Memories of Grade School and Stomped Shoes

When I was in grade school, I remember a weird ritual that my classmates did; every time a kid has new shoes they would stomp on it (dirtying the poor shoes in the process) and would declare the shoes have already been “baptized.”

I was probably stomped a few times, but I can’t remember if I ever did a stomping; not that I’m defending myself, it’s just easier to remember an experience if you’re the victim as opposed to when you’re the aggressor.

Possible Origin


That weird (and cruel) ritual is not unique to our school. One would wonder when, where, who started that ritual.

My guess is that it was started by a kid who’s jealous of his new classmates new shoes, and he thought of a clever way to make himself feel better; that is, by associating baptism (a sacred ritual in most religions) to that rude act.

That’s only a speculation, but would you think a kid who’s proud of his classmate or friend’s new shoes would even consider stomping it?

Still being practiced


Unfortunately, the practice didn’t stopped. (Habits we learn in school lives long.) Although there are probably worse rituals in other schools around the world.

The practice has to stop once a kid gets older, of course, or he would get himself into trouble by getting himself sued or risk retaliation from the person with the stomped shoes.

Most people will dismiss it as something minor or even a “part of growing up.” I’m not sure about that. Who knows if the kid who stomps the new shoes will someday be the person who scratches the new car of his colleague. Oh no.

The good news


Most of the shoe stompers classmates I knew grew up normally and have happy lives. People change.

I just hope they don’t pass that stupid ritual (shoe stomping) to their kids. The only one benefiting from it are the companies who make shoe cleaning products. Wait… maybe those companies started that ritual? Oh boy, I’m speculating too much.

Your Writing Is the Bridge — Your Message Is the Goods

Writers, and bloggers alike, sometimes argue whether a writer’s skill is more important than the message itself (content) or vice versa.

Which is more important?

The best answer is that both of them are important.

Writing skill gives you credibility and the ability to communicate your message clearly, precisely, and concisely.

Your message, on the other hand, is what the reader will remember long after they have forgotten the exact words you used to communicate your message.

Writers may favor one over the other and that’s all right. The important thing is not to become obsessed with one aspect and totally ignore the other.

The bridge and goods metaphor

If your writing skill is the bridge, your message is the goods.

In a sense, the goods are more important, but without the bridge the goods won’t be delivered to their recipient, which is the reader. Aside from that, the bridge also needs to be strong, so heavy goods can be transported through it.

Furthermore, no matter how strong the bridge is, if the goods are incomplete, spoiled, or broken, then the recipient won’t be happy. In short, the goods must be good.
 
 
Grammar Note:
In writing this post, I was pondering whether to use “… Your Message Is the Goods” or “… Your Message Are the Goods.” Fortunately, I found the answer in this page.

It’s Okay to Be Selfish Sometimes

There was an incident in my life that I would never forget.

Some of you who are more adventurous might view what I would about to narrate as simplistic or normal. But that event itself changed the way I viewed the world — although not until many years after the event.

The story

I just came back to school after a while. Probably because of fever, but I’m not sure.

On that day my teacher gave me the raw materials to build an ornament which resembles a lamp.

As I was constructing the ornament, some of my classmates, who were not usually kind, approached me in a friendly manner to ask for some materials.

Being the naive kid I was back then, and not knowing how much material it takes to build the finished project, I gave some of my materials to my begging classmates.

As I would recall, I even heard our teacher say something like (translated to English): “You’ve wasted your materials yesterday, and now you’re asking Michael for some spare.”

Giving some (or most) of my materials away, I wasn’t able to finish my ornament. While the classmates who asked me for my materials, finished their project.

Kind of unfair, isn’t it?

First lesson to be learned

As the title of the post says, it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. Why? The reason is that there are times when other people will put their needs first before yours, even if it is to your disadvantage.

What if I didn’t gave my materials away, and as a result finished my project?

Sure, they may call me greedy or something, but to think of it isn’t justified.

To make an analogy, it’s like two guys who traveled the desert with one water bottle each. The first guy used his water wisely, while the second guy was wasteful of his water.

During their journey, the second guy asked the first guy for some of his water (which he really needs).

The first guy said: “You already drank a lot, while I, who drank very little might need my water later.”

The second guy called the first guy greedy, but knowing better the first guy wasn’t bothered at all.

Eventually they reached town and drank all the water they could have.

The thing is, if the first guy gave his water away, he could have suffered from dehydration, but he didn’t, because he was wise.

Second lesson to be learned

Have you noticed that my teacher didn’t even stopped my classmates, even if she somewhat knew that by giving away my materials, I wouldn’t be able to finish my project.

Learning from that, we must not expect other people to look after us (even if it is their duty).

I was still very young back then, so I didn’t know. Also, we’re trained to be obedient during that time.

Being obedient is not always good, but that needs another post….

Summary of Lessons

Lesson 1: It’s okay to be selfish sometimes.
Lesson 2: We must look after ourselves.

A Free Source of Useful Information That Most People Don’t Realize Exists

If you’re an information addict like me who likes reading books, blogs, watching Youtube videos, etc. I’m going to teach you a useful source of information that you may or may not already know.

It has been staring us in the face all these years; you’ll be surprised once you know what it is. Ready?

Book reviews in Amazon or Goodreads.

Yes that’s it.

Want an example? Look here.

It’s a review of the book I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi that is written by a smart gentleman.

I’m not sure about you, but I find that review very informative. It doesn’t mean, though, that I’m not interested anymore in reading the book. For all I know, reading reviews like that (which has a positive rating) makes me want to read the book.

So, what are you waiting for? Want to learn something today? Read a review of a book on a topic that you’re interested in. There’s a chance you’ll learn something new. Good luck reader!

Internet IQ Tests

Yesterday before going to sleep, I randomly thought of taking another of those internet IQ tests.

I was once measured with an IQ of 134 on one of those tests. I forgot the site where I took it, though, and the methodology involved. For that reason I’m not sure if the result of that test was reliable.

I read somewhere that you can only trust the result of an IQ test administered by a real psychologist. Official or not, and no matter how reliable those tests are, they are sure fun to take (at least for me).

I took three tests on different sites, and with varying results.

The first test

The first site I took a test administered it using a true-or-false format, which is fairly easy. I was confident with my answers. That’s why I couldn’t wait to see my results. Have I surpassed the 134 IQ barrier?

After the test, the result wasn’t shown. The site insisted that I enter my email address and then the results will be sent to my inbox. What happened? It’s almost 24 hours, but the results haven’t been emailed yet. I guess I’ll never know the results of that test.

The second test

Not being able to see the results immediately, I went into another IQ test site. This one looks more legit with five choices each question instead of the true-or-false format that I’m skeptical about.

There were 30 questions. A time-limit was in-place though, which is about 15 minutes for 30 questions. The test was harder than the first one, but I didn’t get to answer 3-5 questions before the timer expired and the test result was given: IQ 115.

What? How can it be? My IQ lowered? No way!

Still 115 is above-average. What contributed to the lower score were the questions that were left unanswered, I suppose. I could have guessed, but it wouldn’t be fair.

That incident raised a question in my mind. Do we need to have a time-limit when measuring intelligence?

If only I was given more time, I’m confident that I could have scored higher. Maybe having the ability to think fast is a requirement of having a high IQ. I was reminded of a quote from a great mind:

It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

—Albert Einstein

To think of it, I remembered someone wrote that there are a lot of engineers and scientists who are a lot smarter than Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The reason those two became successful was they were the ones who took action with the problems they have seen.

They worked with their problems longer, while other people either gave-up or didn’t even know that such a problem exists. What was their problem anyway? It’s to make the computer usable for every household, not just businesses.

The last test


To move on. Not satisfied with my new 115 IQ I took another test. This one, though, was all about images and number sequences, which can be confusing sometimes. The result: IQ 110.

No, not again. I guess if I took another IQ test, the result will be and IQ of 100-105. Fascinating.

What I think about it

Right now, I still believe my IQ is 134 (that is until the results of the first IQ test arrives on my inbox with an IQ score of 150 or more).

Why? It’s good for the self-image. I’m not the type of guy who brags about my (speculated) IQ, even though I have mentioned it on this blog post.

Believing that you’re intelligent makes you intelligent. I believe in that and have reap the results. Give it a try — you’ll be happy with the results.