FraFriFraFriday`s Feast

Appetizer
How many pieces of jewelry do you wear most days?
3, two chains and a ring.

Soup
What is your favorite instrumental song?
Children by Robert Miles

Salad
Who has a last name that you like?
I like mine very much.

Main Course
Name a popular movie you’ve never seen.
Casablanca or Gone With the Wind… have not seen either, but want to. One I do not care for and have not seen is Citizen Kane.

Dessert
Fill in the blank: Nothing makes me ___________ like ____________.
Nothing makes me madder like a joke that is only funny for the person making it.

Also, Friday Feasters that don`t read at least another post… or if they have a Wii they do not send me friend codes… or Michael that made me censor my MySpace pic.

Zzzzzzzz

Hoping to catch some tonight… been working way too many hours, but hey at least all the servers are now 2k5!

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year?

I love reading now… I came back to it a little more consistently on 2004 and since I have read many books. Today I was told that statistics (found here) say that

One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. Many do not even graduate from high school.

58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.

42% of college graduates never read another book.

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.

70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

57% of new books are not read to completion.

Jerrold Jenkins.

I find the numbers a little troubling but at the same time hard to believe. I know a lot of people and I venture to say that 90% of them read books. I even venture into saying that at least 75% of the people that read this blog read books. Heck, Michael (Mr, your flipping the bird in my space picture is too much) read more books a month than I do a year… so that has to count for something.

I have stopped reading 2 books halfway, but I think I eventually ended up finishing them. I can see people getting book for a plane ride and not reading it anymore once routine kicks in. I think the biggest complaint I have heard from readers is that people do not have enough time to read anymore.

We go to the bookstore at least once a week and not just to pick up Manga. I am reading the Harry Potter series and have already The Wheel of Time series line up after that. I also have the latest Crichton to read and a couple others. So there is no shortage of things to read, more like a shortage of time. I am also behind in all of my computer, video game and sports magazines.

Reading books is very important, specially those that have to do with your field of work. They keep you up with terminology and advances. Reading for pleasure also broadens your horizon and helps your imagination stretch. I don’t think movies do that for us because even the best ones are just like stepping in someone else’s imagination, not using your own.

So be kind and post some comments about how much you actually read.

The Holocaust

Six million people died, not enemy combatants, not an army… just a race of people that needed to be wiped off the face of the earth. This weekend I watched the movie Freedom Writers which was a lot more powerful than I first expected it to be. When I saw the previews for it I could picture just the latest iteration of dangerous minds. However this movie was a lot more than just another story about a rough high school, it was the story a group of people that were changed by knowledge.

One of the most powerful parts of the movie shows how a group of students taking remedial English change their perspective in life because of reading just a simple book. While the book is a powerful one (The Diary of Anne Frank) and it makes the kids in that class whom did not even know what the holocaust was understand that what they go through is not a matter of just environment. While we can all be victims of our surroundings we can also come out ahead.

Humanity is capable of horrible things, I believe the need to be more significant than others is what fuels those irrational thoughts. Instead of transcending through positive actions people like Hitler leave a mark in this world through their hatred of others. Sadly it is sometimes just because they do not understand what makes them feel miserable so the only solution is to try to make others feel their pain.

If Hitler could have figured out what it is that was wrong with him, maybe he could have stopped to think that all of his hatred was simply his need to leave a mark. While there might just be people that are insane like him or many other deranged people that get a following, I hope that humanity can start moving forward away from simply just unloading rage instead of dealing with it.

The holocaust is something that is hard to define in numbers, but try to imagine that everyone you know that has one characteristic in common, and not to make it just about race lets say everyone that you know that has darker hair, gets rounded up and taken to a place where a vast majority are going to die. Think of all of them just being killed for no other reason that they had something in common… then think of what happens every single day in our world… it is not too different from the current sectarian and ethnic violence going on around the world. It seems like we are doomed to never learn.

Gracias

English Version

Maria del Pilar Erazo (Pilar) fue mi profesora de quinto de primaria, pero más que eso, ella fue la persona que creó los cimientos para la persona soy ahora. Así yo hubiera tenido la capacidad de ser bueno para las matemáticas o la capacidad de retener información, no hubiera significado nada sin lo que ella me enseñó.

Todos tenemos una gran capacidad de aprender como humanos; nuestra mente no tiene limites. Esto no significa nada si dejamos que nuestra imaginación se atrofie si no la utilizamos. Hay profesores a los cuales tengo que agradecer, por enseñarme Inglés, por enseñarme a amar las letras o la música; pero a la persona a la cual tengo que agradecerle más es Pilar, quien me enseñó cómo pensar y cómo razonar.

Mi trabajo todos los días consiste en analizar datos y ver distintas maneras de ejecutar procesos electrónicos o humanos para hacerlos más eficientes. Todos los días tengo que encontrar cómo solucionar problemas en momentos críticos en los cuales segundos son prescindibles. Mi capacidad de mirar una página de código y encontrar dónde falta una coma es una de mis aptitudes. Pero poder hacerlo con calma y sin desespero porque tengo a muchas personas o situaciones a mi alrededor, eso de lo debo a Pilar.

Yo soy una persona emocional y mucha gente ve eso como una flaqueza. Pilar me dio las herramientas necesarias para poder entender quien era yo, y no me dejó utilizar mi sensibilidad como una excusa para no alcanzar potencial. Pilar no sabe esto, pero ella indirectamente salvó la vida de mi hermanita. Fue gracias a ella que en un momento de peligro yo pude manejar una situación que requería que yo encontrar la solución un problema durante un momento de estrés. Así como mis profesores de artes marciales me han preparado para reaccionar con reflejos si alguien me agrede físicamente, Pilar entrenó mi mente para solucionar problemas cuando mi mente no quería trabajar bajo presión emocional.

Como su nombre lo dice, Pilar es la base que cimentó la estabilidad de mi educación, pero más que eso, ella siempre ha sido el centro de su familia. Esto ha sido algo que yo no sólo he admirado, sino que quiero implementar en mi propia familia, asegurándome de que todos los que estén alrededor mío salgan adelante y reciban mi apoyo incondicional.

Pilar también me dio mis primeras clases acerca de cultura. Ella me enseñó hizo entender que había otras culturas, y que la nuestra no era necesariamente la mejor, sólo diferente. Ella abrió el mundo para mí y me dio la energía para decir “Si puedo”. Ella no solamente creyó en mis capacidades, sino que dijo “No te voy a dejar desperdiciarlas.”

Pilar no sabe que uno de mis sueños todavía por conseguir es ser docente. Porque en esta vida lo único que me ha llenado, aparte del amor de mis seres queridos, es ayudar a los demás; y los momento en los cuales me siento más trascendente, es cuando estoy dándole a otros el regalo del conocimiento.

Pilar me ha dado tantos regalos que no puedo ni siquiera terminar de enumerarlos; y todos los dias me acuerdo de algo que ella algún dia me dijo y cambio mi forma de pensar. No me dio datos solamente, me dijo “Busca información pero aprende a procesarla, a utilizarla y a sacar conclusiones.” El tener una mente capaz no es suficiente sin las herramientas para utilizarla. Aunque muchas de las cosas que me dijo no las entendí hasta mucho después, yo sé que ella, en muchos sentidos es el primer motor de mi capacidad para solucionar problemas y verlos desde muchos puntos de vista.

Casi no escribo en Español, y bueno, mi mujer es la que me va a poner las tildes y arreglarme la “Horrografia,” pero quería escribir este homenaje sólo en mi lengua materna. Me parece importante expresar mis sentimientos hacia mi profesora, aunque se que esto no es ni siquiera devolverle un granito de arena de la playa que ella me regaló.

Gracias, Pilar. Te quiero. Me has dado mas cariño, comprensión y amor que los que llevan mi misma sangre a veces. Y por eso te debo más de lo que en una vida puedo pagar.

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