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Month: January 2012

Growing in Confidence

I work as a developer/analyst in the IT department of a large international corporation. And last year was a rough year for me. There was a major reorganization of the company, which actually resulted in my employer being split into two separate companies leaving me on a much smaller team than what I was had grown accustomed to. My team lead went to the other company, as did most of the other senior developers on my team. Where before I could lean heavily on the team lead and senior developers for support and assistance, I found myself being held responsible for even more without their aid. Our manager informed us early in the year that everyone would be expected to perform on a higher level, and she turned out to be right. I suddenly found myself handling much more responsibility than I was accustomed to, and was put on a “performance improvement plan” as I was neither trained for nor accustomed to the new expectations. And I was terrified, and feared that a PIP meant I was soon to be fired. For months, I was constantly on edge at work, at one point experiencing sharp cramps in my back from sitting so tensely at my computer. I seriously considered leaving, and even attended career counseling sessions to try to find an alternative career path. But I didn’t leave, with...

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How could a 12-year-old girl deserve hell?

WARNING: Things will get a bit personal in this post. I will be talking about my experiences with religion as relates to my self-esteem and self-confidence. Will I be blaming all my insecurities on religion? Well, no, though I think there are areas where religious messages I received as a child took advantage of and exacerbated my natural insecurities. It’s probably only in very recent years that I’ve realized how much some of these messages have messed with my head. Lets start at the natural starting point, the Christian sum-up of the human condition: Romans 3:23 : “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Yes, I know there is context around this one, but this verse was very often quoted on its own so I will leave it that way. Feel free to look it up if you like.) So, what could a 12-year-old girl (as this is about the time I started really paying attention to this) have done to “fall short of the glory of God”? This is the message I was just starting to absorb, right in the midst of developing my personal identity. I would think and think and try to remember what I had done wrong so I could confess it, because believing you had not sinned meant you were a liar and full of spiritual pride. (see 1 John 1:8) Oh, there it is. It’s just inescapable…it...

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Atheist music: Shelley Segal

This is the single from Shelley Segal’s “An Atheist Album.” I love this, first of all because it is well written and well produced and beautiful. If it were not for these things, I would never give it a second listen. But beyond that, I think it is a great thing to have atheists out there expressing their thoughts in ways other than cerebral scientific or philosophical discourse. This song is not an argument for atheism, it is an expression of what it is like to live as an atheist in a religious society. I think I like this most of all because as both an atheist and a woman, I identify with what she is saying. If you are interested in hearing more, “An Atheist Album” can be found on Amazon and iTunes. If you like this song, you will love the rest of the album. Related articles Shelley Segal’s “An Atheist Album” Is Very Good (freethoughtblogs.com) Shelley Segal’s “Eve” (And Interview) (freethoughtblogs.com) Shelley Segal’s “Saved”...

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Lasik one week later…

It has now been a week and a couple of days since my Lasik eye surgery. My vision has sharpened up a lot by now, and I do not think I will need glasses even for driving. Driving and focusing on street signs does not make my head hurt any more. I still see halos around lights, especially around the headlights of oncoming cars, and from what I hear it may be a permanent effect. However, it is tolerable, and I can still drive at night without problems. Right now my eyes are itchy and watery and sensitive to light. Those symptoms just started on Friday though…I wonder if I should take a pill for allergies? EDIT: My eyes feel better after showering. Still rather sensitive to bright light though. I think that’s...

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Congratulations to Jessica Ahlquist

I can hardly imagine the pluck and bravery of this young woman. Especially in high school, where such action can and does result in serious social consequences, there are still people out there who put themselves on the line to defend their values. In this case, she called on the ACLU to challenge the unquestionably sectarian “School Prayer” posted on the walls of her high school. Seriously, schools should stick to education and not erect religious barriers up between the students. Nothing says “you are just not one of us” like a declaration that your school promotes a religion you don’t believe in. And every student deserves to belong in their own school. And, yes, it is unconstitutional for schools to give endorsement to religion, for good reason. Ahlquist said she is proud of her decision to fight for what she felt was right. “Even if kids in school hate you, even if there are nasty comments all over the Internet, it’s important to just stand true to what you believe in,” Ahlquist said. From: Student who challenged Prayer Banner speaks out If you appreciate this young woman as much as I do, you can show your support in a concrete way by contributing to Jessica’s scholarship fund. EDIT: Actually, as the ChipIn widget does not show properly on my blog, here is a better link for Jessica’s scholarship fund: A fundraiser for...

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