Friday, February 24, 2012

Seven Quick Linky Takes

--- 1 ---

Why Your Novel Characters Need Real Flaws by Rachelle Gardner.

My favorite part of the article:

Every cosmetic flaw is a victimless half of the real flaw it replaces. Here are two examples:

Cosmetic character flaw: Insecurity. Its real counterpart: envy and sabotage

Cosmetic character flaw: Fearfulness. Its real counterpart: disloyalty under pressure

A major part of my novel revisions have actually been forcing myself to stop protecting my characters from the consequences of their own flaws. It's hard; stuff like this helps me keep up my determination.

--- 2 ---

A twofer here:

2a: Women's Health = Not Having Babies by Patrick Thornton.

I realize that the HHS mandate is Teh Evulz, but seriously, I am so sick of the mindless repetition I've been seeing on Facebook and such. (I know, I shouldn't get my political news from Facebook). It's faith and reason, people, not faith and soundbites. Explain to me why it's evil.

That article helped. Obviously, it's not exhaustive, but it brings up a point that helped me actually understand things.

2b. The Thorny Question of Freedom of Religion by Calah Alexander. Again, not an All-Inclusive Explanation of Everything, but I found it interesting and skimming the comments indicates that there's some food for thought in there too.

--- 3 ---

What's Wrong With the Teenage Mind? by Alison Gopnik. Not being a teenager myself, nor the parent of a teenager, I can't comment much on this, but it gives me justification for my strange idea that irresponsible kids should be given more responsibility (in controlled situations), not less. (I think I first got that idea when I was a teenager; does that make me qualified to comment?)

Also: Children Educate Themselves III: The Wisdom of Hunter-Gatherers by Peter Gray. (I haven't read parts I and II, which are presumably out there somewhere.) Yeah, apparently I want my kids to grow up like little hunter-gatherers. Who needs modern civilization?

--- 4 ---

The Restored Order of Sacraments of Initiation. When I took Sacraments a couple years ago I wrote a paper on this very topic. The concept of the sacraments of initiation put forth in the article makes sense to me, but I hesitate to embrace it because it flies in the face of pretty much everything I'd been told about Confirmation for the first 20 years of my life. You know it's bad when the Byzantine way is simpler than yours. (See what I did there?)

--- 5 ---

You Found Me by The Fray. Music rather than text this time. I just like this song.

--- 6 ---

Don't Lecture Me: Rethinking How College Students Learn by Emily Hanford. My mother-in-law posted this on Facebook. (I opened the tab but then didn't read it for a day or two, and then I couldn't find it to comment on it, because she has the new timeline layout. Why, Facebook, why?)

Anyway. I agree with this. I don't like the idea of splitting the class into pairs, though, for various reasons. My preferred method of college instruction is the seminar, with 10-25 people all sitting in a circle tossing ideas back and forth. Once, second semester freshman year, only one girl in the whole class understood what in the world Aristotle was talking about, so she stood up at the board and drew diagrams explaining it all, and then everybody understood. It was awesome.

--- 7 ---

Oops, I don't actually have 7 linky things to post. Here's a picture of my little siblings to distract you from this lapse:

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Kathleen Basi said...

That 2a was an interesting read. I've thought about this topic a lot lately, and I have to admit I hadn't thought of that one. Weird, considering I've had four babies now. :)

Sibs are cute!

Dorian Speed said...

Wow - I hadn't seen that about the restored order of the Sacraments of Initiation. VERY interesting. I have to say, I'm all for it...I think. We have friends who attend an Anglican Use parish and they also go with the original order - Confirmation at the same time as First Communion. I think there's a lot to be said for kids receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit when they are younger. So many teenagers end up being forced into Confirmation by their parents and receive the Sacrament when they're not really open to the graces present.

The Sojourner said...

Kathleen--Glad you liked the article. And I think my siblings are cute too. :)

Dorian--Interesting about Anglican use. One of the things that piqued my interest was the fact that I have a number of Byzantine Catholic friends who obviously understand Confirmation very differently. (And First Communion, too.) Now I've heard of a few Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. that are moving Confirmation down. I kind of hope my diocese does that by the time I have children who are in second grade; I don't want to be THAT mom who acts like she knows canon law better than the pastor. Even if I do. (One of the things that has always struck me as odd is the existence of RCIA for children of catechetical age right alongside the idea that Confirmation should be delayed until middle or high school. I mean, I could defect to the Methodists for 8 years and come back and my [hypothetical] kid could go through RCIA and get Confirmed in second grade, but if I raise him Catholic from the beginning he has to wait till he's 14 and do a service project and who knows what else first.) (I have a friend who was raised Catholic, never left the Church, but didn't get Confirmed until she was 20 because there were so many hoops to jump through. She ended up having to switch parishes in order to get a pastor who would Confirm her. So that colors my opinion of Confirmation prep, too, though I only had to take a class when I got Confirmed at 13.)

I should stop rambling on and go do the dishes. Hope I wasn't too incoherent there.

The Sojourner said...

I thought of a clarifying point already: My friend's pastor DID get permission from the bishop to Confirm her (and several other people). I was there; he read the letter of permission and everything.

Emily G. said...

The conservatory is Krohn, in Eden Park (Mt Adams). Eden Park is one of our favorite city parks. The art museum is there also, and it's free and pretty nice. Krohn costs $3/head to get into now. There are some nice paved walking trails in the park and a reflecting pond. You can take a picnic when the weather warms up and make a day of it should you be inclined.

Scott said...

Thing about kids and responsibility: the world today waits as long as possible to give responsibility, then when the first steps get screwed up by the kid figures, "Gee, we didn't wait long enough," rather than, "Gee, maybe if they're going to learn the hard way no matter how long we wait, we should probably see what can be given sooner so that they learn the hard way sooner, rather than pushing it back till they're learning the hard way when they should already have been responsible adults for years." It's a problem of our culture's rampant failurephobia (some use the term "perfectionism", like that one priest we heard from recently) where "responsibility" means "you're no longer allowed to mess up", which is something that should actually come a good long way after basic levels of responsibility in anything because, let's face it, you have to do anything for real a few times before you have it down well enough to be unlikely to mess up! It goes for everything from holding a job to drinking, frankly; too many people think the solution is to wait till kids are older and wiser, not seeing that that wait prolongs the growth of wisdom as well. Granted, you can't just throw teenagers on the world and let them get themselves killed either -- what they need is enough real consequences (real consequences, not dumb stuff like curfew and priviledge-loss) to be disincentivised to abuse their responsibilities, but enough leeway or enough of a safety net that they can afford the risk of stepping out and growing into them. Perhaps something like they have to earn their own money for most of the things they want and real jobs can be lost be bad behavior but at the same time the working world needs to learn to recognise that a twenty-year-old should be given a second chance if he screwed up when he was sixteen or even when he was nineteen, so that you really do experience the consequences of your choices but they don't anchor you down for the rest of your life or anything that would make you scared to even try. Whatever the right way to do it is exactly, modern America don't grok it at all, to judge from the vast numbers of college graduates who act like juveniles with access to drugs and the ever-increasing concern that we need to hold off responsibility longer still because they just can't handle it (coupled with neurological data blown out of context into a suggestion that men are animals till they're thirty; little is worse than when people don't even stop to ask how we know what a psychological study means in terms of human nature).