When it comes to the end of a school year, every student has mixed thoughts. Some are happy, some are sad, and some are just downright stressed. This is an example of my thoughts over the course of a few days.
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There are some things Japan does better than most of the West. Here are the top 7.
TrainsFile:Bullet Train Kyoto Japan 1997.JPG - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
Recovery Plans from EarthquakesJapan is a world-leader in thwarting the risk of natural disasters.In the first episode of this special edition of Target Japan, we head to Sendai, the capit...
Excellent food in 7-11s and equivalent stores
Vending Machines for multiple food
Literally anything else you can imagine
AnimeAnime or Japanese Animation (アニメ) is perhaps one of the most influential forms of media in the modern world. It has a history spaning over a century and is i...
Accommodations for shy, introverted, or socially anxious people. Japan has automated, robot, kiosk, or self-service for things which in other countries would require you to talk to another human being
How humanity discovers new ways to commit the same old sins
The core tenet of spirituality is to understand our spirit rather than the desires of flesh. Easier said than done. What takes you away from spirituality is sin, which is the opposite of having the discipline of faith and the understanding of grace. To achieve discipline, the gospel is a massive source of strength and truth to many. Here are some best quotes from the book of how the gospel has been twisted over generations to confuse the message of God.
1. the best trick of the devil is getting you to think his ideas aren’t just yours, but even God’s . So he creates his own “gospel,” a perversion of the real one. It sounds like good news because it appears to answer questions we’ve always had, satisfy desires we’ve always felt, solve mysteries we’ve always pondered. If he can give his lies the ring of truth, so much the better.You Don't Have To Go To church to see godYou Don't Have To Go To church to see god
2. Sin isn’t purely about the malfunction; it’s essentially about the faulty wiring.
3. Works righteousness is like that forbidden tree in the middle of the garden. We can see it in our midst. It is al- ways within eyesight of our reveling in grace. And every now and again, we hear a serpentine whisper: “Yes, yes, grace. But there’s more. There’s an enhancement. There’s real power, real enhancement here , with this. Take and eat.” And it’s so tempting, because it promises to make much of us. Legalism pets our pride so smoothly. “God helps those who help themselves” is the lie that promises to gratify our desire for recognition and re- ward. But in the end, it leads only to exile.
4. What the Keswick higher life theology teaches is a division be- tween “Spirit-filled” Christians and “carnal” Christians. The Spirit-filled Christian accesses blessings in apparently automatic fashion, while the carnal Christian is still stuck “trying.” At its best, “let go and let God” is simply about repenting of anxious worrying and instead trusting God with our cares. This is something the Bible doesn’t just permit, but commands.
5. Wisdom weighs all the facts, not just the convenient ones.Wisdom,message,rock,brown,tan - free image from needpix.comwww.needpix.com
6. The devil likes to traffic in fear, but it’s not his immediate go-to, because he knows that fearful people often cry out for help, which means fearful people are very close to having their ears open to divine rescue.
7. TRUTH IS CENTERING. THE TRUTH IS STABILIZING. The truth is clarifying. That is, if we are willing to upend our devotion to our preferred version of the truth. If we are not, the truth is disorienting, disturbing, and confounding.Truth - Free of Charge Creative Commons Chalkboard imagewww.picpedia.org
8. Forgiving people do get taken advantage of. But unforgiving people, Paul said in verse 11, get taken advantage of by Satan!
9. When power becomes your god, you’ll do as much biblical gymnastics as it takes to get it or keep it.
10. And it’s how stupid the accumulation of stuff—be it possessions, money, or simply fame or success—can make us, if we’re not careful. It is a lot like drunkenness. Many men find their sense of invincibility is enhanced when they become intoxicated. Everything is exaggerated, including the ego. They feel and act bigger than they are. But they are actually slower, dumber, and more vulnerable. Money, fame, and stuff are like that. The more we have, the more secure we may feel, but if the Bible is to be believed, the more spiritually vulnerable we actually are. It’s as though we’ve become drunk.
Fatima Mohammed, a law student, is accused of demonizing Israel. Others say she used her right of free speech and college should a secular space to discuss these issues
City University of New York and its law school came under scrutiny for a commencement ceremony that featured a keynote speech seen as discriminatory against Jews. The school system, better known as CUNY, released a statement condemning the remarks as “hate speech” following a widespread outcry and calls for the college to speak out.
The featured speaker at the event, activist Fatima Mohammed, had accused Israel of “indiscriminate” murder, encouraging “lynch mobs” and lauded resistance to “Zionism around the world.” You can see the entire video here:
During the City University of New York's (CUNY) School of Law commencement ceremony, student speaker Fatima Mohammed delivered a speech condemning Israel's occupation of Palestine.
CUNY's School of Law has since faced criticism for removing this speech from its YouTube… pic.twitter.com/fKEQ9QokiI
— 5Pillars (@5Pillarsuk) May 26, 2023
While completely accused of spreading hate on the first week after the speech, this week though - people have spoken up supporting her right to use her platform to share her story. In fact, Fatima received support from the Jewish Voice for Peace.
We stand with Fatima, a CUNY Law student who is facing racist and Islamophobic harassment after fearlessly speaking out against Israeli apartheid and colonialism at her commencement address.
Read our full statement:https://t.co/Uxp8fg419Tpic.twitter.com/Vt5jL9yA17
— Jewish Voice for Peace (@jvplive) June 2, 2023
And CUNY law faculties have now asked the Board of Trustees to rescind statement and apologize to the student.
College is a place for open debate that is hardly available in the rest of the world out there. What do you think - was she right to share her story and thoughts? Or is this anti-semitism from an unexpected student?
NASA is a boo.
One of the things that I love most is space. I am a HUGE space nerd. Literally ask any of my friends. I was first introduced to space when my dad dragged me to see Star Trek. Since walking out of that movie theater in 6th grade, becoming an astronaut hasn't been just some wild dream that could come true.
This is going to seem weird coming from a girl, but I have become a huge space nerd. On my ceiling- glow in the dark stars. On my walls- posters of the stars and planets. Next to my window- a cardboard cutout of Captain Kirk. My love for space started out as any secret obsession would, so I never truly voiced it to anybody. My whole perspective had been changed by this movie because I realized that I wanted to see the world, not just traveling to Europe or another country, but really seeing it-from above.
While reading about Scott Kelly and the International Space Station, the light bulb turned on: I knew nothing about the space program, so I typed into the Google search bar "women in space." What I found was that there have been 58 women out of 536 astronauts in space. 58 out of 536. While reading this, I realized why voicing my desire to become an astronaut had never happened. Women don't become astronauts; it's not a field that they thrive in. No wonder I never told anyone.
When I did begin to tell people about my dream, I felt afraid as if I were stuck in a horror movie. What if they think this is odd or weird? What if people wouldn't believe in me? What if I begin to think I don't belong in space? When I finally gained enough courage to tell my friends, they laughed it off thinking that I was joking. My parents ignored it and told me to focus on becoming a doctor, expressing that becoming an astronaut is a childish dream and I won't be able to do anything with my life. Their judgments and criticisms stayed with me all through middle school.
But in high school, everything changed. Shaking off the criticisms, I became more interested in space, touring the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Walking through the centers, it was easy to picture me there, testing the zero gravity simulators or riding around in a rover in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility.
My dream started coming true when I actually applied to an internship at NASA. Filling out the application felt like my astronaut career taking flight. The questions were not foreign to me- they were all about space. 10, 9, 8, 7… I counted down the days until NASA would respond back to my application. Unfortunately, my career was like a failed NASA mission, discovering that the internship was only for college students. However, this did not discourage me. I continued to find more ways to express my interest in space and will continue to, counting down the days until I become an astronaut.
It is said that it is natural human nature to want to explore, which is why we have traveled to space. For me, my curiosity compels me to know what is up in space. We have no clue about anything in space except for our solar system. Space is the biggest mystery and we need to know more. I need to know more. There are trillions of stars, billions of galaxies, millions of solar systems, and thousands of planets that are yet to be discovered, and I want to discover them. I want to know if there are other life forms. I want to know what is beyond Dallas, beyond the Americas, beyond Earth, and beyond the Milky Way. Space is infinite and I want to explore it. To loosely quote the movie that started it all, I want to go boldly where few women have gone before.
Some tales of tribulation with permanent impressions.
Everybody has scars. Usually these marks carry a negative connotation because they mark up skin that was once smooth.
When I see a scar, I see something else. I think about how much it probably hurt, of course, but I also think about why it's there in the first place.
Some scars are lessons-- learning when you're five that the iron is really really hot. Some are from a traumatic experience or surgery-- a mark of courage. And the rest are most usually attached to some wild story.
The great thing about scars, is no matter how small, it seems you don't forget why they're there. Each scar has it's own story behind it, and those seem to stick around remarkably well, sometimes more so than the scar itself.
I decided to ask around for the best 'stories behind the scar.' Here are some of the tales I was told:
Marks of Bravery
"When I was a freshman in high school I was at soccer practice and passed out mid warm up run. Come to find out I had a hole in my heart where 90 percent of the wall between my upper chambers were gone mixing the oxygenated and deoxygenated blood causing my heart to work harder and enlarge ten times its normal size. So I had to get open heart surgery to fix the hole or else I would have died before 18 years old-- my doctor said my heart and hole was the largest he'd ever seen. So now I have a nice scar in the middle of my chest." -Brittany M.
"I had a calcium buildup on my arm, and decided to have removal surgery to get rid of the pain, knowing there would be a huge scar after. A surgery intern was the one who closed the incision, and they didn't do a very good job. The scar didn't heal right, so it was much bigger than they expected. A few years later, I watched them cut out the entire scar to fix the damage, which left me with a new one. It's still pretty big, but I used to be very self-conscious about it. Now I have accepted it as part of me. So sometimes when people ask me what happened I like to make up stories (i.e. shark attack, stabbed, car accident), because I get a kick out of it, and who cares anyway?" -Ashley J.
"I saw two guys ganging up on my friend, so I stepped in. Three more guys decided to jump on me. I was fighting those three guys which resulted in a split from my nose to my lip. I remember the shot of novocaine directly in the cut (before the stiches) hurt a lot more than the punch." -Anthony V. (Dad)
'I Don't Remember ALL the Details...' Scars
As I have come to find, many scars happen to be result of a bit too much to drink, and bad decisions (for example, someone I know deciding that burning yourself with a lit cigarette would be hilarious). Sometimes the exact details are fuzzy, but here is a small collection of those tipsy triumphs.
"It was November, and in my town high schoolers go to this place called the "Crater" in the woods to drink. One night I was there and my best friend, Meredith, who was holding my hand, tripped and brought me down with her. My hand was gushing blood so I was holding toilet paper on it that some random kid had in his back pack. A few minutes later I heard from my ex boyfriend say, "where the f*** is Meredith?" Then I heard "what?" I turned and she was on the ground, he was gone, and her nose was bleeding and broken. So we walked together, my hand gushing, her nose gushing. I was worried about her that night, so I didn't get stitches. Now we both have scars from that night." -M.
"I went sailing black-out-drunk and ended up tipping the entire sail boat over. In the process I cut my foot on a broken bottle." -C.
"Well New Year's Eve I went to a party and there was a ton of people. The clock turned midnight and the cops kicked open the door and threw in pepper spray bombs. There was like 100 kids in the room and they barricaded the front door so everyone had to squeeze out the back. It was a normal sized door during a stampede, so my hand got stuck and cut open. Turns out I got it for nothing, we all got trapped by the cops in the back yard anyway." -K.
"I was peeing in the dark, I didn't have much balance at the time. I ended up falling, rolling down a hill, and my hand found a glass bottle at the bottom. I'm just glad it was my hand." -M.
Some scars have stories attached that are just plain funny. (Though, at the time, probably not so funny.)Like, when my brother decided to make french fries while shirtless, resulting in a straight scar across his stomach from the pan.
"I have a scar on my head. Hit it on a moving ceiling fan. It was great." -Ally P
"Me and my brother got into a pillow fight. I saw the pillow coming right for my face, so I put my hand up, punching myself in the face. I started bleeding everywhere and had to get stitches up there. Nobody can really see the scar, but I'll never forget it. My brother sure won that pillow fight." -Katie O.
"I have one on my tongue-- cause I bit through it. And had to get it stitched back on. Because my brother threw a baseball at my face." -Katrina B.
"So I'm four years old and laying on the ground in my brother’s room while he is vacuuming. He took the vacuum and vacuumed my head. I had a bald spot for five years." -Molly K.
"I don't have too many of my own, but Dana I sure as hell remember watching you somersault down the cement bowl of the skate park when I was trying to teach you how to roller blade. Your elbow was bleeding the whole day." -Alexandra N.(Yes, I do have a huge scar from that lovely day.)
"For Dana’s birthday every year we went to walk the rock coast in Rockport MA. Her mom only had one rule for this birthday weekend: no flip flops. I wore flip flops. Now I have a nice big scar in the middle of my shin" -Katie O.
"I was at the first fireworks that I remember, and a falling firework ash fell into my Wellington boot and burned me. I was only three when it happened." -Kate G.
"While riding my dirt bike in 8th grade, I slid out in the mud. My Suzuki landed on top of my leg, I was pinned on my back like a turtle. I calmly turned the engine off, then turned to panic as I felt the burning on my leg. As I was in the mud, I couldn’t get any traction to lift the bike. I yelled, I cried, I blacked out, I awoke…to see my younger brother ride down a hill to me, he jumped off his bike while it was still moving, and he pulled the bike off of me, using all of his 6th grade 80 lbs! My dad, who was riding ahead, estimated it was 10 minutes or so. It felt like a lifetime. My little brother grew up to be a firefighter, still saving people from burning! The result: 3rd degree burns, two large ovals on my calf that perfectly reflected the exhaust shield. They look like bite marks, so I used to tell people I was bitten by a shark. Over the years, I've told the story so many times that it's become convincing enough to fool just about anyone." -Anthony V. (Dad)
"I grabbed a hot tail pipe as a child because it was shiny-- I got second degree burns on my hands." -Shane N.
My last scar story isn't too wild, but I have a tiny, tiny scar on my arm. It's from when I was in the hospital senior year -- as a result of a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter). Basically, it goes from your arm to your heart to give you nutrients, medications, and take blood from. I got it in the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital -- it was one of the lowest parts of my life for sure, and I was very weak. But I love that scar, it's right in the middle of my bicep, so I see it and think how strong I've become since I got it.
Scars teach lessons -- be proud of your life marks. If you're ever worried about showing your scars, take a lesson from my dad:
"I needed surgery to fix a shoulder that dislocated four times in two years. Before I went “out”, my doctor told me he’d try to keep the scar small. Under the anesthesia, I told him, “for all the pain I’ve endured, make it big, I want a good story to tell”. So I have a 6 inch long, half inch wide scar on my right shoulder."
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign