Why shouldn’t I borrow to buy something that depreciates? Depreciate means something goes down in value. So, why shouldn’t I borrow money to buy something that goes down in value? Because, if something is fifty dollars that you really want, and you wait for a month to get it, it may be forty dollars then, and you just saved ten dollars. Now, lets say you really want a car and the car is seventy five thousand dollars and you do not have the money. So you decide to borrow money from your parents and you buy the car. Six months have gone by and you are still trying to pay back your parents for the car. You soon find out that the car you had just bought hade gone down twenty thousand dollars and you realize that it would have just been better if you had waited have a year to get the car and you would have to pay your parents less for the car. Same thing with toys. If you see a toy that you really want and you buy it. after a month, you are walking through that same store down that same aisle and you see that same toy you saw a month ago and you realize that it hade a “HALF OFF” sign. If you had just waited for a month to buy it, than you would have saved half of you money. So remember, if you see something that you want to buy, wait a month or two to buy it, and maybe you could save a lot of money.

Which is most important in writing dialogue from memory: accuracy, succinctness, or liveliness? According to Wikipedia, “A dialogue is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange.” So basically, a dialogue is when two or more people are talking to each other in a book. I really enjoy reading books with dialogues in them. It helps me understand the book better and it also helps me stay on track with the book. There are three ways that you can use dialogue in a story. There is accuracy, succinctness, and liveliness. Here are what each of those terms mean. Accuracy is “the quality or state of being correct or precise.” Succinctness is “characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse: a succinct reply; a succinct style.” Liveliness is “an atmosphere of excitement and activity.” All of these definitions came straight from the dictionary. So what do these dialogue styles have to do with books and why does it matter? Let’s dig a little deeper!

Let’s first look at accuracy. In a fictional story, accuracy is not always essential to the story because the author can make it up off the top of his or her head. It does not even always have to make sense. For example, in “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells, he used a lot of inaccurate information. Martians would never actually exist and bring war to the Earth. He was, however, very accurate  about how it would happen, if it were to ever happen. In biographies or autobiographies accuracy is crucial to the telling of the story of one’s life. You do not want to fake details about someone’s life, even if it is just by accident. Dialogue in a conversation in an autobiography would be difficult to get one hundred percent correct. It is not likely that the author remembers every single word in every single conversation in his or her entire life. This does not mean that the book is not accurate or valid. It is simply not vital to the telling of the story. 

Let’s look next at the dialogue term ‘succinctness’. This is a word I had never heard of before. It simply means that something is brief and clearly expressed. I think it is very good to be brief and clear in a book. Sometimes books have too many details and they can get boring really fast. G.A. Henty books have a lot of details. The details are good because you can easily picture in your mind what is taking place in the historical story, but other times he adds in so many useless details that the story can become boring. It is easy to stop paying attention which means you will likely lose what is going on the story. On the flip side, if a book is too brief or too easily expressed it will be boring and not exciting. I enjoy reading stories where the dialogue is clear and not confusing, but I do not like when the dialogue is brief. I like reading long conversations, it keeps me involved in the story and I like getting to know the characters. 

Liveliness is the final dialogue term. Liveliness is extremely important to a good story! Liveliness conveys action and it keeps the story moving forward to the climax. A book with a lively dialogue is also fun to read. In a fictional book the best dialogue is filled with liveliness. However, in a biography or autobiography accurate dialogue is the most important. 

I do not currently have an income, but lets imagine for a moment that I do. Lets say that I make two hundred dollars a week. That is eight hundred dollars a month. That is nine thousand six hundred dollars a year. I live with my parents so I have very little expense. I imagine my personal expenses would be gas for my car, car payments, phone charges, my own toiletries, and maybe the the occasional night out with friends. But now I am saving up my money for college. I decide to save ten percent of my income which is twenty dollars out of what I earn every week. If I save twenty dollars a week, than that means in one month I would have saved eighty dollars a month. If I save eighty dollars a month, than that means in one year I would have saved nine hundred and sixty dollars.

This is the hard part. What do I give up in order to begin saving ten percent of my income every week? I could save money on gas by not driving as much. I can not really save money on car payments because those are set in stone. I have to pay those. Phone charges are also set in stone, but if I use it less, than I can pay less. There are tons of ways to save on toiletries. Here are a few. You could share with somebody, you could use it less, you could shop at cheaper stores, etc. The biggest way I could save money is if I did not go out with friends as much. And in a few years, I can go to college.

I began reading “Looking Backward” by Edward Bellamy a few days ago for my English class. It is a piece of Utopian literature. A utopia is “an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens” according to Wikipedia. So a piece of Utopian literature is a work of fiction that takes place in an idealized world. A lot of times utopian fiction is also science fiction, where the author investigates what life would look like in a perfect society and what conflicts might possibly arise from living in a perfect, or almost perfect, society. 

Since this book is a piece of Utopian literature, it has numerous unbelievable things written in its pages. However, the one thing that I have read so far that is the most unbelievable thing is the fact the main character, Julian West, has been asleep for one hundred and thirteen years! When I first read this I was so confused! I know this book is fiction, but that seemed pretty extreme. I have no idea why the author is writing about someone who has been asleep for over one hundred years. This is not physically possible! No one could be asleep for that long. The longest anyone has ever slept for a seven-year old boy who slept for eleven days straight. The doctors have no idea what caused or how he was able to sleep for that long without any medication. 

There are other fictional stories of characters sleeping for an extremely long time. In the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” a spell is cast on a young girl named Aurora where she is put into a deep sleep. In the real fairy story Aurora is asleep for one hundred years! During these one hundred years she does not age even by one day. Another fictional character who sleeps for a long time is Rip Van Winkle. Rip Van Winkle slept for twenty years after drinking liquor from dwarfs he meets in the woods. Rip Van Winkle, unlike Sleeping Beauty, did age while he was asleep. He woke up looking like an old man. The last example of a literary character who slept for a very long time is Captain America. Captain America was a fictional World War II hero who super-human strength. He crashes an airplane into the Arctic in order to save the world from Red Skull and his Hydra army. He gets knocked out during the crash and is then frozen in the ice and is found seventy years later. He was still alive after he defrosted and showed no signs of aging. Extended sleeping is definitely a fictional trait that can not possibly happen in real life. 

In “Looking Backward” it tells the reader that Julian West, the main character, did not age at all. When he awoke he was still thirty years old, the same age he was when he fell asleep one-hundred and thirteen years ago. Again, not only is it not possible to sleep for that length of time, but it is also impossible to not age while sleeping.   

Imagine you are riding your bike (if you have one, but if you do not, just follow along) on the sidewalk and you  fall off and you get a cut and you bleed. Later a scab forms over your cut. After a few days your scab falls off and your cut is healed. What happened under the scab that healed your cut?

Your skin is made up of skin cells. When you get a cut, skin cells fall off and you bleed. When you bleed a scab forms over your cut to stop the bleeding while your body gets to work to heal your cut. Here is how it does that.

When a scab forms over your cut, the skin cells outlining the cut actually multiply. They do this by dividing themselves into two cells. They keep doing this until the cut is completely healed. When the cut is healed the skin cells do not know that the cut is healed, so the brain sends a signal to the skin cells that tells them to stop dividing, and then the scab falls off. And that is how cuts heal. 

When Kourdakov was writing his book he used many contrasts to show the differences in his life and in his work. One of the contrasts we see in his book is between his communist meetings and Sunday afternoons. At communist meetings they made plans about their next raid of the Christians that were living in the Soviet Union. They really hated the Christians and believed that they were the enemies of the Communist party. They called the Christians “believers”. They enjoyed persecuting the believers and would sometimes celebrate after a successful raid by spending all their money on vodka. These meetings happened extremely often. They did not really have any days off of work being a part of the KGB. Sundays were the exception. Most Sundays were free days and Kourdakov enjoyed those off days. One specific Sunday, Kourdakov’s boss told him about a raid that was going to be happening in the woods. Kourdakov took his men and went early to try to enjoy what was left of their usual off day. They hung out in the woods until it was time to begin the raid.  

Another contrast Kourdakov discussed in his book was his public and private life. His private life involved his work with the secret police or KGB. Kourdakov’s boss told him to keep the police work that they do (specifically persecuting the Believers) secret because if the public knew what they were doing, than the public might revolt against them. In contrast to his private life was his public life. His public life mostly involved drinking vodka with his friends. As I mentioned before, he drank vodka with his cadets every time they completed a raid, but this was not the only time he enjoyed drinking. His cadets were his family because his father and mother died, his brother left him, and he was raised in several different orphanages. He did mostly everything with his cadets. No one else knew of his secret job and no one suspected him of any wrongdoing. But we would not have known this if he had not contrasted his public and private life.

Another thing he contrasted was the leaders of the USSR and the leaders of the Believers. The men and women who worked in the USSR were evil! They enjoyed hurting people. It did not matter if the person was a Believer, or a Russian, or anyone else. They were extremely ruthless and showed absolutely no mercy. The leaders of the KGB or the USSR were liars and were quite deceptive. They cared more about controlling religion than about actual crime that was going on in their country. The leaders of the Believers were the opposite of the KGB in almost every way possible. They showed love to anyone who came through their door, even if it was a KGB agent. One even tried to preach to Kourdakov’s boss when he was being interrogated by the KGB! Contrasts make reading and writing more interesting because it shows both extremes in a story. 

What are three goals that I am committing to achieve by age seventy? Lots of people have goals in their life. Some might want to be a pastor, some might want to be an engineer, and some might want to be a mechanic. But I have a lot of goals that I want to achieve before I am seventy years old. Here they are. I want to be a famous herpetologist (someone who studies reptiles and amphibians), I want to get married and have children of my own, and I want to be a missionary and teach other people about Jesus. This is why I want to be these three things.

I want to be a herpetologist because I love reptiles and amphibians and I want to study them in further detail. I have made and am still making a YouTube channel about reptiles and amphibians. I have even written a speech about reptiles. I love them so much. I really want to become a famous herpetologist someday before I am seventy years old.

I also want to get married before I become seventy years old. I really want to have children of my own someday and teach them about God so that they can go to heaven someday. I want to be in charge of and be responsible for actual real human lives. I want to have children and grandchildren that look up to me. I also want a loving wife who loves Jesus. I also hate being alone. That is why I want to get married.

I also want to be a missionary before I become seventy. I want to be a missionary because I want to tell other people about Jesus so that they can go to heaven someday. I want everyone in the world to know about Jesus, but I know that I can not make that happen, but I can at least tell some people about Jesus. I want to be a missionary because I believe that everyone should come to know Jesus and I can help with that by telling other people about Jesus.

How will owning my own business increase the likelihood that I will attain these three goals? One way owning my own business will help me attain my three goals is that I will get a lot of money because I need a lot of money so I can do what I need to do. It will also help me manage my money because a missionary needs to know how to manage his money right? Another way owning my own business will help me attain my goals is that I can learn how to solve problems, or problem solving. If I am out doing herpetology stuff or missionary stuff and I come across a problem, I can solve my problem because of my experience at owning my own business. It can also help me communicate with other people. It can help me be a good teacher to teach about Jesus. I really hope I can attain these three goals someday.

Why a blog site with lots of content will help me get my first full-time job after college. A student in the “normal” school system has assignments and papers and tests that he or she must complete in order to earn good grades and do well in the class. A good student will work hard on his or her assignments. They will study, they might spend many hours in a library doing research, they might even interview people. They turn in their paper with pride knowing they have worked hard and have done a good job. But what is the point? The teacher may like it, you may get a good grade, but where will it go? Most likely it will be stored in the teachers files and trashed at the end of the year. Even if the student still gets his paper back, it may still end up in the trash. This is not the case with the Ron Paul Curriculum. I still do papers. I still do the same assignments as “normal” schools. I still do research. I still ask questions. But here’s the big difference. Instead of my papers ending up in the trash or a filing cabinet, I get to post my papers on my blog and let the whole world see them.

I have a lot of content on my blog that can help me in the future. This is how. First of all, I want to tell you what my blog is. It is called “Herping With Owen”. It is where I type in and keep all of my school papers. I have a blog so that people all over the world can read my papers and maybe even learn something. If I want to get a good  job I can show the company my blog and they can see that I have been interested in that job and maybe they can give me the job. I also have a YouTube channel about herpetology. If I want a job as a herpetologist than I can show them my channel and they can see that I really want a job as a herpetologist and maybe give me a job.

My school makes me publish my content to the internet to help me build skills that real business’s need. WordPress powers thirty-five percent of the internet. That is about four hundred, fifty-five million websites that use WordPress. So that means that the business that you want to work for will most likely use WordPress. So lets say that there is a business that uses WordPress and they need a new employee and there are two people who want to sign up. One knows how to use WordPress and the other does not. Which one do you think the business will hire? Well, it has to be the one who knows how to use WordPress. Same thing with you. If you want to be part of a business that uses WordPress, than you need to practice your skill in knowing how to use WordPress. My blog is built on WordPress so I know how to use it. Same thing applies to YouTube. My school is structured around preparing me to add value to a business.  

Sergei Kourdakov wrote down in his autobiography that in the beginning of his book The Persecutor, he jumped off of a Russian boat into the ocean off the coast of Canada during a storm. How did he get into this situation and why would he ever jump off of a boat into the ocean? Here are some of the choices that led him to this failed assignment. He chose whether to join the Army or Navy, joining a crime syndicate or staying clean, and telling the truth about suicide or telling a lie. We will look at each of these in turn.

Kourdakov’s father and grandfather were both in the army, until they were worked to death at an enemy camp. Later in Sergei’s life, he wanted to go to either the army, or the navy. He talked it over with some other people. He asked them if he should go to the army. They all said no. They told him to stay away from the army. “It’s a hard life ” they said. “You come out of the army and you start as a factory worker. What kind of future is that?” Then he decided to talk with people who were actually in the navy at one point. He talked with them, and after hearing of their experiences in the navy, he decided to join the navy.

When Kourdakov was a teenager, he joined a crime syndicate. According to the dictionary, a crime syndicate is a loose affiliation of gangsters in charge of organized criminal activities. A crime syndicate is another word for mob or mobsters. A crime syndicate makes money by drug trafficking, arms smuggling, extortion (threatening people to get what you want), theft, and financial crime. Because of this joining of a crime syndicate, he did very well at being a KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti) agent (which he received the honor of later in his life).

When Kourdakov was in the military a fellow officer jumped off a three story building and died. Kordakov’s boss told him and other officers to spread the word that the officer who had just died was drunk and did not know what he was doing. Kourdakov knew him better. Kordakov tried to help the officer who had died, but instead of accepting Kourdakov’s help, he committed suicide (the act of killing oneself). Suicide is such a terrible thing. Instead of telling the truth and coming clean about the officer, he did what his boss told him and lied.

There were many turning points in Kourdakov’s life, including these, that led to him jumping off of a Russian boat in the ocean off the coast of Canada in the middle of a storm. I have not finished his autobiography, but I am interested in other turning points in his life, and where they will eventually lead him. So far, Kourdakov’s life decisions have led him down bad roads, but jumping off the Russian ship is a huge turning point, maybe his largest. Maybe this turning point will not only change his life, but also his decision making.

We all face moments in our lives when we must make decisions that will determine which way our lives will go. These moments are called turning points. Some people experience many turning points in their lives, while others only experience a few. For someone, it might be stopping smoking after being told that they have lung cancer. For another person it might be choosing to start wearing a seat belt after getting into a car accident where they were injured because they were not wearing a seat belt. Maybe your turning point was a spiritual turning point, like mine was. Let me tell you about it. 

I have grown up in a Christian home all of my life. My family and I go to church every Sunday. We also go to Awana every Wednesday night. Both my mom and my dad are Christians. They have always taught me about Jesus, and they still do! They taught me about Jesus and that He died on the cross to pay for my sins. They showed me in the Bible that the only way to get to Heaven was to be saved, to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sin and to be my Savior. 

Even though I understood what I was being taught at home and at church about Jesus, I still had not made the decision to follow Jesus. When I was around 4 or 5 years old, I began having a lot of nightmares. Almost every night I was waking up and going to my parents bedroom because I was so scared. My parents would always pray with me and then tuck me back into my bed. This went on for a while. My dad started playing an audio version of the New Testament on his iPod every night when it was time for me to go to sleep.  I feel asleep every night listening to the Bible. During this time, I finally believed in my heart that I was a sinner and needed Jesus to save me. I prayed and asked Jesus to be my Savior! After becoming a Christian, my nightmares completely stopped. I was no longer living in fear. I knew Jesus was protecting me and loving me. A few years later I chose to be baptized to show the world that I was choosing to follow Jesus. I am not a perfect person and I still struggle with sin, but I would not be the person I am today if I had not trusted Jesus and asked Him to be my Savior. Becoming a Christian was a huge turning point in my life, and it will probably be the biggest turning point I ever experience.

A smaller turning point in my life has been starting the Ron Paul Curriculum. I had to change from PACEs to doing all online schooling. It was difficult getting used to writing papers every day instead of taking tests every couple of weeks. This is my third year and I am finally understanding how to do it well. I am extremely thankful that I get to stay at home and do school through the Ron Paul Curriculum!