Monkey Monkey Underpants.
I’ve had work training for 2 days…15 hours of unnecessary tedium. The bank I work at is getting a new system; it comes with a manual that gives you step by step (yes STEP BY STEP) instructions on how to do each transaction, yet they feel that reading that just isn’t good enough. And, honestly, it’s not for some of the people who work there. That being said, my usual work routine/habits have been altered for those 2 days. While in training I have not been able to do the following: read NPR news online, or any news for that matter; check Tumblr regularly and find things of interest here; use my email to converse with friends at the bank branch; or read my book(s).
I was sad and extremely bored. So last night when I got home from Day #1 of training, I watched the rest of Downton Abbey on Netflix. Love. Really, overall, yesterday was awesome. I woke up early enough to go running before having to be at work at 8:30am, made myself breakfast, and got ready. I was early to training and everything went smoothly.
Day #2 was worse. I overslept, had to rush to get out the door on time (without a lunch). Because I had no lunch I had to eat fast food instead. On top of that, some assistant manager from another branch felt it necessary to thoroughly explain to me how a certain process for ATM deposits currently works—even though I do them several times a week and simply had a question. And that was before the day was half over!!
P.S.: My biggest pet peeve, EVER is being talked down to. I now hate this woman and will for all of eternity due to this one incident. Burning, deep seated hate.
Then after hearing some gentlemen talking musician nonsense in Wendy’s, I felt a little better. That is, until I realized that at the center of this conversation, that was seemingly about music was church. Sure churches have bands and it’s a great way to play on a regular basis, but suddenly I was a little put-off. Then I was really put-off.
One of the men was talking about his wife’s recent success in selling purses, or Avon, or Mary Kay…something of the like…and how this has led her to be able to quit her job as physical therapist (bank!) because she’s making nearly twice what she was making!! Yes, that’s right. This woman is selling something that functions like Avon/Mary Kay and making double what she made as a PHYSICAL THERAPIST. Fucking good job! Yet, he attributed her success to…God.
Not his wife’s awesome sales skills or the fact that she probably works her ass off to make that money. Nor did he take our location into consideration, which in my opinion, probably plays a very big role in her successes. The area is your run of the mill suburban locale. Decent incomes, decent jobs, specified tastes/preferences. These demographics alone play a HUGE part in her business. But no no, it’s God.
Now, the fact that that is what he believes is all fine and dandy by me. To each their own. Do I agree? Obviously not…I’d like to give his wife 98% of the credit, 2% to luck. But it got my unstimulated 2-day mush brain a-ticking. And that’s always a dangerous thing.
I wonder about many, many, MANY things. Many of these things are reasonable, some are solely about my life/personal things, and a lot are just so absurd that I wonder if other people ever wonder about them. That being said, these are probably some of the more reasonable category.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say. I by no means lack faith in God/highpower/etc, and faith is definitely a very personal and exceptionally individual thing.
But c’mon…God is the reason to her success?? If I were to live by this theory, or even believe it then…for me…this is what that would entail.
Not only is God the giver of my successes, but also the giver of my failures. Not only can He grant me with greatness, He can just as easily take it away. It is not disease, illness, accidents, drunken stupidity, or old age that kills those that we love, but a merciful and loving God—as if he were smiting just because He has the power to do so.
Here, it seems, predestination is clearly in place. However, any person I have ever met in my life who believes in predestiny also believes in free will. In an attempt to reconcile these ideas, that are blatantly contradictory for me, I’ve thought one of two things.
1: Perhaps it’s just the end goal that is planned for us.
2: Or, maybe it’s that you end up wherever/however you end up because that was the ultimate plan.
Neither one work for me. If the end goal is planned, WE make the choices and decisions that get us there. And in the second scenario, it (1) seems extremely unfair given how some peoples’ lives go and (2) we still end up where/how we do based on the plethora of free will options. We make choices every single day across an array of things. We choose what to eat, wear, drive, live, work, play. We choose what to believe in, what we’re interested in, people to have in our lives. We CHOOSE everything.
And if predestination were the real deal, why do we have to make all those various decisions? Hypothetically, we would just know because it’d be inherent, constant. Unchanging. And if that’s true, how absolutely boring would that be?!
How I ever got to these ideas/values/beliefs that I do have, is beyond me. My mother was raised going to Catholic school until she was 16-7. Her mother was raised Catholic, and though she wasn’t strict or overly religious, she was still very Catholic in my opinion (she refused to read The Da Vinci Code because she believed it propagated lies as truth). My paternal grandmother was/is also very religious. All of these things were a constant in my childhood, though I was never made to go to church or participate in church activities because my mom didn’t want to force it on me like she felt it had been forced on her. So, if we’re sticking to God has something all planned out for me…is this it? Am I to ponder these things until I’m just so curious/dumb enough to ask some evangelical asshat(please excuse my non-PC vocab)who will then be likely to barrage me with all sorts of gibberish and Biblical passages that are supposed to show the error of my ways?? Which, btw, will fail time and time again, not because I am of zero faith, but because I choose to believe in a realistic version of Jesus and the Bible. As if he were some guy who got a wild hair up his ass that he was the Son of God and just started telling all his friends the story. The shit caught on, his friends believed it because Jesus had all this “proof” and they started traveling through their lands telling anyone and everyone. Much like today if it were the day after you and your friends smoked a lot of weed, or took some hallucinogens or whatever it is you enjoy partaking in, and are talking about how you felt and what you experienced the night before…Jesus would be your homeboy (for real) and that would be his experience. Simple as pie.
Therefore, predestination + free will are not ideas that mesh together in my head. The flaw here, is my need/want to understand…EVERYTHING. I can accept blind faith believers as they are for what they are and like them just fine as people. Yet, their arguments for predestination and the prophetic ways of Jesus will never be enough to convert me because they can’t logically rationalize their faith to me…thus I will never be satisfied.
This blasphemers final note is on education.
Today on NPR I read an article about computer graded essays. Not happy. An algorithm cannot accurately assess the validity or clarity of an argument. I also, doubt that it can make sure that any cited information does in fact back up the claim that the author is making. English education, seems to me, to be lacking as it is. I know people my age (20-30) who don’t have a firm grasp on the English language or how to properly use it, and I can’t imagine letting that decline even more. It’s supposed to cut costs and gives students instant feedback. But is that instant streamlined feedback more useful than the feedback of a teacher who spends real time with your work to help you better yourself? I don’t think so at all. Also, because it’s a system based on algorithms, it will breed a certain type of writer. Students won’t learn the value of developing their own voice or style of writing, which is crucial to good writing.