Thursday, October 21, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine- An Excerpt from my Research Paper

      Winston Churchill once said, “A joke is a very serious thing.” Stop chuckling; Winston Churchill wasn’t pulling your chain. Humor is indeed a very grave matter. Why is that, you might ask? Put aside its daunting power, and humor still has all of humanity hanging on its very whim. Laugh and the world laughs with you; In other words, world domination. There’s no escape either! It pervades our homes, our communities and even our institutions. Everyday, humor seizes the minds of the youth and exploits the wisdom of the elderly. It has even affected our infants; little children giggle for no reason whatsoever! What can be done about this spreading obsession? Well, I suppose laughing never hurts.  
In order to comprehend the significance that humor plays in therapy, a concrete definition must first be acquired. Despite composing a significant aspect of all human life, humor is somewhat enigmatic. Across all intelligences, cultures and passions, humor has been manifested. Its definitions range from the simple and unadorned to the more enlightened interpretations. How can such an abiding yet unbounded notion be defined? Perhaps it would be best to start at the beginning. Originating from the Latin word for fluid, humor was first described by the ancient philosophers. Deemed to be the liquids that operate inside a body, humors were fluids that determined an individual’s temperament. An imbalance of these liquids resulted in an altered state of being, often to an unusual and laughable degree. For example, an increase of the humor blood resulted in a person behaving overly sanguine. Ultimately, as the ages passed, the word humor evolved to be associated with ‘oddness’ or ‘eccentricity’ for the peculiar temperament an imbalance would cause. Following such colloquialism, a ‘humorous’ man was one who exhibited the radical behaviors of disproportionate humors. After much transformation, humor finally became to be identified by modern society as the ability to find amusement at the oddities and incongruities of life.  From obscure beginnings, humor transcended both time and cultures, yet maintained its initial purpose: regarding the health of mankind.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Issue's Paper

I was thinking of writing on the Mozart Affect on Infants. Whether they can identify classical music and if so, whether it stimulates their brain development... yep, that's about all I got!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Elder Christofferson's Application of all Three Aspects of Rhetoric

General Conference offers a remarkable chance for the members of the LDS Church to hear the words of inspired leaders.  Just last week, the 180th Semiannual General Conference occurred, uniting disciples around the world.  The Saturday Morning Session was an incredible meeting composed with spiritual and inspiring messages. Within Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk Reflections on a Consecrated Life, the Apostle used examples, Bible references and listings to cohesively, emotionally and authoritatively persuade the Church members to consecrate their lives to God’s purpose. 
Elder Christofferson depicts several examples throughout his message to appeal to the passion and reason of his audience and establish authority. The Apostle begins his message with an example from his own life. As a young man he “visited the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.” Later in his speech, he refers to an example of Christ’s perfect life to provide the ultimate model from which to emulate. Nearing the end, Elder Christofferson illustrates the story of his grandparents: a wonderful example of a life dedicated to God’s will. In defense of integrity, Elder D. Todd Christofferson portrays the story of two families who forgo integrity to further their professional reputation. Elder Christofferson’s portrayal of personal examples appeals to his audience, both logically and emotionally. The Apostle speaks with heightened familiarity, establishing trust and friendship between the members. He brings them in to his confidence, persuading them to give heed to his word. Elder Christofferson also provides examples to further establish his authority and knowledge of the subject.  Through his examples, his readers will see the reason of his word and rely on his wisdom.
Along with examples, Elder D. Todd Christofferson also provides Bible references to enhance the authority and logic of his speech. The Bible holds great weight in the Church, and by depicting these references he further magnifies the power he holds- the power of God.  The scriptures are the words of ancient prophets and the lessons given from the Lord.  Knowing the Bible can help in the perfection of the saints, members will listen in earnest to the righteous words of an apostle. By quoting the word of God, Christofferson enhances the appeal of his message.
In addition to examples and references, Elder D. Todd Christofferson establishes a list of advice that the members can follow. Speaking on the powers of a consecrated life, the Apostle depicts 5 elements of such a life: Purity, Work, Respect for our bodies, Service and Integrity.  By creating a list, Elder Christofferson enhances the logic of his word, furthering the appeal of his speech.  With his advice, Christofferson creates something that is applicable to the audience: something they can take into their own lifestyles. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

General Conference

Have you ever read a series of books from first to last? There is something so unique about an experience such as that. It's different then reading a book here and a book there. You become a part of the series: woven into the very characters and plots. The stories come alive. Well, the same experience happened to me at General Conference. 
Back in Thailand, General conference would go something like this: A week after it had occurred in the States, we would watch it one Sunday together as a family. Though this may sound normal, it wasn't as planned and precise as this. It was rather sporadic. We'd watch an hour here, an hour next week. Sometimes two hours on one relatively free Saturday. It was as though it were a chore to complete conference. (I'd like to point out that this was mainly a fault of the children. My parents would watch it and try to have us do the same, but something always came up... something always did, as tragic as it sounds) When conference came around this year, I didn't know what to expect. 
There was a electricity in the air before saturday. People were talking about it at school. Think about it- People were talking about General Conference at SCHOOL. Already I was rather perplexed by the state of things. When I sat down with the wonderful Mortensen family on saturday morning, I realized just how beautiful Conference can be. 
It was a blessing. Just like those books I can't put down, Conference enveloped me in the spirit. I wanted to time to stop and leave me submerged in the wonder of those talks.  I've never experienced anything quite like that. It was a spiritual high, you could say, and experience I cannot wait to repeat. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Being with the Mortensens

My family is close. REALLY close.  We're like a chubby child in spandex close. (I hope that wasn't too terrible an image) I'm not sure how it came to be, but for as long as I can remember I've always been a homebody. I have a built in best friend (my twin sister), two darling, doting sisters, a protective older brother and the dynamic parenting duo of my vivacious mother and father. I guess you can say, i've never found myself wanting anything more. Oh, we've had spats like any family, but life has always seemed better in the arms of my loved ones.  To find myself in college without them has been tough. REALLY tough. Like beef-jerky tough. (mmmm... beef jerky.)
So how have I managed? Truth be told, some days I don't. My heart aches for those precious moments with my family that I had taken for granted. My arms long to wrap themselves around my mother's caring form. It physically hurts, some days. On days when it hurts the most, I find myself at the Mortensens, my second home- my family away from family. 
Something about their family makes my heart swell with joy. They are heaven sent. When I miss my Sophia, I have Elijah and Joseph to play around with. When I miss Lane, Naomi plays with my hair. When I need someone to laugh with, Jacob and Emma are there. And they are there unconditionally, with Sister Mortensen's arms wide open... I hope they never get sick of me. For I am there A LOT. 

I suppose this post may seem odd and unnecessarily personal (and I suppose it is) but I simply wanted to thank Heavenly Father for his tender mercies. The Mortensens have been a gift to me, just as I can be a gift to others. 

The Horrid Weather

I woke up this morning, my alarm clock buzzing in my ear. With groggy eyes, I glanced at the dreadful device that is my clock. "7:10" it said. Waaaaiiiittt.... 7:10?! It can't be 7:10! It's DARK... where's the SUN?! ... With frozen thumbs fumbling for my robe, I quickly swathed myself in layers to oppose the chill that permeated my room. Shuffling with socks to the nearest window, I peeked outside, only to prove my former assumption. Nope, the sun was not yet out. So it couldn't possibly by 7:10... Right, back to sleep.
A couple of minutes late, eight short, sweet minutes to be exact, and my alarm clock sprang to life once more. Oh joy... This time, with robe still hanging from my arms from my previous excursion, I set forth to find a clock... a DIFFERENT more RELIABLE clock then my absurd little alarm. Off I went, into the frozen tundra to the stove clock. To my dismay it was indeed 7:10... WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SUN?
The point of this blog, though it may seem as though I am simply complaining, really is just that. I dislike this weather. I loathe the lack of sun. I despise the frost on my finger tips and dripping mucus from my nose (sorry for the imagery)... And I hear it's only going to get worse? SEND ME BACK TO THAILAND. I'd rather tan then be stuck in this horrid, horrid weather...

Vivaldi- Four Seasons

In class the other day (as to what day, I am at a loss... My mind is quite incapable of recalling anything so detailed) we were listening to the Four Seasons, by Vivaldi.  Though we listened to only a short excerpt from each, each section clearly portrayed the season through Vivaldi's eyes. His piece, Spring, was laced with short, staccato melodies wonderfully depicting the carefree, whimsical mood of the season. With gentle, fluttering flutes and joyous violins harmonizing melodiously, Spring was a pleasure to hear. Vivaldi continued on to Summer, a distinct contrast to the cheery season prior. Arduous and sweltering, Summer was composed of heavy and somber melodies. This differed from my expectation, though I suppose without air conditioning and refrigerators, summer would not seem as lovely to me either. Vivaldi continued on to Autumn, a time of harvest and celebration. Like Spring, Autumn was a merry and jubilant composition. The melodies echoed the dance and joy of the farmers. With Winter, Vivaldi orchestrated a mournful collection of bleak and burdensome melodies. There was a suspense in the air generated by the strained 'heartbeat' of the minor melodies. The solo violin seems to plea for respite.

This got me thinking. What if life, like Vivaldi's Four Season, came with background music? Ever notice the shirts depicting the phrase "I come with my own background music" and wished it were so? I have. Constantly. Oh to be flanked by an orchestra portraying musically my inner thoughts and emotions. It sure would make awkward silences less painful.

Disney Songs

What is about disney songs that keeps me coming back for more? Though you may be doubtful,  as I am writing this, Disney's Aladdin plays exotically in the background... "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face. It's barbaric but hey, it's home!"Man, what a line! Where else can you find this mixture of childish charm and wit? Is this some sort of obsession? My roommates and I have daily dance parties to the Jungle Book and bake to the melodious sounds of princesses.
I like to think that perhaps Disney songs remind me of a simpler time. A time when the weak overcame the strong- when good triumphed over evil. A time when my parents were there to protect me. I miss those days. I miss the easiness of young life. I think of  my little sisters now, completely enveloped and sheltered at home. I envy them.  Though I realize life is about growing up, I didn't think it would come so fast. My obsession with disney songs is a manifestation of that reluctance. I don't want to grow up. I want to be a child forever, like Peter Pan in Neverland! But alas, that is not reality. And though dreams can come true, I simply have to grow up. But that doesn't mean I can't keep the child in my life.