A word about your worth

rod artersThe other day, during my travels, I had to visit a restroom in a run-down gas station.  Public bathroom visits are never a preferred option but gas station bathrooms, for most sane human beings, are to be avoided at all costs.  Sadly, it was either visit this glorified outhouse on my long road trip or wet my pants.  I actually thought about the latter option.

The men’s room in a gas station is consistently nasty.  Whereas I have heard that female restrooms are colorful, fragrant epicenters of happiness – the men’s room is where all things nasty go to die.   Chipped paint on the walls, graffiti i messages on the doors, cracked mirrors, leaky faucets and trash littering the floor are commonplace sightings.  What can you expect from an understaffed, underpaid place where men who can’t aim go to dump their waste?   Upon entering the bathroom and walking over the paper towel trash pile inevitably left on the floor, every man instinctly looks for the open urinal or stall.   Whereas women like to travel to a restroom en masse, men prefer it to be a solo experience.

On this particular day, there was only one stall available between two oversized men.   Ugh.  I reluctantly saddled over to the lone urinal, annoyed that I cannot take care of business with more privacy and realized immediately why this stall was ominiously “available.”   At the bottom of this urinal, seemingly strategically placed in this odd place, was a picture of Abraham Lincoln.   After all, his picture, familiar to us all, is the image on every five dollar bill.

In most men’s rooms – there is a shortage of things to look at while you are… making the bladder gladder.   But when you are in there with other men, it is imperative that you are very careful not to let your eyes wander East or West.  This particular day, my gaze was fixed upon Lincoln.   I wondered who had put a $5 bill in the urinal.  Was this some sort of reality show prank and I was unwittingly their next contestant?  I wondered if it was a crime to “Number One” on Honest Abe in this fashion.  I wondered how long it had been there and why no one had rescued it from its cruel fate.   Actually, I didn’t wonder about that one too long.

A plethora of thoughts filled my head about the unfortunate bill.   (Clearly I drank too much that afternoon.)   I considered its unfavorable position.  I pondered its unfriendly treatment.  I wondered where it had been prior to this.  I wondered what things it was able to do in the past.   When it came off the press at the Mint, it had a bright future.  Certainly this isn’t what the makers of the money had in mind for this particular piece of currency?

As I reflected the deeper meaning behind this bill’s fate, a prominent thought came to mind:

There are many days when I relate to this bill.

Stuck.

Misplaced.

Mistreated.

Undervalued.

Unfulfilled.

Used.

Abused.

Not fulfilling the purpose for which I was created.

Do you relate?   If you’re honest, you probably have felt this way too, especially if you have spent time at the bottom of life’s urinal.

Noah had to relate to this feeling when he was called by God to build an ark prior to the impending flood. The only problem is that no one had ever seen an ark or flood before.   God failed to mention it would take him over 100 years to build.   I can only imagine the ridicule he faced for a century on this “project from God.”  (Genesis 6)

Joseph had to relate.   After experiencing lofty dreams about his bright future, he finds himself languishing in an Egyptian prison for two years – with no forseeable hope of getting out.  (Genesis 37-40)

David had to relate.   Annointed to be the next King of Israel (I Samuel 16), he spent the next 20 years of his life as a fugitive waiting for the day that the annointed would finally be appointed.

Paul had to relate.   Called by God in spectacular fashion (Acts 9), he eventually finds himself incarcerated for his newfound faith and pastoring several churches while in chains.

Hosea had to relate.   Called by God to marry a prostitute, he spends his entire marriage to someone trying to love them in spite of wayward unfaithfulness.  If anyone felt “stuck” in a relationship, it had to be him.

The list of biblical characters that seemingly felt mistreated, used, forgotten, is endless.

Over the last few years I have really struggled with my sense of worth.   When you commit major league sins in the midst of minor league sinners (church folk), it can mess with your perception of worth. Whereas I used to be Christianity’s darling because I could write, speak and spin all the necessary spiritual plates, I have found myself on the other end of respect, stuck like a piece of gum on the bottom of self-righteous religious shoes.   The people I used to lead don’t follow.  The ones that used to take notes have stopped listening.

Here’s the thing that $5 dollar bill taught me that day.   It’s a profound truth, if you stop long enough to absorb it.

It’s still worth $5 dollars.

It’s not worth less because it’s at the bottom of a urinal.

It’s not worth less because of it’s level of abuse or misuse.

It’s not worth less because no one wants to touch it anymore.

It’s still, all day long, worth $5 dollars, simply because it has intrinsic value.

Intrinsic.

Look that word up in the dictionary.

(adjective)   in·trin·sic, belonging naturally; essential, innate, inborn, comes from within, built-in, inherent. 

In other words, it means belonging to a thing by its very nature.

Dogs are intrinsically loyal.   Cats are intrinsically independent.   God is intrinsically loving.

Sometimes I forget this truth, imbedded into the D.N.A. of every human being, myself included.

There is no crime that can remove my intrinsic value.   There is no sin that can erase one’s essential worth.

Not.one.   So, dear reader, be encouraged.

Where do you find yourself in today’s moral climate?   Do you feel, because of your past, at the bottom of life’s urinal?   Do you feel, because of past sins, like a piece of moral gum on the bottom of judgemental shoes?    Do others make you feel like you’re a modern day social leper?    You’re actually in good company.

Jesus’ company.

As the Son of God and the Author of Life, He could have entered our planet on a cosmic meteor with the thunderous announcement of Angels.  Instead, He came through an unplanned, scandalous pregnancy – born into a stable, largely unnoticed by the planet He created.   He could have entered among the Papacy or prestigious.  Instead, He chose an audience of paupers.

As a sovereign God, He could have demanded worship from every living creature He encountered. Instead, He walked among us in the flesh, choosing limitations and mistreatment, instead of the royal red carpet only He deserves.

And where did He spend His time?   Who captured His attention more than anyone else?

The sinners.    The societal rejects.    The spiritually sick.

  • Tax collectors.
  • Gentiles.
  • Prostitutes.
  • The physically disabled.
  • Women.
  • The demoniacs.
  • Children.
  • Roman soldiers.
  • Lepers.

Yesterday, I was walking in a parking lot and stepped over a penny.   I stopped for a minute, aware of this blog, and wondered…

“How many penny’s have I walked over in my life simply because it did not hold enough value in my mind to reach down and bring it into my world?”

Too many.

How many people have I stepped over because I was too important to stop?

Too many.

The next time you see money in a place where it shouldn’t be, do what you can to rescue it from it’s place of unuse and let it remind you that God has plans for those whom the world rejects.

They hold intrinsic value – not because of what they can do for us – but simply because they exist.

I know I need that reminder.

And God came to earth to give it to me, even me.

Rod’s Blog: 2012 Year in review

to blog or not to blogAs 2012 comes to an end, so does my first year as an official blogger.  I never thought I would join the blogging community and now I can’t imagine not being a part of it.  Though I have been writing for years and have been published numerous times in both magazines and newspapers, there is something unique and special and different about writing for a blog.  No editors, no deadlines, no word limits or endless revisions.  I have also made some new friends along the way, an added benefit that I did not anticipate when I made the decision to blog.

As you may know, my goal was to write a “thought-provoking blog about life, mistakes, faith, hope and grace.  Oh, and sometimes it is funny.”  With each post, I have tried to stay true to that guideline.  I have written about life with posts about birthdays, Boy Scouts, dating, school shootings, freedom of speech, abortion,& suicide.   Many of the posts mention the many mistakes I have made in my life and the subsequent lessons I have learned from them.  I have tried to weave faith, hope, grace and humor through each post as they are aspects we all need regardless of our personal situation.  I even offer some free parental advice in posts like “How to raise a rebellious child”, “The corrective brace” and “Parenting in the technological age.”  

I thought I would use this final post to share some fun facts about my blog as of today (December 31, 2012) – the last day of the year.   For those who have encouraged me to write again – thank you.  For those who have read my posts, forwarded them to others, made comments, suggestions and critiques – thank you as well.   My blog would not be where it is today without you.

2012 Fun Blog Facts:

  •        90   – Number of posts written this year (total)
  •        17   – Most number posts written in a given month (May)
  •          4   – Least number of posts written in a given month (April & November)
  • 48,638   – Number of people who have read my blog
  • 22,514   – Most viewed month (July)
  •   7,098   – Most views in one day
  • 18,272   – Most read blog (The Dark Knight Rises Indeed)
  •      151   – Number of countries that have seen my blog

Top 10 most views by country: 

Country

Views

United States 36,096
Canada 1,092
United Kingdom 1,008
Netherlands 657
Australia 608
Philippines 590
Thailand 436
India 429
Italy 427
Germany 402

Top 10 most popular posts (by views)

  1. The Dark Knight Rises Indeed
  2. Holy Kiss
  3. If the Apostle Paul had Facebook
  4. Welcome to my cloud in the blogosphere
  5. How are you doing?
  6. Stop complaining!
  7. About me?
  8. I’ve fallen and can’t get up
  9. Letter to my son: As you enter high school
  10. The Amish Fragrance

Source: 2012 Annual Report

See you in the New Year!  

Before you cheat… 14 things you need to know.

It seems that every 3 months or so we learn of another celebrity caught cheating on his or her spouse.  To say adultery is an epidemic in our current culture is an understatement.  And it doesn’t seem to be a respecter of position.  Regardless of what we do for a living, (Politicians, Pastors, teachers, athletes, actors, musicians, etc) cheaters are in our midst.   It seems to be so prevalent today that the question isn’t who is cheating but rather – who isn’t?

Too many treat their most important relationships casually and their commitments to them as optional.  Our microwave society mentality (quick and easy) has infiltrated our most sacred institution, marriage.  Many cheaters try to justify their reasons for infidelity.  To a cheater, their reasons make sense.  Perfect sense.  To those who have never strayed they just don’t understand why.

Our thirst for affairs has become so accepted and normal in our culture that most shows on television mention an infidelity reference somewhere throughout the episode.  Not to be outdone, we even have a reality show (called Cheaters) that is designed to reveal an indiscretion and exploit the humiliation on national television.  Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse – the immoral action of the cheater or the people who produce the show.  The fact that the series is in its 12th season is an indictment against us.  I’m not sure which is more devastating – discovering your lover’s unfaithfulness or discovering the crushing news at the same time as the train-wreck watching public.   We live in a very sad day and age.

I have seen first-hand the destruction of adultery.  Cheating devastates relationships and shatters dreams.  If you have entertained the idea of cheating on your spouse or significant other, let this serve as your official warning.   Your handsome boss, cute office secretary or sultry neighbor down the street comes with a price tag that you cannot afford.   Before you cheat here are 14 things you really need to know.

  1. You will become a liar.   It’s bad enough to bear the title of “Cheater,” but if you cheat, you will also wear the hat of “Liar.”   Cheating cannot occur without deceit on some level and normally the white lies in the beginning become full-fledged lies at the end.  “I’m working late at the office tonight” may be a half-truth but you’ll need to redefine the word “working” to silence your compromised conscience.  Cheating and lying go hand in hand.  (For more about the lies that cheaters tell, click here.)
  2. You will get caught.  It may not be today.  It may not be tomorrow.  But eventually, your affair will come to light.   Your world will come crashing down on you.  If you are fortunate, the story of your indiscretion may avoid the evening news or the front page of your local paper, but your circle of friends will know your deeds.  And everyone likes to share juicy news.  Your poor decision will become as public as a billboard.  It’s not a matter of if but when.  As Pastor Rick Warren tweeted recently, “If the Director of the CIA can’t hide and cover up an affair, no one can.”  As the Chinese proverb goes, “If you don’t want anyone to know it, don’t do it.”
  3. You will disappoint everyone.   Every.One.   Your spouse.  Your friends.  Your co-workers.   Your God.  Your parents.   Your nephew.  Your children.  Your neighbor.  Yourself.  The disappointment you cause will be like the stench of skunks and it will take a long time to remove the smell.
  4. You will be a bad example.   Everyone is either a good example or a bad example in all things that we do.  Cheating is a not only a very bad example in relationships but brings with it a cloud of doubt that hovers over you in other areas of your life.  If you cheated in one area, would you cheat in another?  Cheating communicates to everyone that you took the easy road.   It tells others that you were willing to cut corners in your most primary relationship.  It reveals that you were not willing to do the hard work and get the help you needed.  No one ever admires a cheater.  No one looks up to an adulterer.  Even if you did a lifetime of good, this one bad deed can erase it all.
  5. You will lose your moral authority.  It’s hard to tell your children (or others) to do the right thing when they know you didn’t.  Saying “Do as I say, not as I do” is the fastest way to lose the respect of others.  Not only will you lose their respect, you’ll lose yours.  Every moral judgment you make in the future will be weighed against your adulterous action of the past.   It doesn’t mean you can’t speak the truth in the future, it just means that few will listen to you.
  6. You will create trust issues for your spouse.  Forever.  You will single-handedly damage the precious self-esteem of the one you promised to love.  Every relationship they have after you will be one that they struggle to trust.  If that were not enough, you will rock the world of children and cause them to question the stability of every meaningful relationship they have.   For children, their parents relationship is their anchor and cheating cuts the line.
  7. You will lose your standard of living.  Depending on what you do for a living, you may lose your job.  Many lose their home.  Most end up with enormous court fees since cheating is usually the precursor to divorce.  Betrayed spouses have a way of making you pay and that payment is always expensive.  Every check you write is a constant reminder of your foolishness.
  8. You will spend years trying to rebuild your life.   Literally years.   Even if you somehow weathered the storm financially, you will find it takes years for you to recover emotionally.  It takes years for you to restore certain friendships, if you even do.  It takes years for you to rebuild your character.  It takes years to rebuild trust.  It takes years to truly forgive yourself.
  9. You will lose relationships.   You will lose a LOT of relationships.  Lifelong friends will walk away.  Close friends that you have helped countless times will not be around to help you.  Even some family members who are supposed to love you no matter what will vanish.   A cheater can end up living a very lonely life.  It’s hard for many people who used to call you friend to get past that skunk smell of disappointment and regain any level of trust.
  10. You will increase your chances of getting an STD.   Sexually transmitted diseases run rampant among promiscuous people.   But your paramour is “clean,” right?   After all, they told you so.  And if there is one thing we all know – we can trust a cheater and their word.  As the saying goes, “There is honor among thieves.”   One helpful thought may be to assume that everyone but your spouse has an STD.  That should curb your appetite for destruction.
  11. The grass is not greener on the other side.   The “grass is greener” idea is a common misconception.  Because we have never been on that grass, we assume it must be better than where we currently stand.  It’s not.  In fact, though it may look greener from a distance – once you get there and make yourself comfortable, something interesting happens – the grass changes color.  This usually happens soon after you get caught.  You will then see that patch of land differently.  You will also have a strange desire for the green grass you left… except now it is burned and won’t let you back.   The best way to enjoy green grass is to water your own yard.
  12. Would you want this done to you?   Thieves like to steal wallets but hate when it’s done to them.  If we all lived by the Golden Rule (“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”) most of life’s problems would be solved overnight.   Think about this action as if it were being done to you.  The problem is that it requires thought and thinking is often the last thing a cheater has on his/her mind.
  13. You will eventually regret this decision.  In the heat of the moment, cheating appears to make sense.  It feels good and sometimes even feels right.  Feelings are deceitful.  Soon afterward, your eyes will be opened and you will regret that you ever partook of the forbidden fruit.   Don’t we all have enough regrets in our lives?   Why add another one – particularly one that can only destroy everything you have worked so hard to build?  Your home may not be perfect but it sure beats living in a tent.
  14. The pain outweighs the gain.  No one ever says from their deathbed, I wish I would have had an affair.  No one ever leaves their lawyer’s office with a smile on their face – grateful for the experience.  No one loses dear friends and is glad they have one less Christmas card to receive this year.   The loss is immeasurable.  The pain can be unbearable.   Entire kingdoms can be lost for a few minutes of pleasure.  It is just not worth it.

In November 2008, I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw.  I did not like who I had become.  I was finally at the point where I was willing to admit the dark side of my soul.   The Dark Knight within me had risen indeed.  Days later, I confessed to my wife, children and church that I had been unfaithful during my marriage.  Needless to say, it was the most difficult series of conversations I have ever had in my life.  There is no pain like watching people you love sob in tears because of your selfish actions.  Within one year, I had lost everything dear and precious to me.

The 14 points above come from an extremely painful personal experience.  I know what it’s like to fall and not be able to get up.  Over the last several years, I have had to learn how to tear down my emotional walls – walls that assisted me in getting in trouble in the first place.  I have come to understand the problem with pedestals, especially in the church, and have wrestled with the mechanics of forgiveness, especially forgiving myself.  As difficult as it is, I now embrace my past and appreciate the many regrets.  They have become precious to me.  As a result of my actions, I have accumulated many scars and now try to learn from each and everyone of them.  I have hit “rock bottom” and realized something amazing in the process.  God is still here, even if others are not.

That’s my story.  Chapters are still being written.  It’s not easy to share but it’s mine nonetheless and I finally accept it as part of HIStory.  As I read the Bible with a humble set of eyes these days, I see that the Book is filled with great men and women who have fallen in some pretty huge ways.  God picks them up and uses them in spite of their past.   I’ve come to learn that we all fall, just in different ways.

If I can help any of you get up from a fall, let me know.  I’m merely one beggar telling other beggars where to find Bread.

FAQ’s About My Blog

As many of you know, I am relatively new to the blogging community.  Though I have been writing for years, I am entering my 5th month as an official “blogger.”  It’s been a fun experience and to my surprise, I have received a good bit of feedback (over 450 comments) on the 61 posts I have written thus far.  (As an aside, writers LOVE feedback.  If you “like” what you read, let us know.  If you have time to leave a comment, please do!  If you think others need to read what we have written, forward it on!  Writing is a very personal art form and since we are putting ourselves “out there”, we love to know it is being read/received, appreciated, etc.)

I seem to get asked a lot of the same questions by readers of my blog.  Whether they know me personally or not, the following questions are consistently reoccurring so I thought I would just answer them in this medium, once and for all.  

Q: How do you come up with your blog ideas?   It really varies.  I have received “inspiration” while driving.  Sometimes a conversation with a friend or family member sparks an idea.  Other times, a comment made during a sermon will get me thinking.  Or a song lyric.  Or something I read from a book.  Or something that happens in my week.  Since I have a difficult time turning off my brain, ideas come at all hours.  I have even awoken from a vivid dream to write down a blog idea.  I always have a pen and paper nearby so I can jot down the idea and remember it for later.  Though some ideas get tossed, most ideas eventually turn into something you read. 

Q: How long does it take to write one of your blogs?  That really depends too.  There are some that take months for me to finish.  I might get the idea, jot down a few bullet points but then save it for another time.  Other blogs take an hour or two.   The most popular blog I have written was finished in 90 minutes.  

Q: How many people read your blog?  One of the most fun things about writing a blog is how you can see the stats of your readers.  While it doesn’t tell me where you live (exactly) or even reveal your IP address, I can tell how many are reading each particular page.  I can even see what countries are accessing my blog.   At this point, over 31,000 have read my blog in 113 countries.  I also have over 800 that subscribe to my RSS feed.  By contrast, only 154 have “liked” my Facebook fan page, “Rod Arters, Writer“.   The numbers matter to me for one important reason, my future conversation with publishers.  Publishers like to see if you can attract large numbers of readers as that can translate (one day) into more sales for them.  So, every time you forward my blog to others or endorse it on your Facebook page, it helps that readership grow!  Thank you!! 

Q: How does everyone learn of your blog?   Some people see it from one of my personal Facebook page updates.  If they aren’t signed up to receive it via email when it publishes, most people see it after it was forwarded to them by a co-worker, friend, relative.  

Q: What is the most popular blog you have written?   “The Dark Knight Rises Indeed” based on the movie massacre tragedy in Aurora, Colorado a few months ago. 

Q: How do you organize your thoughts or decide how to word it?   I don’t know how to answer this question other than to say – it just comes to me.  I really don’t spend a lot of time wrestling with the order (or flow) of the blog.  I begin writing and it comes.  When the flow stops, I stop.  Sometimes I’ll stop for a minute.  Other times, I’ll stop for weeks.  It really just depends on the thought process and the time I have allotted to sit in front of a computer and type.  Some blog ideas (like when I address a current event), I make it a point to finish in a 24 hour period.  The other blogs that are not time-sensitive, I generally take my time with.

Q: Why don’t you write a book?  I’m actually working on a few book ideas.  In fact, many of the individual blog posts you read will one day, Lord willing, turn into chapters of a future book.  Though I intend to be published one day (in book form, not merely magazine columns), I am also trying not to rush the process.   Writing is an outlet for me and I would love to do it full-time one day.  

I would love to be paid for this one day!

Q: How many blogs do you write at the same time?   I probably work on four or five at a time until one becomes ready to publish.  Right now I have over 35 articles sitting in my WordPress draft folder.  I also have another 100 or so on my computer at various stages of progress.  I have at least 50 previously published articles when I was writing for a magazine column that I have not transferred to this current blog.   So, I’m not short on material.  I’m only short on time.  

Q: How do you handle the negative comments you receive?   Any time you do anything “public”, you run the risk of someone not liking your work.  When I address some controversial subjects (like abortion, politics, religion, etc) I expect opposition.   I have learned to take criticism seriously but not necessarily personally.  I realize that I can learn from every critic and I try to really understand someone’s point of view before writing off their complaint.  St Francis of Assisi (11th century Catholic monk) once said, “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”   I have really tried to do this with every person who has ever disagreed with me.  Fortunately, I don’t receive a lot of negative feedback.  As a general rule of thumb, I try to respond to every comment made – even if it is in disagreement to what I wrote.

Q: What is the hardest part about writing a blog?   Figuring out how to communicate what I want in a way that is honest, clear and graceful.  I really have to make sure that each word and sentence is understandable and furthers the overall theme of that particular blog post.   The most frustrating aspect is when I have to “nuance” a sentence and add so many disclaimers so that the reader will truly understand what I am trying to say.  So many people are easily offended and can misinterpret an entire thought because I chose the wrong word or wasn’t clear enough in a certain sentence.  Also, sometimes I use a dry, sarcastic sense of humor in my blog post and that is not always easily conveyed, particularly if the reader does not know me.  

Q: What is the best part about writing a blog?   Without doubt, the stories that come from all over the country of how my blog is making a difference in people’s lives.  People I have never met are telling me they feel closer to God because of my blogs.  Others are challenged to consider a different viewpoint on a particular subject.  I have had Pastors tell me that my material has been used from their pulpit and in their Sunday School classrooms.   I had an organization recently ask for permission to use a particular blog entry in an upcoming fundraising banquet.   I started writing as an outlet for me.  Any benefit beyond that is a blessing I never aimed for or anticipated.

As a blogger, I try to put out fresh content two to three times a week.   As per my mission statement, I aim for thought-provoking content as I attempt to talk about life, mistakes, faith, hope and grace.  My ideas for a blog begin in my head and travel down to my heart where I dip it in experience.  Once dipped, I strain the thoughts and experience through the sieve of Scripture to make sure that only truth comes out on “paper.”  Then I arrange and rearrange words for clarity and impact and sit on it for an hour, day or week.   Like an artist reviewing his work, I will read and re-read a particular blog post 10 to 15 times to make sure it says what I want it to say and in a way I want to say it.   As I read, I do so with the broadest spectrum of an audience in mind.  How would a teenager read this?  Could he understand it?  How would an atheist read this?  Is it written in such a way that he could relate to it?  Though I am a Christian, I do not want to write in Christianese, a language I am fluent in.  Will this post unnecessarily offend someone?   Is there anything in here I will regret saying?  The internet is a powerful medium but it can be an unforgiving one too as Google tends to remember every syllable you ever write. 

There may be other questions that arise but these are the main ones I seem to answer more frequently than others.  If you are still reading at this point, thank you!   Your consistent reading and following of my blog means a lot to me.  I have a few coming soon that I think you will really enjoy!

– Rod Arters

Welcome to my cloud in the blogosphere

I have been writing since age 5.   First it was just my name.  Then it was basic sentences in grade school (“See spot run”).   Eventually it was long essays in middle school followed by even longer term papers in high school.   One such paper was a 10 page (minimum) paper on a favorite United States President.   I waxed eloquent for 12 pages about Abraham Lincoln.   The teacher graded my paper (AND somehow 22 others!!) in a 45 minute period in the dark while we watched some boring filmstrip (remember those?) about something in history.   Before we left class that day, I discovered three things:

  1. The class finds it really funny when you “pick” someones nose on the big screen while the teacher isn’t looking.
  2. I get good grades when I write.  I got an “A+” for my Abe Lincoln filibuster.
  3. No one really reads what I write (which is sadly, directly correlated to #2)

And thus… my writing career began.

After high school, I retired my #2 pencil and graduated to the keyboard.  Writing became even more fun and fast.  I went on to college and wrote dozens of other papers with mostly positive results.  Along the way, I quickly realized the importance of spell check.   I no longer had to re-read my boring writing and check for errors, I simply could let the spell checker do the work for me.   That is, until my Freshman year English class fiasco.

After procrastinating on a 20+ pager due tomorrow, I wrote the paper in less than 24 hours.   With only 30 minutes to spare before the deadline, I needed to print it out and walk (aka sprint) across campus to submit it in time.  I hit “save” and it asked if I wanted to spell check the document.  Of course!  It then asked if I wanted to make changes.  Of course!  I blindly hit “yes” to everything, printed it out and was on my way.

A week later, the professor handed back the papers… all except mine.  When he asked who did not receive their paper back, naturally – my hand went up.   “Ah, yes.  That makes sense.  Why don’t you come up and get your paper?”, he said with a devilish smirk on his face.  I grabbed the paper and my mouth dropped open.

Somehow, I signed the paper, “Rod Arters” and evil spell check turned it into, “Rodent Arteries”.

Spell check: 1, Rod: 0

By the way, I received a “B” on that paper.   The professor thought the content was excellent but could not give an “A” to someone who couldn’t spell their own name.  =sigh=

Welcome to my blog.   🙂

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