Monday, November 12, 2012

Honors Forum, 11/12/12

So, yes, naturally we had school on Veterans' Day. There was some sort of ceremony- I saw the ROTC people as I entered Wesleyan- but I couldn't go to it because I had a class.

Anyway, tonight our speaker was John Rusevlyan. I can't even pronounce that, so it's a good thing I don't have to do that on this blog. He is the Immediate Past President of the Florence Rotary Club. What is an Immediate Past President? It sounds like a grammatical verb tense, y'know, like past perfect, pluperfect, irregular, etc.

And why is it called the Rotary Club? That is what I should have asked, but I just now thought of it. Is it because they sit in some sort of honorary circle like re-enactors of King Arthur and his Round Table? Off to go do good deeds of chivalry in service to the community and whatnot.

Mr. Rusevlyan also said he owned Weichert Reality, or something like that. I don't know how to spell it. It wasn't on his PowerPoint. Dr. Mikey does that, too- he rattles off names of locations and he doesn't write them down for us! So how does he expect us to make notes of it for the exams??

Anyway, the Rotary Club has half a million responsibilities, missions, objectives, and duties. Seriously. Mr. Rusevlyan would finish one slide of them and then bring up another. It's like, DUDE (or club), pick one and stick with it! Most of them were repetitive, though... which leads to me saying, DUDE (or club), it's not called the Redundancy Department of Redundancy for no reason. ( strikes again!) Consolidate! Even the Boy Scouts are more concise, and they have both a motto and a slogan. As well as a very cool oath. I think the Boy Scouts are amazing. I wish the Girl Scouts were that good. No, they sell cookies and promote horrible things.

To list some of the redundant missions, responsibilities, objectives, and duties of the Rotary club:

It's object is to encourage service by (1) socializing and networking (if I had a dollar for every time I've heard that word this semester...) (2) participating in service problems (2) supporting the Rotary Foundation financially (of course!) and (4) developing leaders to serve above and beyond the club level.

The members' duties, on the other hand, include the (1) service (2) recruiting and (3) attendance aspects of it. Attendance is very important. I would like to write, "Attendance," on a textbook and go around banging the heads of everyone who doesn't show up to class with it. That would be a very big reason why I don't want to be a teacher for any reason. The students would constantly demotivate me with their apathy to learning. (There may be shades of hypocrisy in this because currently I have a very demotivating teacher. However, I don't think she knows or is trying to be demotivating, so it's a little different.)

I just really can't countenance not attending class. Sometimes I don't want to, sure. I'm just like everyone else. Tonight it was cold and dark and rainy-like and I really didn't want to go to Forum. But I went. It's my job to go to school, so to school I go. And I do my homework and all that good stuff. So if I joined a group, I would attend.

That's an idea. Teachers should be able to smack students with textbooks if they skip class because Halo 4 came out and no other reason... Or, if that fails, they should do cool things on the days when only the dedicated few show up. Like that wonderful day in Chemistry 112, the Friday before spring break, where only 20 or so showed up out of 72 students. Dr. Gren took us outside and set balloons on fire.


Where was I? Oh, yes, rattling off Rotary stuff. (I can tell I'm a Catholic. I keep trying to type 'rosary'.)

The Rotary also has several avenues of service: (1) club service, by strengthening fellowship and maintaining club functions (I snicker whenever I hear the word, "fellowship," because, as you might guess, LOTR music starts playing in my head) (2) ??? I have no idea what this one was. I had barely finished writing down the first one before he advanced the slide. Stupid fast talkers! It may have been personal service. I'm not sure. (3) community service (4) international service.

The Rotary club's mission is to (1) improve health (2) support education and (3) alleviate poverty. Good luck with that, guys! No wonder you are to the Optimist Club near allied. Despite what some people think, we cannot cure everything wrong in this world. There will always be some poverty, some evils, some despair. Our human nature is broken and failing; our planet has been stained with our evil, and our enemy is constantly prowling about like a lion, searching for someone to devour. I'm not saying they don't have a worthy goal. It just reminds me of this:

A man that would expect to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic, but a man that thinks men can be turned into angels with elections is called a reformer and remains at large. - Peter Dunne

We have a very large amount of such people at large.

Do I sound disillusioned? I probably do...

Oh, and the Rotary Club ALSO has a 4-way test. When I saw the four on his slide, I immediately thought of 4-H. Oh, goodness. You can tell what kind of upbringing I've had. Anyway, the 4-Way Test is what you are supposed to ask yourself before thinking, saying or doing anything. Thus: (1) Is it the truth? (2) Is it fair to everyone? (3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? (4) Will it be beneficial to all?

I have issues with the 4-Way Test. Would you like to guess why? Because of the inherent contradiction in it. It fails logic forever! And ever! It's wishy-washy, feel-good, and morally relativistic. No doubt it was coined to work with not only a wide selection of professions but also a wide variety of religions. The problem is, that the first question, that of truth, trumps all the rest, and it can, and often does, contradict the third.

"The ugly truth" is not a phrase for nothing. Truths sometimes are harsh. Coating them in sweet words do not make them better, to paraphrase Soren from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Sometimes, the truth has to be said. And people do not always like hearing the truth. They stoned the prophets because they didn't want to hear the truth. So sometimes you've gotta tell the truth and it WON'T build goodwill and better friendships. So what's a Rotarian to do?

I don't know. The cynical side of me says: The Rotarian is going to keep his mouth shut and maintain his goodwill and friendships.

Rotarians, can you prove me wrong?

Truth is a first thing, because Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ, and He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow forevermore. One day, we'll be held accountable to Him. I have a feeling it won't be pretty- for any of us.

In Pace Christi,


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