Sunday, November 20, 2011

1-2-3-4:Psychology and Basketball A Potent Mix?

According to Developmental Pyshcologist, Robert Kegan, there are five stages of subject-object realtivity we humans employ. The first stage, during childhood, is one in which we experience reality as moment-by-moment--Kegan  notes that young children will describe a movie by reflecting on a favorite character or an isolated scene without really catching on to the overall plot. As we get older we are able to see "time" as an object  and , in essence, step back to analyze it . This second level of understanding is one we experience through adolesence. What we lack as teens is the ability to make ourselves an object, to assess ourselves from a different point of view; so as teens we often appear fact according to Kegan we are. Most Adults are at level three, able to curb our self-serving apetites for what we see as the greater good. Kegan claims that many adults never proceed to level four, in which we make the greater good the object and learn to see rules as a means to an end rather than something to be taken in a literal sense. But you don't want to hear all this, you want to hear about my weekend...

Let us begin with Friday night. Late Friday afternoon Justin got back from school at approximately 4:53.09. He was tired from studying but I was HYPER. I had been staring listlessly at my facebook page for about an hour ... utterly unable to unglue my eyes from my computer and be productive. Then my poor husband got home and was tackled to the floor before even setting down his backpack! "Let's do something anything, let's make Kool-aid, let's eat popcorn, let's do it, let's play cards, let's play tennis, I'm bored!!!!" I screamed "Matt called, he and Lace wanna play basketball." he grinned. "NOW?!!:)" I smiled, "Yay let's play basketball!" "Well, he said he would call me when they head over there, " he stated."Let's do something anything, let's make Kool-aid, let's eat popcorn, let's do it, let's play cards, let's play tennis, I'm bored!!!!" I screamed...again. Poor guy, how was he to know my subject-object relativity making had reverted to level one.

So we went and played basketball. Don't worry I sobered up before we got to the gym. By the time the sports dude lowered a hoop for us I was operating solidly at a level two. We played 21 and I only guarded Justin because after all, wouldn't it just be silly for me to try to get the ball from anyone who didn't have a vested interest in my spectacularly batted lashes?Justin seemed to be making meaning in a completely different way ,however, because he certainly didn't have my eyelashes in mind when he slammed his shoulder into my chin. " What is this guy doing," I thought " doesn't he realize this little game of 21 is really just about him paying attention to me?" So I responded the way many a level twoer has, I kicked him right in the front of his friends no less. As you can imagine this did not go over well, but luckily my husband was not on level two so he was gracious about it. Soon some other friends showed up and a 3 on 3 pick-up game started. I was not chosen for either team as I am not particularly good at basketball. "I will sit here and they will all see how terribly gracious I am." I thought, of course when Justin didn't seemed to be looking I turned it instead into a fight, claiming that he should have tried to find a way for me to play too. What I was really struggling with however was getting beyond myself ...getting beyond level two. Needless to say I had some apologizing to do when the level three in me came through.

Today however was a perfect day, I think I even made it to level four a couple of times.Yes truly, an objective synthesis of  "the greater good" was certainly neccesary for the events of the day. Let's just say that "call your own fouls" was a rule that was meant to be broken in order to have an eternal perspective... right? Somehow I am thinking Kegan might not agree... Anyway I made my own team to play in the intramural ,3-on-3 basketball tournament,there were only four girls' teams entered and two of them were predominately made up of cross country runners. Justin describes the game between our two teams as a "controlled fight"... he's probabaly right you know, at one point there were three of us on the ground , clutching desperately at the ball and shouting "No way,no way, no way" "get it , get it ,get it , get it" and " FOOOOOOOOTBAAALL" respectively.What can I say we are runners, I mean running  isn't even that fun if you aren't a fiercely competitive person by nature...and it turns out basketball can get your blood boiling -- who knew?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This IS your home.

This year Justin and I have decided to stay in Hawaii for Christmas. That is one of the (only) downsides to going to school here--expensive airfare.I keep switching between optimism and utter bewilderment about it. I mean, what is Christmas without family? Everything about the holiday is, for me, steeped in family traditions and connections.How can Dec. 25th possibly occur without me seeing my parents and sisters? But see that is one of the hardest commitments you make when you get married, commiting first and foremost to your own nuclear family, at least according to our culture it is...Happily you can usually fufill both obligations simultaneously. This year I can't.
I sat, musing about this particularly difficult reality one day when Justin walked in. My eyes snapped up as I looked him straight on and said stalwartly " We have plenty of money in the account [nevermind that we need every penny of it for next semester's housing and tuition], I absolutely need a trip tp the mainland this Christmas." He looked at me discerningly, ready to blast away my carefully constructed facade."Kels..." he said, "what are you trying to say here?" " I want to go home!" I pouted childishly [no really, lip puckered and everything---it was fantastic] , batting my eyes for good measure. " This is your home." he said seriously, his eyes locked on mine trying to communicate the words his guarded nature wouldn't allow him to say. I wasn't letting him off that easily, I stared up at him, willing myself to look every bit as mesmerisingly cute as Puss-in-Boots. Finally he broke his gaze and choked out " What about our song?Don't you feel that way about me anymore?" whoa...whoa....W-H-O-A...
This is our song--
--------I gotta say it, my shy guy sure has away with words...[ needless to say I decided a cozy Christmas with just him would be a cozy Christmas at home.]

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tolerance:A One Way Street

Tolerance, a word used far too much and far too little in my opinion. The way I am talking about it, in a politically charged ( and often misused) way, tolerance means being open to differences; whether cultural, political, religious, or otherwise. The thing is, that in the context of my own life "tolerance" has always been something I was expected to give more of , with far less emphasis on the recieving end. Throughout my life I have had my views challenged, and often reshaped in the name of tolerance. "Be tolerant" my peers urged, when I took a Pro-life view of abortion. "Be tolerant" they commanded when my Dad pulled up with a Prop 8 sticker on his bumper. " Be tolerant" they clamoured, when I related my personal opinion about illegal immigration. The thing is, my peers were right. Often times I was insensitive and close-minded when I formed my opinions. There were many instances in which I could have benfited from hearing another's point of view, from having sympathy for someone who was struggling. I honestly want to be kind and understanding to everyone regardless of who they are, or where their life has taken them. It's a hard thing to do. What I think my peers really wanted though was something different.
For many "be tolerant" means "change your opinion so that it is the same as mine".  Take this logic for example: "Be tolerant of those who consider abortion Kelsey,  you don't understand their situation..." ---"OK I guess that's fair" ---" So you're pro-choice now right?" ----"ummm-no" I should sympathize more with those in the tough situation of an unwanted pregnancy, it's true I haven't been in the situation myself and I couldn't understand how hard it is. I should not judge those who have chosen a legal abortion, I should not hate them, or say or do anything to hurt or harm them. But that does not mean I have to advocate abortion --or even the right to it.As far as the law goes, it is my right to vote for or against something  based on my own opinion, whether that fits in with someone else's agenda or not. And guess what else? I can vote with my religious beliefs in mind, just as much as I can vote based on what the Crazy 8 ball told me the night before...that's my right in a democratic society and one that has been extolled as a basic human right in this Country as well.
So many people have told me to "be tolerant", but in the process of saying it have lacked tolerance toward me. Be tolerant peers, of my religious views and their role in the formation of my personal opinons. Be tolerant friends, of my choice to marry young, to keep the Sabbath day holy, to have a lot of children, to abstain from caffeine. Don't post malicious comments or videos on facebook or your blog about Mormons and how they are crazy or cultish or nerdy or pompous or intolerant. Because that friends is just simply not tolerant.

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I am a videographer located in Goodyear, Arizona. Visit my site to check out my best work and the Stories Told blog.