Thursday, May 28, 2009

Job Search Hits an Atheistic Block

I am having a tough time finding a job. I have excellent references, and a college education. It seems like 4 years of college, and plenty of knowledge have earned me this useless degree (Avenue Q). I know we are in the middle of a recession and times are hard, but I am two seconds away from sending my overqualified resume to McDonalds. Imagine me, having done research at Harvard, asking, would you like Fries with that mam?

But jobs are the least of my problems. Every day I am at home my mom seems to like me less and less. She asked me when I was going to have kids the day before yesterday. I told her I didn't know. The real answer is: not for a LONG time. If she needs to hold her breath, she would have to hold it for at least 10 years. She then asked if I would teach my children spanish. I honestly answered no. I have no intention on teaching my unborn kids a language I can hardly speak myself. She quickly accused me of denying my own culture. In this I could not argue. Although my mother considers herself Puerto Rican, I consider myself American. I was raised on hamburgers and hot dogs. A diet high in high fructose corn syrup, and low in spanish culture. And it has nothing to do with her, but each generation is expected to evolve culturally, and in reality I am not my mother.

The worst part is yet to come. She looked at me and asked - under what religion would you be raising your kids? This is referring to the fact that I was raised Christian but Donna is not. However, as I have clearly stated in my blog, I am no longer Christian, I am now and atheist. I answered her by saying I did not know (in reality there is no answer to the question she posed because atheism is not a religion). From the look on her face you would have thought I told her to go fuck herself. She asked - What? Don't you believe in God anymore?

This time I had to lie. To prevent her from further upsetting herself (because we were just talking), I told her I didn't know. I must apologize to all those agnostics for pretending to be one of you to get myself out of trouble. It seems like my mother is taking this more to heart than my interracial relationship, which has also come under attack recently. My mom told me that I was disgracing her, and that this was not the way I was raised. I could not answer with a rebuttal because the disgracing part was her personal opinion, and she is absolutely correct in the sense that I was raised by a Puerto Rican single mother who happened to be Christian.

My mother tends to win arguments based on the fact that she purposely tries to make me feel bad for who I am. Arguments based on pathos tend to do this. It is difficult to speak to her because I prefer arguments based on logos (which is how I derived my atheistic views). How am I supposed to teach a child how to speak spanish when I can hardly speak the language myself? She replied that I could learn, however at the current moment there is way too much food on my plate. As for the whole atheist thing, I told her to pray about it, and she replied " No, YOU pray about it!". I could not help to chuckle at this one. I believed that whether God was real or not, my mother letting out her emotions on "him" may be a lot less taxing than my mother letting out her pathos on ME.

The worst part of the conversation was the end when I tried to reason with her. I told her that no matter how I was raised, I was still her child. She told me she didn't know who I was anymore, and I wasn't the same person who left to college 4 years ago. This was true. I am very different now. I am more educated, and I do not need other people to tell me what to think, but I have the ability to look at evidence and come up with my own conclusions. I know I can speak English well, and so the primary, and only language I am fit to speak to, and teach my children, who are unborn, is English. I do not believe in a deist or a theist God, and so I cannot possibly lie to my children and have them believe in it either. To do so would be to bankrupt them of the ideas I have learned in my lifetime.

I am taking a stand. Since I have been an atheist I have been discriminated against! Not only in my own family, but amongst my friends, who believe the burden lies on my shoulders for not believing in God, rather than in theirs for their belief in God. One person I spoke to actually told me I didn't have a choice as to whether I believed or not. I only had a choice as to what God I believed in. Stating that in this country we have freedom of religion but not freedom FROM religion. This is purposterous. George Bush Senior once said atheists cannot be patriots. And in the same way my mother does not support gay rights, she will never support me. Why? Because her religion tells her to be divisive. She sees herself as right, and me as other because I do not believe in God. Me as other because I believe that woman should have the right to choose, and other because I believe gay people should have the right to marry whomever they choose. And for those who are not gay, and oppose gay marriage I say this: Do not get married to any gay people!

Dolphins, Chickens, Dogs, Cats, and thousands of other animals have individuals which were found to be gay. To say it is not natural because your God has something against it is the equivalent of saying "I don't want to look at the data, so let me take an entity who has an answer, but has never spoken to me personally, and follow him blindly". Seriously, if God actually spoke to people don't you think we would be able to record it, and that it would be all over youtube? the Christian God really did not know what he was doing when he sent Jesus down. Don't you think if he would have waited 2000 years, and sent Jesus down now, the record on film and in the media, would be more permanent than Bible? And that type of evidence would be indisputable! It seems like God wants there to be serious doubts to his existence, if he is real. Which is why I am not afraid to be an atheist.

If God is real, and I die and find out, he will ask - Why did you not praise me? And I would have every right to answer, "Throughout my life you have hidden yourself from me. You never spoke to me personally, sent an angel to perform a miracle in front of me, and all the papers which tried to prove you statistically, which I have read, have failed. So why, God, did you waste my entire life, and go through such pains to hide yourself whenever I was around? I think the first 20 years of my life looking for a God who would rather not reveal himself to me was a waste of time. I do not intend on looking for him for the rest of my life.

I am answering Dawkins call to militant atheism. Which brings me to the video of the day. Please purchase and read Dawkins book, the God Delusion. I found it very insightful, and entertaining.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Young Male Seeks Employment in NYC

Name: Jonathan Mejia
Number: 646 249 1132

I decided to finish working on my resume and to send it out today. I decided the best way to do this was on craigslist. Since I am using Craigslist to find employment opportunities(along with other, less helpful sites), I figured placing my resume on Craigslist wouldn't hurt either.

Click here to view Craigslist post
Click here to view my resume

I am willing to take just about any job, whether it be mentoring young adults, public speaking about college, public speaking about the importance of research, or giving talks in high school classes about my research. I am willing to work as a community organizer, planning events in various communities, or as an organizer for certain clubs and groups in various schools.

I am 22 years old, and I recently graduated college. I am living in Bronx, NY, but I am willing to take employment anywhere in NYC (or in Westchester county, if I can get there using the Metro North). I have many skills in public speaking, conducting research, speaking to people, organizing events, in horticulture, and various other odd skills (solving Rubik's cube, ability to juggle, can think on my feet). I also write well, and in college I was often asked to edit many papers from my peers (even though I was not an English major).

I never thought it would be so difficult obtaining work after college, especially since I have my college degree to "fall back on" if all else fails.

If you want to here a bit about my experiences and what I am willing to do, watch the video:

Email me with any opportunities you may have:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Working Out for My Life

Today was an interesting one. Something came up with the housing situation. I found a 2 bedroom apartment for 1000, and my mom wanted to take a look at it. We left in a hurry, but decided to visit one of her friends en route.

Arriving at her friends house was not fun. Everyone, including my mother was making remarks about how fat I had gotten. I don't think it is that bad. There is a bit of bulge around the belly, but that is easily curable with sit ups. Besides, today I had eaten my apples, scallions and some butternut squash. Yes. For a full day I was a vegetarian, and I am proud of it.

After eating a wonderful meal (rice and beans) at Margarita's house (my mom's friend), we went off to look at the apartment. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the owner who was supposed to show us around had went home. It is still our hottest lead, and we will be trying to see the place again tomorrow. It is in a quiet neighborhood, and yes, it is a 2 bedroom apartment which means that the probability of me having my own room is really low. It also may mean that God has something against me for being blasphemous (Last post), however, since God is an idea, and not an entity, the probability of my misfortune being brought upon me purposely is extremely low.

There is a serious need to get out of my current living situation though. The constant fear is not good for my health and it is not good for my relationships with other people. Case in point, take my girlfriend. When I moved back from Vermont I took many of her belongings in the Uhaul with me. They are currently being housed in my apartment. She told me she wanted to pick them up tomorrow, however the probability of this occurring is low. Mainly because her mother is afraid that something will happen to her if she came to my neighborhood, even if it was during the daylight hours, with 2 guys, for a short period of time.

The fact that everyone keeps pointing out the bulge in my midsection does not help either. I have started increasing my dalily dose of Dance Dance Revolution in response. It truly is the cardiovascular workout of my time. I have also begun doing sit ups, and bicep curls with one of those long bars with weights attached to each end. You can probably tell how much I work out by my ability to describe the bar.

Anyway, it really is to protect my life. Not in a health sense but in an overall-look mean so the gangsters don't see you as an easy target and kill you- sense.

That is about it for today, but I will keep everyone posted on my adventures. I also had a question, you all may answer in the comments. Should I include pictures in these posts pertaining to the events of my day? I have included pictures previously, but have stopped. Leave a comment below!

Recommended Video of the Day - Girls are like M&M's

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Giving Up Privacy for the Sake of My Family, For "God" WIll's It So -An Atheistic view

So I have been apartment hunting for about a week and it is getting on my last nerve. My mom only has enough money to pay a bit over 1,000 a month, and she expects me to come up with a 3 bedroom apartment for us to live in. I cannot be upset with her. I see the need for such an apartment, however I am not Jesus.

I was considering how to ease the burden of apartment hunting for myself and for mom, and a few solutions came to mind:

The first was the most obvious, that I should get a job and contribute to the rent. But this is a bad idea, because I plan on going to grad school (possibly), and doing so would involve Mom being left without my few extra dollars. It is difficult for me not to forget all about my dreams of going to graduate school. I know, for what my mom is willing to pay, we will just be moving all of our belongings from one hell hole to the next. It would be even worse on me personally, because I was the one who was given the responsibility to look for the apartment in the first place.

The second option is for me to give up my privacy. I would have to sleep in the living room. That way, I can look for a two bedroom apartment at her given price, and it would be easier. Heck we may even be able to live in a good neighborhood.

But is it fair? I thought going to college was the way out. I would have never guessed that I would be sleeping in the living room. Besides, my sister never completed college. Wouldn't it be more appropriate for her to sleep on the floor? I guess not. Maybe because she pays rent, I feel like the sacrifice lies on my back. I mean, who needs the privacy of their own room anyway? I have stated many times in this blog that I would rather be homeless than live in Soundview, NY. And while I may deserve privacy to read, or get away from my family, it is something I am willing to give up. I shouldn't have to. If there is a God, then maybe his plan for me is unforseen at the moment.

I do not believe there is a God though. At least not an all power thiestic God. If there is then he is a pretty shitty God. I am a good person, I don't harm people, I am nice, and I am intelligent. If there is a God, is he doing this for yucks? If so FUCK him. I would rather chill with Satan and burn in hell. That way I know whose side I am on and what I am getting out of it.

And if he is doing this to test me, then FUCK him. Because my life with a drug addict low life father figure wasn't enough of a test. Because being the first person in my family to go to a 4 year University, and obtaining a degree wasn't enough of a test. Because being able to find love, and hold/cherish it wasn't enough of a test. Fuck him.

And if he is doing this because somewhere deep inside, he believes I deserve it, then FUCK him. I wouldn't want to praise a God who goes around all day passing judgement on people anyway. If he wanted a perfect people, he would have made us perfect. He apparently is a really shitty designer to have made something so sinful as man, who constantly needs to be watched and punished whenever they do something indecent in His eyes. I mean, at least if he could not have made us perfect, we should have received His eyes, to see the world the way He does. Maybe then we wouldn't be so sin prone. Dumb-ass designer. Can't design worth shit.

Which is why I am an atheist now. I insult God because the idea is purposterous. Most people are atheists. When it comes to Thor, or Zeus, or the Flying Spagetti Monster (yes there is a religion for it too!), many people just don't believe. But then they believe in Jesus, or Yahweh, or Allah. It makes no sense. 2 thousand years from now, Jesus, Allah, and Yayweh will be the myths, and a whole new slew of bullshit will be mass produced for the ignorant people to believe in. Sadly, I cannot take it anymore. And if you can't see how I am an atheist, let me put it this way:
You don't believe in Thor, or Zeus, or the Flying Spagetti Monster. You probably don't believe in Fairy's and real live gnomes either. Now take everything you feel for this list I have generated and just make it your "God" further. That is how I feel.

There is no proof of such a God either. Shouldn't the null hypothesis in this situation be that there is no God? People look at me like I am the seed of Satan (or a pedophile murderer) when I tell them I am an atheist. However the impetus shouldn't be that I need to explain why I am an atheist. The impetus should be on them to explain to me their disturbing views on God. And it is disturbing because it is a type of self defeating belief. One that cannot be questioned because it is "Holy". I refuse these ideas. All things must be questioned. I will not be taken for an idiot.

And if you need to reply to this email me here:

Arrests After the Comedy Club?

Last night I went to the Broadway comedy club with Ernie, his wife Grace, Snow, my mom Noemi, her boyfriend Eddie, and my girlfriend Donna. It was so funny. There were many new people who I had not seen the previous time's I have been there. We had a good laugh, but the checks came back a bit expensive. Especially since mom ordered alcoholic drinks and since she had ice cream.

We dropped Donna at home, by taking the FDR drive down to Grand. The ride was pretty quick, but the best part was when we drove home.

We took the FDR to the Bronx and got home in about half an hour. In my neighborhood I immediately noticed 4 cop cars, and many young people getting arrested. I don't know exactly why they got arrested, but I am guessing arrests are a frequent occurrence around these parts. I have only been here for one week, and there have been altercations with law enforcement twice in my immediate neighborhood (on my block or the one over). This seemed like a big bust since many people were outside.

I was safe in my moms car. At first I felt a bit upset, because there were so many young people getting arrested in such a big bust, but then I realized the cops weren't arresting them for no reason, so I felt good the NYPD was doing their job for last night. In my neighborhood I see so much crime that I am surprised the cops don't sit around in the neighborhood all day waiting for something to go down. I would certainly feel safer. And they would certainly get more arrests in the books than patrolling the streets.

As for those who got arrested for you, you must be really dumb. I mean there are simple steps you can take to ensure you don't get arrested. If you were never taught them, then let me enlighten you:

With this one rule you enrich our community. You make the young girls feel safer when they come home. And instead of dropping bottles in our neighborhoods, how about taking the Obama route, and get into some community organizing. That way we can get some new plants around here, or clean up our neighborhoods, just to make it safer. Perhaps free testing for people who think they have STI's, or setting up a big screen and having movie nights out in the park! Or maybe we can invite some science types to let us know what is on the forefront/cutting edge of knowledge!

Alright, I know the last one is far fetched, especially because I am a Biology major who grew up in the Bronx, and if I had the choice, I wouldn't step near this neighborhood. But a boy can dream can't he?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Bloods Woke Me Up

Living in the Bronx is no joke.

It is about 3:30 a.m. and I was lying in bed. The mosquitoes have begun to hop around yesterday, so I decided installed some screens on the windows to keep these blood thirsty Dipterans away from my flesh. Most other invertebrates I would love to classify, preserve, and observe (not necessarily in that order of course, haha pun, Order), but mosquitoes are particularly nasty in the Soundview projects of the Bronx.

One downfall with using the screens is that they don't work. After graduating from Vermont, and doing research in bogs, I thought I have seen the worst (as far as black flies and mosquitoes are concerned). However I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and again I was itchy on my arms and legs. It doesn't help that I was recently burned near my elbow, while trying to set up my room, by a light bulb. Picture can be seen on this account:

However, it was not the mosquitoes who woke me up. The screens also have a downfall in their ability to keep out noise, since the windows need to opened for the fresh air (and arthropods) to crawl in. I heard the voices of a few men downstairs, and it was a bit creepy. They were talking about loyalty and being "Bloods". The Bloods are a gang here in New York, and they do normal gang things. It was a bit scary for me to hear their conversation. I have been a New Yorker all of my life, but this was just crazy. They were talking about beating up some police and about money. No I am not being racist, I didn't even see their race. I was lying in bed wondering why they had to shout as opposed to speaking in a normal tone, sort of like normal, educated people. Then I rethought, and realized that in Soundview the normal was to not be educated. My conclusion is that they were probably drunk on alcohol, or high on 420. In any case, they woke me up.

I really want to get out of the Bronx. The ideal situation for me would be to get a stable job where I can grow professionally and personally. One that pays the rent. One where I can pay rent in NYC (yes Manhattan), and be a bit more secure than here in the projects. If your wondering what makes my current situation so bad, you have not searched my current location on wikipedia. Here, I did it for you:
And if you missed it, it reads:
"Still in 2002 Soundview was named the murder capital of NYC."

Is this what life after college is supposed to feel like? Am I supposed to live in fear at home? I would like to think not. UVM doesn't help either. There is an alumni association, but I doubt they will be willing to help a jobless person like me find a job and a new living situation in this recession. And so for now I will just live in fear.

Why fear?
Well I can honestly say I know what it feels like to be scared while walking home. The funny thing is that it doesn't really matter whether the street is lit or not. These people will take what they can and might kill you if they felt inclined. I do not think they would listen to my voice of reason. One that simply asks them to quiet down. I fear because ever since I was in middle school I have been targeted and attacked by students living in the Bronx. I thought UVM was my way out, but after graduating, there is no difference.

Why do people choose to hurt each other rather than help one another? I do not know. I do know that I need help and fast. I have a Bachelors of Science in Biology. I do not have a job at this moment, but I am actively looking. I would do just about anything to get out of the Bronx. I am an educated, Latino male who has worked with two of the greatest Ecologists of our time, Nicholas James Gotelli (Biology Deptartment, UVM) and Aaron Ellison (Harvard Forest Research Facility).
I remember once seeing a movie called from Homeless to Harvard. I feel like I just moved backwards, from Harvard to living in a situation where I would rather be homeless. Seriously, being homeless in Burlington Vermont must be better than living in this hell hole. At least I will not fear for my life on a daily basis.

It is sad that this is what my life has become. And then I wonder to myself, why did I even try. If I just got a job right after high school I would probably be in a better position than I am now. As a matter of fact, I am sure of it. College has gotten me nothing but a useless degree. I am actually in a worse living situation then I was before going to UVM. Everyone always says, well now you have something to fall back on. Not really. What does one do, with a B.S. in Bio? Probably become a teacher. I need to see what it takes to obtain a teaching certification here in the city. Then I could make something of myself, at least for now. I was thinking of getting my Masters in education. I could get it done with quickly, being that I am not working, but I still need a safe place to live. I am scared to leave my apartment. Scared for my life. And that is the way the world is for me.