Friday, December 18, 2009

there comes a time...

And so I begin to wrap up my last post of the year. It has been an interesting one, a short one to be sure, but interesting. I enjoyed writing what I have so far and of course look forward to continuing next year but I think I will take a break for the holidays. I think this calls for a little check up on the world today. In one sense, it’s like the whole world has come to a quiet reprieve for the holidays, a time to wind down and wind up for another year.

Something I have noticed recently is a more pronounced emphasis on Global Warming, or shall I say Global Climate Change. It’s not that it had never been an issue, it just seems like in the last couple months it has become a huge deal, where everyone is getting more interested as of late. Some of the world’s super powers had a meeting the other day to make an agreement on the greenhouse gas emissions of the world, nothings legal yet, but they have promised to meet a certain goal and it seems to bode well for now. I am not one who fully believes in Global Warming, or really I should say I am not one to get hyped up about it. I do believe that it is there, and I do believe that we should be looking to find better ways to do things, healthier, better stewards of what we have, but I also know that the world goes through seasons and patterns and it seems like there are enough scandals and hype in the media about Global Warming that no one really knows the true state and it seems to get exaggerated most of the time. I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy but I think we have a lot more to learn before we declare that the world is going to end soon.

Well gang, that’s it for this year,


Kelsey Conner

Thursday, December 17, 2009

jingle bells, jingle bells,
jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a one horse open sleigh

However much I may try to keep my posts focused, I will always tend to turn toward the thing I am looking to the most. So this post is dedicated to purely indulging myself, letting me get it out. So in this case, I’m going to talk about Christmas break… Well really it’s just about a week that work shuts down and I couldn’t really go in even if I wanted to. It makes me so excited to be able to sleep in, to not have to worry about what time I need to get up and going. The past few days I have over slept 5/5 days… that’s bad. When you need to be somewhere at seven, and you don’t get up until six forty, that’s bad. Only three more work days, and to weekends and we are there. I will finally be able to relax and enjoy the scenery. It seems as if I can actually here Christmas bells ringing in my ears, I’m so excited to have time. Time just to relax, to get something done, to prepare for the coming black stretch, the time when there are no breaks or days off, its all busy, the same ol’ same ol’ – nothing changes, I do the same thing day in and day out- and unfortunately those days are coming quickly, faster and faster and faster. I don’t know if I could make my point any clearer.☺ And so, I am heading back to the present back to where I am, not on holiday. I hope for all of you, that your immediate future will hold the most wonderful times of your year, that your days may be merry and bright, and I wish you a merry Christmas!

Signing off,

History of America...

Occasionally I get these urges to think about our history, to want to go back in time, to when our nation was young, and to really think about everything that people have sacrificed for our nation. This week I’ve been thinking about the civil war, no thanks to school, and especially the sacrifices made, not just in war, but in peace. During the civil war we discover people like Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman, all these people, especially women, who made a way for others. I think that as a nation we get too caught up in where we are now, the wars we are fighting now, that we forget about the lessons learned in past wars, the things we wish we knew before we got ourselves into a war we wish we weren’t in. So I put together a little something to hopefully give hope to those who are feeling a little ‘lost at sea’ right now to remember that even in war there are people helping to further peace.

Civil Heroes
Five women heroes of the Civil War you should know about
By Kelsey Conner

People who gave of themselves, not for themselves

1. Clara Barton
Clara Barton is known as one of the most influential people in the Civil War. As a woman she set a standard that women are capable of helping wounded soldiers. She founded an agency to transport supplies to the front of the battle.

2. Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland who helped lead many slaves to freedom at her own risk. She was called the ‘Moses’ of her people. She was even a federal spy during the civil war in South Carolina, and a even a nurse. She arranged for other runaway slaves to assist her in the Underground Railroad and to be scouts for confederate camps to report to the Union.

3. Harriet Beecher Stowe
Known almost exclusively for her publication of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin—It raised a lot of support from the North as it spoke out against slavery. After its publication in 1851 she traveled all around the Union speaking against slavery.

4. Mary Edwards Walker
Out of the 1.8 million women veterans, Mary Walker was the only one to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor for her work during the Civil War. She joined a joined the tiny number of women doctors in the nation when she graduated from the eclectic Syracuse Medical College, the nation's first medical school and one which accepted women and men on an equal basis. She served as an army doctor in the Civil war.

5. Lucretia Coffin Mott
Mott was known as an inaugurator of the women’s civil rights. She fought mightily for women’s equality and was often offended by the obvious injustices between men and women. As an ardent abolitionist she held a position in the Underground Railroad and traveled around the country speaking against slavery.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

year 2

As the New Year rolls around President Obama starts his next term in office and he is just one step closer to being either re-elected or... not. It’s kind of a tossup right now. There are enough people who are unhappy with his work, and yet many people are obsessed with him. I personally have no idea. Right now I wouldn't be surprised if he is re-elected but there are still 3 more years and I could definitely see that changing, especially when people examine his money management.

The new health care plan will cost our nation a lot of money and we don’t even know if it will work. Unfortunately we can’t really afford any of that, yet we still are going through with it. I don’t really know if I like or dislike the plan, but I do know it is a huge issue that will affect everyone in the nation and it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. I am kind of disappointed that we couldn’t come up with something a little more versatile, so that the rest of the nation does not have to pay for everyone else’s heath care. I mean, I think we should all help each other but, it doesn’t really make sense to save money by spending more money on something that will affect only a minority, something that could be handled better with, perhaps another sort of plan requiring less of everyone else.

My view of the government health care plan is tied to Regina Herzlinger’s as she refutes the plan, but embraces some sort of plan, with as little government intervention as possible. According to her, we should be able to have a consumer based health insurance, but have it backed by the government. Their job should be to regulate the system, but not force how they provide care, let the consumer demand their own care.

Over all, I think we have a long ways to go, and Obama has an even longer way I think. He has a lot to do, to learn yet.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Most Wonderful Tme of the Year

"To know that once you decide to look at life outside of the narrow
limits of just your world and start to understand that you can make a difference
in very simple ways - in volunteering and all the way up to bigger world

Susan Sarandon

More and more, my topics seem to be straying from the theme posted at the top of my blog, however, I really cannot think of much that currently has much to do with politics, etc. But I am remembering the first post I ever posted, the one about the title, "red fish, blue fish, one fish, two fish." I couldn't think of a topic to write about but I began to think about the meaning of my blog- people, so I decided talking about the holiday season is not necessarily off topic, it is something that affects people all over the world and can make a huge difference in people's lives. And so, I will begin my journey on the human interest side of the world.
This time of the year is when we all hunker down in our holes to hibernate with family and friends, enjoying the cold winter air and the beautiful sparkling snow, not often thinking much about the people who maybe don’t have the same opportunities we do, especially here in America. Even our poorest are not as poor as the rest of the worlds poor. If you even own a car, not to mention two or three, you are automatically in the top ten or fifteen percent wealthiest people in the world. Although I say that we may not think of others this is not entirely true, the Christmas season is actually one of the most giving. It’s one of the times we actually do think of other people. I guess what I mean is, that although we drop our change in those bright red Salvation Army Buckets almost as soon as we hear the bells ringing in our ears, we still have a tendency to not really fully understand the privileges we really do have.
Unfortunately I am one of these thoughtless people who tend to drop a few pennies in the bucket, or donate my clothes to my local Goodwill, and yet, I still never really think about what I could do. What do I specifically have to help people out? Maybe nothing really, but it seems that we all have to have something to give, not money or our old clothes, but what about our time? our talents? These are the things I seem to hoard over the holidays. Although I may not really see myself as talented, maybe someone else does, maybe they are the ones who might actually think I am funny. Or maybe they are the ones who would enjoy beating me in chess. Who knows? I guess I will just have to find out…
I guess that’s all I really have to say for right now. I’m not really sure what I was trying to say, maybe that we all have something more to give than spare change. I hope that we all find somewhere to give, give more than we’ve been giving. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet at a shelter somewhere…

Here's some info from my local hospital about volunteering:

There are many reasons why St. Luke's Hospital has such a strong corps of volunteers. Some volunteer because they meet new friends and feel connected to the community. Others want to be connected to a healthcare environment to explore careers and learn new skills. Many find fulfillment in giving of their expertise for the good of others.
For more than 50 years, St. Luke's Hospital has attracted volunteers from all walks of life. There is room for more volunteers ages 14 years and up. Contact us to find out how you can join the St. Luke's Hospital volunteer program.
Who Volunteers?

  • High School and College Students
  • Adults of all ages and walks of life
  • Couples
  • Families
  • Those seeking on-the-job experience - a perfect "building block" on any resume or a good start to a career in healthcare.
  • Those seeking careers in healthcare - great experience before you declare a major in the field.
  • Retirees - stay active and share your knowledge, compassion and experience.

For additional information, please call 319/369-7213.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

blustery blizzards

SNOW, SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!! Ahhh, this has been a blustery week of blowing wind chills far below zero, and snow falling faster than you could possibly comprehend. The first morning the blizzard hit here in the Midwest, I woke up to text messages from friends announcing the cancellation of school! However much I respect the school system, also respect my snow days and this has been a week to remember. As we are now heading onto day 3 of no school, I find that I have more time than I could possibly imagine. I have time to go sledding even though the wind makes it an arctic adventure just to make it outside. I helped shovel and snow blow our driveway to find that by the time you finish and have reached the end of the drive the snow has practically covered it again and you know that in just a few short hours you will have to come back out and do it all over again. I made cookies with a friend, which were devoured faster than it took to make them. I even ate all three meals on these wonderful "free days". But I know that you do not want to hear about my ramblings about what I did on my snow days, so now I will get to the point- The blizzard, reaching dumping snow on 12 states, and touching 42 of the 50, has been a rare moment, forcing America to slow down and stay inside with family. It has been noted that the blizzard has caused 17 deaths, almost all of them related to car accidents, the results of NOT staying inside. Today on the worst day of the blizzard, my whole family was home. I went sledding with friends down the street, and in all I never strayed far from my house and got around entirely on foot. It was almost a dream-like state that I walked down the deserted streets taking my little brother the the closest sledding hill, noting the crisp white snow sparkling in the sun beginning to peek through snow laden clouds. And I realized, that this is how it used to be, in the "good ol' days." It felt old fashioned, but it was a blast. No one was out, it was simply quiet and serene, no one out or running around, simply peaceful, with plenty of time and no place to go. It actually reminded me of an essay I read for class the other day. It was by Oscar Wilde in his essay Impressions of America. He said:
"...everybody seems in a hurry to catch a train. This is not a state of things which is favourable to poetry or romance. Had Romeo or Juliet been in a constant state of anxiety about trains, or had their been agitated by the question of return-tickets, Shakespeare could not have given us those lovely balcony scenes which are so full of poetry and pathos."
And so I remembered as I was walking down the quiet, quaint street that he was right. America is always in a hurry, constantly trying to get somewhere. This was something that actually struck me as funny- this blizzard was like natures way of forcing us to slow down and stay with our family, and apparently those who didn't, were killed.
And so I leave you now, hopefully with quiet thoughts in your head, and warm hot chocolate in your stomach, thinking about the fast approaching holiday. Speaking of holidays, that reminds me, heres another happy thought for your head, next week is our last week until Christmas break, at least for me. This day just keeps getting better...

Monday, December 7, 2009

As the Christmas season comes upon us, many of us reflect on the progress we have made, and the pieces we have put back together this year. Our nation, though very similar to how it was last Christmas, had changed. We have taken a couple steps forward and a couple steps back, but at least we have done something, at least we have gone somewhere. This is my favorite time of the year. Last night my family and I put up our Christmas tree, and we had our first snow that stayed on the ground, so waking up this morning I was greeted by sparkling white snow. Tomorrow we are under a blizzard watch and we might just be lucky enough to have a school cancellation by Wednesday. But these are all my personal reasons, the reasons I love Christmas.
As a nation, we now know when our troops in Iraq are coming home, and we know when more will be leaving us, some never to come back, to go to Afghanistan. We also know that the Olympics are not going to be in America for a while, and we know that our President is almost coming upon re-election. But these again are just a few things, the littlest things really, the things that hardly break the surface.
All though these things are all relating to our country, there is more to Christmas. It is a time for family and friends, however cliché that may sound, and it is a time of re-birth, hopefully not just for individuals but also for our nation. We want to be remembered as the nation that brought people together, not tears them apart, and we want to be the people, people admire, not despise. I hope that we will all remember that this year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Presidents Address to the Nation

Haven't Blogged in a while, but I hope to pick that up again now...

The presidents address to the nation on Tuesday, was a huge step in the progress of our nation. It brought a sense of finality to the Iraq War, and a sense of victory to the War in Afghanistan. As you can see from the beginning of his speech I posted above, he relates the war back to its origins, the 9/11 attacks. In doing so, I think he garnered the support of all those who still feel the pain they felt on that first day. He basically cornered the nation into an emotional sense that if they don't support the war, they don't care about what happened to them. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, this happened even to me, it just makes me chuckle a little to listen to the beginning of this speech and know right away that he was going to send more troops. Immediately he started to justifyhis decision, even before he announced it. But I do agree with his decision. The only way you could bring finality and a closure to the war, is to send in troops and finish what we started. I think this is a major downfall of the American people. We never want to finish what we start once it begins to get tough, once it begins to cost us something.
Unfortunately it is a bad character reference on our part, but hopefully we will continue to have the opportunity to fix it. In order for that to happen though, we all need to realize our mistakes. However much the president, or his cabinet or our congressmen want to fix it, the American people are the ultimate deciders, the ones who give the go ahead, and I think that most Americans haven’t realized what’s going on yet, and they probably wont until it is thrown right back in our faces.