Archive for March, 2006

Thursday March 30, 2006

March 30, 2006 - 12:31 am 1 Comment


A truly beautiful song. [I've decided it's a good idea to go through my music collection, post lyrics, and an mp3 to download.]
You can download it here:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=P5WU6JF6

Muse
Absolution
“Endlessly”

there’s a part in me you’ll never know
the only thing I’ll never show

hopelessly I’ll love you endlessly
hopelessly I’ll give you everything
but I won’t give you up
I won’t let you down
and I won’t leave you falling
If the moment ever comes

It’s plain to see it’s trying to speak
cherished dreams forever asleep
hopelessly I’ll love you endlessly
hopelessly I’ll give you everything
but I won’t give you up
I won’t let you down
and I won’t leave you falling
if the moment ever comes

hopelessly I’ll love you endlessly
hopelessly I’ll give you everything
but I won’t give you up
I won’t let you down
and I won’t leave you falling
but the moment never comes

Thursday March 30, 2006

March 30, 2006 - 12:21 am 1 Comment

Thesis: Throughout the 1960s, Chicano political activism and organization, integrally tied to Hispanic Churches and community priests, justified change through formal and homespun liberation theology. In particular, Catholic social teachings central to Chicano culture constituted the moral base of the mobilization of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and the success of the 1965 Delano Grape Strike under the direction of Cesar Chavez. Emphasizing the truth of non-violence and the virtues of La Causa, Chavez considered the Catholic Church and faith as indispensable in maintaining spirituality, the moral high ground, and the defense against allegations of radicalism. Utilizing tactics influenced by religion such as prayer vigils, peaceful marches, fasting for penance and purification, and theatrical adaptations of biblical scenes as a means to increase sympathy, Chavez deviated from traditional union tactics of reliance on striking, but in doing so, gained widespread support from greater society.

Thursday March 30, 2006

March 30, 2006 - 12:18 am 1 Comment

Democracy’s failure to develop in contemporary China engenders an intense debate over the tenuous relationship between economic and political reforms. Michael Novak’s wedge theory suggests that global capitalist practices generate economic prosperity and bring ideologies of liberalism to formerly autocratic societies, thus creating a rising middle class with political confidence and aspirations, sympathetic to democratic reform. Other theories of globalization have posited that increased transnational flows of goods, money, ideas, and people have increasingly fostered a convergence towards the “ideal” combination of a market economy and a liberal democratic political system. In addition, discourse on the relationship between the competitive global economy and the decline in the sovereignty of nation-states insinuates that even leviathan governments face an erosion of power.

Despite claims that expansion of trade and investment ties among nations has positive implications on human rights and democracy, however, the unique form of “Red Capitalism” in China has continually defeated expectation. In fact, according to Mary Gallagher, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, “economic development amid increasing openness has contributed to the stability of authoritarian rule in China. In opening its borders to large flows of foreign capital, China’s communist leaders have made growth and globalization work from them.” In short, successful economic liberalization and the corresponding attribution of China’s miraculous development to policies of the communist party have further entrenched the communist government, creating a new bourgeoisie class more conscious of material gains than political change.

Democracy in China faces four main challenges. First, the materialistic culture, perhaps the residue of the depravation of the Cultural Revolution, has increasingly advocated economic gains at the expense of political accountability. Second, China’s foreign direct investment liberalization has delayed political reform because it preceded other key reforms of a socialist transition, most notably, reform of the system of state owned enterprises and the development of a domestic capitalist class. Third, China’s communist party has not only received recognition for the miraculous growth of China in the past decade, but has also received implicit international acceptance, as demonstrated by WTO ascension in 2001. Fourth, the reliance on guanxi in business practices as an informal system of accountability in the absence of rule of law have cultivated mutually beneficial ties between business leaders and government officials, thus mitigating the incentive for bourgeoisie demand for reform. 

Tuesday March 28, 2006

March 28, 2006 - 5:37 pm 2 Comments

[Keep in mind that Lauren and I live in adjacent rooms. After receiving back a rather difficult finance exam...]

[17:33] malady rancor: let’s play russian roulette
[17:33] malady rancor: see who’s a MAN
[17:33] LaDeZ11: do you have a gun on you
[17:33] LaDeZ11: i do
[17:33] malady rancor: omg
[17:34] malady rancor: =)
[17:34] LaDeZ11: wanna play
[17:34] malady rancor: feeling down to that point no?
[17:35] LaDeZ11: yes :-(

[Lauren storms in with a 4" blue plastic water gun. We both get *killed*. Insert screaming.]

Monday March 27, 2006

March 27, 2006 - 4:51 pm 3 Comments

Congratulations to my darling little sister who has got into McGill! Considering that the school is higher ranked than my own in world university rankings, I am very pleased! See, Grace! Don’t be stressed out by college applications – with your natural brilliance and flair, you’ll be able to go where you will be happiest. (And that’s really all that matters.)

These past few weeks have certainly been a challenge. In the last week alone, 2 exams, 1 paper, 1 presentation, and 1 business forum. (Certainly, the presentation was the most awful presentation ever given other than that notable exception in Linear Algebra.) After taking a four day reprieve (Thursday-Sunday), I’m now back in business, ready to complete all tasks like a well-oiled machine. I’m pleased that the business forum was executed professionally without too many mishaps.

Things to look forward to:
1. Debate nationals
2. Visit from my wonderful family during Grace’s spring break
3. Classes! (I truly adore them all with just one exception. Can someone please tell me the secret of how to sit in JMHH G06 and not fall asleep?)

Only four weeks left in the semester before reading days and finals begin.

Tuesday March 7, 2006

March 7, 2006 - 6:33 pm 1 Comment

I admit to being a glutton for punishment.

For the past two days, I’ve worked at FINCA (http://www.villagebanking.org/) – one of the leading microfinance institutions in the world. Since I have already worked for the organization as a remote data analyst, actually coming in to their office has been quite an experience. For the most part, I’m quite impressed by the diverse backgrounds of all their employees and the multitude of projects the organization is engaged in. Although the work I’m currently doing is not glamorous, the network and contacts I’m building are invaluable.

Since I don’t have a ride in the morning, I was stupid enough to decide to walk to the metro station. Approximately 5 miles later, I realized how tiresome that decision has become. Even before I get the office, I’m disheveled.

Sunday March 5, 2006

March 5, 2006 - 12:05 pm 2 Comments

Yesterday is certainly Grace’s day!

TJ sent only a partial team to DI regionals. Only Grace and Crystal went, instead of the typical team of 7, to compete in “On Safari”, the improv competition, since so many team members dropped out at the last moment. Everyone was shocked that their team was so small…the two girls really made an impression on their judges, competitors, and audience.

They took first!! Not only did they win two spirit awards for best performance in Instant Challenge and demonstration of originality in the long-term, they took first place in all the standings. What a way to conclude a 12 year DI career for Grace!

Unfortunately, I was unable to see their long-term performance since I had judging obligations. As an instant challenge judge for the elementary school division, I sat through approximately 20 5-minute solutions. Elementary school kids, to a certain extent, are endearing, but to the most part, unable to listen to directions and keep still. Unfortunately, I’m under an oath to not tell the instant challenge I judged until the summer.

Thinking that Grace and Crystal gave an admirable effort but would not win an award, we went home to make it in time for Grace’s ice-hockey play-off game. After eating Peking Duck at The Oriental Regency, one of my favorite restauraunts, we went to the Reston Ice Rink to watch grace.

She gets quite a lot of ice time! Her team trounced the other one in terms of team-work, spirit, and versatility. I was screaming GRACE, GRACE, GO until my voice became hoarse.

So, this week has certainly been Grace’s week:
1. She was second seed at districts and qualified for debate regionals (the only LD debater from TJ)
2. She qualified for FPS states after taking first in the preliminaries (no competition here – I expect their team to take first in internationals)
3. She won first place in DI states, and has qualified for DI states (quite a surprise!)

Congratulations, Grace.

Thursday March 2, 2006

March 2, 2006 - 9:43 am 4 Comments

We have a new “coach” for the Speech and Debate team. I put coach between quotes because he has emphasized that the charm of our team is its student-run  philosophy, of which he does not wish to erode. In the weeks before nationals, he’ll be working with our team to sharpen our technical skills, give us insight into the judges and competitors who comprise the circuit, and whip our debate file into shape. I’m very excited!

The coach comes from a very long career involving debate. He was the former Lafayette debate coach for the past five years and coach of St. Anselm five years before that. More importantly, he doesn’t want to get paid, which is wonderful news to us! I’m very excited!

As for his character, well, it’ll take some adjustment. He certainly has proven very helpful, but introducing a new authority/personality onto the team will always take some time.

One more day before Spring Break! My work ethic has already collapsed. One more day until I’m home!