A Sunday at the Everglades Archery Range
So this Sunday I decided to take my camera and GoPro to take some footage for the semi-monthly Acorn shootout at the archery range. The Acorn Shoot is a 3-D target competition amongst members who pitch in $5. The winner of the shoot-out takes the jackpot home. The minute I heard it's been reinstated, I got excited. Competition is good and fun.
For the most part of the games, I was doing very well, keeping toe to toe with my coach, Dana. Then, on one target, my wood arrow shattered on impact. I can only assume that it either hit an arrow tip embedded inside the target, or it hit another arrow that caused deflection making the arrow hit at an angle upon impact. The force of impact made the arrow bend enough to make it snap. Still, it was considered a miss and that caused me to lose serious points. Then, on another target, as the rain fell down on me, I missed a shot. UGH [2:40 on Vid].
Unfortunately, due to rain and thunder, we had to end it short and not shoot the last 3 targets. Still, I had an amazing time shooting in the rain, thunder crackling in the background, and arrows flying.
She sits here and whispers things to me.
My eyes are dilating as the world becomes primal.
Soft warm and wet kisses on my shoulder, and my conscience burning.
Purple stained lips and fingernails sink into skin,
My eyes remain open as I taste her tongue.
I'm a coward, the wretched things I'm about to do.
I'm going to taste her skin
I'm going to hold her back
I'm going to spread her out
Under sheets on the bedroom floor,
with silver eyes and a fragmented heart,
I lead her to my empty dream.
Morning rays, soft breaths, and a golden necklace.
My clenching jaw, the headache pill, and my brown boots.
Disgrace and Hypocrisy greeting me at the exit door... with crooked smiles.
Reading to Children
I've been reading to Blu every day since she was in her mother's womb. In fact, I remember the first book ever read to her. Don't laugh... it was Vampire Hunter D.
What a story pick eh? A story about vampires, blood, gore, deaths... and love. All this for an unborn? Yeah haha. Still, the point was that is she read to as often as possible. Recently, I have begun asking Blu to read to me on the days I do not have her during our nightly phone call.
Why is this so important? Well, reading to books to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world around them. It helps them learn the language and develop listening skills. What does this mean? It means it will help them understand the written word. When reading becomes a part of a child's life, learning to read and write becomes as natural as learning to walk and talk.
Being a single parent, it can be difficult at times to find the time to sit down and read to/with her, but taking the time every night to read to her will ingrain a very important lesson in life. Reading is worthwhile.
Building a stronger Relationship and Bond
Since she was born, I would put her to sleep by cuddling up with her on my chest. She's growing older now, with the ability to run, explore, and play with friends. One constant between us is slowing down the hecticness of the day and turning book reading into a nurturing activity that brings us closer together. She nick named me "Cozy Daddy." Embarrassed at times when she calls me cozy daddy in front of others, but I remind myself that it's a sign of a strong bond she has with me and it's something I should embrace.
It's known that children who are read to have a higher aptitude for learning in general. Studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. This makes sense, because if someone struggles with words and sentences, how can they be expected to grasp math, science, and social concepts?
Now and then I change things by asking Blu to read to me instead. As she gains more and more practice, she not only develops her reading skills but also her speech skills, improving her ability to speak clearly. For her school graduation, Blu gave the commencing speech... and she hit it out of the park!
Better Communication Skills
Children bear witness to the interaction between characters in the storyline and thus be able to express themselves, healthily, better than children who are not read to. Know those terrible two's you hear about? You can prevent it by just reading to your kids.
Enhanced Concentration and Discipline
So toddlers tend to be very jumpy and have short attention spans. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory retention.
Well... you get the point. If you are a parent, I encourage you to read to your children every night. While at times it will feel as if you simply don't have time for it, do so, for the time invested today will reward you tenfold later on in ALL aspects of child raising. Honestly, if I was read to every day when I was a child, not only would I be writing better in this blog, but perhaps... perhaps... my entire life would be different than what it is today. I would most likely be better off in all aspects of my life as well.
Remember one key rule when reading to your kids... have fun while you're at it.
Stories come in many forms. It could be a movie, a novel, a comic, a poem, or even a song. This one story, however, actually made an impact on me, especially because when I was exposed to this story, I was filing for divorce... a difficult time for me. This story casts a lens on the nature of people. The world of Berserk is a dark and cruel one and one densely layered with all manner of broken people who are struggling to find their own place within it.
The protagonist, Guts, is incredibly sympathetically written. Everything bad that could happen to a person has happened to Guts. An orphan of war, Guts was raised by a ruthless mercenary and suffered physical and emotional abuse. And unfortunately... much much worse. The experience left Guts emotionally damaged, and the only way he knew how to express himself was through battle, and hence he became very good at it. Seeing him trying to overcome his demons and learn to accept people again is rewarding, and makes some of the later occurrences very tragic. While the story of Guts is rich on its own, the world of Beserk has many people on their own paths that blend well with Gut's journey. Even minor characters have the same amount of thought put into who they are as people and their shifting place in the story as things progress. All these aspects make the world feel Beserk alive and dense.
A lot of times, many stories out there feel like the world is reforming around the main character's journey. But in Beserk, there is a real sense that the world at large is something that Guts and his companions must push through, not something that will adjust to their whims. It's cold, and it's unforgiving, and it carries on regardless of their actions and at the worst of times can feel incredibly nihilistic. Guts may save the woman he loves from a fire, but all the while the world still burns. This is the kind of writing that I crave and thirst for. Berserk, the most impressive storyline I have ever experienced, and one that I highly recommend.