It's been awhile since I put something up so I've decided to write instead of podcast.  This is due in no small part to the end-of-semester workload.  I'm heavily into two research projects and they are frankly why I'm bothering to write to begin with.  This semester (and 2017 in general) has been so rich with perspective for me personally that I struggle to put it into words.  Obviously.  I'm not podcasting!

Between my classes in cultural anthropology, archaeology, ethics, and a newfound commitment to political causes and the introduction of the podcast I have been forced to think a lot this year about things I never imagined I would care about.  Couple that with a meditation practice and you have just four months of heavy (healthy) introspection that I would not replace for anything.  Despite the ups and downs - though most of it has certainly been up.

If you only follow the blog and don't know me personally, I have news.  I was accepted into both UCSB and UCSD (not UCLA or Berkeley but those were really shots in the dark).  This means I will probably be able to podcast fairly regularly in the summer but likely will be in media blackout for most of the semester year as most UC schools have a reputation for workload.  Not a bad thing for me, but if you're waiting for more, I do apologize.

I have temporarily shelved the project on gun violence as it will require quite a bit of work that I do not have the time to complete.  It will certainly be something to research in the summer.  Fear not!  My objective style is developing and while I am still somewhat vulnerable to accepting arguments, my ability to parse them is growing in speed.  In other words, I'm become much more effective in debate and thought organization.

So back to the inspiration!  Right!  Cultural anthropology (which is my declared major) has provided a brand new door to the world.  It is a door that I am already intimately familiar with but it has thus far failed to coax me in.  It's hard to explain, but much of the research and interest I've had for the last 15 years has been in and around a subject I never really considered had a name or even existed.  I'm not shocked that there's a field of anthropology as such, I'm just admitting how unfamiliar I really was with the discipline.

And while I'm not a tremendous fan of the style, the instructor for that class (the same for the archaeology class I'm taking) has a presentation-heavy curriculum that demands we not only research a subject but also present it.  It's a unique challenge that requires you to be familiar with the subject matter not only well enough to memorize acronyms for a test, but to speak intelligently on concepts involved in it.  In choosing a contentious issue to present, I've also been forced to analyze my vocabulary, presentation style, etc. to bring forth as objective an analysis as possible.  It's exhilarating to be honest.

I've always been a very empathetic person and this approach has frankly led me down some interesting and dare-I-say morally ambiguous roads.  Supporting a cause or belief dogmatically is not only dangerous it's intellectually dishonest.  So much over these first four months of the year has forced me to reconsider my positions and provide legitimate intellectual muscle for an opinion.  It is a process without a clear set of steps or an order for said steps, yet it always provides perspective.  That almost sounds dogmatic - and it would be if I were depending on the perspective.  I am not, but it thus far has been true.

Anyway, I thank you for taking the time to read this one and promise to be back on audio as soon as I'm able.  I am thinking the end of May, to be honest.  That's entirely too long after the March for Science (which was awesome!), but it will have to wait.  I'll have a podcast addressing the science march that also addresses science in general, another on the much-anticipated gun research, and probably a few more on some moral and legal questions of our time including one I am currently working on for class - the legality of enforcing gay marriage laws and what is right for churches, businesses, etc.  I genuinely look forward to doing the research and will keep you posted as I move along.

Keep wandering!

-mC

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