Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do I have ADHD?

Regular readers know that I don't often go deeply into personal disclosure here. This post is an exception.

For years I have wondered if I have ADHD -- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Not so much because of the Hyperactivity part, but because I've always felt it extraordinarily difficult to focus, set priorities, and overcome inertia.

14 years ago I actually underwent a neurological exam for the condition. I recently re-read the report. It was negative -- as in, no indication of ADHD. Indeed on the various concrete tests (things with sorting cards, flashing lights, etc.), I held my own.

Yet also, reading the report, I believe I downplayed my personal behaviors and difficulties that led me to seek the test in the first place.

(I took the test as part of research for a first-person magazine article on adult ADHD. In a way, the fact that I was rated as non-ADHD helped advance a general spin in the story about how challenging it was to actually understand and diagnose ADHD in adults. I was not and am not a skeptic on the concept, to be sure. But I digress...)

In recent years it has seemed like my difficulties have become more intense, but they aren't fundamentally "new". I've tried many different strategies to overcome them, but have been unable to stick with any of them for long.

I was not someone labeled ADHD as a child; I got decent, though not perfect, grades in school. But I tended to be forgetful when it came to things like homework assignments, and to this day I seem to find that I can't concentrate and focus until a deadline is right on top of me -- in fact, probably behind me.

I've begun exploring a round of counseling for this, in hopes of dealing with it once and for all. I welcome any insights you might choose to offer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Your Daddy's Jesus

Plaid Shoes makes a good point about the dearth of UU resources on Jesus.

I'm working up a 10-hour adult RE class/summer camp workshop on contemporary progressive scholarship on Jesus. I'm thinking of proposing it as a workshop at the UU summer camp I go to, and maybe field-testing it as an adult RE class at my church.

Here's my initial draft.

Not Your Daddy's (or Mommy's) Jesus

New visions of the New Testament's message

Traditional Christianity teaches that Jesus was the Son of God who came into the world to be sacrificed as a ransom for the sins of human kind since the fall of Adam. Many Unitarian Universalists who have come out of Christian churches have rejected that interpretation of Jesus and left Christianity behind. Yet UUs are not alone in our disquietude with the traditional teachings about Jesus. A growing number of scholars and thinkers within the Christian tradition are also rejecting those teachings. Delving back into the scriptures, they are finding instead a revolutionary message of radical inclusivity in the story and teachings of Jesus and are seeking to reshape Christianity into a religion of Jesus instead of a religion about Jesus. Through readings and discussion, this workshop will introduce participants to various thinkers who are part of this new, progressive encounter with Jesus that is rippling through Mainline Christianity. We'll learn about the work of Marcus Borg; the Jesus Seminar; Brian McLaren and others. Short readings from various sources will be provided.

Comments and feedback not only welcome, but positively begged for...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Video/Audio vs. Print

In the news business, newspapers are turning to online video as the Next Big Thing, using it to enhance or sometimes replace print versions of stories they report on.

A number of ministers -- UU and non-UU -- opt to post their sermons only as podcasts.

On his blog, Will has a recording of something by Adolph Reed that I really want to get to...sometime. ("I haven't had a chance to play this," he notes...)

Am I really that unusual in my preference for print over audio/video? I don't boycott web video or anything like that. (There are some web videos I make a point of watching, in fact.)

But my bias is toward the written word, big time. Maybe its my general impatience and the difficulty I have sitting still. I can flip through really quickly and zero in on the portions of a text that are most pertinent to me right now.

If I have to listen to an hour-long audio clip or video clip, it's gonna be when I'm otherwise able to multi-task, like cleaning up my office space.

Am I that unusual this way?