of hosts. Holy, Holy, Holy God of power and might. Holy, Holy, Holy evermore the same.” From Sanctus

So what do you think of when you read these lyrics? Would you say these are religious songs? Would you come to the conclusion that perhaps these songs would be sung in a church? I come here to you today as a pissed off parent to find out these very same songs were performed by my daughters PUBLIC school choir. I was never informed and there was never a permission slip given to me asking if I thought this material was okay. I never received anything from her school. I did not find out about this until I was sitting in the stands and the program was passed out.

I was immediately outraged by this! I could not contain my emotions. I expressed my frustrations to my wife which started a separation of church and state debate in the stands of the auditorium. I am sure the parents sitting around us were either offended or amused by our banter. In my opinion this shit does not belong in our public schools. This is a clear violation of separation between church and state. You can clearly see these songs are religious based. The lyrics do not try and hide there purpose. It is just BAM in your face. I wanted to get up; grab my daughter and pull her from this performance. I will be contacting her school today. But wait it doesn’t stop there!

I was chatting with my daughter one day afterschool and she was telling me about how in social studies they are learning about Judaism. She recanted the story of Moses and the Pharaoh and the plagues that came to the Egyptian people. She went on to say Moses parted the Red Sea in order to get away. She then explained how Moses reached Mount Sinai and spoke to the burning bush, and about how on the top of the mountain God gave Moses the Ten Commandments written by Gods finger on two stone tablets. They were teaching her this as if it is a fact not a religious belief. I am all up in arms over this. I was irritated when she was telling me about this, and I had to immediately correct her and explain that these events are not real facts they are a man made fairy tale. She has been my daughter long enough to already know this to be true. I think these songs really pushed me off the ledge.

I really want to call her school and confront the principle on this subject. I will try to refrain because I am not sure how articulate I will come across. Now back to the debate with my wife. She was telling me I am an extremist in my views and that I am a hypocrite because I am making such a big deal about this. I am not sure if she really gets my point. Here is my stance. I do not think kids should be exposed to religion until they hit the age of reason. At this point I am all for them seeking out faith if they so choose. If my daughter is fifteen and chooses to go to church I will support her. If she chooses to become a Muslim I will support her. If she so chooses the Tao or to believe in nothing I will support her. Of course I would love to expose her to my belief system, but that goes against what I believe is right for my children. I do not think exposing children to religion is the right thing because their minds are not fully developed and frankly they are gullible and will believe just about anything.

My youngest son (6) has been recently talking a lot about God, Jesus and Heaven. I am not sure where these ideas are coming from but I am not okay with this. He has been told this by someone and now looks at it as a fact. I mean c’mon this kid still believes in Santa Claus so that about says it all. I made a mistake with my daughter. She used to go to this Christian daycare center and was exposed to religion. Every time we talked I had to reprogram her to set her straight. I told her these things are fairy tales and are false teachings. I succeeded in swaying her away from Christianity. She really enjoyed the movie “Religulous” which makes me think she is probably an atheist. This point is where I can see I am hypocritical. I didn’t want to do the same thing to my son so I just tell him that this is something people believe, and is not rooted in any logical form of thinking. I really doubt he understands what that means, because he still believes in Jesus just as much as he does Santa Claus. I would love nothing more than to start schooling him in Taoism, but like I said this goes against my belief system.

All I know is I am pissed about her social studies class. Something should have been sent home informing the parents what they will be teaching when it comes to religion. I am also pissed because her choir teacher should have sent something home asking the parents if they are okay with this material. I am a firm believer in the separation between church and state. God has no place in our government and sure as shit has no place in our public schools.

“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.”
Hank Aaron

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron: (born February 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama) is a retired Hall of Fame baseball player whose Major League Baseball (MLB) career spanned the years 1954 through 1976. Aaron is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

Sports figures have given us many memorable motivational quotes throughout history. These quotes not only give us motivation to keep trying on the field, but off it as well. An athlete may give us a quote that only pertains to on the field perspective, but we can always incorporate it into our personal lives. The lessons we learn about ourselves through participation in competitive sports reflects in our personal and professional lives long after we hang up the cleats.

In baseball if you are able to achieve a .350 batting average you just had an All Star season, you would be praised by the fans, as well as by your peers. If you are able to finish your career with a lifetime batting average of .350 or greater; you would have written your own ticket to the Hall of Fame. If we stop to think about this success to failure ratio, a Major League Baseball All Star only succeeds 35% of the time! I do not know many companies who would keep an employee who failed 65% of the time.

I use the batting average analogy with my children who participate in sports. They will get down if they have a bad at bat, fumble, or just an overall bad game. This success to failure ratio in sports will put a smile on their faces, knowing those they look up to also have bad games. They are motivated for their next at bat, next down, or their next game. I think this and the analogy of practice makes perfect have given my kids valuable lessons on how to succeed in sports and in life.

Sometimes failures can become our greatest lessons. In life we will make many mistakes. We should look at mistakes as learning opportunities. These lessons shape us into who we are through trial and error; success and failures. We learn what works and what doesn’t, and hopefully refrain from what doesn’t; sometimes that can be a mistake all on its own. The mistakes we make today will become tomorrow’s good choices. Imagine a world where everyone was perfect 100% of the time. In my vision this world seems dull, and not very much fun. The reason we cherish and remember successes so much is because of the lessons and stories behind them. Trying to accomplish a task or fulfilling a dream will result in many failures before you are successful. This builds character and teaches us about perseverance. Actress Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music) said it best.

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th

The nice thing about living creatures is we are resilient. If a lioness gave up every time she failed to make a kill; her pride would starve. If we were to give up every time we experienced failure in our personal and professional life we would cease to advance and grow. We are similar to our idols in professional sports; we will be judged on our successes and failures. In order for us to reach the Hall of Fame in life we need to keep swinging.

Friday was my sons’ very first parent’s day at school. He was so excited for us to come to his kindergarten class and see what he does in a day. When we arrived to his school we saw his class lining up outside getting ready to go inside. When he saw us he got this huge nervous smile as we enthusiastically waved to him. Immediately there was something that caught my eye; I noticed one of his classmates dressed in complete winter gear. This girl had a winter coat, a scarf, hat, gloves, snow pants, and snow boots. I would guess the temperature outside was around sixty five degrees! I was floored by this discovery. At first I laughed because the concept was comical, but then I realized this poor little girls’ parents had to have dressed her, or at least Okayed this prior to her leaving the house. Because of their lack of any resemblance of intelligence she is the one who suffers. I was eager to get inside and catch a glimpse of her parents so I could see this folly with my own eyes. I was not too surprised to discovery they did not attend parents day. Just like last year, I had to endure the haunting sadness from the children’s faces that were left with empty chairs next to them.

When we arrived to his classroom the teacher had set up enough chairs arranged in theater seating to accompany both parents from each child in her class. When my wife and I took our seats and class started we noticed many empty seats. I wrote a post “The Sadness in Their Eyes” back in February or March discussing this same issue when we attended my daughters’ fifth grade parents’ day. I was filled with such sadness as I watched these kids’ whose parents did not show up slouching in their seats with their heads down. The only times they looked up was to check the door to see if their parent was about to walk through the door. I think the kids then were bothered more than the children in my sons’ kindergarten class. Perhaps this is because this is the first time they are experiencing this type of setting; regardless of this I could still see their sadness. I speculate what was going through their little minds wondering why all these parents are here but not mine.

After the morning routine was complete the parents and children were all able to play a counting game, once this was finished we were able to sit at our sons table and watch him work on his letters. He sits at a round table with three other classmates. Sure enough sitting next two us was the girl dressed in complete snow gear. She was so quite and so shy, my wife tried to help her with her letters, but she seemed lost in the concept. She did not speak one word the entire time we were there. Present was another girl sitting at the table with us who also did not have a parent with her. The man sitting next to his son was nice enough to interact with her and help her along. The thing I find ironic is my son and the other boy who had a parent with him; had no trouble with the letter assignment. The two kids in the group without parents there could barely trace the letter let along draw pictures of things starting with said letter.

When we got home I did a post on Facebook about how I felt bad for these kids and asking how parents can do this to their children. I caught backlash from some of my friends criticizing me for judging other parents. They pointed out they may be single parents who work two jobs, or parents whose employer wont let them off work or yada yada yada. The conversation got a little uncomfortable and tense. I in no way tried to judge other parents at least not consciously. I cannot imagine missing these things in my kid’s life.

This will be my last kindergarten parent’s day ever. I will never have this opportunity again, so there is no way I would miss it. When you look at it this way there should be no excuse to not attend these things. Whatever work you have will be there tomorrow. Not only will this be a memory lost for both you and your child, but not attending messes with your children’s’ psyche. I would assume the parents who make justifications for why they can’t come; have never seen the look of depression on their kids faces for them not attending. I would hope if they saw the sadness in their eyes they would change their outlook on this subject.

I am not saying these parents are bad in anyway. I know many of them are shitty parents, but I can’t say they all are. I can understand the work argument. For the longest time I was a corporate scumbag whose only focus was on working my way up the latter, and trying to achieve bigger bonuses, higher pay, and higher status. I would not miss a day of work for any reason. I didn’t care about parent’s day, or any other function for that matter which interfered with my work. I look back at this now filled with regret for all the things I missed. My kids are happy I am no longer this way; I am joyful I am no longer this way,

I am pleased I only need to go to these things for five more years. I am haunted and have nightmares over these poor children. I either have a dream where I am one of those children, or I am the parent and the children appear dead and are just starring at me with sunken eyes and pale skin. I try speaking to them, but the only thing they will say is “why.” This is one creepy ass dream; I had it last year for a few weeks, and I have already had this dream since my son’s parent’s day.

On Saturday September 18th “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage” was published. This is a very exciting time, because I have been working on this project for the past seven months and I am very happy it has been released. This is the first installment in a long series of books based off my son Dylan. My other two children will also be included in every book. This series is geared towards 1-10 year olds; the stories will be varied in topic subjects. One book can be about Dylan being potty trained and one about Dylan’s first day at kindergarten. I have already started working on the next book “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs.” I have a three to four week deadline to have it written and edited. I think I can honestly hit this deadline.

This book has a nice niche in the market, because it is written entirely in rhyming poetry. To my knowledge there are not many out there following this format. The first draft was written in story form but did not make it through the focus grood. Many people thought the story was rather boring. I decided to alter the story to write it in its current form. This edition was met with praise from the focus group.   

The next step is to start marketing it. I was able to put a link on WordPress but it would not allow me to add the picture which means readers will not see it. I viewed my site and all I see is a small box with a red X through it. I doubt this will draw people to the link where people can purchase the book. I posted a link on my Facebook status message, but these status messages get lost in the shuffle of Facebook posts. I can not figure out how to create a permanent link on my account. I do have my website where people can purchase the book, but I have very limited resources to advertise this site, so I receive very little traffic.

I need to get my Philosophy of Me business cards made up so I have the option to strike up conversations’ and hand them out to drive sales. I know these business cards will prove to be valuable when I finally start doing readings. I can also place advertisement on message boards. Nicole has found many sites where I can get professional reviews from which would provide great exposure and give me more things I can send to agents after the next installment comes out. I am a bit overwhelmed with all the reading material to get this started. Below are two links to where you can purchase this book. I received a comment from Johanna asking to see a preview of the book, and that preview is offered on the purchasing site.

I hope to get your support, the more sales the easier it will be to interest literary agents. It would also help if you could post the lulu link and either e-mail to family and friends and or post the link on your Facebook and ask people to repost. This worked great for my previous book.

 http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/dylan-thomas-finds-his-courage/12677841

 www.thephilosophyofme.com

On Friday I ordered my sample copy of “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage.” I should receive the copy in about a week or two. This book is the first installment in a series of children’s books I am writing. It has taken some time to finally get this thing together and ready to be published. My illustrator and I have learned some valuable lessons during this process. I hope these learning tools will aid us in our future installments. The main thing we learned was having the book edited prior to starting the illustration phase, and we have decided each book will have its own separate illustration style. This will be nice because we can keep things fresh.

If everything looks good this book should be available for sale end of September or early October. I really hope everything turns out on paper as well as it shows on the computer. I am worried the quality will be less than perfect, and the illustrations rely heavily on bright eye popping illustrations. If the quality does not come out we may need to look for another printing company which will only further delay its release. 

This series of books is based around my son Dylan. I chose to use his middle name Thomas because Dylan Thomas is the name of one of my favorite poets. Since the series will always be written in rhyming poetry I feel the name is perfect. The stories will always star my son, but each one of my kids will be in the story as well; in fact every character and location in these books will be based off people and locations I know. We will be publishing one more book “Dylan Thomas: Bed Time Songs,” which I am currently writing. Once this one is published I will begin to shop these books off to literary agents in hopes of getting published by one of the larger publishing houses. I understand I have a much better chance of achieving my dream of becoming a full-time author with this series as opposed to my poetry and blog.

I hope to get the support of my readers so I can show agents solid sales numbers. I will let everyone know the day it is released.

A while ago I wrote a post about my current projects. Since then a few things have been finished and a few of my projects have been altered, because I am a shameful promoter I would like to give an update on my progress. Things have been progressing nicely although there are some tedious things causing me to dread the process. Feedback is always needed.

Dylan Thomas: This is a children’s book series written in poetry form. The goal is to create stories which appeal to ages 2-10. I want the rhyming and lush drawings to not only draw the kids in, but also make the stories enjoyable for the parents as well. I have completed the first story “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage.” Currently it is in the illustration phase and will be released the end of September. I hope to have the next installment “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” I hope to have this available for sale by February 2011 or sooner.

This series is probably the only way I will make any money from my writing, and hopefully this series will help me land a literary agent. The stories will follow the same flow as far as the rhyming poetry, but the illustrations will change. I think this is exciting because it will keep things fresh. The illustrator Jeff Chia has one more page to complete, and my sister Cailee is doing the editing. I hope to have everything but together by September 1st. This will allow me a month to ensure everything looks good on the actual book. I am a quarter done with the next installment.

Yin; A poetry chapbook chronicling my dark side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010.

This is completed with all poems in my journal. I just need to type and edit. I hope to have this out by November. I will either sell “Yin” and “Yang” separately or combine them into one book. If I were to combine them into one I would set it up where “Yin” is on one side and “Yang” on the other. I am planning on setting them up as pocket books.

Yang; A poetry chapbook chronicling my light side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010

Politico; Working Title This poetry chapbook focuses on my political and theological perspectives. This book is also finished with an expected release date before November 2010.

This book will contain my political, philosophical, and theological points of view. There is a website called Politico, so I am unsure if the name is copyrighted or not. If it is I will have to get their blessings to use their names. There were plenty political poems in “My Descent into Madness,” and seemed to be well received.

The Mind of a Madman: (working title) this is a novel written in poetry form describing the inner workings of a psychopath in the making, and his journey into madness, starting from the time of conception up until… the rest will be a surprise. This has been a difficult book to work on, the places these poems take me is very dark. If I spend too much time there I may become a product of my words.

I have been all over the place in writing this one. I am jumping around to different phases of the main characters’ life. I am planning on telling this story strictly in poetry form or if I should add some narrative to it. This is taking longer than I expected, because I can only stay a short time in this mans mind.

The Philosophy of Me: The life and mind of no one special: This will be a book based off 365 days of my blogging entries. This will appeal to my fans wanting all my entries in print, and introduce the site to new readers. I will also use this as part of my portfolio.

I received an e-mail from a reader saying she would purchase this even though it is just an edited version of my blog. I suppose if one person would enjoy it than others may as well.

My Journey Through Taoism; This will include every verse from the Tao Te Ching along with my quest into understanding and living the Tao. Many books are written by experts. I hope to relate to readers who are new to Taoism by explaining my journey seeking understanding. At the end of each chapter I will be including a poem based off the verse. I do not want to rush this; so I am unaware of a release date 

This will be written in real time chronicling my quest into understanding Taoism. This book is the reason I stopped adding verses in my blog. I don’t want too many books to cross pollinate. I am enjoying this project because I can spend a few weeks working on each verse which will really bring me closer to the Way. In writing this in the perspective of someone seeking the Way it may help others understand it better and assist them on their journey. 

The Humor In Theology; I was originally going to write a descriptive timeline and the evolution of religion. I realized this book would only appeal to a certain audience. I was becoming overwhelmed with the mighty scope of this project. I decided to stick with the theology aspect but instead write it in a humorous way. I think this will be informative as well as funny.

I changed this from a serious educational book into a comedy. I will look into religions of the past and current beliefs and point out the goofiness of what people believe. There is a religion in Africa which believed their God vomited up the entire universe. This is just one of the silly beliefs people hold onto. It is amazing how people completely abandon logic in the name of faith.

The Philosophy of Quotes: Everyone loves quotes, and it seems each person may walk away with different perspectives on the meaning of these quotes. This book explains my philosophical view on the meaning of quotes. I hope to turn this into multiple volumes; each volume will be broken down by letters of the alphabet. I am excited to take a deeper look at my favorite quotes. 

I thought I would enjoy this one, but I have been running into a little bit of frustrations. My mind will not shift into this mode, which is holding this bad boy up.

Deceived: (working title.) This book examines how the Christian religion has allowed itself to be destroyed by the word of man. I have read the Bible a number of times; once because of faith, once as a theologian, and once as a skeptic. You would be amazed how much the bible has been changed to not only create copyrights, but to change the original meaning of the “Word of God” to fit mans needs. This book will be written entirely on a non-biased theological way looking strictly at the Word.

If I want to properly do this one I will need to focus 100% of my attention on it. I will need to simultaneously read three to four separate versions of the Bible. I started this awhile back and read the first couple chapters of Genesis, and it made my head hurt. I really think this project has potential, but with the amount of time I have to work on my writing it would take a year or two and I am not sure if I want to make that type of commitment on something which may not reap what I sowed.

On a side note I have thought of releasing my poetry books with commentary as far as what I was feeling and the meaning. I tend to write in abstract ways and I have had people tell me they get lost in finding the true meaning. I just wonder if this is sacrilegious with poetry because poetry is meant to be subjective to the reader. I am worried my poems may lose some of its luster if I add commentary. On the flip side some of my dedicated readers may care enough to know the story behind the poem.

What are your thoughts? Do you think I may be wasting my time with some of these books? I am starting my quest today to find an agent and I wonder if they want to see complete projects or is a concept enough to wet their whistle.

Along with healthcare I feel a higher education should be free to all Americans. I do not believe parents and students should dig themselves a lifetime of debt just to be handed a piece of paper. The costs of a higher education in this country is ridicules and unfair. This is a form of class discrimination, because the rich are able to provide their children with the best education. I understand there are programs for smart or athletic unprivileged youth to gain scholarships’, but the scholarships available for the smart children only pays for a portion of their education. Athletes are a bit different, they can receive full scholarships, but they also make the universities billions of dollars. This system which denies everyone an equal opportunity to become educated is simply unfair.

I went to school for a philosophy degree, as a result of this I am now in debt around $70k. I have taken out loans through so many different financial institutions; I am now swimming in debt from every angle. I cannot afford to pay multiple minimum payment to everyone. My only option out of this is to consolidate my debt into one payment. Years ago there were many banks which would offer such a consolidation, today there is only one; the government. They have created a monopoly in loan consolidations; the only way to solve my problem is to sell my soul to the devil. It is going to cost me $250k or more when you add in interest. This is not including the loans I will need to take out to provide my children a proper education. This is not an isolated example; it is happening all over our great country, and is an unfair tradeoff.

Years ago you were able to get a good job without a piece of paper showing you went to college. Companies would look at your work history first and educations second, because of our current economy company’s are requiring a degree to even consider you for employment. This is true for all levels of employment ranging from CEO’s all the way down to the servers at restaurants’. This is another way of keeping people in the same economic class. I understand there are people who are an exception to this rule.

Here are my solutions to this problem:

  1. Universities receive billions upon billions of dollars in television revenues as well as in endorsements and ticket sales from their sports programs. They receive an unknown number of dollars from boosters. The universities could funnel in this money to financially support their institutions as well as turning a profit. This would afford every American an education and an equal chance at a brighter future for themselves as well as their children.    
  2. If this would not generate enough money, we could add the above and charge the students $20.00 a credit. This would come to an average of $80.00 a class, add in a semester worth of credits and the university would make $320.00 per student. If you multiply by an average 5,000 students and you get $1.6 million. This should cover a hefty portion of the staff’s salary.
  3.  If this is still not enough add a small tax out of paychecks, and sales tax. This along with the two examples above should solve this problem. I am hard pressed to think people would be against these taxes to ensure everyone is granted a better education.

It is sad there are many countries out there who provide free educations, and those who offer it on the cheap. It is sad that our k-12 public schools continue to lose funding, enforce the no child left behind, and deliver a sub-par education compared to other countries. This is another thing we could get done, if there was not the greed and me first type of thinking. This along with my post yesterday is what I would do if I was in power.

What do you think?