National observance of Halloween

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.

Pumpkin carving extravaganza

Three days before the widely anticipated and never truly imitated glow stick lighting celebration that is pumpkin carving in Boulder, Colorado, the apartment was full of pumpkin spice aroma. Joni had a pumpkin spice flavored coffee drink that supposedly tasted like some variation of pumpkin pie, which was surprising, because evidently the pumpkins for pumpkin carving and the pumpkins for making pies are two different kinds of pumpkins. Several days ago, Ben celebrated a seventeenth birthday and was evidently disappointed that the birthday news did not receive prompt and publicly announcement on the internet. Unfortunately, the lack of birthday announcements on the internet must have been a clerical error and the weblog staff is current under extensive review. In other recent, Ben related news reports have surfaced that last week the recipe for Salsa Gordo Perezoso del Hombre went into production in Wichita, Kansas. Over the last few months, few people have ever admitted to testing the Salsa Gordo Perezoso del Hombre recipe, but according to the website statistics, more than a few people have looked at the salsa recipe.

Considering dialogue

Part of the plans for the wedding next summer require attending a number of pre-wedding festivities, meetings, and of course required constructive learning environments. Sometimes it is hard to imagine how much work actually goes into the wedding planning and preparation process. Life seems to be more about understanding the different dynamics of personal relationships, than understanding society in general. People have to strive to make a difference not only to better understand the world and expand knowledge, but also to improve society in general. Over time, the difference between individual passion about the pursuit of knowledge, and the challenges facing society might blend into one unified challenge, but that possibility continues to become more remote as intellectual fragmentation confounds the active pursuit of knowledge within the forum known as academic discourse. Dialogue is in principle a function of community interaction and communication that requires an exchange of information that promotes the pursuit of some form of knowledge. Broad social interaction only services to allow the linkages of the modern mass media imagery to define different modes of communication within previously existing sets of socially acceptable forums. At some point the free and open exchange of information has to expand beyond social discourse to expand beyond the current forms of knowledge acquisition that relay on the modern mass media to provide a basic shared understanding or history allowing a predetermined knowledge base for communication.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving

Joni thought it would be good idea to buy a couple of pumpkins and carve them up for Halloween. Oddly enough, the grocery store was running a buy two pumpkins get a free pumpkin spice flavored specialty coffee deal that contributed to the apartment having two pumpkins instead of one. Now specialty flavored coffees have never been enough to compel action beyond staying awake at night or maybe talking faster than usual. During the last year at the University of Kansas, almost every day started and ended with thesis writing inspired cups of coffee. Who knows how many trick or treaters will be out in Boulder, Colorado, on Halloween, but one thing is for sure at least two carved pumpkins will be greeting them as they go door to door. Normally, Joni uses candles to light up the carved pumpkins, but this year the pumpkins will be illuminated by the power of glow sticks. Boulder, Colorado, certainly has a number of different polices that prevent citizens from doing certain things, and given the restrictions on owning barbeque grills in apartments candles lighting pumpkins might be next. Boulder, Colorado, looks at not recycling, owning fireworks, and using barbeque grills outside apartments as punishable offenses actually worthy of creating criminal records for citizens that disobey the laws. Naturally, keeping track of all the legal differences is important, because breaking laws is unacceptable within society.

Time to work harder than before

Over the next few weeks, the dissertation design will take shape and reach a final form that can withstand the approval process. Getting to this point in the academic process has taken more than a few late nights and a fair amount of motivation. Part of the challenge unfolding over the next few months is the development of research and literature reviews that may or may not yield publishable results, which can take some of the fun out of the writing process. When you sit down to write an article that is going out for publication a certain degree of excitement builds throughout the iterative drafting process. One of the lessons that the recent academic blogging discussion on the internet has presented is the importance of publishing high quality work in large quantities. Writers have to be able to truly define the debate around a certain issue or at least provide a significant contribution to developing research. One of the challenges facing a writer that does not have a significant foothold in a specific academic discipline is developing the background research necessary to be able to speak with authority on an issue.