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10 things I want to do before I die

A list of ten things that I want to do before I die. Some are rather farfetched but I can alway dream. Also, I really like NYC.

1. Have breakfast in front of Tiffany’s in New York City.
2. See a Broadway show in New York City (preferably Wicked).
3. Have a drink in a real English pub.
4. Write a New York Times best selling novel.
5. Direct an episode of a prime-time tv show.
6. Take a month long cruise to Europe.
7. Be a part of a massive flashmob that involves dancing.
8. Get a privet pilots license.
9. Own the soundtrack from every Broadway musical in existence.
10. Live in a flat in New York City.

Star Trek NBC Sales Pilot Sell Sheet 1966 (via The Invisible Agent)

Star Trek NBC Sales Pilot Sell Sheet 1966 In a time when deleted scenes truly ended up on the cutting room floor, television networks didn't have the option to simply messenger out DVD's to advertising agency's.  Booklet's were sent out in lieu of screening order to build excitement about new shows and convince advertisers to purchase commercial time.  A colleague of mine was in possession of the Star Trek Booklet from season 1, and I had the opportunity to scan the contents.  See below, … Read More

via The Invisible Agent

18

My 18th birthday is fast approaching. Actually its over seven months away, but I like to tell myself that it’s almost here. Turning 18 is a big step in ones life. It means, in Georgia at least, that I will be considered an “adult.” (legally anyway) I have compiled a short list of the things I will do (or will probably do) on my 18th birthday.

  1. Sleep. I find sleep to be a big waste of time, but it is a necessary evil (like war, driving cars, showering…).
  2. Eat. I love to eat, as most people can tell by my marshmallowy body.
  3. Work. My 18th birthday falls on a Tuesday (which is the most boring day of the week in my opinion.), so I will most likely be working.
  4. School. There is a 96.09% chance that I will have a class on my birthday, but I could always skip it.
  5. Buy a lottery ticket. I do not advocate the playing of the lottery, but as 18 is the legal starting age to play the lottery in Georgia, I see it as a coming of age sort of thing.
  6. Buy a pack of cigarettes. I in no way believe that smoking is good. I find it, in most cases, disgusting. I will not even open the cigarettes that I buy, it’s just another one of those coming of age things. If you smoke, hit me up on May 8th, 2012 for some free cigarettes. Unless you’re underage, then you should do it covertly.
  7. Write. I try to write everyday, but it usually doesn’t happen. But I have a goal to write a novel when I’m 18, so I will probably spend a good portion of the night of my 18th birthday, planning said novel.
  8. Spend time with my friends. I have very few friends, (something about the black hole I have in place of a heart seems to drive people away…) but the I love the friends I have.
  9. Watch The Avengers. Although The Avengers comes out on May 4th, and I will have already seen it at the midnight premier, I will see it again because if it is as good as the movies leading up to it, I will want to see it multiple times.
  10. Eat. ‘Nuff said.

I’ve Been Doing That Camera Thing Again

All images © Christopher R. Davis, 2011
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On Home Education

I recently watched a video in my English class about how we tend to judge people through the “lens of a single story”. If you would like to know more about this, I have embedded the video (which is a speech given by Chimamanda Adichie at a TED conference). It is rather long, but it is well worth the time. I know I sound like a total nerd recommending stuff I learned in class, but I enjoyed her speech and I believe it is very relevant.

I would like to talk briefly about being viewed by someone, through the lens of a single story. I was home educated from first grade. Over those years, I heard many different people’s views on home education. I was forced to be polite when people said I didn’t really do any work at home. The stacks of essays and scrap sheets filled with mathematical equations must not have been enough to convince people of my work. I couldn’t help but laugh when someone asked me if I had any friends at all. I was constantly bombarded with comments on my social interaction as well as question about wether or not my mother was a certified teacher.

All through elementary school and middle school I put up with these views. I tried my best not to take any of the insults to heart. I pretended to laugh when people called me “socially awkward.” But it wasn’t until my freshmen year of high school, that all of the insults and so called “jokes” really affected me.

The school year was just about to begin and I was faced with the decision of wether or not to enroll in a public school. I struggled with the decision for several days, always coming back to the same question: would I “fit in” with the public schooled students? I tried to tell myself that all of the things that people said to me over the years weren’t true, but no matter how hard I tried, I felt as though I would fail if I attempted to integrate myself into a public school.

When the time came to make the final decision, I opted to remain at home for the school year, and for each subsequent year after that. Now, with high school in the past, I have come to regret my decision to remain at home. I feel that I failed to learn many of the social skills needed to function in today’s world.

I am not trying to blame any of my problems on anyone else, but I do feel as though being seen by others as a “socially awkward” individual caused me to doubt myself. While there were positive aspects to being home educated, the negative aspects greatly outweighed the positive.

I feel that a child needs structure in his/her life that home education can not provide. It is my believe that if a child grows up surrounded by others and is forced to become “socially active” that child will fare a much better chance at being successful later in life.

Speaking as a previously home educated student, I feel confident in saying that, if you are thinking about home educating a child, you should reconsider your decision. I think children should be required to attend a public school at least through elementary school. At this point, I think the decision should be left to the child.

I am not here to condemn home education, I’m sure it does have it’s place in society, I simply believe that children should be exposed to a structured and socially active environment at a young age.

I do not mean to offend anyone who has poured their life into home educating their child. I have great respect for those who are willing to sacrifice their own plans for their lives in order to do what they think is right; I just think that education should be left to certified teachers. If you are a certified teacher and you want to educate your child at home and that child is willing, I have no problem with that. And again, I’m not here to tell you how to run your life, I’m just expressing my feelings.

But to get back to my main point, I believe that being viewed through the lens of a single story greatly impacted the decisions I made in high school. People constantly expecting me to be awkward or in some cases, smarter than average, caused me to think that I had to become the stereotypical home educated student. I know that it is my life and that I can’t blame who I am on someone else, but I feel that the choices of “who I could become” were limited.

Of Doctors and Elk (or Day 3)

I had a much duller day today. I left my driver’s license and bank card in my father’s car, so I couldn’t really do anything but sit at my camp sight. This could have been fun, but it started raining. So I just had to sit in the back of my car. I had to leave the tailgate open to let some air in, so a hornet decided to take shelter with me. That was not fun.

The up side is that I got to catch up on some reading and edit a few pictures. I tried to do some writing, but I find it hard to write at a campground… in the rain… with a hornet next to me…

I also watched an episode of Doctor Who. I am currently halfway through the David Tennant era. Although I do agree with many people that Tennant was brilliant, Matt Smith is my Doctor. I started watching Doctor Who in 2010, so Smith was the first Doctor I saw. I know that will make me unpopular with many fans, but I can’t help it. It feels like cheating when I say Tennant is my Doctor. I think Tennant mad a much more human Doctor whereas Smith’s Doctor is more alien.

After my father returned, we took a trip to a buffet, were I had a combined breakfast/lunch/supper. We had no food at the campsite, so I just sort of starved.

After breakfast/lunch/supper (brechupper?) we went to find some Elk that my father had seen earlier. And we found:

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I really wanted to see a bear, but we didn’t have any luck. I almost when up to pet the Elk, but there was a park ranger behind us, so I figured that wouldn’t be a good idea.

I also saw a man smoking a pipe and a convention of Volkswagen Beetles. I didn’t manage to get pictures of either.

I’m Not So Proud of My Country (or Day 2)

Today, I woke up and it was actually cool outside. It feels like ages since I last felt a cool breeze. Air conditioner just isn’t the same as crisp, cool air.

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I had breakfast at a native American buffet and I started to think about culture. I started to think about what terrible people we are. We came over from England and basically told this land’s original inhabitants that we owned the land and that they had to leave. And we have the audacity to be proud of this nation? We should be ashamed of ourselves.

The Cherokee people were once great. Now they have become a tourist attraction. They sell tickets to people to watch them do what once was a way of life.

We even gave them a new name. Native American is not what they are. This wasn’t America before we came here. Now these people are “allowed” to live in small groups across the US.

That brings me to another thought I had. America has no real culture of it’s own. Other nations have their own distinct styles of art, clothing ways of life etc. Here in America, we just take other culture’s distinctiveness and add it to our own. There is no “American” language, we took that from the British. Even the architecture of our own capitol city is borrowed from a people long gone.

I am finding it more and more difficult to be proud of my nation. Don’t get me long, I mean no disrespect to those who have fought to protect me. I may not agree with the idea of war or armies, but I am thankful that there are men and women who are willing to put their own well being at risk for my freedom.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. After I had breakfast I visited a turbine mill built in the late 19th century.

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After that, I headed to a mountain which name escapes me, and hiked to the top. A lot of the trees on the mountainside were dead or dying so we asked one of the park rangers what was happening and she told us that a tiny insect that had come over from Europe had multiplied and it had no natural predator so it just keeps growing in number. It drills tiny holes in the base of the trees so that the trees can’t draw nutrients from the soil and they eventually die.

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After the hike I had lunch by a creek and tried to take pictures of some fish, but they were to fast.

I then spent the rest if the day relaxing around the campground.

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