Category Archives: psychology

In Which Skiles and Hannah Assess England’s Psychological Health through Dancing

In doing research on the Kinetic Family Drawing for my Psychological Assessment class, the world’s largest library catalog sprung this glorious surprise on me:

Dear Skiles Howard, I want to meet you

The Politics of Courtly Dancing in Early Modern England by Skiles Howard.

Hey, thanks.

I have a multitude of thoughts on this.

  1. [the obvious] WHAT EVEN THE HECK. How does this relate to my search for psychological assessments? (I also got results for a book about Mickey Mantle and one about Gas Service Technology.)
  2. I need to inter-library loan this book and find some obscure way to incorporate it into my paper.
  3. This is an extremely specific tome.
    • Courtly dancing does not seem to be an expansive field for research. Oh, but you are much mistaken. Sorry, then. So not only must we deal with courtly dancing, but the interpersonal intricacies found therein.
    • Can this courtly dancing and its politics have occurred anywhere in the world? No, I dare say, most emphatically notPerhaps we shall narrow our scope to the European front? Never. This is heresy you speak. Let’s pick England, then.
    • Surely one book would suffice for an exhaustive history of such elite dancing wars. I can’t believe you and your simple mind. Know you nothing of the politics of courtly dancing? Apparently not. Shall we then restrict this treatise to the modern period in England? No. There is too much to say. How about the middle of said modern period? Ah, you jest. I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. What do you think of Early Modern England? All 222 pages support this final thesis of yours. And to whom am I speaking? Hello?
  4. What the heck I don’t even understand.

I just have to include the Amazon summary.

Scholar Skiles Howard examines the social and semiotic complexities of dance in Renaissance England as it changed over time and performed different work in court, city, and playhouse. Interdisciplinary in its approach, this well-researched study explores issues of power and the body, gender and rank, popular culture and European expansion.

Dearest scholar Skiles Howard of the University of Massachusetts, how narrow and impractical are your erudite pursuits.

However, do congratulate your parents on the brilliant first name with which they endowed you.

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In Which Matthew Bellamy Disagrees with Carl Rogers

“Hoodoo” – Muse

And I’ve had recurring nightmares
That I was loved for who I am
And missed the opportunity
To be a better man

You are good – All the time

#18 – Christmas music!

#19 – 55 degree weather on the last day of November.

#20 – An unexpected connection with an admissions counselor from Denver Seminary.

#21 – Blessed restoration in relationships.

#22 – New underwear.


I’m feeling weird … I’m nostalgic over things that have never happened.

I sit in a comfy chair writing a paper as the rain whips against the windows, and I think, If only I could go back to that cabin and be writing that novel again. I was so productive then.

Never mind the fact that there never was that “then” for me.

And I thought back to that same cabin when my grandchildren used to gather around me and I would tell them stories and we would snuggle and drink cocoa. The blankets, the warmth, the solidarity. The good old days.

Except for the small part in which this never happened.

I don’t understand! Am I going crazy?

Freud would have a heyday with this.

why my brain hurts this semester

My classes this semester have hit me with some of the hardest questions I’ve ever come across. I will let you ponder them as well.

  • Industries are impacted by consumers. The supply will meet the demand. Child labor and sex trafficking are both industries. What do you endorse (perhaps unintentionally)?
  • What does “missions” really mean? Are the Gospel and social justice distinct?
  • How do we share the gospel to survivors of sex trafficking, who have so many attachments of shame and stigma?
  • Do we believe in a just world?
  • What does it mean to “have church”? Are we doing church wrong? What’s the balance between sermons and service?
  • Can inner growth be expressed in service? We are so “I” focused.
  • What does it mean to be Christian? Have we narrowed our definition too much?
  • If a part of the reintegration of the wounded includes a healing ceremony, how do we integrate that with Christianity?
  • Can you love others as yourself when you don’t love yourself?
  • Is there a tension between physical/mental care and spiritual care?
  • In sharing the Gospel, what is your end goal? What is success to you?
  • Is there a “psychology of conversion”?
  • How do people heal?
  • Do NGOs perpetuate trauma? Overstate it in order to get funds?
  • How do you bring aid to a trauma situation without creating systemic dependency?
  • At what point does a cultural value become a problem?
  • Is pulling older street kids – the leaders – off the streets the best idea?
  • Are human rights a biblical notion? Or have “human rights” usurped the role of Scripture?
  • Why aren’t churches a safe haven emotionally and spiritually?
  • What do you do when, as a missionary, you meet a Christian polygamist?
  • What do you do when the closest family for an orphan is dysfunctional?

And here’s some statements to ponder as well.

  • There are more children who are HIV/AIDS positive in the US than there are gay people.
  • “To preach the gospel to a brothel owner, you’d probably have to risk your life.” – John Molineux

Learning About Myself, or, Why Fourth-Graders are JERKS!

I wouldn’t have said the word “jerk” in 4th grade. I was too nice for that. I was also too nice to realize the far-reaching ramifications of 8 words.

These musings came about as a result of a Socrates Cafe discussion led by the magnanimous David Ebert. Thanks, Debert. As soon as I sat down and heard the word “alienation,” this memory was all I could think about.

It was the summer between my 4th grade and 5th grade year, and I was attending VBS at Prestonwood Baptist Church … aka Prestonworld … aka the Baptidome.

The implication here is that I didn’t have any friends. With 5 or 6 sections of 4th grade VBS classes, I felt lost. Homeschooler me was still discovering social skills, and the best I could do was find a group of people who would tolerate my presence and hang out with them.

This worked well until one day after a big assembly time, when we split up to go off to group activities. My group of people got up to leave, so naturally, I grabbed my stuff and jumped up to go, smiling. The lead girl (there’s always one of those. I even remember what she looks like.) turned around and huffed. “Isn’t there anyone else you can follow around?”

And they left. And that was it. And the last two days of VBS I spent by myself. But that was life in 4th grade, I figured, and I just needed to deal with it.

My self-image is horrible, in most every aspect, and it wasn’t until Saturday night that I realized how much those 8 words have informed my view of myself.

Still, I’m surprised when people want to hang out with me.
I’m skeptical that people actually enjoy my presence.
I don’t believe it’s possible that a guy will actually like me. And if someone does, I hang on emotionally past my better judgment, because obviously this couldn’t happen again.

8 words. That’s all it takes.


( Typos make the world go round.)

I now study in the Psychoology department. I have great professors!

Dr. Loond.

Dr. Snooder.

Dr. Doongan.

Dr. Mooschberger.

Dr. Malooney.

Dr. Coosgrove.

Yes. Awesome.

On The Cognitive Development and Sin Nature of Preoperational Children

WARNING! This post shall be slightly esoteric and highfalutin.

You see, in Life Span lately we have been talking about 4-6 year olds. And how they think. And how their brains work. And I have been thinking (which is generally a good thing). But sometimes it seems as though the field of psychology is bent on removing all trace of a sin nature.

For example, today we were talking about how these kids “prefer personal desires over facts”, or in non psychospeech, lie. According to this idea, when Mom asks Little Kid, “Did you eat the chocolate cake?” and Little Kid says, “No”, Little Kid is not lying. Little Kid may not be trying to hide the fact that s/he ate the chocolate cake, but just saying in her/his own way, “I ate the cake, but I wish I didn’t.”

Is that too much leeway? Are we giving kids too much room for error? What happened to the innate sin nature?

There are numerous examples of this in psychology, and I’m not quite sure what to do with it. The ability to say “no” is apparently a cognitive achievement, and yet I’ve always seen it as a demonstration of the sinful will. What is it?

Yeah, I don’t know.