Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Life Update and a Short Break

Wanted to do a quick recap of what has been going on for me personally the last month, since the blog has been on hold. As you already know my life has been going through some pretty big transitions. I had my last shows at the Dirty South Improv Theater, I moved all of my belongings to Greenville, and I left my old high school. The good news is I'm in talks with some close improv friends about starting a company in Greenville and I've gotten a new high school teaching job. I will continue teaching US History and AP US History at Southside High School. Also for the next three weeks I'll be going on a European tour for my wedding anniversary and to visit family. If you have any tips we'll be in Madrid, Granada, Tangier, and Amsterdam (with some possible day visits to Paris and Brussels). See you in late July!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Emptying the Bottle: Late-June '11 Links

Here is a list of the worthwhile sites I've Bookmarked recently:
As always, feel free to email me anything interesting you come across.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Unseen Costs of Easy Money

For several years now the Federal Reserve has been printing money (quantitative easing) and lowering interests (through the discount window) in attempt to improve the US economy . Here's why that's not that great of a great idea:
More than any other policy action, monetary policy suffers from the sense that there is a free lunch to be had. Yet the interest rate is a price for the savings that are transferred to spenders. To the extent that the Fed manages to push this price down (and some economists will dispute its ability to push any meaningful interest rate down), it taxes the producers of savings and subsidizes the spenders of savings. Clearly, no government considers pushing down the price of any real good an effective way to stimulate the economy – any gain to consumers is a loss to producers, and the loss typically will outweigh the gain if the market price is a fair one.
Do we really want to be discouraging saving and encouraging debt?

Emptying the Bottle: Mid-June '11 Links

Here is a list of the worthwhile sites I've Bookmarked recently:
As always, feel free to email me anything interesting you come across.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blogging is Hard in the Real World

This has been one of the hardest months of my life. In two weeks, on June 25th, my wife and I are officially moving back to our hometown Greenville, SC. There are so many good reasons to move home. Both of our entire families are there (except for those overseas). I can't commute an hour to work anymore. As our plans for kids get closer, grandparents and aunts/uncles get more valuable. But the move is bittersweet.

I've come to love North Carolina. I've created friendships that will be hard to leave. A teaching job I originally took mostly because it was offered has been great place of growth and opportunity. I will be currently moving without a job to a state with a worse overall economy. I'm going to miss the improv teaching and performing opportunities I've gotten at DSI. Also, the stress of deciding to move and the actual process of moving is difficult for any relationship. At least in the short run, by many measures, my life will be worse. No job, less friends, and less career and artistic possibilities.

This explains why this blog has been silent for the last couple of weeks. I've been so focused on what my life will look like if what I've been working on for 8 years (improv and teaching) isn't immediately available. What am I if I lose some of my labels? It's very difficult to write about the difference between humans or animals or the stimulus package when my life is being turned upside down. In fact, I feel like I've been pushed down Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
Look back at most of my recent posts. They were questions of morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and changing my beliefs based on facts. One of my main blogging goals is to slowly improve myself in hopes of reaching my personal potential. But when my wife and I finally decided to officially move, that desire got taken over by more basic desires. Leaving my teaching position at my high school and at my improv theater makes me question my personal esteem and sense of belonging. Leaving my current home and pay check makes me question my safety and if worst comes to worst my physiological needs.

However, it's been nice to look back and remember that even the unemployed in America are relatively rich (physiological need, check). That poverty isn't a lack of employment, but a lack of relationships (safety need, check). That my family is big and supportive (belonging, check). That my esteem is not self-esteem gained from being a good teacher or good performer. It comes from being a connected to a good God who only requires we recognize that. I'm optimistic my spirits will improve. And I hope that this will make me more empathetic to my future students, wherever they may be on the pyramid.