Saturday, December 17, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

There is always a story behind everything, one we might not expect, and today we're
going to explore the New Years Resolutions story. I've asked 20 people randomly when
do they think the New Years Resolutions tradition started.

10 out of 20: Thought it started after the cold war.
5 out of 20: Thought it started in the late 60's (And that the hippies were the ones
to invent it along with the term "Groovy")
3 out of 20: Thought it started in the late 80's, early 90's.
2 out 20: Gawked and told me "Huh?"

So the question is... when did the New Year's Resolutions tradition begin?

Answer: The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C.


Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Apparently Janus had two faces, so he could look back on thy past and forward to the future. Sounds surreal, that our current celebrated tradition has that kind of story: Mythology, symbolism, and history...

Could it be that those elements of the story are the ones that make it almost impossible to achieve. How many people do you hear saying "I've accomplished my New Year's resolutions." Could it be that those goals we put ahead of us are just a myth, a small figment of history we can't let go of, or perhaps a symbol we forgot the purpose of its symbolism and deemed it real. These are of course my own ramblings, but there are teams of researchers around the world that actually investigate this phenomenon. Also, they are people who dedicated 20 years or more to discover the true reasons why we can not keep up with our own goals.

Marlatt who studied this subject for over 20 years gives us tips about how
to achieve your resolutions:
• Have a strong initial commitment to make a change.
• Have coping strategies to deal with problems that will come up.
• Keep track of your progress. The more monitoring you do and feedback you get, the
better you will do.

Sure-fire ingredients for setting yourself up for resolution failure, he adds,
include:
• Not thinking about making resolutions until the last minute.
• Reacting on New Year's Eve and making your resolutions based on what's bothering
you or is on your mind at that time.
• Framing your resolutions as absolutes by saying, "I will never do X again."

According to research, the Top 10 Most Common New Year Resolutions are:

1. Lose weight

2. Stop smoking

3. Stick to a budget

4. Save or earn more money

5. Find a better job

6. Become more organized

7. Exercise more

8. Be more patient at work/with others

9. Eat better

10. Become a better person

Have you prepared your New Year's Resolutions Yet? Am in the process of posting them, feel free to post your resolutions. On a side note, Jameed, cracked me up with his "2006 surprise", i think one of his resolutions would be "Get stainless steel knifes" =)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Registration Festival in the JU

To begin your worst nightmare press F5...

To be stuck in a boring lecture press F7

To confirm selling your soul to the devil in exchange for a pass with an impossible
professor press F8

To clear your university records and head to the nearest industry press F9

To exit this nightmare and go back to the Adab Street and gossip with your friends(in
your small perfect world) press F10

To withdraw from a subject your friends warned you that's not an easy A press F12

I just love December: Christmas, my birthday, snow, and New Year's Eve. Well, let us elaborate on my perfect December, it's almost mid December and it's not raining. I've lost my sense of Christmas since i joined the JU. New Year's Eve is gonna a total movie night, unless i wish to get myself killed with a possible bombing threat. And am not as excited to enter the Adulthood; sweet sixteen wasn't even better so.. all those overestimated milestones are crap to me.

The highlight of this December however, is my first registration. Known as the "Al tasjeel al modamer", "Youm el raked - since u gotta unlock some classes and get
signed papers", "Stress Day", "Time-to-reconsider-your-options-in-a-decent-life Day".
The registration has been postponed to further notice; due to mysterious reasons
(a.k.a computers crashed as usual). The thing that amuses me the most, is how everybody hates the registration yet no one is planning to do something about it. The students should definitely demand a better system of registration, and this whole
"sign-the-papers-from-the-dean" is... well.... no comment!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

So you wanna be a swan?

Strip naked and go to the lake. Unusually, yesterday, i sat down to watch my favorite shows and one of those being Point Pleasant, was later on, and i watched the rerun of
a Fox show called "The Swan". Now, i don't know if any of you have watched it before,
but i did all throughout the course of an hour with a raised brow and big exclamation
mark as my aura.
The show's synopsis: a group of diverse woman come to the show feeling unloved and crashed by their low self esteem and apparently the answer to all that is Plastic surgery. Yes, they feel ugly and invisible... some because of their weight or their huge nose or even their sagging tummy. They are helped by a group of "Specialists" mainly plastic surgeons, dentist, and a shrink. They get it all free, along with a chance to be in a beauty pageant in which only one women would be crowned The Swan.

Now, correct me if i am wrong, i do not recall the Ugly Duckling tale as this. To fresh everyone's memory, click here to read the original tale. The ugly duckling didn't become a Swan because she was assisted by Plastic Surgeons and Davinci veneers. She became a swan because she was born one. We associate beauty to this white, graceful, feathered bird. Why? Because we were taught to do so, we were taught to believe that thin people look better than overweight. What supports my theory? Back in the old days, a plump woman was all our Arabic poets wrote for, and a thin women would be considered incomplete. Ahh! The irony, which brings me back to this subject.Even if they change her face and body, maybe she'll gain confidence, but am sure if she can't change that nagging feeling of the ugly duckling she'll never be a Swan. No matter how white she is.

Sexiness, gracefulness, beauty all shine from inside. It is a typical thing to say, but if you are uncomfortable in your current state, a lot a procedures could help you. Dieting, Yoga, Exercise, taking on new hobbies, joining self esteem support
groups. You do not need a plastic face staring back at you to be beautiful.
The question is.. so you wanna be beautiful? What makes you think that beautiful woman are happy? You see beauty is a variable thing, and i believe powerful people get the good things in life, if you label yourself as an ugly duckling, no mask or silicon in the whole world could change that in you.

Now Fox claims they have a shrink working on their problems, but the fact is if you watch carefully, that shrink is merely non existent in those journals compared to the plastic surgeons. As much as i love to think our youth is going to be a bright
generation, i see the obsession with beauty more evident that before. Teenagers now
are seeking to perform plastic surgeries to look like Jessica Simpson or Shakira.
Some of them are diagnosed with Anorexia thanks to the false Photoshop images of
models on magazine covers. You see they do not place a warning: caution nobody looks
like this in reality. They are pulling our youth to a dead end, a shallow fatal one.
So you wanna be a Swan? I hope to god this is a rhetorical question, because if it
wasn't, I’d be disappointed to realize many people can not differentiate between the
real world and a first grade fairytale.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To learn or not to learn..

That is the question. As a English literature student I was genuinely excited
for the moment i could sign up for Latin 101. Learning Latin not only was a personal
joy aspect in my life, I’ve always deemed it to be an important element in my education as a writer and teacher. But the truth dawned lately that Latin courses have been canceled in the JU. For mysterious reasons being the smurf that I am, I’ve decided to check with the faculty's administration in regards to this action. Latin not only is essential for English Literature and Language but also is to every single double major in the faculty e.g.: Spanish/English, Italian/English. And as i type now, %90 of what am writing is derived or borrowed from Latin.
So why Latin is canceled? We obviously don't have an instructor anymore, and demand for Latin courses have diminished throughout the years that the faculty head decided to cancel it. Now that's a shame, especially for a growing university like ours.
So, the solution: self-learning. I went to borrow a couple of Latin books from the JU library; and i couldn't resist scolding the staff there. The book i had in my hand was published in 1919, an ancient book; if i didn't know better i would have said that Julius Caesar dropped by and gave it to the library. The ancient books on that shelf were dusty and scattered. Now, as much as i love the fact the i found good books to learn from; i believe those books belong behind glass. Because such ancient books not only are part of our history, they are an integral part of the library's treasures in which should be displayed. I care for books more than anything in my life, and I’ve learnt to protect them better than i would have protected myself. So i know, when i borrow such a book i make sure it is safe and cleaned. But on the other hand, you can not guarantee others will be as careful as i am. And maybe those bored jaywalkers in the aisles would flip the pages careless while sending a message to their awaited loud friend to arrive. Some books ought to be removed and kept safe.
The other issue am gonna discuss today and it is related to books. This obnoxious epidemic the JU students have: they sit on their books. They use their books as a safety mat for their precious jeans and pants. How many people in the civilized world would you see sitting on a book, jeopardizing its cover; leaving it prone to damage, stains or even tearing.
I've been pondering for a couple of months, what would get people interested in books again. With each new generation in our society, the passion of books seems to diminish. And speaking of passion, i am placing a poll for what should the book club be called. We are in our final stages of organizing and deciding the mechanism of the book club. For any people interested in joining, please contact me at: aminozawawi@hotmail.com
If you would like to receive more information about the club, please check the section am gonna be adding in the next couple of days containing all he crucial details.