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It's simple yet essential. Community.

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I used to think that there were these weirdos who felt compelled to talk with others about their faith. I rationalized "it's great that they are called to do that!" And when it came to myself, I figured I was called to do other things.
Francis starts with our mission - to love others. From there he states something many forget: you will burn out. You can be on fire for God and you might even lead a few to people to understanding it, but eventually you will crash. Whether it be finances, your family, or just something going on in you, you cannot be effective by yourself and you will lose motivation to keep up the fight. But that's where God's plan steps in and brings you into a community.
I'm sure you've been in communities before. But let me ask you this: can you tell me what your friends were struggling with? Have you ever asked your friends how their relationship with God is? The temptation is to get to know people and then plateau because it's mor…

Hard Times

Love.... is tough.
Love.... hurts when it's rejected. Love.... gives you hope through the hard times.
God is love. There is no statement more powerful yet more complex than that. I would say that we cannot even grasp how much God loves us. For some weird reason, God loves all of us no matter how much we hurt him or his creation. I can't imagine why sometimes, but when I embrace his love, it makes my hard times have hope.
I'd like to say "just embrace God's love and the hard times will be easy". But I can't. You see, I've been there, and that didn't work. I needed friends and family to tell me it was going to get better and I had to be honest with myself. When I broke up with my ex, it hurt - a lot. I learned that you've got to let yourself grieve openly and that you can't try to be strong when you're not. It is counter-productive to lie to yourself by holding it all in.

Hard times, by nature, are hard. But I promise you this: there is …

Immigration Today: Is it flawed?

There are 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in America, 8 million of which are employed (Pew Research Center, 2014). Around two-thirds of those adult immigrants have been in the US for over a decade (2014). What this means is that there are individuals living in America who want what America offers, they are willing to obey are laws, and they desire the American Dream, but our process does not allow them to become citizens. According to Marilyn Hepler, her friend lived in America for 22 years (unauthorized). They wanted to become a citizen but could not. Out of a desire for citizenship, they attempted to become a citizen of Canda. After 18 months, $1500 and some paperwork, they were able to work legally in the country and obtain a sponsor. Then after four years they were able to apply for citizenship (Marilyn Hepler, 2014). This story brings light to a problem America has: our immigration process needs reform.

One out of five of Canada's population is foreign born (National Hou…

Why do gender norms define us?

Norms categorize our everyday lives and, to some degree, affect everyone. Gender norms are no different, except that with the LGBTQIA+ movement going on they have attracted more attention. A group of sociologists, including myself, decided we would test out what it is like to break a gender norm. What norm did we choose? Walking in/out of the wrong bathroom.

Some background. A norm in sociology is something society does that holds it in some form of cohesion. William Graham Sumner coined the term more, which are norms society requires. In some places walking into the wrong bathroom might break a more, but because of recent events individuals are realizing it doesn't have to be polar. Karl Marx would say that these norms create our roles that allow us to function in society. He continues to say that these norms sustain and uphold our social order.

I'm sure it has happened to everyone. You are walking along and you really have to go to the bathroom. I'm sure you don't wa…

One Question Everyone Asks:Why?

It's halfway through my last class of the day and I just want to leave. But my professor is going on about equality between men and women. Then he says something that perks my ears: a statistic. "Women earn less in their careers than men," he states. In my head I am already poised against him, wondering where he is getting this fact from and if it's reliable. So I whip out my smartphone and Google it.

Nathan Pulmer explains a similar account, but from a different perspective. In his blog post, Why a Student Yelled at Me & I Thanked Him for It, Pulmer describes a student who confronted him on one of the class topics. The student was so pleased to have found a piece of evidence that proved his professor wrong, yet he was the one who ended up being incorrect (as it reveals latter in the story). Why was the student so pleased at the chance to prove his professor wrong?

From a young child through to when you graduate, high school or college, you go to school and learn…

Bats, Birds, and Socioloy

Most people would say that bats and birds are quite different. And upon first inspection I would agree, they do appear different. Bats fly at night and eat fruit, while birds fly during the day (because they cannot see in the dark) and eat insects. But could these two seemingly random animals be analogous to something today? What if Stellaluna is trying to portray different cultures and how they interact?

Stellaluna wonderfully illustrates a concept within sociology called socialization. Stellaluna is a bat who gets separated from her mother after an owl attacks them. Stellaluna manages to escape the encounter, but has no where to go besides a bird nest. Desperate for food, she forces herself to eat the insects they eat. This is the first action of socialization. Typically, bats eat fruit. However Stellaluna is forced to eat insects in order to survive. She also might notice the other birds eating the insects and might think that it is the right thing to do. This can be compared to th…

Data As Evidence

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Education is valued highly in today's society. One could start by looking at the lengthy list of job requirements around them to see this correlation. But does that mean one needs education for employment? Could family dynamics influence employment?

First, let's take a look at the data. Around 18-22% of the Southeastern United States is in poverty, while comparatively the rest of the US sits at around 10-15% (Population in Poverty, 2014). 40-50% of the children in the Southeastern US are in a single-parent household, whereas the surrounding areas are within 30-40%, decreasing as one goes west (Children In Single-Parent Families, 2014). While the Southeastern US has a higher level of enrolled students between the ages of 3-5 years old (Children Age 3-5, 2012) and fewer children held out of education due to poverty (Young Children Not In School, 2010-14), they have one of the highest rates of students not graduating on time (High School Students Graduating On Time, 2009-10). The…