Tia, Super star extraordinaire Greyhound

Her cuteness is just too much. A much needed breath of fresh air.

The sun embraced me in a very uncomfortable embrace as I proceeded to share information concerning the city’s future plan for development to whoever would stop at my booth.  It’s the Gainesville art’s festival, and our local planning section has set up a booth in which I decided to volunteer.  I smile as people pass by, take a look at the booth and continue their trajectory.  Unfortunately, our booth doesn’t have any art, just instructional material.  As I sit and look to my left. I notice her steady walk and calm demeanor commanding my attention with every step.  She’s gorgeous…no I am not talking about my future wife.  I am talking about a gorgeous brindle Greyhound that walked into my life (Literally) and stole my heart.  Her name is Tia, but her race name was Starztalented.  To this point I had been tossing the idea of owning a dog.  I used to live with two dogs, Sashi and Mimmer, who were part of the joys in my life but now they are in Texas with their true dad and this left me missing my bundles of joy.

I started speaking with the volunteer walking Tia.  She proceeded to tell me what an awesome dog Tia was, but this was obvious from miles away.  Tia came close and I immediately connected (you pet owners know what I’m talking about).  However, even in this moment I was not sure about adopting a dog, but Tia was adorable.  As Tia walked away, I said to myself “what a great dog”.

After my volunteer time was over, I walked over to the Gold Coast Greyhound Adoption booth (Conveniently located about 30 or so feet away from me).  I started talking some more to the friendly folks manning the booth.  I was so stricken with Tia that I wanted to volunteer.  But my mind was still not made up in adopting Tia.  That is until I heard the words, “there’s a few people interested in her” something within me exploded and I knew, I could not let her go and I was in luck, the applications had not been submitted by the others…at least not yet.  I dashed towards the bus…I swear this had to be one of the longest bus rides home.  As soon as I got to my computer, I proceeded to fill out that adoption application and prayed that someone else would not beat me to the punch.  And as the Lord my God would have it, they didn’t.

….To be continued……



English: Harvard Yard winter 2009.

School. It bestows upon those fortunate few the blessing of papers, projects, and arguably an education. In order to succeed you must relinquish thinking and get used to doing. Each class demanding 100% of your attention and multi-class semesters being the norm.  Not to mention life’s demands of responsibilities that must be met through finances. Finances that must be met with work. Make no mistake, school is not about learning, it’s about survival. It’s about meeting deadlines and figuring  out how to accomplish the unaccomplished  And when it is known that our future society has been trained to do more with less, school will figure out ways to make up for the added efficiency in order to train students to be even more efficient.  But then the question becomes, when will we ever reach enough efficiency?  For America, the answer is never.  As a society we pride ourselves in what we do. Leisure is laziness and enjoyment is wrong.  This can be seen through our current attack on the arts such as music, anthropology, and anything that is not math, science, or anything else that’s ghastly boring.  But arts? Nah, we can’t waste our money on that. Instead lets focus on beating the joy of learning out of our learning system and create analytical robots. When will our school system woo us into learning?


Robot (Photo credit: ewen and donabel)

Even subjects that sound interesting have been bastardized into a perversion of mill work and standardization.  Learning? Don’t be silly. You do that on your own time. Our schools want to see test results and school grades go up.  As students from all grades flee the slavery of “education” our society finds ways to bind us to it.  Not to have a $70,000 piece of paper in today’s economy is to almost guarantee yourself a mediocre job that barely pays for your life. That is unless you make it as a super pop star or some sport jockey.  Then you don’t have to worry about finances.  You can play or sing your heart out and get paid bucku amount of money while the rest of us who would love to learn to do what you do can’t because officials says that arts in school is a waste of money.  Maybe that’s their way of regulating the market? In that case maybe we should also work on regulating the wages of the other skills as well.  Especially those that demand a constant gamble with life.  You know, our law enforcement, fire fighters, militia and such.  Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe the problem is not the officials.  Maybe the problem is society and its thirst for entertainment.   But then, why the scholastic slavery? Why the waste of subjects such as math if math is not needed (why does a historian need to take calculus?).  Maybe it’s to regulate the other market, that of education.  And so money proves to be king once again, and our slavery to make someone rich continues.

Tale of the introvert

Simple emoticons of the five temperaments: San...

I’ve been accused of being an extrovert before. I don’t blame them. After all, I do work in the service industry where I deal with people on a daily basis providing the best customer service ever (I’m serious about this….ok maybe not but I do pride myself in my customer service abilities and the rarity of my gift). Moreover, I’m the president of a student organization (University of Florida’s Student Planning Association), and I love to get on stage (any stage…for those of you wondering, yes the shower most definitely counts as a stage) and sing my heart away. So it’s not really a shock to me when I shock people with the declaration that I am an introvert. But make no mistake, an introvert I am…(Yoda must be playing mind tricks on me).
So what makes me an introvert?
Let’s take my daily routine of catching the bus for example. Let’s say that I am sitting at the bus stop and the only other person nearby is sitting right next to me (as was the case a few days ago…until the bus arrived…then she sat across from me.) you would think that given my familiarity with people I would be able to say hello, good morning, or something a long those lines.  But you’d be mistaken. My mouth would fight my attempt with an army unwillingness…a very powerful army indeed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to talk, per se….ok maybe not at 5 am….or 4pm… Or…ok maybe I’m not the best person to hold a conversation with.  But it’s not because I think I’m so good that having a conversion with you or anybody else is below me. Quite the opposite, I continuously ask myself, what about me is worth having a conversation over?  I mean there are many people who are exceedingly more exciting than I.  For example, I have a friend who does tons of work for Haiti. And he plays rugby, and he has a bucket list from which he is constantly scratching things of like hang gliding, hiking. Etc.  I would say, he’s fun to talk to because…well he is.
But don’t read me wrong. I do not mind my introvertness (is this even a word?….well it is now 🙂 ). Not at all. Quite the opposite, I love it! This however wasn’t always the case. But I won’t bore you with that moppy episode of my life.  What changed? Everything and nothing at all. Everything because of the way I saw this change in its completeness, nothing because I’m still who I was back then. You see, an introvert is predisposed to do things that extroverts find it hard to do (this is not to say that extroverts can’t do


Lime-light (Photo credit: TC .)…get it? my friend the extravert and the limelight?…:)

these things…it just easier for us intros) . For example, I had a friend who was the quintessential example of extroversion. People flocked to him! I swear he should have been a politician.  An he thrived in this scenario.  So much that he needed that kid of attention…often. For him to be alone was borderline torture. On the other hand as in intro, I don’t mind being alone. In fact I prefer it. It enables me to think…a lot.

Something else that makes me an intro is energy expenditure. (Huh?)  Yes energy expenditure. When I talk to a lot of people I get exhausted pretty fast.   The irony to this fact however is that I don’t mind public speaking. Ive done it often and am quite comfortable doing it. However if I’m with a group of friends and we start talking I will usually be exhausted at the end. An extravert won’t have this issue, quite the opposite, social interactions renews the energy of most extraverts.
Now before you go on thinking what a prude I am here me out.  Intros are not anti social people. There’s a clear difference. I prefer to have tons of “me” time, but this does not mean that I hate people or that I forcibly create distance between me and humanity.  Quite the opposite, intros tend to sympathize a lot easier with humanity in that they often identify with the deep issues of humanity Since we get so much alone time to think about them.  You know those friends who are probably not entirely all that fun to talk to, but if you want someone to talk to about something serious you know they are the best ones for the job?  Usually, the “deep conversation” friends are intros. (and I say usually because this is not always the case, there are plenty of extras who are good “deep conservationists”.)
Make no mistake, I like being an intro :).  But for those of you who, like me, are intros let me give you a few cautionary advices.
1. Don’t alienate yourself.  We like to think, by ourselves, a lot.  But  time with friends and people you care about is crucial.  It’s good for your mental health and it increases your quality of life.  As an intro, its ok to have 2-3 close friends (as oppose to like 20 for the extras lol) but just be sure to make it a point to spend time with them).
2. Find an outlet.  One of the reasons I like blogging so much is that it provides an outlet for all these thoughts!.  So find an outlet.  It could be a blog, or a journal, or maybe art, drawing, song writing, whatever, just be sure that what’s in your head comes out in some form.

3. Step outside the box…often.  Its easy for us to be comfortable with routines.  The problem with routines is that they

World famous whitewater rafting in the Valley.

World famous whitewater rafting in the Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

prevent growth.  You need growth as an individual.  So always look for ways to step out of your box.  Do something different like karaoke maybe? How about white water rafting, or sky diving.  Maybe things that are even scarier like….giving a public presentation :). Or maybe volunteer at your local food bank or other organization that needs help.  Whatever your boundaries are, seek to step outside them.  This will be a bit scary and at first, maybe a bit stressful.  But the opportunity will enable you to grow, and thus become more holistic 🙂

So go forth you introvert you.  Go forth 🙂

Life (poem)

Illustration for the poem "A Psalm of Lif...

Illustration for the poem “A Psalm of Life” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Illustrates the lines: :Footprints, that perhaps another, ::Sailing o’er life’s solemn main, :A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, ::Seeing, shall take heart again. From A Psalm of Life, published by E.P. Dutton & Company, 1891. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life, I have an issue with it
It thinks it owns whatever it sees
In fact it thinks it even owns me
For what its worth, to whom it cares
Will bring across clear tupawares
You put your hopes, your dreams of old
And find that it still catches mold
And when at last you clean them off
With sweat, you give them to your boss
This life, a life, for all to see
Wont hide its face for you nor me
But though we think, its harsh and old,
Truly its the best teacher well ever know.

Juan Castillo Jr.


Hey guys!

First of all, thank you for continuing to follow this blog.  I am not dead lol.  It has been probably one of the busiest semester I have had the privilege of going through.  More details soon to follow. But I want to take this opportunity to give you a general update on things happening.  First of all, my presidential duties have kicked in full swing.  Needless to say, this on top of school and work has put me in a position of constant movement.  I’ve gotten to the point where I literally sometimes forget to eat….not exaggerating   It will be like 7pm before I stop and realize “I have not eaten today”.  But, the semester is soon coming to a close  and I look forward to gaining my sanity back (or at least what I consider sanity…other may disagree :).    On another note.  I have adopted the most wonderful dog ever! Her name is Tia (pictures soon to follow) and she is a gorgeous Greyhound.  Ooph, just checked on the time and I have to fly.  But I want you guys to know, I’m still here and I’m still writing.

In your service,



The glory of You
who can grasp it?
Your matchless might a terror in the day
the night hides before You
anger that only You can hold 
is terrible and fearsome 
Your mouth speaks wonders into existence
Your eyes pierce through the very dimensions of our souls.
no might can tame You
no will break You
who can stand and proclaim themselves before You?
who can bear the glimpse of You
Your awe is beyond any comprehension here on earth
You move and the galaxies quake
stars are but mere toys in Your hands
apt and willing to bow to your will
the terror of Your might, awesome, glorious
destruction a mere thought away.
who can tame You Oh Lord.
But Lord You withhold yourself, 
for the sake of the ones You love
The Lion allows Himself to be killed by gnats
redeeming them and purchasing them with His blood.
Glorious is Your love for us Oh Lord.
Who can understand the marvel that is redemption, 
the awesome power of all buffeted by the insignificance of men
But You oh Lord, have valued us far above any rubies
far above any gold
Your blood Oh God is worth more than all creation and all the angels and all that is
this blood You lavish upon us
Great are you Oh God
Great are you and Greatly to be Praised!
Your kingdom live for ever!
Your Glory, marvelous and true.
Gracious and Merciful, God Omnipotent.
What words can describe the awesomeness of You!

Juan Castillo Jr.