Monday, October 15, 2007

Week 8: Culture and Religion


Gandhi said...

Hello again. This week, I’m giving you guys another update on the ongoing reconciliation between myself and an estranged friend whom, for the purposes of anonymity, I’ve named “David.”

Early yesterday evening, I was walking across campus back to my dorm and to my surprise, I saw David walking towards me on the sidewalk. As he approached, I smiled and said hello, and my first inclination was to just leave it at that. But in a moment of instantaneous enlightenment, I realized that simply saying hello would not be enough to progress the reconciliation between us. So as we passed each other, I turned to him and initiated a conversation. It was a risky move, and I was a little bit nervous, but I knew that if I didn’t take the next step in mending the relationship, it would never happen. To my immense relief, David seemed happy to join me in conversation, and we spoke for a good five minutes or so about different things…the current semester, our hometowns, the weather…innocent yet meaningful topics, at least to us.

I actually had to be somewhere soon, so when there was a break in the conversation, I let him know that I had to get going. So he smiled and said goodbye, and as we were about to turn to go our separate ways, I smiled widely and with complete sincerity said, “It was good seeing you.” He smiled back, and we parted. It may not sound like much, but after the awkwardness of last semester, I was so relieved to be able to talk to him comfortably once again. I remember smiling all the way back to my room, and even now, I am still relishing in the little taste of peace that yesterday’s encounter brought me.

Mary Rose said...

This Peace Blog is two weeks belated. I did the activity but kept forgetting to write it up, so here it is. Two weeks ago, I attempted to go for a week without getting angry. My attempt was at times both more and less difficult than I expected it to be.
I found that my efforts to not get irritated with people in one-on-one situations were much easier than I thought they would be. Whether it was a person who cut me off in line in the dining hall or a friend who said something I didn’t like, I realized that I was fairly capable of reigning in my anger when I tried. I was shocked at how easily I could refrain from at least outwardly expressing annoyance if nothing else. The activity motivated me to try to continue with this effort beyond the week because it allowed me to see that it was a possible endeavor.
On the other hand, I had a difficult time controlling my anger about what I saw as systematic problems. When I had trouble getting something accomplished for work, I had a difficult time preventing myself from being angry. Furthermore, when people did not seem to view feminism in the same way that I did during class, I had a hard time restraining my indignation. I did find, however, that though it took great effort, when I refrained from commenting in class and endeavored to listen to the arguments presented by the other side first, I understood them much better. Though I didn’t agree with them, I saw where they were coming from and why they felt like they did-- in a way that I most likely never would have had I nursed my anger and irritation. This was an eye-opening experience for me.
Though I only set my goal as a week, I am going to try not to get angry for as long as I can. I found it rewarding for both me and the people around me, so its worth continuing. Wish me luck!

sarah c said...

Lately I’ve done several things for the environment. I’m my dorm’s environmental commissioner, so some of it comes with the job, but I’ve been trying to be especially aware of my personal habits (and those of my roommates). One day I decided to be hyper-conscious of my energy usage. I realized how often I turn on lights that I don’t even need. In the middle of the day, a light rarely needs to be turned on, but it’s just a habit it to turn on the light when you enter a room. That day, in addition to turning out lights, I also walked around compulsively unplugging things. My laptop and phone charger shouldn’t be plugged in when I’m not using them. We use our stereo maybe once a week, but it’s almost always plugged in. I’ve been hounding my roommates about turning off the lights, and they’re getting better, but they still tend to leave fans on when no one’s even around. Small lifestyle changes can actually make a difference. Even though I’m generally in the habit of turning stuff off, just being especially conscious of it for a day was eye-opening.

I also participated in the recycling pilot program at the library lot before the Michigan State game. It was heartening to see how many people reacted positively to the program! Only a few people declined to participate. The program was really successful, and we’re continuing gameday recycling for the rest of the year. I’m optimistic that it will spread to the other parking lots, but the support of both students and the administration is critical. I’m also really psyched that we’ve switched to single-stream recycling! Now that it’s actually easier to recycle than to take out the garbage, people don’t have an excuse to be lazy.

Like “wowee zowee” (who posted on the week 5 blog), I’ve also given up bottled water. Lately I’ve been much more aware of my consumption habits. The next time I go off-campus to the grocery store or Target or wherever, I’m going to bring along a stash of plastic bags to avoid getting new ones (to see the number of plastic bags consumed this year, check it’s insane). Trying to constantly be aware of the energy I’m using and waste I’m consuming has been a hassle, but it’s also been empowering.

catherine said...

For the past couple weeks two of my three roommates have been driving me absolutely insane. Some of my reasons for frustration are legitimate (for example, one randomly decided that one of the drawers in my dresser shouldn’t be mine anymore, and moved my clothes to put in a rice cooker and Halloween decorations), but the real reasons have resulted in my getting annoyed pretty much every time they open their mouths or even come into the room. One is very privileged and fairly ignorant, and the other is judgmental and anal… or at least that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve formed a habit of complaining to the fourth roommate, the one I get along with, about the two others. It’s become a bad living situation, but it’s hard for me to even remember why I’m mad sometimes. I know I do love all my roommates—I was really excited about being able to live with them this year. I decided to try, for one day, to not get annoyed with anyone or to whine. For one day, I would try to be a source of peace for my room. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out too well. I was in a bad mood the day I tried, and little things kept getting on my nerves. I ended up basically abandoning the attempt. When I was thinking about it later, I realized the reason that I couldn’t even be peaceful or happy for a day was because of me, not because of my roommates. I know I’ve been stressed out lately, because of classes, sleep deprivation, none of my football teams performing too well (seriously, it’s depressing), and missing my family. I’ve been using my roommates as an excuse to be in a bad mood. Trying not to be annoyed with them is important, but it won’t solve the problem. I need to find another path to my own inner peace.

sailor said...

This week my peace blog idea was to do a random act of kindness (raok). I was thinking it would be one, maybe two and that it be one of those really quick, it’s midterm time cop-outs. But then something spectacular happened. I got mildly addicted to raoks.

It all started with a quick trip to Starbucks. While I was waiting in line to order my venti non-fat quad cappuccino (not for the faint of heart, trust me) I overheard the girl behind me talking about how close she was cutting it with her tuition payments. Hearing the distress in her voice, I decided that this was a perfect opportunity to help out a total stranger. So I decided to pay for her coffee without her knowing. Not quite on par with paying her tuition in full I’m sure, but nevertheless pretty cool I’d say. I just wish I could have seen the look on her face, but I refused to turn around and make eye contact for fear that she’d try and force payment on me and thus ruin my raok.

My next raok happened yesterday, on North Quad, about 4 PM. I saw an elderly woman gazing at the dome from a bench. I decided to go over and say hello. Just for kicks, just to give her a smile. She was waiting for her grand daughter to get out of class and had managed to get herself lost. I decided to lead her back to her meeting place where we met her granddaughter. Might I add her very, very attractive law school granddaughter? Who said doing something nice has to be painful?

Well, that’s all for now, but trust me, I’ve never been so happy. Look for the continuing of the thread next week!

Dan Myers said...

Hey all,

I mentioned (and distributed to a lucky few) my "It Ain't Kum Ba Yah" mix in class. I always feel the need to combat some of the stereotypes about peace activists: Hippie, tie-dye wearing, passive, wimpy, kum ba yah singing, etc. Real peace activists and practitioners are anything but passive and I thought the music could reflect that too--so for my Peace Blog activity for last week, I made a fun mix CD with hard rockin' anti-war/peace songs. I'm calling it "This Ain't Kum Ba Yah" and below is the set list initially developed, which is also available on iTunes as an iMix. I'll be adding more to it as I go along, so stay tuned.

Civil War, Guns N' Roses
Don't Tread on Me, Metallica
Gods of War, Def Leppard
Holy War, Riverdogs
Killer of Giants, Ozzy Osbourne
Little Fighter, White Lion
Peaceable Kingdom, Rush
Peacemaker Die, Extreme
Soldier Without Faith, Yngwie Malmsteen
Thank God for the Bomb, Ozzy Osbourne
This Means War, AC/DC
The Trooper, Iron Maiden
Vietnow, Rage Against the Machine
War Pigs, Faith No More/Black Sabbath
Warheads, Extreme

Caity said...

Yesterday I decided to "be peace" by educating myself a little but and doing a little bit of "activism." First, I learned about the DREAM Act (Development Relief Education for Minor Students). The bill is on track to be taken up by the Senate on November 16th. The DREAM ACT was essentially designed to provide a path towards legal status for children illegally brought to the US. It was brought about to address the dilemma of thousands of high school students who cannot attend college because of their undocumented status. I think it's a great bill and decided to support it by writing letters to my senators with CASH, a student club at ND that serves the Hispanic community of South Bend. It was really fun and I got a great feeling inside, like maybe by becoming an activist in little ways I can make a difference. THEN I got even more happy when I went to see a documentary about Sargent Shriver, who was in both the Kennedy and LBJ administrations and created several amazing programs, such as the Peace Corps, Job Corps, Head Start, and Legal Services for the Poor. He was an incredible public servant and brought his Catholic faith into the public sphere with great enthusiasm and vigor. I was so happy to learn more about him, and to hear first-hand in the introduction from former Senator Harris Wofford about him. He was a true American idealist, and that's not something to be passed off as naivete, not at all. We CAN be idealists, we CAN create change; we just have to be optimistic always in the face of jaded politicians and civilians. THAT is how we are going to build peace in this world!

Adrienne said...

I think a huge part of air travel requires patience. I know that everyone HATES it when their plane gets delayed, but really, who is to blame in this situation? I flew home yesterday and my flight was supposed to leave at 3:15. When I first got to the airport, I noticed that my flight had been pushed back to 4:30. Okay…so just an hour longer…not too big of deal. When I got to the waiting area by the gate, I could already see that everyone was kind of ticked off. I tried not to let it bug me too much, because it wasn’t something I had control over. The plane was delayed because of bad weather and nobody has control over that! So, I pulled out my Kaldor reading and decided to try to get some work out of the way (oh yes, I’m serious). 4:30 started to creep up, and then there was an announcement that the plane would be delayed until 5:00. People began to groan and roll their. Some people even started yelling at the Delta lady working at the gate. But I kept telling myself that getting angry in this situation was NOT going to help things. Can the Delta lady change the weather or get the plane to come any sooner? NO. So I kept reading and then two more announcements came on, the flight was pushed back to 5:30 and then to 6:00. By this point people were FREAKING out. I just could not understand why everyone was getting so angry, did they really think that this was going to help get home faster? FINALLY 6:00 came around and we boarded the plane. As we were getting onto the flight, many of the passengers were rather belligerent. And during the flight, many people went as far as to take out their anger on the flight attendant. The poor flight attendant! It wasn’t like she was responsible for the delay.
Throughout this whole ordeal I tried to keep my cool because I realized that taking out my anger on the flight attendant or people working at the Delta counter, wasn’t going to get me anywhere. And by keeping my cool I was able to see just how ridiculous many of these people were acting and how out of control anger can become. This experienced taught me that just because you are angry, doesn’t mean that you need to express that anger. Furthermore, many times when people express their anger, they just make the situation worse. During the whole plane ride, people were just acting out of control and it made the situation very tense.

courtney isaak said...

When we talk about peace building in class, I often find myself considering injustices abroad rather than focusing on problems at home. Even in wealthy, developed countries like the United States, there are several injustices clouded by a seemingly tranquil social atmosphere. Here at Notre Dame, many campus organizations are focused on providing structural peace in the United States, specifically in South Bend. Such programs are well supported by eager and involved Notre Dame students. (I bet if we polled our class, around 90% of us would be involved in some sort of local program!) Last year I got involved in Slice of Life, a tutoring and literacy program for South Bend students ages 6-14.

Slice of Life meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and consists of around 40 students and tutors in a 1:1 relationship. Mentors and their student complete homework assignments, read books, and then play games together for the last 25 minutes. On the surface, Slice of Life seems just like a nice way for ND students to volunteer their time and resources. While this is true, I think programs like this hold a much greater significance for structural peace in America.

One of the most important things I have learned so far in this class is that peace begins at the individual level. Slice of Life focuses on the betterment of the individual. This is reached not only through academic success, but also by instilling values of trustworthiness, cooperation, reciprocity, and self-fulfillment. It is through these values that young people can more peacefully interact with their siblings, peers, teachers, teammates, etc. Through the development of reading and other educational skills, students are learning critical thinking skills that will allow them to more effectively digest information about strategies for peace, detect patterns of injustice, and formulate possible solutions. (I realize this statement might seem like a bit of a stretch, but workable solutions must be rooted in a solid educational background, such as that unveiled in programs like Slice of Life.)

It is also imperative to consider the mutually beneficial effects on tutors, like myself. I have learned more about people in Notre Dame’s backyard whom are struggling economically and educationally. Knowledge of this social injustice has not only encouraged me to go to Slice of Life more often this year, but to also recruit more tutors. I know that my experience with Slice of Life will also make me feel more likely to be involved in programs like this in the future. And here at ND, I am certainly not alone. The thousands of my peers who also participate in programs like Slice of Life will continue to contribute to structural peace. I am so happy and thankful to be part of a school that cares so much about peace in the Notre Dame community as well as peace in other corners of the world.

Teens said...

All right, so this actually happened a few weeks ago, but nevertheless, I thought I would document it now. For my peace blog, I tried to help resolve a small conflict. It all happened like this.
I was sitting near the back of one of my 200+ classes with two of my friends. As the professor was lecturing, we would periodically talk semi-quietly amongst ourselves. However, after a little while, I noticed the people in front of us turning and staring at us. I then realized that our talking was making it hard for them to hear the Professor, and since this was a difficult class, it was important to hear everything. After that, I felt bad and stopped talking because I myself get irritated when other people are talking too loudly and making it hard for me to hear. However, my two friends did not seem to get the memo and they continued to chat amongst themselves. When this had gone on for about 5 more minutes, one of the girls in front of us turned around and said, not rudely, "hey guys, it's really hard to hear." Now, I thought that this was a pretty nice way of saying "shut up", so I was kind of shocked when one of my friends responded with a rude, sarcastic comment. After that the girl got very irritated/angry and she said some things back to my friend (although surprisingly, there were no expletives) and he just responded my laughing.
Now, I know that this situation might not seem like that big of a deal, but I have never liked being in the middle of a conflict, and during this time, I was uneasy for a few reasons. First of all, I didn't want the girl in front of us to think I was rude as well for talking and for not saying anything when my friend was rude to her. Second of all, I was embarrassed that my friend had been rude in the first place. I also have to admit that for some reason, I was kind of scared of this girl, and I felt the need not to have any sort of conflict with her. Anyways, the combination of these factors made me do something kind of unusual. When class ended and my friends had left, I tapped the girl in front of us on the shoulder and apologized for my friend. I told her that I was sorry for talking in the first place, that I could not believe that my friend was so rude and that he really was a nice guy, just kind of stupid at times. She told me that she was not mad at me, she was just very annoyed with my friend, but after she listened to me, I think she got over it for the most part, and hopefully, she forgave my friend as well. After this strange episode, I left class feeling slightly silly for making something that was probably really minor such a big deal in my head, but I was happy that I had at least semi-resolved a conflict. I hope that in the future, my small scale scenario will give me a little bit of extra confidence to try to resolve other conflicts that come along.

Sara "No H" said...

A little late, I know, but I'm hoping Fall Break is a good enough excuse . . .

When my roommate told me this week that she was on one of the subcommittees for the Progressive Student Alliance, and that she was in charge of organizing the Free Burma event Friday night, I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be on campus to come to the event and support her, since my flight was leaving early Friday afternoon. It seems like I’ve been hearing a lot about the Burmese struggle for democracy recently, reading about it in the Observer and discussing the issues concerning the Burmese economy and religious symbolisms involved in the conflict in my Intro to Buddhism class. Friday night, though, my flight ended up getting cancelled due to irregular South Bend weather (a.k.a. tornado winds), and since my flight wasn’t rescheduled until Saturday at noon, I got a chance to peek in on the Solidarity Rally going on at Stonehenge, where my roommate introduced me to one of the guest speakers, an international student from Burma, who I got to interrogate about the history of the Burmese junta government, and its involvement in the economy.

According to my international friend, distribution of resources, namely food, is one of the major, if not primary, reasons for all the protests going on right now. Even though Burma is an economically blessed country, mismanagement and isolation have played a major part in how the country has fallen from being one of the richest countries in the Eastern hemisphere to being one of the poorest. Public anger against the Burmese junta exploded in mid-August after the regime increased fuel prices, and large numbers of Burmese citizens took to the streets when the All Burma Monks’ Alliance called on the people to rally against the government. The monks marched holding their begging bowls upside down, representing their refusal to accept donations of alms. In Burma, the major religion is Buddhism, and since it is believed that good karma can be generated by donating a certain portion of one’s income to the church, and that doing so will accrue in your favor toward being born as a higher form in a future life, this symbolic gesture was a major blow to government officials, both politically and spiritually.

Apparently, Burma has had a long history of fighting against itself because of the large number of culturally diverse sects within the region, tensions growing due to differences between languages and religions. Since its independence from British rule in the 50’s, the then Burmese government has suffered internal disputes and division between political groups. In the 60’s, a military coup abolished the government’s constitution and established a junta government that promoted isolationism and military control over private business. The current junta came to power in the late 80’s after crushing a pro-democracy movement in which more than 3,000 people were killed, and officially changed the country’s capital and its name from Burma to Myanmar without legislative approval. Since then, Burma has become one of the most militarized countries in the world, and Junta leaders cling to power by pointing to the country’s violent past, implying that military violence is necessary to maintain order within the country.

It was really awesome to hear about Burma from someone who has actually lived there and experienced the conflict firsthand. It reminded me of a lot of the things we’ve been talking about in class, especially the idea of nonviolent revolution, and the effectiveness of responding to violence with nonviolence. At the very least, I felt productive after a very long afternoon of dealing with drama at the airport.

levon helms said...

I just realized that I have been subconsciously contributing something peaceful ever since August. I haven’t eaten meat since August, after seeing the film Fast Food Nation. This is weird because medium rare steak has always been my forte and I come from a ranch in Texas where all my family members hunt. Growing up all I ate was fresh venison (deer meat) and fish. Now, after confirming my beliefs by reading up on articles and seeing Fast Food Nation, I have decided not to eat any meat. Concerning red meat and chicken, I am not protesting animal cruelty, but the oppression that workers in such factories go through everyday. I think this world has plenty of cattle and hens for us to eat, so why shouldn’t we indulge? My motive is the fact that thousands of mainly immigrant workers are underpaid, work countless number of hours, are treated unfairly, and that these circumstances are not even well known to the public. McDonalds just keeps on serving meat to the American public, when behind the scene a lot of freedoms are violated. Concerning my decision to not eat fish has to do the world, especially North America, dealing with a shortage. This is caused by pollution (acid rain, carbon monoxide emissions, nitrogen dioxide emissions, etc) as well as by humans over fishing areas for many years - both of which are problems contributed by humans. So, until workers in meat factories are treated fairly, and until the fish population gets back on track, I will be eating the dining hall tofu for my protein.

Lolli said...

For fall break, I came to San Diego with my family. We arrived last Sunday, and we watched the news about the fires in Southern California. We were concerned for the people whose homes were being threatened by the fire, but it was so far from where we were that we felt lucky to be safe. However, early on Monday morning we got the call that we were under a mandatory evacuation. The wind had blown the fires so far that night that thousands of homes in San Diego country were threatened by the fire. We had absolutely no idea what the rest of the week had in store. Thousands and thousands of people were evacuated and lost their homes. The fires have destroyed thousands of structures and acres of land. My parents and I talked about how difficult it would be to just decide what things in your home to grab before leaving. A home is so much more than a material structure; it represents so many memories and provides security for its inhabitants.

I could not believe the attitude of the San Diegans that have lost everything in this fire. The majority has been so thankful to the firefighters and volunteer personnel. People really came together here to help out their neighbors – there were countless donations and people have really been willing to lend a helping hand. Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers, was set up as an evacuation center for those displaced by the fires. My mother and I tried to bring supplies down to the stadium, and we were not let in, but we found a way to donate them and money to the Red Cross. I just could not believe how people banded together in response to this very tragic natural disaster. After what we have seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I was hopeful that we have made positive strides in our response to such tragic crises.

What I really learned being here this week is that attitude and community matter. People have tried to stay positive and have begun to rebuild. They looked out for their neighbors and supported their friends, but people also reached out to strangers. A natural disaster like these fires affects people of different areas and backgrounds, but it shows that we all have things in common. In the aftermath of these fires, this community of San Diego has really shown that it can and will move forward. I feel that examples such as this show that we have the potential to come together and work for our community, looking out for the interests of others.

courtney isaak said...

Feminism is a term that many men and women alike deter from bestowing upon themselves. Often a lack of information, misunderstanding of information, or rejection of feminist ideals influences one’s consideration of his or her femininity. Over the past two weeks, I have asked 12 people (evenly split between male and female and sophomore and senior)
two questions: 1) Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? and, 2) Why or why not?. I did not provide a definition for feminism because I wanted to examine the subject’s preconceived notions about what feminism means. The purpose of this experiment (admittedly based on a small sample size) was to juxtapose the reactions of females and males and to consider the definitions of feminism he or she was basing his or her judgment on. 

Before I give my data I would like to note that many of the subjects asked me what feminism is. I told them to base their answer off whatever they supposed it to be. Afterwards, I explained to them what we have defined feminism as in class. Here are the results…

Male (Sophomore): No. “I don’t know enough about it… think of people taking it to the man.”
Female (Sophomore): No. “I have traditional views about relationships… think women overreact and feminism is too radical.”
Female (Sophomore): Yes. “I appreciate the more traditional woman as the care-taker ideal, but I don’t think that should infringe upon their own rights and opportunities.”
Male (Sophomore): 
No. “Women should have equal rights, but it is important to note that there are inherent differences between sexes.”
Male (Sophomore): No. “It seems like an outdated term for a cause that is not high on my priority list.”
Female (Sophomore): No. “I don’t try not to be… but if you listen to me talk it happens on accident.”
Male (Senior): Yes. “…but I don’t see myself actively fighting for women’s rights.”
Male (Senior): Yes. “…as far as the social, workplace, and familial equality of women to men.”
Male (Senior): Yes. “I believe that women still face a harder road in the world today than a man who wants to achieve the same things.”
Female (Senior): Not really. “I would never label myself that, but I am pro-female.”
Female (Senior): No. “I know my place in the system.”
Female (Senior): Yes. “…Just not the kind that burns her bra and hates men.”

While this survey of course does not sample enough people, I still found interesting points of discussion and statistics. I was surprised to find that older subjects (especially males) were more prone to call themselves feminists than younger subjects. I expected to see more of a difference between sexes, but age exhibited a greater difference.

I also learned from this experiment that the term “feminist” presents many qualms for people. Even people centered on Feminist ideology find difficulty with the label.

The most important part of this experiment was not to consider these results as anything representative of a greater population, but rather to correct people’s misconceptions about what feminism actually is.

Adrienne said...

I have this one friend back at home who is VERY liberal and a huge critic of the war in Iraq. She’s in all the advocacy groups at her college and she goes to a lot of protests against the war. Anyway, I went to visit her at school over break and I went to a protest with her. She travels all over the state to go to massive protests, but she also participates in small protests on campus. So, the protest I went to was just like ten members of Young Democrats, standing on a street corner holding up signs and passing out information. My friend handed me a poster and we began walking around in circles, chanting things against the war. It was really interesting for me, because I have never been to a protest before. A lot of the cars that drove by were really mean and some of the people screamed some pretty profane things at us. (The college she goes to is VERY conservative) But, it was very fascinating to just see people’s reactions and kind of be an observer. I am and have been against the war in Iraq, but I have never taken such a visible stand against it. So it was a really good experience to stand up for something that I believe in. Also, it gave me a firsthand look at the tensions surrounding the debate because we got a lot of flack for being against the war.

Anonymous said...


This week during fall break I had every intention of forgetting all of my homework’s and school and simply relaxing and enjoying myself and my home and family for the entire break. Well, going back home wasn’t as peaceful as I would have hoped. I brought back home with me a friend of mine who was unable to go home during fall break. My friend had visited my house before and my mother knew them well. Yet, for some reason there was a lot of tension in my house. We somehow all three of us, my mom, me and my friend, got of taking about somewhat controversial topics, such as immigration, religion, and so on which created an atmosphere of tension because my mom and my friend seemed to disagree on a lot of the issues. It seemed that my mom was much more “conservative” while my friend was much more liberal. Unfortunately for me, I sided with my friend, not because I wanted to be against my mom or anything, but because that was really what I believed. My mother took my somewhat liberal stance on a lot of the issues that we all discussed to mean that my time away from home had changed me, and in her opinion, not for the better. Despite my attempts to make her see that my opinions did not mean that I had changed for the worse my mother seemed set on refusing to hear my reasoning and she became very hostile and cold towards my friend as the week progressed. After our discussion on these controversial issues, my mother made it seem that she did not like my friend, more in her attitude than anything she did per say. This deeply hurt me and mostly my friend who did not understand why my mother seemed to dislike them. As the week progressed, the hostilities grew and my friend and I began to “talk bad” if you will about my mom which was both liberating in terms of the hurt and anger me and my friend felt but at the same time I knew it wasn’t right. On Saturday, the 27th was my moms birthday and therefore when I woke up that day I felt guilty about taking bad about my mom with my friend and even though I haven’t asked her for forgiveness, I tried for that day to put aside the hostilities I has harboring towards her and I tried to make it a pleasant day as possible for her. I suppose the next thing for me to do is to ask her for forgiveness, but it is quite hard even though it seems that what she was doing wasn’t necessarily right, but I suppose that two wrongs don’t make a right.