Friday, February 20, 2009

Notre Dame University Environment November 2008

I have had the opportunity to visit many universities inside and outside the United States; sadly, the environment of most has seemed so tiring and stressing to the mind and body, and comparing that past experience with NDU made me come up with the conclusion that NDU campus is a total different place. It is a university many wish to attend because of its beautiful structure and nature, the enthusiasm in its members and the education offered. The outside structure of the whole campus is architecturally fitted; starting with shops surrounding the campus, different dormitory buildings, a bookstore with internet access and different printing options, restaurants and access to banks. As good as the outside structure sounds, the inside buildings are with “elegant rough finishing, creating textures and designs by the exposition of wires, tubes and structure members.” (Suror) The beautiful nature makes its way starting from the front gate down to the last block of the cafeteria. The views from every corner are dazzling; every morning the sun peaks out shining down on the growing nature, the air is sent from the mountains smelling so fresh and awakening to the soul, sated yellow, red and green flower shimmer and glisten in the sun, and the trees dangling like jagged earrings; only fall can show you the story of how breath taking it is to sit outside, on the steps, of the cafeteria and get lost in the twitters of birds and the view of the green valley. Moreover, the enthusiasm in the members makes this campus worth coming to; seeing guards squinting their eyes, at sun rise, ready to start their shift, cars roaring down the entrance road, students looking and smelling fresh, professors holding tight on to the coffee and tea cups walking down the parking ways, puts a smile of every students face and encourages for a new morning. On top of all the structure, nature and enthusiasm, the principles of Christianity being on campus with each and every professor is the most comforting being to all of its student body. Firstly, because it assures us students that our staff is from a background we ourselves have been raised on and can freely trust; secondly, the Christian open minded thought gives the opportunity for self expression with any belief or thought. Also, professors of NDU really work on letting students accept with their education with their own will, giving them the chance to take a break but at the same time with boundaries and penalties. The end, midday comes; students pass on to their fun part life leaving the campus calm and quiet. With every morning, there is a fresh beginning, a new beauty and an energized enthusiasm.
Iraqi and an American teacher
December 2008

Education is part of a nation principle whether good or bad; it is being applied and engraved into the minds of the students. Specifically, education of the US interests the Iraqi people because it seems so rich and beneficial. Everything making up the system of education in the U.S; honesty, determination, and strictness, lack in the minds of the Iraqi professors. Nevertheless, formality, understanding of the environment around and socialism lack in the principles of the American professors. Being taught by both kinds of professors, I have learned they are different in many areas, some of which are: understanding the social mentality, evaluating the student, and honesty plus passion in teaching his/her course. Understanding the social principles or mentality; Iraqi teachers tend to bend the rules of a classroom and a course according to the strictness of the social mentality and thinking. For example, my phonetics professor in Iraq allowed absence when it was planned with all the classmates; also, he allowed late projects and homework submissions, not because he was a lazy professor or didn’t expect any respect from his students, as matter of fact, he was very well respected by his students; he knew though he would be viewed as a lunatic if he were to apply new boundaries at a place, like Iraq, where mentality is very bound to traditions and old thinking. In contrast to my American teacher, in Iraq as well, he had his individual American way of doing things around with little consideration of the social mentality. He never allowed late assignment submissions or absences without losing grades not even getting a permission ahead to miss class. To him, being viewed as a lunatic meant no offence; he was just being himself, proud of his American individualism. Another area of difference between my Iraqi professor and American was grading. As a student, I believe in physiological appreciation from my professor. By that I mean, if the teacher knows me or any student really well, a hard worker and an honest student, I would be encouraged not only to hear that I am doing well but see it. In Iraq, I was always shown the appreciation of my hard work. By that I don’t mean a C- would be an A+, the professor had his own way of showing me his appreciation. Whereas with my American teacher no matter how many hours I studied or turned in extra assignments, if I did poor on my final, then that would have had decided my level in the course. One last area, I believe was an obvious contrast between my two professors, was the honesty and passion in teaching. To me, honesty and passion is seen through being on time, having office hours and encouraging students to get the extra help, preparing extra assignment ideas, having a study plan for the whole semester and following it, coming well prepared to class, and be open to questions with respect to the class time. Unfortunately, my Iraqi professor wasn’t someone I would call a passionate professor that wanted to pass on his knowledge to his students; very laid back, cool and goes with the flow. Whereas my American teacher, honesty and passion was written all over him; he was always on time, always ready to explain again and made us students enjoy his class by making his assignments tough but fun. Teachers from different sides of the world act very differently, in areas such as strictness versus bending, evaluation on personality versus one chance evaluation, passion and honesty versus laid back and going with the flow. Furthermore, both have taught me lessons I will never forget.
What causes more stress in the US? January 2009

In Taming the Anger Monster, Anne Davidson brings multiple examples centering on the theme of angry society. Her aim is to show the anger with American people; she talks about what causes it, what the results are and how to deal with it. Taming the Anger Monster starts with the story of Laura Houser; we meet her, while driving with her mother, as a reckless girl reacting angrily to another man’s driving. Leading to a few examples of what causes anger. Moreover, Anne asks and responds to the question of “why are we so angry?” (Davidson, P.2), and deals with three main points leading to angry behavior; time, technology and tension. Yet, she adds ways of how to deal with it; common sense and patience. “Shouting, fuming or learning on the car horn won’t make traffic begin to flow.” (Davidson, P.5) First of all, Anne’s examples of Laura Houser and the super market shopper reacting angrily to some silly situation is very true in our daily lives. Laura acted angrily because the guy a head of her was looking at a map and didn’t move right away. (Davidson, P.2) This is very real. Now a day most drives drive with the attitude of an ambulance man, meaning always in a hurry. That is what caused Laura to act so foolishly; she “automatically yelled” (Davidson, P2) as if her mother was dying in the car and she needed so urgently to take her to the hospital. Nevertheless, “any emotional arousal will simmer down if you just wait long enough”. (Davidson, P. 5) Patience and common sense are a key to anger. Laura yelling her head off at the man did not make her feel any better, her mom responded “well, I guess you’ve been living in the city for too long.” Laura realized for such a non sense reason “her anger was out of control” (Davidson, P.2). Although, I was disappointed at the three arguments Anne included in her report about causing anger; time, technology and tension. She uses these three components in her report to blame the reaction of the American people. (Davidson, P.2) She says, “Americans work longer hours and are rewarded with less vacation time than people in any other industrial society.” Yes, I agree with her statement, but she is forgetting Americans are the most people obsessed with work and bank over drafts. She says “We are time-challenged and just plain tired- and tired people are cranky people” (Davidson, P.3) I have to say this is a typical American excuse. Allow me to say; excuses like time, technology, and tension are not good enough to be the major causes for anger. What about countries who have physical and mental tiredness, tension, bad drivers, uneducated people, careless society. Does that mean they will be eating each other a live? Wouldn’t family stress cause stronger tension than technology and time? “Taming the anger Monster” is a readable report. Anne introduces anger reactions with the American people and tries to work through what causes it. She could have used stronger reasons, other than time, technology and tension to actually make us live the tension of the American people.
Awakening of my soul
September 19 2007

One… two…
No that’s not true
One.. Year
Is all I have been here (the US).
I come from a world
That is insanely curled,
Born in Kurkik 1986
With ticks but no pixs.
Went to school to study Aramaic, Arabic English and Kurdish,
Nothing more I had to wish.
I loved to work so I taught
Where English was sought.
Yeah..I taught 1st 3rd 5th 6th and 8th graders,
Everyone thought they were invaders.

On May 2006 I heard about NSA, (New Saint Andrews College in the US)
So I began to pray.
I said okay when the day came when I had to go away
So.. now.. I am in school
Feeling like a fool.
I am neat, picky and clean
But schoolwork puts me in between.
With caffeine I say what I mean and go like a machine,
Without caffeine I feel mean and fifteen.
Classes.. work.. and missing home
Has made me want to roam
Latin is early and lame
And Romans…. Are a shame
Music is too late in the day
Where Alexander, Brandon.. Shan say..
Hey.. wake up buddy, it’s time to study.
Theology… is good when it’s understood
Friends.. are dear
And that is exactly why you don’t see a tear
But still, in two years I will disappear
Do Ghosts Exist?

Midnight lurks in the darkness, odd things creep out of bushes, over hills through alley ways and… that’s how friends stuffed my little head about how creepy ghosts are. Many of us have childhood memories of sitting on the sofa, looking around the room frightened, our little ears hearing people telling us ghost stories, or seeing scary movies, or walking by a haunted house somewhere in the neighborhood.
Ghosts are prominent in the popular cultures of various nations. The word ghost refers to the spirit or soul of a deceased person or demon. The bible plainly states, the spirit world is teeming with life. God Himself of course is a Spirit.[1] The Holy Spirit of God called, the "Holy Ghost" in earlier translations of the Bible, is Spirit. God created countless billions of angles, but there are also angles that rebelled and sinned, known as demons. Satan, Lucifer, was the angel in charge of this rebellion. Satan wants us to doubt the existence of God. He wants man to share in his punishment.
Although angles did appear to humans quite often throughout Biblical narrative, these angles never did it in a “haunting” or obscure manner. They usually appeared in the form of humans who identified themselves in a clear and dignified manner while bringing a message or accomplishing a mission from God.
Although some people say, we don’t know how long it will take us to get to heaven or heal after we die. Others wonder about some verses in some of the version of the Bible which bring up the word ghost; Mathew 14:26, Luke 24:39, Mark 6:49 and 1 Samuel 28:13-20. “Ghosts are not real and they do not exist.” First of all we need to have an answer for the question: “do ghosts exist?” In 1 John 4:1, the Bible shows a very clear verse for those who believe in ghosts. “But if we actually look back to when the Bible was written, the word ghost was never used”, said a pastor. [2] The New Testament was first translated into Greek and it never used that same word. The old Testament was first translated into Hebrew, and the same thing; it never had the word ghost in it. Let us look at the Arabic versions; most of them that are known and used these days don’t have the word known as “ghosts. The “ghost” word was not used in Arabic version, because it actually refers to a satanic spirit.[3] “The best version is the New King James” said, Nate Wilson. Let us apply all the verses that were mentioned above. None of them use the word ghost. Then what is this word? Where did it come from? The belief in ghosts date’s back several thousand years. Some people living at that time of Christ believed in them just as some people living today believe in them, but this does not make them more real. There were lying spirits then, and there are lying spirits now. Jesus never taught ghosts were real, or they were the spirits of our loved once returning to visit us. To the contrary He taught when we die, we are weather with God in heaven, or will be waiting our finial judgment. The example of Jesus Christ clearly answers the question. The Son of God was born as a normal physical human (Hebrews 2:14-18). After He was brutally killed, His body was placed in the tomb where He remained dead until He was resurrected to life. His resurrection would not have been necessary if He had been alive while He was dead. We also, see in Ecclesiastes 3:19-20, the Word of God telling us, we are all from the dust, and all turn to dust again. As we see in very few Bible versions, Matthew 14:26 tells us about the disciples and how they are seeing Jesus as a ghost. The disciples are sinners they are not perfect, they were also in fear which made them use that word which is referred to, “a spirit thought of as returning to haunt the living”.[4] Is this how we to see Jesus? As far as I know, that is not how the Word of God teaches us. Let us take Luke 24:39 and Mark 4:46, where some say the word ghost was used. “They didn’t, not in the Bibles most pastors instruct the believers to read nor in the original Greek version of the Bible.”[5] Though, there is only one recorded incident in the Scriptures of the spirit of a dead human seeming to appear to someone, that of Samuel appearing to Saul. It's important to note that, if it was somehow actually the spirit of Samuel, the rare incident was to deliver a Godly message, not to scare or haunt anyone. (1 Samuel 28:13-20). Are ghosts’ angels then? Angels are described in the Bible as forever distinct from humans - that is, humans do not somehow become angels after they die. However, angels have often manifested themselves with the appearance of a human when they were dealing with humans. Angels appeared to many people throughout the Bible, sometimes to inform or assist; Gabriel's Message to Mary that Jesus Christ would be born (Luke 1:26-28), or rescuing Peter (Acts 12:8-11), and at other times as agents of God's wrath against evil; The Destruction Of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1), or the killing of the Assyrian troops who were besieging Jerusalem and openly challenging and insulting God (2 Kings 19:35). So, if "ghosts" do exist, and they are not humans, (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), (Daniel 12:2) or God's angels, what's left? Demons. Demons are fallen angels who have become warped in thought and behavior. What I had stated above is very clear. Ghosts do not exist. After our physical life's journey has ended, if we have accepted God's offer of eternal life, our spirit will go right up to heaven. Our souls don’t hang around waiting.[6]
[1] Pastor Wilson
[2] Mick antinities
[3] Yousif Matty
[4] Dictionary
[5] Pastor Mick
[6] Ed Nipper
For my deceased grandmother June 2007

A young child with a father and mother, with brothers and sisters who loved her;
Then a young girl of sixteen, with wings wishing and dreaming soon she will meet her lover
A bride at twenty; her heart leaping and remembering her wedding vows;
Now at 25, she has a young of her own, securing and providing for them a happy home.
Thirty then forty, her sons are now all grown and gown;
At fifty babies played around her knees, I played around her knees.
Now she is an old lady sitting outside under a maple tree. Every evening she participates in the yellow sunset and evening air; munching on a gum, which she really liked. You could see it in the way she gave herself to it.
Every sun rise her and her old man sat under the blue sky drinking the brewed coffee and reading the closed book, which she thought was open. The routine of her life made her blind to the reality; it made her nights long and deep. She felt her hands were tied and her mouth bound.
It was august and she lost her bloom. Her fingers looked bone white and wrinkled, her mouth needed whipping, and her tongue stopped shaping words, her hair all white, swirly and long. Her old man talked around her, and then night set in.
She had nowhere to go; life to her seemed no crystal stair and no carpets on the floor. Her body lied in bed covered by a few inches of sheet pointed south by southwest. People all go this way, the future so unclear they stumble into it like children crossing the street.
He who plays a trick must be prepared to take a joke

In a village far away there was this woman, old woman, who had lived blind for years. Having lost the use of her eyes, she called for a doctor to heal them. But, first she had to make a deal with him. She said, “If you could cure my blindness, you will receive from me the amount of money you wish; and if you don’t heal my eyes, you will get nothing from me.” The doctor accepted the agreement.
He, the doctor, on a daily bases went and visited the old woman and tried to heal her eyes. During his visits, he noticed that the lady had a beautiful house. She had inherited it from her husband who had died a few years earlier. The house was two floors and had many decorated and valuable goods in it. The Dr. made sure to have the same nice looking house in the future. He decided, since the lady was blind, to steal one valuable thing every single visit. When the Dr. had gone through all of what the lady had, he finally decided that it’s about time to heal the woman’s eyes. So he did. He healed her eyes and then demanded with a payment. When old woman recovered her sight and saw mom of her valuable goods in the house, she decided not to give him anything. The Dr. insisted on the agreement but, she still refused. So he took her to the judge. She, standing up in the court, said: “this many here speaks the full truth in what he says, I did promise to give him the amount of money if I should recover my sight: but if I continued blind I wasn’t going to give him anything. Now, he says that I’m healed. I don’t understand how, I still affirm that I’m blind; for when I went blind my house was filled with various valuable goods: but now, though he swears I am cured of my blindness, I still can’t see anything in my house.”