Archive for the ‘General Study’ Category

As all of you know I’ve dealt with some pretty difficult problems ever since this Sunday.  Between my beloved dog going from fully mobile to paralyzed in a matter of a few minutes to a major car repair in progress, this week hasn’t been easy on my head, my heart, or my wallet. [For those want more info: my car in the shop for a pretty major repair: heater core replacement].  Dealing with these issues really knocked me off my game so to speak.

We spent Sunday night at the Animal hospital until a half hour pas midnight- none of us has fully recovered from the combination of stress and a lack of sleep.  I probably could have started working out again on Monday but I am still carrying a feeling I can’t fully describe.  It feels like my head is in a dense fog and I just can’t seem to walk through it and find a sunny sky (or even a cloudy one that is at least cloud free).

It was just today that I confronted the question, how do I get out of this funk? (more…)

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Good news, bad news, boring news, sensational news- it’s all in thousands of newspapers published in print and online daily, weekly, and monthly.  But since you can’t read them all, whatever should the aspiring mind do?  Are there some guidelines that might guide you through the avalanche of news available at the local newsstand and on the information superhighway.

Furthermore, there is more to reading and learning than newspapers right?  Of course.  There are journals, websites, blogs, etc.  So allow me to introduce you to rule #1 of the 10 Weeks to an Intellectual Transformation program and how it applies to a broad range of sources- mostly by introducing you to a broad range of sources.

Rule #1. If you aren’t reading things that might get you on an FBI list you probably aren’t reading enough. (more…)

Even as a boring researcher who spends days on end in dusty old archives, every now and again something shocks you. I came across this ad not long into my research regarding runaway slaves in Eastern North Carolina. [The full size image can be found below the page break].

Runaway Slave Ad

Why is an old advertisement so shocking and interesting? The above advertisement’s five simple (although surprisingly verbose) paragraphs are short hand for a much larger and even more interesting tale. Their story includes enslavement, betrayal, yearning for freedom, fatherhood, rebellion, courage, anger, and half a dozen other compelling emotional angles that should perk the ears and tug at the heart.

Beyond that, the characters are laid out in a detailed manner (considering the space allowed for an advertisement), but in such a way that you are left desiring to know more about them.

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I needed an outlet for my historical blogging needs so I opened a new blog here at WordPress at

http://thehistorydump.wordpress.com

I didn’t want to bore all those who check my blog for weight loss advice with long discussions of slavery and slave patrols.  So if you are interested swing on by  and leave a few comments.

Here is a copy of the inaugural post on my new blog…

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Ever have one of those days where you feel like scrapping everything you’ve worked for because things are just that hard? Today, I came too close for comfort.

The problem. Well it is complex. Apparently my previous university gave me about $1,000 too much in subsidized Stafford loans. I didn’t find out about this until I got accepted to UNC-Greensboro for my doctorate. At which point I was told I couldn’t receive ANY unsubsidized Stafford loans because of the over payment.

The last three months have been a quest to find out who is responsible: Wells Fargo (my lender), North Carolina State (my previous institution), or Direct Loans (the federal program). I have been told of two possible solutions.

  1. I figure out a way to pay my lender (representing the feds) $1,000+ dollars. Such is impossible since we don’t even know how we will pay our living expenses this July (no paychecks for either of us). So how in the heck am I going to find $1,000 bucks?
  2. NC State sends Wells-Fargo the money back and in return Wells-Fargo cuts a new unsubsidized loan for the same amount. That sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it is. In order to do that I would have to apply for a whole new loan and the process would take 4 – 6 months. I start classes at UNC-Greensboro in August- two months from now.

I could just scream I am so angry. No one at NC State is offering me any help. No one at my lender is offering any help. And no one at the U.S. Department of Ed. is lifting a finger. Each one says it is the other two’s problem.

Meanwhile I have no clue how I am going to afford the gas to drive back and forth to UNCG- a two hour drive each way. Much less pay for books, fees, etc.

Please keep me in your prayers. This is taking a serious toll on my sanity and my stress level is way up.

I just try to have faith that God will provide and remember Christ’s words

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34.

God values me and he will never forget me. Although it is a struggle, I will keep my faith that the Lord will provide. Whether it means finding a job for the month, a check in the mail, or a kind stranger. I have faith God will come through. And I must admit I can’t wait to see how he does it.

I find it useful to retake these tests every now and again. I found a good (and free) test over at humanmetrics.com. The results? I am a “mastermind.” Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Here is the description of a Mastermind…

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I have recently accepted an offer to write an entry for a new encyclopedia series written for undergraduates on the Early American Republic.  But before I write this, I am kind of curious what average folks (my readers) think.

What do you know about slave patrols?  I don’t care if your read it, heard it, or are simply making a wild guess.  Post a comment about what you think slave patrols were, who served in them, etc.

Thanks for your help.