Implicit

I have no idea how this is going to go. I usually have one topic I cover in a post, but I’m not sure how many I have this time.

First, I went to InterVarsity’s Fall Retreat this past weekend, which is what most of this post will stem from. Note: InterVarsity is “an inter-denominational, evangelical Christian campus ministry” as said by Wikipedia.

In the beginning of college, I had what I determined to be homesickness. I missed coming home to my family, being able to talk about what happened in school and what I was thinking, and listening to them talk about whatever. Having gone to the Fall Retreat, however, I no longer think I was homesick. I think I was, always have been, and now am Christiansick.

I have been deprived of Christians my age throughout my life. I place no fault on anyone but myself, if at all. No one around me, myself included, knew that I was thus deprived. When asked if I missed having kids my age in church, I would say no. I didn’t miss it, but that’s because I’d never really had it. The extent of my friends my age, as of the point in time where it really mattered, were limited to a few that I saw occasionally, and not in church. By the time I was in high school, I was too damaged to make true friends and attributed it to general shyness.

I should probably say that when I say damaged, it is not so violent as it sounds. I was and am damaged by this absence, but I am no more damaged than anyone else; it is only that I chose to analyze and make known my own damage, while others do not often choose to do so.

This damage made the friends (my age) that I did make not true friends. What I mean by true friend is this: someone I would talk to outside of school, talk to of my own accord, and talk to about more than just surface thoughts. Under this definition I had no true friends outside of my family until late senior year of high school, and even those stretch the third criteria.

Entering college, like everyone else, I knew no one. No problem, just make new friends, right? It’s not like it took three and a half years last time…

This is where I explain how I was/am Christiansick and not just lonely. At the Fall Retreat, I had absolutely no trouble what so ever at all talking. That was weird. I have no trouble talking at my college’s InterVarsity chapter, nor at my church’s bible study. Noticing a theme? I have so little trouble talking and being myself around Christians that it’s almost scary. I feel so incredibly free when I’m with other Christians. There is an implicit trust there that doesn’t exist with others.

Speaking to the actual Retreat, I wish it could have gone on much, much longer. Every single person I met was awesome. The worship was awesome. The small group time was awesome (which goes without saying since it was us Champlainers). Everything was awesome!

I want more God in my life, because what little I have is awesome, and now I have tasted and seen the goodness of more.

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Kyah! Kyah!

Chaos Reigns!

For having a job in which understanding knowledge and obtaining and distributing that knowledge is paramount, teachers often fall into the pitfall of distributing the understanding rather than the tools to understanding. They too often teach towards their own understanding of a subject rather than giving us the students the tools to understand the subject ourselves. It is very much a modern brainwashing.

I am not one for conspiracies any more than fuel for writing, so whether this brainwashing is done on purpose or not, by the government or not, etc., I’ll leave to others and continue on the basis that this is accidental. What I will say is that only those who have been given the tools to understanding by someone else are able to resist this subtle shaping of our clay. Those that don’t have these tools are left to the surgical saws and shovels of the misleading teachings they hear every day. As to what these tools to understanding actually are, I don’t know. I know there are certain tools, but I generally would describe it as the more commonly used term free-thinking.

So why do these teachers not give such important tools to their students, if conspiracy is off the table? I think there are two possible explanations. It is much easier to simply each what you understand than to teach how to understand for yourself. That’s not to say that teachers consciously decide to take the easy route, rather that they naturally take the path of least resistance. In a way, this ties into the second explanation, which is that the teacher simply does not know the tools to understanding. They likely use some of these tools unconsciously in their preparation for the class, but if they do not understand how to understand, then they will obviously not be able to teach it, making the alternative both the easier and the only option.

Here’s a question: if whether or not a teacher knows and teaches the tools to understanding is dependent on whether they themselves were taught them in their own education, is this a rising or falling trend? Are more teachers teaching their students the tools to understanding than ten years ago, or less? I’d like to think that there are more; not just because then the trend is positive, boding well for future generations, but also because of what education used to be. If you go from pure memorization to some teachers that teach the tools to understanding, that must mean that their numbers are increasing, surely.

I’m getting tired of writing ‘Kyah!’s on my papers. I would much rather my teachers be good at their jobs than otherwise, and I think I understand why they aren’t when they aren’t. I have nothing against the teachers as people, I just don’t think they should be teachers, or at the very least should be able to recognize and address their teaching faults. Lastly, this doesn’t apply to all teachers, just enough that it’s annoying.

The Synner’s Dilemma

Lighthouses amuse me. I suppose it would be more accurate to say they interest me for no rational reason. They, of all buildings, survived the war better than any other. I understand it. Why destroy a lighthouse unless by accident or if it is more than meets the eye? That then, is the reason for my amusement. I understand why they survived, and yet they interest me.

My amusement—and my curiosity—is increased tenfold when I encounter a well-maintained building. My immediate reaction is usually that of suspicion. The military loves to appropriate surviving buildings for their use, and we are not on the best of terms. Now, just because we don’t like each other doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to investigate.

I walked along the cobbled pathway that led to the lighthouse. I had been trying to blur less. It helps me appreciate the little things, like humans.

The door was locked, but that was no matter. There were a number of things I could do—pick the lock, knock the door off its hinges, or even blur through it—but something compelled me to do the obvious and knock.

A moment later, I heard the click of the lock and the door opened. I don’t know who was more surprised, myself or the other. He surely would not have expected to see an pitch-black, amorphous human, but I certainly didn’t expect a Syn to answer the door.

Nevertheless, as with all Syn since the war, he showed no emotion, only asking, “You are here to see the pilgrim?”

I simply nodded.

The second amusement of the night was what the Syn was wearing. After all this time, whoever his master was had found, or I suppose made, a complete butler’s outfit for the Syn. Whoever this was didn’t seem to care about practicality. He was an oddity in this time of utilitarianism.

The Syn beckoned me inside and led me to the center, where lighthouses’ stairs usually were. My curiosity was piqued further by the stairs. They weren’t stairs. They were an elevator. Not only could this Syn’s master afford to waste time and resources on a butler’s suit, but on maintaining a Syn and a working elevator.

The elevator began its ascent gently. To be quite honest, I’m not sure it was any faster than stairs. As it rose, it slowly rotated. The doorways must not have been modified, and the elevator would have to be able to open on each floor. After what I estimated to be seven floors, the elevator stopped, and the doors opened.

There was an old man sitting in a chair; I will mention that it was a rather antique looking rocking chair. Beside him was a floor lamp and another chair. He didn’t turn to face us, though he knew we had arrived. “Martin?” he said. “What is it?”

“Someone here to see you, sir,” replied the Syn.

So this man had even named the Syn. That was a practice that died with the war. This man had many remnants of the war, both items and culture, yet he wasn’t that old. The war was nearly half a millennium ago.

“If you’re looking for sanctuary, you won’t find it here.” The old man had a defiant heart.

He is here to see you. Sir.”

The defiant one nodded.

Without another word, Martin returned to the elevator and left us.

“I wondered how long I would wait for you.”

Wait for me? I hadn’t thought myself a celebrity.

He finally turned his head to face me. It served little purpose. I could see now that his eyes were rotted. “Come. Sit,” he said.

I complied.

“Let me tell you a story.”

* * * * *

There was a very special man that survived the war. He had been granted skills and abilities beyond those of the rest of humanity, but in the last days of the war, he squandered them. He fled the war and hid from the destruction and desolation that had befallen Earth.

He was not the only survivor, no, but he was the only survivor of his kind. Soldiers, civilians, and even some Syn survived the war, but none shared his pain. They had not survived because of cowardice. They had survived by chance. They could not accompany him. They could not sooth his torment. They could not understand.

He fled further. He ran for over two centuries, his body strengthened by his modifications. He found facilities of both sides of the war. Both had their secrets, their hidden projects. Some were finished and familiar allies and enemies, and others were useless and scrapped. In his mind, though, all were failures. Not one had ended the war. They only encouraged its expansion.

There was one project that interested him, one of the enemy’s. He tracked it from facility to facility for another century, piecing together computers and generators until he could access their files. Sometimes the trail would run cold, and he would just wander until he picked it up again. Eventually the trail reached its conclusion. The project had failed, and it was being shipped out to be dumped into one of the many waste pits.

The record of this failure was dated the day before the bombs fell. When he found the truck that had carried the project, it was burned and empty. The Synner project was no more.

Dispirited and with time catching up to him, he stumbled into a cave to await his time, but it would not be coming that year. The cave was no ordinary cave. In it were about a dozen Syn, which, though in much better shape than any other Syn he had seen, had still been stripped of components. Unlike the other Syn, whom had been stripped apart for the precious metals inside, these were taken apart carefully.

Further on in the cave he found a perfectly flat stone. Beside it sat a patchwork Syn.

“What is it that you seek?” asked the Syn. His voice box was cracked and broken, but still intelligible.

“I seek the last project of the war,” answered the man.

The Syn shook its head. “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”

The man knelt at the feet of the Syn and pleaded with it, “But then where may I find him? Please, for I have been searching for centuries.”

“I know not where he is,” The Syn replied. “No one knows the day or hour they will meet him, but know this: if you search for him, he will find you.”

“I cannot continue much further. How am I to search for him when my legs are about to give out?”

“It matters not how fast or how slow you search. A searching heart is always searching.”

* * * * *

“You doubt my story,” said the old one. “I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that that man is me. I assure you, though I paraphrase my own words, the Syn’s words and the meaning in mine are true.

“Now I have found you, my search is over. End the war.” With that, the old one was at peace.

So this Syn developed a spirituality with me at the center, even going so far as to quote the bible. A strange behavior. As human as the Syn were developed to be, I had not thought them capable of such a thing. Of course, I had seen the Syn when I had awakened. They were all positioned much like tomb guardians, so I had known that in some way they respected me, but were they doing that in some sort of ritualistic honoring?

“It is nothing so human, master.” Martin had returned, and with a strange statement. “Not so strange. If you can hear us, why cannot we hear you?”

Hear. The way he said it suggested he knew about me. About my past.

“I was there at your creation. I know how you listened.”

I do not listen anymore. Too many secrets made known, like digging up an entire graveyard.

“And if you do not listen, then who will? I can be your voice, master.”

What need have I of a voice? I travel at random. I speak to few. I have had no need of words these centuries past, what need of them have I now?

“You were built to end the war, but that war was over before you began. Yet, another war exists now: survival of races, at each other’s expense.”

I have no allegiance. No side survived and now both sides are one.

“I hear allegiance to the Syn. You can’t keep the thought out of your mind.”

That is a ghost. You beat the odds in your existence. There are too few Syn for an allegiance to exist.

“There are fewer still by the day. Stripped for parts or run out of power. This society cannot maintain the Syn.”

The society that could destroyed itself.

“But they did not have you. You are an unbiased onlooker. You could ensure the same mistakes do not occur.”

No matter the motivation, I would still be a dictator.

“A guardian angel. You would not need to interfere unless they strayed from the path. You could jumpstart them, and then watch from a distance.”

I could not stop every mistake. There are other mistakes they will make. They will just destroy themselves once again.

“Is it better that the Syn be wiped out or that society merely risks self-destruction?”

That self-destruction could wipe out the Syn faster and more assuredly than their current rate of degeneration.

“They will be wiped out if this continues regardless of your actions. There is no worse fate you can inflict.”

To inflict certain death upon a race by inaction, or risk total destruction while chancing survival by action, that is the question.

Appreciation

Interesting topic I’ve had in mind the last few days. And by interesting, I mean personally problematic.

I really don’t appreciate people as much as I should. Little things like saying thanks or reciprocating a ‘how are you doing’ I’m getting better at. I could still stand to improve, it’s still stalled and robotic, but I am getting better. It’s things like showing my appreciation for things friends do that show that they are friends.

This of course, falls under the jurisdiction of private matters that won’t have many examples. I’m so sorry to my English professor, but I’m 99% sure she doesn’t read this, so I should be fine. To be more precise, she should be fine.

When a friend says something encouraging, I smile, but otherwise barely acknowledge it. If they’re just generally awesome people, I probably won’t acknowledge it.

I’ve particularly noticed this lack of appreciation in my practice of faux therapy. Twice in as many weeks I have had a friend come to me and tell me of a struggle they are having and asking for advice. I will say that I enjoy performing this faux therapy, aside from my friends being in crises, and like to think I am at the very least somewhat beneficial. In all of this, I’ve become acutely aware that I do not naturally thank these friends for trusting me enough to tell me of their woes.

I’ve noticed it a lot also when my friends are my friends. I don’t have many friends. I am perhaps too picky in whom I call my friend. To be my friend, I have to be comfortable around you, and that is very difficult for me. Therefor, the very fact that I call someone a friend is a big deal to me, but I don’t show that.

This is particularly more rambly than other posts, and I don’t have a place I’m going with it. I know that not all of my friends read this blog, so there’s no point in appreciating them here. I can’t just post it on Facebook because of Facebook’s curation perhaps causing some of my friends to miss the post. What I really need to do is actually tell them, face-to-face, that I am thankful they are my friend.

And I know I said I wasn’t going to do it, but thank you. If I am comfortable around you, that’s because of you. If I talk freely, if I act weird, or if I initiate something with you, then thank you, you’re awesome.