dad from day one: Baby Bean’s Heartbeat

Twelve weeks.

We have a new doctor.  Actually, a group of them: Midwife nurses (http://www.vanderbiltnursemidwives.org/).  Things are the exact opposite as they were at the other place.  It’s so important to know that the people taking care of us actually care about us. Friendly, informative, patient people there to help us.  Last week for our visit, we got to hear the heartbeat for the fist time, thanks to a Doppler device.

Whoot-whoot.  Whoot-whoot. Like listening to the sound effects of an Atari game played in a submarine.  A bit eerie, a bit awesome.

Our baby’s heartbeat is 150.  Supposedly, that’s typically the speed of a female heartbeat.

In addition to trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I am responsible for causing another human’s heart to beat, creating physical life, I am also fathoming the thought that I am responsible for causing a soul to exist as well.

It’s just a theory, and not even an important theological one at that, but I believe that the soul is passed on through the man, not the woman.  Jesus’s father was the Holy Spirit, not Joseph.  While his mother Mary was completely human.  And Jesus didn’t have a sin nature like his half-brothers and sisters born after him.

I take a certain verse quite literally, Romans 5:12, that says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned”.

Humankind wasn’t cursed when Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit.  It wasn’t until she offered it to Adam and he ate it that God kicked them out of Paradise, took away their eternal life, caused women to have labor pains, and forced men to have to work hard for their food.

From that point on, the human soul (complete with a natural tendency to do wrong) has been passed on through all generations through the man, with the exception of Jesus who was fathered by the Holy Spirit.

So if that theory is indeed correct (and no one in this lifetime can know for sure), then I accept the gravity of it, as best as I physically can: Another human being with an eternal, spiritual soul, will take its first breath this coming November because of me.  (Of course, Lord willing.)

The word “legacy” is an understatement here.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

What Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences Taught Me about Why I Have Such a Good Memory

 

In 1988 for Ms. Riddle’s 2nd grade reading class we had to write a poem telling about a time when we really wanted something for a long time and finally got it. I remember Susan Johnson writing about getting to go to the beach. And Diego Reynoso wrote about getting a pet dog. That was the general idea of the assignment. I, on the other hand, wrote a poem about how happy I was when my dad went to the True Value hardware store and bought an adapter so I could play my Atari games on the TV in my bedroom.

Ten years and 3 weeks ago I walked across the stage for my high school graduation. All seniors had been given a document from the principal listing the proper attire to wear underneath our gowns. We were clearly told to wear black shoes. The token rebel thing to do was to go barefoot. I, instead, chose to wear canary yellow Saucony tennis shoes and hold out a stick of Mentos candy to the audience as I crossed the stage. It’s simply what’s expected from the kid who was voted “One and Only” for the Senior Who’s Who.

One question I have consistently been asked throughout my lifetime is, “You just HAVE to be different, don’t you?” Assuming it must be true, I would always casually agree. But then two weeks ago my wife came back from one of her Master’s classes for Childhood Education and dropped some science on me. Having learned Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence (1983), she told me that I am a “visual-linguistic learner”. That’s when it was officially confirmed: Yes, I HAVE to be different.

 

I have been hard-wired to seek out the road less travelled, every time. Not a rebel in the expected way, but a rebel in the fact I am prone to find a different perspective on everything I encounter in life. I was never the annoying kid in class who tried to argue with the teacher. That kid always annoyed me. But I was the kid who, when given a project, always ended up with the weirdest possible submission and was able to pull it off.

Noted, my long-term memory is often exceptionally unbelievable. In high school, many people were forced to be made aware of my obsession with 1980’s trivia, since I could correctly tell the year of any movie or song, my specialty being 1983. In college, most people who knew me were forced to be made aware that they could name any celebrity and I could accurately tell the height of that celebrity. I’m simply not much fun to play against in modern trivia board games like Scene It or Trivial Pursuit and being the first to solve the puzzle while watching Wheel of Fortune just comes natural.

And it turns out I’m not the only one. A quick visit to Wikipedia helped my life make a lot more sense:

“Verbal-linguistic Intelligence

This area has to do with words, spoken or written. People with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and MEMORIZING WORDS ALONG WITH DATES. They tend to learn best by reading, taking notes, listening to lectures, and discussion and debate. They are also frequently skilled at explaining, teaching and oration or persuasive speaking. Those with verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall, and an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure. This intelligence is highest in writers, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, politicians, poets, and teachers.”

Being raised my whole life in the South, people from the North and out West have always questioned my lack of a Southern accent. Because my mom moved from Buffalo, NY when she was 14, I always assumed that neutralized me. But after realizing anyone who’s ever met my mom says she actually has one of the biggest Southern accents out there, I’ve recently come to terms with the truth there is another reason people think I’m from Pennsylvania or Ohio.

The reason: I am overly aware of how words are supposed to sound. I could never bring myself to say “Eh’ll seeh yuh nehxt Tuesdee, Eh reckin!” (“I’ll see you next Tuesday, I reckon!”) For me, that’s a sin. That’s breaking so many rules of pronunciation and is a threat to clear communication. I never realized I was so OCD about words and speech.

Speaking of communication, when I met my wife for the first time on October 5, 2006, it was her beauty that captured me from across the crowded lobby. Anytime I revisit that event with her she confirms it was because I was good at telling stories and entertaining her that caused a random new stranger like me to be able to steal her attention. (I purposely stood next to her as we waited in an hour long line- that’s how we met.) As we began dating four months later (to the day) and immediately fell in love thereafter, two particular things attracted her most to me: 1) I knew “who I was” and was confident in that, 2) She knew because of my random knowledge that we would never run out of things to talk about.

Not because I was suave and charming, but because my randomness of speech worked for me.

So thanks to Howard Gardner, it’s safe to say I’m not that weird after all. Actually, I am- but at least now I have been diagnosed. While I may be a bit of a prodigy at a few things, any talent I have in other fields is completely absent: Math, science, multi-tasking (driving while talking on a cell phone), and sports (except Corn Hole and Mario Kart Wii). Like by magnetic force, I am drawn to what is offbeat and untrendy.

This, has been my version of a Top 25 or a “Which Power Ranger Would You Be?” quiz.

The other intelligences…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences

Facebook is a Middle School Talent Show

I put together the top five reasons why facebook seems dull, come lately.


I have been on facebook since April 2005, going on five years now. Back then, in a simpler time, the site was only for college students. No quizzes. No lists. Just the facts. An Atari version of what we now know facebook to be.

And it was fine except for one thing: I could only be friends with people from college. No family. No friends that weren’t currently enrolled in a college. I wanted more “friends”. I wanted to catch up with the cast of characters that made up my entire life. I wanted to collect them.

So as facebook grew from a dorm room project into a million dollar operation and then to a billion dollar business, I got my wish. Plenty of “friends”. Not restricted to colleges.

Since 2005, I have watched facebook defeat Myspace in a tortoise versus the hare race, turning Myspace into nothing more than a creepy old house that no one wants to go inside of anymore. Facebook has for all practical purposes become the new e-mail, the new photo album, and the new substitute to actually calling people on the phone.

Facebook is the undisputed champion. Yet a few nights ago one of my actual real life friends asked in a status update on facebook if he was the only person that thought the site seems like it’s getting dull.

I agree with him. But here’s the thing. It’s not really facebook’s fault. Part of it is us and part of it is our “friends”. Sort of like a middle school talent show. I can’t blame the school if the entertainment itself isn’t good. Sometimes there are more baton twirlers than garage rock bands.

I have compiled the top five reasons why facebook seems dull, come lately:

1) Random friends we barely remember from grade school aren’t quite as interesting as we gave them credit for in our nostalgic minds. They grew up. They have families. And we’ve got nothing to say to them. Because everything we would want to know is there on the info tab on their profile.

2) Those same random people tend to be the ones who constantly do those annoying quizzes and games. Yes, I do hide the quizzes and games on my Live Feed. And yes, I could just delete those people altogether. But I don’t. Somehow I would feel guilty. Their only crime was making me look at the new pig they got for their farm.

3) The Status Update option causes many people to think that the rest of the world sees them as a celebrity. There are enough reality shows that we are ashamedly addicted to. We don’t need another one that tells us when our lab partner from our 9th grade science class is making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Or that it made him thirsty. And we definitely don’t need him doing the most cliché thing on facebook status updates: On Monday, saying, “Ugh, I hate Mondays. On Wednesday, “Hey ya’ll, it’s Hump Day!” And Friday, “TGIF”. Sunday night, “Ugh, it’s almost Monday again.” Thanks Sir Idiot, that really added a lot of value to my life.

4) Just like Wikipedia and YouTube, we eventually milk facebook for all its worth. There’s nothing like those first three fascinating months of using facebook. But after reading the profiles and seeing the pictures of everyone we actually care about, the only thing really left to do is come back in a few weeks when they all have new pictures and info.

5) The friends we regularly communicate with on facebook are coincidently our real life friends anyway. Sometimes it’s actually easier just to send a facebook message than to send a text or find a convenient time to call. We get distracted by all our facebook friends and their shenanigans but ultimately it comes down to the true core of why we like facebook in the first places. Our actual friends and family.

Like boy bands, social networking websites have an average lifespan of five years. But I see facebook as the exception. After all, facebook gives us the creative control to hide, delete, and regulate the content we see in front of us. For us all to abandon facebook the way we did Myspace, it would take a social networking website that is substantially better than everything facebook currently is and offers.

And I know for me, it took almost five years to get nearly 700 “friends”. I’d hate to start that process all over again.

What kind of praying mantis are you?

The Ball at the Very End of the Credits of a Movie

Do you have what it takes to stay and watch the credits when a movie ends?

There are two kinds of people in the world. 1) Those who leave the movie theatre when the credits start to roll and 2) those who stick around to actually read the credits. Obviously, I’m part of the latter group.

It all started for me circa 1985 when the 1982 comedy The Toy constantly aired during a free trial period of HBO. I loved that movie, without good reason. All I remember about it now is that at the end a kid shoots a guy in the forehead with a suction-cup dart gun. And that’s the end of the movie.

Then the credits roll. At the very end, the last thing to rise up on the screen was the symbol for The Motion Picture Association of America. At that point, I would scream with excitement, “Ball, ball, ball, ball!…”

I think the reason I was so ecstatic was because it reminded me of one of the enemies from an Atari game I played all the time. And that taught me to stay tuned to watch the credits at the end of movies. To see The Ball. At some point, my motivation stopped being to see The Ball and instead to find out actors’ names and the location of filming.

It’s always interesting to see when a movie is filmed somewhere other than Los Angeles or New York.

Plus, there’s always a possibility of a hidden scene after the credits- most perfectly executed in Napoleon Dynamite.