Thursday, October 26, 2006

You know a piece of you is still in Ukraine when...

...Your mom leaves out dinner and you put away the sour cream after generously smothering it on the bowl of fresh vegetables only then to realize halfway through eating that the sour cream was left out for the baked potatoes.


P.S. No one better bug me, I am catching up on Lost after tragically missing it last night.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Deja Vu

I got excited after finally seeing the trailer for the movie we saw being filmed way back in March.

Its not simply the fact that we were there when they were filming the movie, there is a quite elaborate inside joke about Val Kilmer that took place as well.

Anyhow, here are some of our pictures of the boat and the bridge which get a lot of airtime in the trailer. (The last picture is courtesy of the Corban College team)

The movie doesn't look half bad either and at the very least, the music is by Harry Gregson-Williams.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Life 10/15/06

Dinner with a Ukrainian family, hearing C.J. Coffee (aka. Cookie) speak, watching a movie with good friends, Ultimate Frisbee, finally getting over my cold, things shaking up at my families church (Definitely a good thing in my opinion), busting out a bunch of homework that has piled up, Chris Tomlins new album really starting to grow on me, and Mark Driscoll's book (The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out) nearly within grasp of my anxiously awaiting hands.

As soon as I get past two big exams on Wednesday...Life is good.


Thursday, October 12, 2006


Here is another "entertaining" paper from my Psychology class. Also, notice the "tags" at the end of the post. I am working on learning a set structure on how to tag my posts. I'm trying to keep them general topics that will lead you to similar posts if you found something that interests you. For example, when I am doing a series of posts like this, they will have a unique tag (in this case "Psychology Paper") so that you can easily pull up the rest of the series if you so desire. (Examples of other common tags are "Spirituality", "Movie Reviews", "Ukraine", "Book Reviews", "Missions", "News" etc.)


Operant conditioning, so named by psychologist B. F. Skinner, is the modification of behavior brought about over time by the consequences of said behavior. The phrase operant conditioning differs from Pavlovian conditioning in that while operant conditioning deals with voluntary behavior explained by its consequences, Pavlovian conditioning deals with involuntary behavior triggered by its antecedents. The two main aspects of operant conditioning is positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when a response is strengthened by the subsequent presentation of a stimulus while a negative reinforcement is when a response is strengthened by the subsequent removal of a noxious stimulus.

After working 40+ hour weeks in an office/cubicle setting, I got hooked on Coffee. Not addictively, but more or less as a result of my environment. My team at work often goes down to the cafe to get coffee, so I casually picked it up for social reasons. When college started up with 15 credits and I continued to work 30 hour weeks, on top of working out at the gym, church related activities, and still hanging by threads to my social life - something had to give. Unfortunately, I was far from willing to let go of any of these. It was at this point that I went from being a casual social coffee drinker to a fanatically coffee junkie.

Many would chalk this sad story up to be another soul lost to the addictive caffeinated properties of this black poison, but while I am not denying these properties of Java, under the surface I am really a case of operant conditioning. The behavior that was being increased was the consumption of Go Juice. This behavior was strengthened through a series of positive and negative reinforcements.

If I drank a Cup of Jolt I could function as a normal student, be involved, grow, and learn. This was thereby positively reinforced with good grades, enjoyment of life, and a sense of satisfaction. If I did not drink my I would have an extremely tough time trying to stay awake in my cubicle at work. In my comfy chair, I would throw on some headphones, zone out to some Jars of Clay, and consequently start to nod off in front of the monitor. Although I was never reprimanded for this inexcusable behavior, the fear and worry to know that if I was caught was a very strong negative reinforcement in and of itself.

I was also finding it very hard to accomplish any form of homework. Without my Liquid Lightening I would get home after a day of class, work, and any other activities that day and crash. My eye lids would be so brick laden and my body was so syphoned of energy that I would eat dinner and collapse in bed.

The last example, much like the previous two, is somewhat of a mix between positive and negative reinforcement. Shouldering the schedule that I was, I realized my Morning Thunder was key to grasping on to threads that were left connecting me to some distant skewed form of a social life. My positive reinforcement was simply being able to hang out with friends after work, as opposed to just going home and crashing in bed. This leads to the negative reinforcement aspect. If I didn’t get my daily Brewtus, I ended up getting socially depressed which led me back to coffee so I could live a quasi-normal life again.
David Knepprath
February 2, 2006

Note: My addiction is not limited to coffee. It very much so includes tea, which I prefer in many cases. However, I focused solely on coffee because of peoples preconceived notions about coffee, as well as for the simplicity of the paper.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hot Showers

The last time I was sick and took a shower, I was in Kiev, Ukraine staying in a hostel-esque ex-communist youth camp with ice cold water. I woke up this morning with a pretty bad sore throat, and NEVER have I ever been so thankful for a hot shower.

I cannot believe I am still learning and still growing from my experience in Ukraine.