Looking Back

Since this is my last post, I just wanted to give a short “review” of my experience with the show. I have never watched Doctor Who before this class. In fact, my only knowledge of it was the fact that it is my ex boyfriend’s favorite TV show, so you can only imagine the opinion I created before I started watching it. I would say I like some science fiction, but I am more interested in the dystopian side than just aliens and extremely advanced technology like time travel.

I found the show to be interesting. I think it had a little bit of a slow start for me, nothing had really hooked me. The first thing I really held onto was the episode with the Dalek. For me, this was the first time that there was substance to the show, rather than just landing in the time that needs the Doctor and Rose to help rid the city of aliens. I did enjoy that Rose and the Doctor started as a juxtaposition. I think it added some good levels to the show.

I did enjoy the mysterious, seemingly tough Christopher Eccleston, however, David Tennant definitely won me over. He is so flamboyant and says everything with a purpose. It seems as though he does not want to waste any words. I was also pleased with the extra dimension of the Doctor that was revealed. I think Tennant is the one that subtly shows his loneliness just enough to keep the audience thinking about the fact that he not only is the last of his kind, but he has been living by himself for hundreds of years, and that anyone he has ever gotten close to is no longer by his side.

I will say, when Rose left, I was heartbroken. The hopeless romantic in me was dreading the moment as I knew it would happen eventually. I think Rose brought out so much in the Doctor, especially when Tennant was in the role, so seeing her say goodbye was tough.

I liked the contrast of Martha and Donna, especially since Donna was actually introduced first. I think Martha just thought she was living in Rose’s shadow and that’s all she would worry about. On the other hand, Donna was stubborn and knew that she was important and made sure that she never felt inferior to anyone. Both characters were the same in the way that they were both incredibly smart and made sure to bring the Doctor back to reality.

Once the eleventh Doctor was introduced, I sadly lost quite a bit of interest. I think I was such a big fan of Tennant’s character, that whatever followed just would not quite do it for me. I enjoyed Amy and I thought her accent was always fun to listen to . The main thing that kept my focus was wondering who the mysterious River Song was. I feel like I figured it out rather early, so when it was finally revealed, I felt a little disconnected again.

I guess that there are only so many different aliens to fight and there are only so many broken hearts the Doctor can handle before the show gets a little redundant and tired. I enjoyed my experience with the show, but I don’t know that I am sitting here waiting for more.

 

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Lutheran? Catholic?

I’ve come to notice lately, especially with Easter just passing, that there is a lot of diversity in religion. Now, this is an obvious statement. Of course religion is diverse, the Jewish do this, Buddhists do this, and Christians do this. Is that what you were thinking? I am not just talking about the obvious differences. Instead, I am talking about diversity within certain religions.

There are different branches within one religion. While these religions have the same main beliefs, there are differences within the religion. The difference that really hit me was those who participate in Lent. It is a common misconception that only Catholic people participate in this activity. I have noticed that people are surprised when they find those who are non-Catholic giving an item up for Lent.

I have also noticed conversation between people of different religions about what they do on a daily or weekly basis. One example is confession. I have heard some comments about how they do not think it is necessary to confess or how they think it is weird. There are people on the other side of the argument that find it necessary to confess in order for God to forgive them.

There are a lot of different ways to practice religion. Being nondenominational, we are more of a “laid back” religion and we are not a super involved branch of Christianity. On the other hand, there are private Catholic schools that students attend to not only get an education, but to deepen their learning of their religion simultaneously.

I found it interesting that there is so much variation within one religion.

I also have heard people describing themselves and others as a “good” or “bad” Christian. My question here is who gets to decide? What makes one person more qualified to judge another person’s actions and then continue to classify them as either good or bad at a religion? In reality, there could be a “bad” Christian calling a “good” Christian bad just because they behave differently from one another. Then again, why does it matter to anyone else who is or is not a “good” Christian? Isn’t that between the person and God? Isn’t that something they need to work on?

I also find it interesting how many people that attend Wartburg, a Lutheran college, are not Lutheran. I almost attended a Catholic high school, but I admit, it was a little bit intimidating since I did not quite fit in. I have not gotten that intimidation factor here at Wartburg at all, and I think it is because there is not just one religion across the entire campus. Obviously some are more common than others, but I know that there is a wider variety than the high school I almost attended.

I think it is fascinating, as I stated previously, that we all believe in the same overarching ideas, but there are still so many difference in what we do, not only in church or for holidays, but in our everyday lives as well. It makes me wonder if some parts of other religions mimic the same one as mine.

 

Our Past Shapes Our Present

The recent talk about gun control across the nation has sparked an idea about diversity. It made me realize there is a large range of diversity in the experience and such with guns.

Being from Colorado, we have had quite a few memorable tragedies. Columbine was the first big school shooting and the entire nation was tuned in as more updates were being broadcast. Students and teachers were stuck in the school until late at night when first responders were finally able to get to them. This changed the way first responding teams entered school buildings in situations like these. Now schools lock their doors and typically have some type of security among the grounds. Columbine changed protocols for schools across the entire country.

More recently, the Aurora theater shooting shook the states yet again. Midnight premieres are no longer offered and costumes are usually not allowed anymore.

A lesser known event occurred the following year. There was another school shooting in Colorado at Arapahoe High School. One girl died 10 days after being shot during the incident. I remember being in a lock in because of the situation.

There is a slightly different atmosphere surrounding everyday activities in Colorado, at least where I am from. We did not have class on April 20 for many years in fear of copycat attacks. When we scrimmage at Columbine’s field dedicated to Dave Sanders, my mind can’t help but wander to him and the rest of the victims. We held a fundraiser for Claire Davis, the victim in the Arapahoe shooting. I think about her and the tragedy it was every time I put the shirt from the fundraiser on. I remember watching a movie and being paranoid the entire time, simply because it was a Batman movie in a theater near Aurora.

I’m not saying that we are the only people who have experienced terror like this, but there is definitely a difference between those who have gone through something like this and those who have not. April 20 is just another day for most students around the country, but when we began holding classes on that day again, I know I attended each one in fear. Some people have not experienced something like this, just as I have not experienced what students who attend Columbine or Arapahoe have experienced, or those who go out of their way to avoid going to their regular theater since it was attacked.

Everyone has a different experience or exposure to incidents like these, or just to guns in general. Some may have grown up in a hunting family where they are very comfortable in the presence of guns, and others may have grown up in a dangerous city where they are very fearful of guns.

All of us have our reasons for liking or disliking guns, and most of these probably stem from their experience with guns. We should all consider the reason behind their opinions rather than just noticing that they are different and dismissing them. You would want them to listen to your rationale, wouldn’t you?

We Preach Diversity But Teach Conformity

In today’s society, it is taught that we should each be comfortable being ourselves and that it is a beautiful thing when individuals are in fact individuals; it is a beautiful thing when someone is unique and not like everyone else. This is what we preach in our society, yet we often frown upon people who are different.

Conformity is a widely studied concept in social psychology. It is human nature to follow what others do. Sometimes it is to follow a social norm and not break the “rules” of society. Other times it is to insure that one fits in with a crowd and is not excluded for being different. There are multiple ways people can conform in order to match those around them, from the way we dress, to the way we talk, to even the things we discuss.

When does it become too much? When does it become dangerous?

When is diversity better than conformity? Is this simply just an idea we were all introduced to but were improperly taught how to follow through with?

I think we are often taught to embrace what makes us different, but I think we tend to display what makes us the same. I am unsure what made diversity seen as such a bad trait, but it is not healthy.

There are always times that individuals become afraid to express themselves due to their fear of rejection. There has been an increase in individuals with eating disorders throughout the past couple of decades. While some eating disorders are caused by biological factors, a lot have to due with how one might perceive themselves compared to others. Those unsatisfied with their looks because they have only photoshopped, and therefore unrealistic, women to compare themselves to may take matters into their own hands and develop an eating disorder just to fit in. This is clearly unhealthy and it can be better avoided with proper human values, meaning that we are all human and have our differences, so we should support each other and celebrate these differences.

This leads into another issue, which is mental health. Mental health is a sensitive topic, and it has a massive stigma against it. While I think the United States is starting to help raise awareness and lower the stigma, not all countries are so fortunate. Some countries frown upon mental health issues, as they are seen as weaknesses. The want to fit in may sometimes be so strong that one might start lying not only to their friends and family, but to themselves as well. This can be dangerous for the individual or perhaps those in their community because they may damage themselves or those around them. “Fake it till you make it” is a great way to look at a lot of things, like the biology homework one might be struggling with, but it does not work with mental health. Faking it only sends one suffering into a deeper hole.

I think we all have at least noticed that it is a lot harder to admit that one might have clinical depression than someone explaining they have diabetes. Why are they so different? Why does it matter if they are both imbalances of chemicals? Not only does the stigma of mental health make dealing with issues like this hard, but on top of that, a person struggling may feel like they are rejected from society since now they are not like everyone else. It is sadly a snowball effect that we have allowed to roll down a hill too long.

Instead of being confused why someone is different than us, why can we not see how much we need that difference? The key concept in biology is that diversity makes up life. Without diversity, earth would not look the way it does now. It would be a boring, lifeless, barren planet with dirt and water. Conformity will make the human race the same way. Instead, diversity brought us trees and flowers and our dogs and each other. Diversity created each and every one of us, each and every thing we see or touch.

Instead of making others feel less important because they are not clones of us, we should make them feel appreciated. I can eat my best friend’s whipped cream since she forgot to tell them she did not want it, and she can eat my coconut clusters that my grandmother forgot I did not like. If we were exactly the same, we could not give each other little joys like this.

Diversity is healthy. Diversity is enjoyable. Diversity is important. Diversity is interesting.

Diversity is life.

Is There Truly Diversity?

I attended the Hate Has No Place Here Rally today. There are multiple things that stuck out to me and I felt this would be a good topic to focus on for my first post. This rally was held basically as a rebuttal to horrid actions that occurred on Wartburg’s campus this past weekend. Multiple speakers discussed reasons we should not only accept each other, but love one another.

What I found the most appalling was to hear that this is not the first action to show hate towards people who are not included in the majority. This act was not the only one to hurt or scare others. It was one of the first to be written about and brought to everyone’s attention, making it seem like it was the only one. Though it has been the only one put to paper, it does not decrease the prevalence and especially not the importance of the previous events. In fact, personally, I think it makes the preceding acts even more important because it shows that we as a community have tolerated these actions without action.

Why is it some of us are not willing to appreciate the things that make us different? One of the speakers quoted a piece by Maya Angelou, and it has really stuck with me.

“In minor ways we differ, / in major we’re the same… We are more alike, my friends, / than we are unalike” (Maya Angelou).

This stuck with me because it is something we as a community, nation, and even race fail to realize. We are all different from one another, and we all fit into varying “categories” that show we are diverse from one another. We all have different skin tones, beliefs, thoughts, origins, accents, languages, and so on. Is this something to be frowned upon? Better yet, why does it matter if we have qualities and characteristics that set us apart?

Angelou’s piece says we are different in only minor ways. If this is the case, then this means we are all human, making us the same in a major spectrum. There might be diversity among the global population, but what I understand from Angelou is that it is completely irrelevant. We all have different skin tones just as flowers have different petals. We all have different origins just as bees have different hives. We all have different languages just as whales have different calls. These flowers are still flowers, these bees are still bees, these whales are still whales, and these humans are still exactly that–human.