standing at the corner

bathed in the midnight moon
waitin’  for the meeting
he should be here soon
I am certain this is the place
where things are bought and sold
I gotta make my best deal
before I become too old
there is a vile smell
sulfur floats in the air
gotta get this thing done
do it while I dare
he’s not coming round tonight
got others to deceive
not going to waste the time
on one that don’t believe
the voice startles me and
I step back in fear
how could I not know
that another was so near
although her mouth was smiling
her eyes were cold as death
seemed like hours had passed
while I coyly held my breath
you got nothing to trade as
you have every believed in naught
never helped a single soul
never defended a single thought
when you are trading nothing
you get nothing in return
maybe you understand
perhaps you may yet learn
so I stand at the crossroad
alone and full of fright
never shall I return
not another fearful night
many spend their life with faith
I spend my life and know
I was saved from death this night
‘neath the moon’s pale glow.

Be yourself

I am Saeval

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“Be yourself.”  This is a term that we hear on a daily basis, but which me am I supposed to be.  Should I be the me that I am when I am at home with my wife?  or perhaps the me that I am when I stand before students.  Maybe I should be the me that I am when I am trying to make a business arrangement.  This line of thought led me to the question, “how much of who we think we are is really us?”  Yes, philosophical crap, I realize this, but how much of who we think we are is just constructed through media and peer pressure?  We are told how we are supposed to look, talk, sound, act, and be.  Further, we are influenced by what we see in the media all the time.  Still further, clothing manufacturers decide what we wear, auto manufacturers decide what…

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Ways to Appear Smarter


Ways to appear smarter. It sounds like a method to bluff your way through life. That is not what this means at all. Truthfully, most people have their intelligence underestimated most of the time. While this can be an advantage in some situations, such as negotiations and other contentious exchanges, it is a distinct disadvantage in most cases. Showcasing your intelligence is important and the vehicle for this is usually conversation. Here are 5 ways that you can use conversation to appear more intelligent.
1. Read. Wait a minute, you said we were going to talk about conversation. Aye, that I did and reading is an awesome way to improve your conversation skills. I am not talking about reading stuffy, boring stuff either. Read what you enjoy. Read instead of watching television. Read anything that you can find. Why? Well, for one, it gives you something to talk about intelligently. I immediately perk up when I hear, “I read this thing the other day and it said…” Secondly, it exposes you to ideas that you might not normally see. Often, our circle of people is very similar to us, so we spend a lot of time regurgitating the same ideas over and over. Reading throws new wood on the fire.
2. Refrain from using “um” and “ah”. This is the bane of my existence. I have a terrible time with this because, for some reason, I think that every second of conversation time must be filled with my voice. When I make the conscious effort not to use these filler sounds, I find that people pay far more attention to what I am saying. I have also found that I pay more attention to people when they don’t use these filler sounds.
3. Actually listen to the other person in the conversation. I know that this sounds cliché, but most people listen to respond. That is, people listen while trying to better understand why they say what they say and why they feel like they feel. By listening in this manner, you can respond to the other person’s concerns, which makes you appear more in tune with the conversation and the other speaker.
4. Speak (reasonably) slowly. We often want to get all of our words out at one time. We want the other person to understand exactly what we think and feel, and we want to do it all at once. This is not the best way to communicate, but we often think that everyone will understand our rapid, incessant ramblings. It never works out for the best and often requires a lot of explaining.
5. Use expressive words. This is my personal favorite. When my daughter was a little slip of a girl, everything was “good”. I explained that there were hundreds of words that meant varying degrees of good and gave her a boatload of examples. Her next response was “VERY good.” The English language is expansive for the very reason of being as precise as possible. I am not suggesting that people attempt to use all the hundreds of variations of “good”, but circulating five to ten in your conversation will make you appear more intelligent.