Am I doing this between writing my ENGL 393-1 paper and studying for my ENGL 302 test?
Maybe. And so I’m not going to do the usual rules things, which can be found here if you are interested. Instead, I’mma play my own little twist on this.
Brother: you have discovered the “What Would I Say” thing for Facebook. You must go into it, and post the first twelve things that come out. It should give us a good glimpse into your life, eh? If you want to continue the pass it on aspect, that is up to you.
And now, my answers.
1. What story has impacted you the most and why?
Okay, this brings up a lot of questions about what we mean by story. I mean, obviously if religious stories (whether you consider them non-fiction or not) can be considered, well… stories. The story of Jesus in the same way as, say, the story of Leonidas or the story of Churchill. But since that is the boring, cop-out answer, I’m going to go with fictional. And even there, it is hard because I’ve been blessed to live a story-filled life. Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings (movies, because I get distracted), etc.
However, among all of that, I am going to go with Leaper: The Misadventures of a Not Necessarily Super-Hero by Geoffrey Wood. It’s brilliant and funny and really was the story that made me want to write, even if I didn’t know it at the time. For me it was one of those books that I finished and I kept thinking about it and coming up with bad spin-offs in my head. It’s tragically unknown, even though it is one of the better books I’ve ever read. It made me want to write, which made me meet some of the best people I’ve ever known and cause all sorts of crazy adventures.
The adventures continue to this day. And next week. And after that too.
How’s that for impact?
2. What musical artist has impacted you the most and why?
This can be answered in a bunch of ways, because stuff. For instance, The Classic Crime is the only band I’ve ever seen live, and that was pretty great. Their album Phoenix has been played almost nonstop on my iPod since it came out over a year ago. (If you do the math, I’ve played it more than once a day since it was released.)
And Five Iron Frenzy/Brave Saint Saturn is pretty great too.
But I think I’m going to go with a bit of a strange choice here and say Showbread. I initially hated them and everything that they did stylistically, but they’ve grown on me a lot, and I think they are a great example of a group that uses a strange genre to reach an audience that otherwise would be ignored by their style, which is kind of what I want to do with my life to, so yeah. Josh Dies in particular is a very interesting chap, and his books recommendations have actually gotten me through some very not-fun points in my life.
3. Top five favorite places you’ve visited and why you like them.
-5) Bryce Canyon/Utah. Beautiful land, beautiful hiking. Tons of fun and lots of pretty pictures to be taken.
-4) Hawaii. It could be higher, I guess, but I’m kinda doing this randomly because a lot of places are good for different reasons. My family went here for two weeks once, and it was a very happy time for me. And lots of happy memories come out of it. But I think less happy memories come out of it than the next places, so there. Notably there should be a giant gap between five and four, but whatever. This is the best I can do right now.
-3) Halo. What? You never said these places have to be real. And I have spent enough time on Halo for it to become obscene. It’s a magical place where I’ve spent hours with my closest friends. Aliens are murdered, worlds are saved, and heroes are tragic(ed?). What more could anyone ask for in a giant space hula-hoop?
-2) Fernie, BC. Until this summer, where life and stuff got in the way, my brother had been on a streak of going to Fernie for a weekend and biking. Sometimes other people would come with, sometimes it would just be us. It would definitely involve a lot of biking, swimming, and just general good times in nature. It’s one of the most inspiring places in the world for me. Kind of like Cauldron Lake (Which does NOT turn up on my favorite places, because Taken and stuff), it seems to be a place where the boundary between our world and other worlds is thinner than usual. It’s a place where stories seem to run freely and where words seem to have unnatural power. It’s a place of nature. (Am I now in the Hippie bin? Sorry.)
-1) Olathe, Kansas.
4. Tell about what influences your choice in apparel.
Depends on the month. Right now, my choice of apparel is dependent entirely on how well it works with wearing multiple layers because I don’t like becoming an ice sculpture. Other times its about representing things I love. For instance, do I own a t-shirt based around Greek History. Oh, boy, do I. Also, there was this one time where I dyed my hair yellow so I could dress up as Hawkeye? So, yeah. There was that.
5. What is the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on.
THBC—Also, the most gratifying project I’ve worked on.
6. What gives you hope when you are down?
Lots of things. Depends on the down, really. Sometimes it’s pictures and letters and memories. Sometimes it’s particularly beautiful music. Sometimes it’s the reminder that maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Sometimes I just have to make it to Friday, or just have to make it to Monday. Sometimes its telling people how I feel and sometimes its slaughtering the hordes of the Covenant.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but I have a happy life. And I think keeping that in perspective is hard, because the bad seems, well, bad. And sometimes it doesn’t feel like a test, but snow. A test can be good at, you know, %85. But snow gets weird as soon as it starts to get dirty.
And so anything that keeps perspective in place helps. Because no, I don’t have to have the worst possible life to be allowed to be sad. But I would rather be happy than sad and happiness is no less real than sadness. So if I can remember things that make me happy, why wouldn’t I?
7. List the top things you want to be.
A 4.0 student.
A member of the faculty of the Unseen University.
The Arbiter. (Especially if that means hanging out with the Master Chief.)
Not a disappointment.
8. You are transported to a crowded workhouse full of poor people in the 1800’s. How do you decide who to help first?
Um. The closest? I guess? Or the youngest? Or the oldest? Or the… least foodedest? Really, I don’t know. But I probably wouldn’t do much good, because, you know, I don’t really know the 1800s. Like, how different was their English from our English? I don’t know. Would I be able to make them understand me through my modern Canadian accent?
9. What musical artists do you despise the most?
Not for moral, reasons, I’m assuming. Like, for the music. Not for the misogyny or stupidity of the ideas in the music? I hope so. Otherwise I’m about to let a whole bunch of morons off the hook.
But I really, really hate Family Force 5. I know, I know. People like them and stuff. But I can’t stand them. “Luv Addict” in particular is atrocious. It makes me want to punch everything, and not in the way that music is supposed to.
10. Tell about a time you laughed so hard you cried?
I have this thing about crying where I don’t. (Except that one time. But there wasn’t laughter involved until after, so it doesn’t qualify)
11. Tell about something important.
Okay, I’ll actually tell you about two.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there were a group of a few thousand soldiers, standing up against an army over 30,000. There was no chance for them to win. They would die if they chose to fight. But they fought anyways.
Their leaders were the greatest warriors of their time. They’d been selected to go to fight because they had children already, so their family lines would continue, but they were not young men. They had left in during the festival to one of their primary gods, which was sacrilege. This fight wasn’t just a fight against men, but a rebellion against the gods. And they chose to fight anyways.
Their enemies had a group of 10,000 of the best soldiers from the largest empire of the time. They always numbered 10,000. If someone fell ill or died, they were replaced by another. And they wanted the other army died. They were called The Immortals because no matter how hard the enemy fought, there was always 10,000.
The defenders had the choice to become slaves to the larger empire or to fight for their freedom. Fight for their autonomy. They fought.
They were, themselves, divided. The members of their army came from different cities. Some of these cities hated each other. The best soldiers of their time came from one part of their country, the others from the country they were defending. The best soldiers could have fallen back to another choke point and allowed their enemies to overwhelm their rivals, but they chose to fight.
They were called Spartans.
They fought hard for days, sustaining reasonable losses while inflicting heavy losses on their enemies, the Persians. As one country, the Greeks rose up and fought. Sparta, though it could have defended at Corinth, fought for the autonomy of Athens. And they fought well.
Until they were betrayed.
Knowing that they could not hold the pass of Thermopylae, the Spartans sent all the others away, but the Thebans and the Thespians stayed, choosing to die with the Spartans to delay the Persian advance.
The Persians had seemingly endless numbers. The Greeks had 300 Spartans and about a thousand others.
They fought until their spears broke, and they switched to swords. When their swords broke they switched to their teeth and fingers.
Leonidas fell, and the Spartans fought hard to reclaim his body and give it a proper burial. And then, pinned between multiple sides, the Spartans and the Greeks could fight no longer, and they were wiped out.
They left a monument saying: “Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,: That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie.”
This delay allowed Attica to be evacuated. Their enemies, the Immortals, turned out to be quite moral, and were practically eradicated by the fighting.
Because of this, Athens survived. Because of this, democracy was given a chance.
Once upon a time, I found a place where I made friends and they changed my life. Because of them I am a better person. Because of them, I have grown. Because of them, I have had waffles of mixed-emotions and days of confusion and days of happiness. Because of this, I can wort-wort-wort and stuff like that.
Are these both important? I guess one was important to the world, and the other was just important to me and a select few others, but I think which we choose to focus on (What is culturally important vs what is personally important) and why say quite a bit about us as people. I know what is important to me. And maybe it wouldn’t happen in a world where democracy never was given a chance, but maybe I wouldn’t have the capacity to appreciate that freedom without the people who make my free life worthwhile.
Food for thought.
12. Tell for whom/what you’d be willing to sacrifice something important.
I think this is a question largely dependent on what we qualify as “something important.” Because it seems to me, what is important is what I’d sacrifice for. And so the question kind of becomes a hierarchical statement, but for me at least hierarchy is a constant shift. Like, as I’ve said before, Zoboomafoo was very important to me at one point, but less important. now. And maybe that’s what growing up is. And I’m not even advocating the whole Peter Pan thing here. I’m just suggesting that maybe life isn’t about keeping what you value when you thinking Play-Dough is the most delicious thing ever, it’s about realizing there are better things. Like Play-Dough being replaced by delicious hamburgers and waffles with strawberries, Zoboomafoo is replaced by stories that have changed my as a person, and after-school friends for a year or two are replaced by people I may know for the rest of my life.
And maybe that’s the most important sacrifice as all. The past has to die so the present can be different from it. What was important before must go so that that new important things can come into being. It’s like personal recycling.
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."-1 Corinthians 13:11.
And that’s scary, because it means risking genuinely GOOD things for a chance a better things. This leads to hard decisions where things that have mattered in the past might be destroyed if I make a choice to chase a possibility in the future.
It’s a risk.
It’s a gamble.
But I think I’m happy with the gambles I’ve made. And I’m especially happy about the people who, for whatever reason, are making them with me.