Category Archive: Blog

Split Personalities in the Digital Age

The internet has lead to many positive developments with the universal access to and availability of information. Yes, there are dangers, which psychologists, parents, and people have noted from the “internet addictions” to “emotional infidelity”, scary online dating and relationships, stalking, then take it further to how all of our information—down to our personal home address can be viewed by anyone, including third party scammers and spammers. Read More

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Are you more culturally aware than a fifth grader?

“Cultural awareness and ethics always come up” Daysi Hernandez states of her teaching experience which spans from third-grade through sixth to college-level business students. “For example, when I first started teaching children, my students would ask me if I spoke Mexican. Then I would say, “Well, I speak Spanish”. Then I would ask: “Do you know the difference?”

In teaching adults, I’ve been told by many of my students that my English is so good. They mean I don’t have an accent given that I also speak Spanish. I explain to them that there are so many people who have been born in the U.S. and raised by Latino parents who speak just like I do. This interaction gives me a little insight as to the amount of time I need to spend on Cultural Awareness and the Diversity chapters in the books when I get to those.

In regards to Ethics, the young and older students I have found have trouble defining the term. I also focus a lot on those chapters when they do come up. Read More

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Economic stability=an action for sustainability

I love listening to social critics. Many critique capitalism (as it is perceived as one of our many interlocking systems of domination).

An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area, the labor, capital and land resources, and the economic agents that socially participate in the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area.

A given economy is the end result of a process that involves its technological evolution, history and social organization, as well as its geography, natural resource endowment, and ecology, as main factors. These factors give context, content, and set the conditions and parameters in which an economy functions.

Also, how we interpret these factors set the parameter in which we function. Hence, the downward spiral into economic destruction and recession. How can we sustain our economy? Read More

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Mutualism: A concise response to Bell Hooks

Bell Hooks discussed sexism, racism, classism, patriarchy and domination on her visit to UVU. These themes are prevalent in our modern society.

Hooks believes in “engaged pedagogy”, a concept she refers to often. Engaged pedagogy involves a creative mode of critical thinking addressed to what Hooks sees as our society’s entrenched political resistance to genuine intellectual development. As a social critic she urges us all to think critically and intellectually about our relationships to one another, the media, politics, patriarchy, and our roles of dominate and subordinate relations. She suggests that the system the majority engages in is called “the banking system of education” a system that deposits information into people’s heads like the way one deposits money into a bank account. When an institution follows such systems of learning some may come up short, or without. Read More

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You may not be racist, but are you a white supremacist?

March 30th at 7:30 pm Kingsbury Hall flooded with people to listen to the powerful words of Bell Hooks. She speaks on a variety of topics as a social critic and cultural theorist. She spoke of race and white supremacy as the focal point in the pile of interlocking systems of domination. What better place to speak than in Utah where 92% of the population is white? Read More

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A de-contextualized society

Lately I have been examining how female bodies are used to sell things, from advertising (via commercial realism) to how we are socially constructed as we chase a “self-image.” Last night I stumbled upon a magazine online called Colorlines. It was examining war images in Afghanistan. You may have seen the cover of the Time Magazine featuring an Afghan woman named Aisha in the fall of 2010. Read More

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A new direction

I am happy to announce an interesting twist I have decided to take for this website’s purpose.  As you know, my background is in English and writing with an interest in and the pursuit of critical theory. After my experience last week guest speaking in a college classroom, about gender and race, I want to focus more on the issues we face. Read More

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Some Fun

“Um…” I grab for a marker and draw a horizontal line and write sex on one end and gender on the other. “Who knows what the difference is, if any?”

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Back to the Basics

Ugh. I keep thinking my novel is done, only to re-write it. I have been busy lately. I had a cool experience on New Year’s Eve with my sister and her husband. They really opened my mind up to my inner self and since then I have felt a lot of peace. I am also striving for things I can’t even imagine reaching somedays. I work hard every day. Do my 9-6 well, come home and write or contemplate. It is good to exercise and spend time thinking alone. I’ve come up with some crazy ideas for my novel “Sex with Angela” and feel like I’ve just started. I wish it were done already! But hard works is what pulls me one day closer to what I want.

Rachel wrapped up her first film “Killer Holiday” starring Michael Copon. Please go see it when it hits theaters. My little  17 year old brother just finished his first year of college and has decided to move to Los Angeles to hang out on set with my sister and get closer to the music scene. Mom and dad will go CRAZY once he’s gone. It was not a graceful transition for me or Rach. They dropped their lives to raise us, and now they have to pick up the pieces together and create something new. I wonder what they will do! Dad’s been hitting the gym hard. He’s thinking about competing WITH ME this fall at the Utah NPC show in the masters division. He will kick ass. He’s buff.

I need more FUN. I’ve been having a little lately, and now it’s a craving. I could seriously just pack up a bag right now and buy an airline ticket somewhere and go. I’ve been infected with the fun bug and now I am goofing around a lot at work. It’s made it more fun and rewarding.

Let’s see…my fiance, Johnny, is being cleared by the NCAA right now to play football for the U. He’s majoring in economics, and was deciding on a fun minor. He got this neat invite to join some acting thing on campus…I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s a pretty rigorous program and would be fun. He’s very lively.

It’s weird working in admissions at a college. All the girls in the halls are my age. And I am the one who interviewed them for acceptance into the school.  Many of the students are older than me. It is surreal. It’s a strange feeling. I connect to them on a daily basis about their goals and life and college fun and issues and help them, but at the same time there is a disconnect. I had a lot of fun in high school, and a little in college. I was pretty preoccupied. I didn’t know these years were for parties and boys:) I am happy to be working, but at the same time I need to make sure I BREATHE and HAVE FUN so I don’t miss out on life because I am too busy PLANNING.

Have a FUN week every body. Do something crazy, illegal, whatever. Just don’t get caught:) I know I will.

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Sacrifice: a. Forfeiture of or destruction of something highly valued for the sake of one considered having a greater value or claim. b. the person, animal, or thing so offered. c. the thing so surrendered or devoted. –verb (used with object) to dispose of (goods, property, etc.) regardless of profit.

In other words: delayed gratification. Lately sacrifice has been sneaking up on me from all angles, which makes sense because I have a lot of goals. I just didn’t know it would truly be this hard.

The Greats are made up of sacrifice or delayed gratification. They have that hunger to strive beyond themselves—no matter the cost. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story is always one of the most compelling to me, namely because he is a master of making it look easy.

I became acquainted with his inspiring stories when I first hit the gym with dad at 11 years old. Dad used to tell me stories of how Arnold’s great success in life came from the steps of discipline he took in the gym—one repetition at a time—to control the perfect physical state of his body and in addition the self-mastery he had over his mental and emotional well being. In other words: the mind-body connection. It made him like water, flowing, swiftly coming and going, unstoppable.

As a boy from a small town in Austria he dreamed of becoming a bodybuilder. At 20 he won Mr. Universe and went on to win the Olympia seven times. He knew not to be a big fish in a small pond for too long and gathered what little he had and made the big move to California to become a big time movie star. He brought bodybuilding to mainstream America and changed the image of action movies forever. After completing his goals of becoming a big hit, he made the calculated decision to make his next move into Politics and became Governor of California, a place he could only dream of as a little boy.

This appears to have always been easy for him, to slickly flow and change to greet his goals and surroundings, but it wasn’t easy. He’s simply achieved optimal self-mastery and the abilities to harness his power to appear grand.

It took him years of calculated decision making, repeat failings, reinvention, and consistent goal setting to become who he is today.

I have grand goals as well, and have broken them down into incremental realities (a step by step process with achievable deadlines), but every single day I have to do ONE MORE thing than I did yesterday, and yesterday was hell. I have to look at it like just one more rep in an exercise routine. But sometimes I feel like I have literally “lifted to failure” and often feel fatigued, though I know I have much more to do before I have molded and shaped my body, mind, and soul into a sculpture of self-mastery.

These years of our lives (whatever your age) are the years that need to be spent in delayed gratification, because if not now, when? Do we want to settle into the myths of the American Dream and play out our prospective societal roles? Do we want to look around us and think “I guess I am good, everyone else seems to be in a bad situation.” If we compare ourselves to others—the majority—we won’t do much because honestly, they don’t. Many people have settled into who they are going to be for the rest of their lives and will be doing the same thing for Christmas next year that they are doing this year. No changes.  We must compare ourselves to ourselves and keep the promises we make to ourselves.

The thing about sacrifice is it only gets worse before it gets better. You can put in five years of preparation for your quick 15 minutes. Do something that will satisfy you for the 15 minutes you’ve got, and learn quickly to adjust to change and immediately prepare for the next big thing.

My sacrifices lately have been junk food, temper tantrums, and time.

While those may not sound like a sacrifice because the outcome leads to betterment and they are of negative quality; it is so much easier to continue living in anger and eat junk and not hit the gym. It is SO much easier to just go to work for nine hours, eat junk instead of sipping on BCAAs, eating almonds, bananas, chicken and brown rice. It is SO much easier to come home, skip the gym, be angry that I work all the time, and then fall asleep. It is so much easier to put off completing my time consuming novel that may never get picked up. Happiness is hard sometimes. It takes monitoring ones thoughts and really watching what you think and say and feel.

But every day I ask myself: what am I worth? What is the price? Will I pay the price today?

The best ways to assess your sacrifices are to write down “what is the easy way out?” and think, will I take the easy way out today?

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