Because, fuck it, when you’re right, you’re right.
This applies everywhere in life, but specifically I’m talking organization settings/ office politics. If you know you have a better grasp an issue or situation, then stand up and advocate your superior insight—yes, superior (Ain’t nobody got time to be humble).
I hate when people try to re-invent the wheel by wasting time and effort brainstorming solutions even when I point out solid approaches are already out there. The “R&D,” so to speak, has already been done by others, and all my group has to do is replicate the method (with minor tweaks). Conversely, I also hate—I realize I have a lot of hatred—when people repeat the same failed methods, as if expecting a different result, and then hold unnecessarily long and unfocused meetings wondering why they failed—like the first five times.
This is why groups have officers/committees to deal with specific functions, but sometimes: a) these people aren’t putting in enough work, or b) you have better ideas than they do. I’m not claiming a monopoly on solutions, but damn, I can’t help it if I know my shit because I did some research and think with an eye on both the big picture and the details. Even when the group agrees with your ideas, it’s important to get their full support, just as each of them would like with their great ideas. When they pay lip service to your plan and only offer half-assed support in its implementation, I call it half-assedness. And then folks wonder why I get upset.
(A common reason why the above dilemmas occur is poor external networking and administrative record-keeping; how would people know what worked and what didn’t if they don’t have reliable access to any records, or don’t know who to talk to on the outside? This stuff is right up my alley, but this is for another discussion.)
*Le sigh* I’ve been one for 6 months, but walking through campus yesterday in order to pick up my diploma really made that reality hit home. And I have little else to show for it at the moment. The next thing isn’t a ‘thing’ yet. But one grand opportunity seems to have presented itself, however it would mean a big commitment, and working harder than I ever have before to achieve it. That is a long ways off, though, and I need a short/medium term job until then. The search continues…
Sometimes I feel like my mind has been rotting since graduating (with my creativity already suffering long ago), and that I’m not living so much as existing.
Yeah, I may have been more proactive to prevent this before I left school, but suffice to say that the recurring issue surrounding a certain dirt bag had jolted me off my focus for the last two years. Not that I’m trying to abandon any responsibility for where I’m at or where I’m headed, but things aren’t how I ideally imagined them to be, and now I’m trying to snap out of my shell-shock/stupor and set out on a path—any, as long as it takes me far away from this stagnant place, to adventure, the horizon, toward something worthwhile. [Follow up later.]
Dear Ann Coulter of the Day: After Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as a retard in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens penned her this open letter:
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens Global
Messenger Special Olympics Virginia
I really gotta stop messing around and needlessly scrolling through Facebook/ social media—and web surfing in general. Yeah, it’s nice seeing what people are up to, and I read my news from links on Twitter, but overall the Internets have been a major distraction from productive activities and have jacked up my sleep patterns, so I need to focus on these until I can find a balance. As one famous marine put it, “You had best square your ass away and start shitting me Tiffany cuff links…”
I’m gonna try to start limiting myself to 15 minutes a day on Facebook to start with, then hopefully reduce to twice a week, then who knows? maybe try giving it up for two weeks at a time? I know this isn’t the first time I’ve posted about trying to lead a more productive/ meaningful daily life, but hey, work with me here.
Maybe I’ll regret the post title since it could probably go with a much cooler story than what follows, but I’m finna tell it anyway. Besides, I can always recycle titles, right?
This summer I’ve been updating information for my fraternity’s chapter databases and contact lists, then last week tinkered with fonts and colors on our backup website. Really soon I’m hoping to see some of the most drastic changes in 3 years to our main site by giving it a facelift and reorganizing pages. I’ve already made a few formatting changes to a couple pages. One thing later led to another in my curious browsing (brute-forcing?) and I found literallya treasure trove of photos from pledge classes long past—before Facebook. I want to add these to our chapter blog or Facebook page, or both, in addition to some old class roster pics that don’t see the virtual light of day much nowadays. It would definitely help bridge the history/ knowledge gap of the last few years—and who knows, maybe even bring a some elusive alumni out of the shadows and wanting to be part of APO again (it’s a stretch, but I’m still hopeful).
Not gonna lie: looking at the pictures, it seems our chapter was way more fun, inclusive, and meaningful than now. Don’t mean to sound pessimistic or discount what’s currently good. Yeah, yeah, spare me all that simplistic jazz about “[APO] is what you make of it.” Anyway, perhaps we can have that type of fun reputation/appearance again someday, not for my sake but for future APO brothers. Oh yeah and they took A LOT of pictures to thoroughly document what looked like awesome times. I’ll probably share links soon.
More updates to come in my efforts to retrieve and consolidate pieces of chapter activity/alumni history, renovating our site, and improving efficiency overall.
“You deserve respect and will get it”—#fortunecookie 22. Tell me about it. Not sure why some people I know act somewhat hostile, but eh I guess you can’t please everybody. F*ck ‘em, I didn’t come to satisfy nobody but moi.
“HEY, I’M WALKING HERE!”—Hehehe I love this quote for some reason. (From “Midnight Cowboy,” 1969, never seen the movie though.) Really seems to capture a New York essence. Bucket list item: walk through NY and say this to a car getting too close—and not getting hurt, of course
Herp derp that was some good service. we delivered those meals, did our thing, got thanked by all the nice senior citizens, and toasted. Oh except for one misunderstanding between an older man and one of our, um, brothers.
A little-known fact about me is that I’ve been collecting fortune cookie slips for a few years now, so I thought I might as well start a fortune series sharing every slip I’ve ever collected. This is number 1 :)
Why now? My baby cousin went in my room earlier and found the slips, and tossed them around. The sight of them inspired me to do something with them.
someone did something undesirable (understatement) even though you know they meant well? Yeah, well that was me just recently… I’m over it now, it was no big deal, but it definitely had me for a good minute.
When you drive off the route a GPS gives, you might hear its computerized, nonjudgmental, female voice say “Recalculating” followed by the newly adjusted directions to your destination. Yeah, well looks like I’m changing directions too. I won’t be going to New York after all because of reasons. (My scheduled flight left earlier in the night from LAX and I’m here at home.)
Turns out the relative whom I was going to stay with told me last week she couldn’t have me due to a very strict landlord who refuses to let a brotha kick it for a month. Additionally, I hadn’t secured a job and I only had enough savings to cover food, transportation, and incidental expenses for 3 weeks max before being hard pressed for a paycheck, and we’re not even talking future rent money yet.Yes, others make it in the NYC, but many have the advantage of already growing up and living there, or arriving with cash, a job, or a place to stay; I have none of those. Lastly, my family here was largely against me leaving so suddenly, and I didn’t want to create unnecessary concern and tension. Guess I’ll hunker down and try making it out here at home for a while where I won’t have to worry about any of that.
But to make it clear, I still intend to go to New York sometime in the near future, perhaps next year. I just need to amass some capital. Then again, I have my aunt and uncle here encouraging me to consider joining the Navy…sounds tempting to have a secure job as an officer (but only after going through training and selection), and be able to travel the world or even kick it at the base here in San Diego. We’ll see. I hope my degree and my major is worth something in this tough economy with few relevant job profiles in the area. Maybe I can look into something in the OC or LA, or…minimum wage work, if the going gets tough… I just gotta do something fast before my mind and potential go to waste. We’ll see. Think positive; think outside the bun.
IDGAF - Once you adopt the mentality, it’s usually as easy as it sounds, but sometimes it’s not. To care what others think or how they’ll react is to assign value to them, one that might outweigh your desire to do or say what you’re wanting to. My issue was, am I giving people too much weight in what I tell them or do? Well, for some I just told ‘em straight (both friends and in academics) and things turned out for the better in just about every case, even where I didn’t exactly get what I was going for but still got the next-best outcome. About 2 or 3 outstanding issues remain, and I’m curious to resolve them, and avoid future regret.
But maybe then again, Fuck It; come August 1st I’m going away and potentially very little from UCLA will matter anymore in the next few months and I’ll move on, ready to start over with new people in a new place. It’ll be nice to stay in touch with those matter most, and occasionally some of the many others I never made time with. If not, cool beans; nothing personal.
To whoever cares even an ounce, please call or chat with me on Skype or Google talk sometime/every once in a while. I don’t dislike anyone on my friend/contact list if I ever gave that impression; I’m just not good at initiating this kind of communication and it’s hard to keep a meaningful connection without (virtual) face-to-face interaction and text/IM is not very personal. Yep, shit’s about to get real, time to face it.