Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and the drive from Boulder, Colorado, to Kansas City, Kansas, is starting to loom over the rest of the week. Driving across the great State of Kansas is never really a fun activity, but it is a necessary part of being able to participate in family activities. Next week will include all sorts of wedding related discussions and the specific duty of seeking consultation with establishments that rent tuxedos. Naturally, Joni has stared an intensive tuxedo consultation motivated reminder campaign to ensure that at some point during the trip action on the issue occurs. Maybe the campaign involves an attempt to cross something off the list of items requiring completion in a timely fashion. Regardless of schedule or requirements for the trip to Kansas City, several important milestones will occur during the next week. At some point during the next week, documents related to the dissertation process will travel across the internet to a digital drop box in a virtual classroom. Maybe focusing attention on the importance of completing the dissertation prospectus and proposal has magnified the process. Certainly, attention is necessary since the prospectus and the proposal are the documents that potential advisors and committee members are going to review.
Between the requirements of an extensive literature review and a series of dissertation proposal and dissertation prospectus editing sessions the weekend is vanishing quickly. At the start of the weekend, one of the standing goals was to complete enough work to be able to go see the new Johnny Cash biographical movie staring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter. Aptly titled “Walk the line,” the movie seems to be getting quality reviews throughout the intellectual void that is movie commentary on the internet. Even after working into the middle of the night several days in the row movie going prospects seem to be fading fast. Consider for a moment the economic reality of contemporary movie going. Two people can attend the movie theater for about twenty dollars. Twenty dollars represents the ability to purchase about thirty tacos. In a head-to-head battle between buying tacos and watching movies the utility received from watching a movie has to be able to outweigh the potential benefit of about thirty tacos. Arguments about diminishing returns aside theaters show a movie once for about two hours, but purchasing tacos does not and should not represent a one-time activity.
Yesterday, the better part of the day was spent roaming around the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado, which was a fun and interesting experience. Part of the adventure was about getting to see the Air Force Academy, Colorado College, and University of Colorado at Colorado Springs buildings scattered throughout the maze of curving roads that divide the city. Colorado is a strange and wondrous state that offers mountains as a backdrop to strategically placed cities and a multitude of opportunities to enjoy the natural wonders the state has to offer.
Today started with some crackers and peanut butter and quickly turned into a Sunday shoe-shopping marathon. Between visits to the sports store, the mall, and a sporting goods store shoes were available in quantities that were bordering on obscene. One thing was certain about the shoe-shopping marathon the National Football League was not providing quality games on the schedule this Sunday. Despite the fact, that Boulder, Colorado, shows fewer National Football League games each week than anyone would expect with several hundred digital cable television channels. First, the National Football Game should make sure to show the local games in each region, but league also needs to make sure that other competitive games are available. Second, the facts surrounding the current situation are very clear the National Football League is having a down year in the content category. Some games are simply not enjoyable to watch even for the diehard football fan that watches every game broadcast in the region.
Understanding the final destination is part of the challenge of defining a series of personal or professional goals. Over time, it is easy to get set in a routine that sustains the status quo without striving to achieve at a higher level for a higher purpose. Determining a set of well-defined goals and objectives that are not part of the day-to-day routine is about expanding possibility instead of muddling through the journey known as life. Living in the land of opportunity is about understanding possibility and accepting that in the midst of life experiences are choices. One of the side effects of free will is the fact that choice defines what paths will guide the journey that is life. For most people reality is a dynamic that forces choices that minimize potential risk while maximizing short-term gains. However if every game is played out to win a series of self serving battles for short-term maximization long-term prospects might not be given the strategic importance they deserve. Finding and developing opportunities that help realize long-term strategic goals have to be part of the daily routine to be effective.
Strange things have been afoot in Boulder, Colorado, as the national observance of Halloween slowly approached and quickly vanished. Several bags of candy sit next to the door, two formerly glow stick illuminated carved pumpkins smile covered with morning dew, and somehow a sense of community faded with the light of two glow sticks throughout the night. The Simpson’s Halloween special and a National Football League game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens was on television, but the volume was turned down just in case someone wanted to trick-or-treat in Boulder, Colorado. From the view of a third floor of the apartment, the street looked empty throughout the night, sparking the observation that nobody seemed to be participating in the national observance of Halloween. Now the bags of Halloween candy will rest by the door, the pumpkins will soon be leaving, but something is different Halloween will have to wait at least a year to hear the sounds of trick-or-treat.
At some point over the years, something changed, greeting cards, post cards, and handwritten notes started to become something to cherish. Between various occasions for celebration sometimes, the value of sending a card is lost in the modern technology driven chaos that is everyday life. Streaming information constantly bombards anyone willing to listen with everything from infomercials selling pointless products to pundits sharing priceless gems of shameless intellectual plagiarism. Today, everything seems to be running as usual, the sound of leaf blowers served as an alarm clock announcing the existence of everyday life running in the background just before the roar of the lawnmower echoed throughout the apartment making sure everyone in the neighborhood is awake. Monotony washes over the string of days without holidays and other reasons for celebration that bring the community together during the shared observance of something that is meaningful to someone. Maybe it is easier to understand each other during a celebration, or maybe having something apolitical to talk about brings communities together in ways partisan politics divide.
During the wide assortment of conversations that occur during any given week, some ideas stand out above all of the others. For example, during a conversation with Gus the argument was made that, “At some point, writing is a habit, not a skill,” but Gus quickly countered that argument by asserting quality writing is a learned skill that comes with practice and purpose. Within the two conflicting arguments is something that defies any form of intellectual shunning, because the power of dialogue to identify difference and strengthen our understanding of the world builds on the base of a single perspective to achieve a shared perspective or understanding. If the world is multidimensional, then the thinker will have to acknowledge that to understand the multiple dimensions each individual perspective requires the perspectives of others to view the world. Sharing perspectives with others on an issue is the only active way to pursue an accurate understanding of the issue that accounts for differences in our collective understanding of the world.