November 24, 2011

Into the Black Friday Jungle...

Since I am sadly away from my family this year, I will be attempting to experience the craziness and utter frivolity of waiting in line -- at Walmart (dun dun dun) -- for hours on end, for a little special something entailing nothing more than “Zelda.”

This will be my first time going into a B&M store around Black Friday and, from what I’ve been told, it might very well be the last. If you are looking for some Thanksgiving evening entertainment, read on.

As I wait in line, I will periodically tweet from my Twitter page. A minute before 10 pm CST, when the doors are set to open, I will be streaming live from my local Walmart. When that happens, I will be running with the Pamplona bulls while you kick back, relax, laugh, and think, “well, I’m glad I’m not that guy.”

Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving!

August 26, 2011

Comic of the week: #1

I thought I would try my hand at a comic strip with the East Coast being struck by two instances of natural weirdness this week:

An unforeseen consequence of Hurricane Irene.

August 12, 2011

"Two Look at Two"

Something to think about:

Love and forgetting might have carried them
A little further up the mountain side
With night so near, but not much further up.
They must have halted soon in any case
With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was
With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness;
When they were halted by a tumbled wall
With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this,
Spending what onward impulse they still had
In One last look the way they must not go,
On up the failing path, where, if a stone
Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself;
No footstep moved it. 'This is all,' they sighed,
Good-night to woods.' But not so; there was more.
A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall, as near the wall as they.
She saw them in their field, they her in hers.
The difficulty of seeing what stood still,
Like some up-ended boulder split in two,
Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there.
She seemed to think that two thus they were safe.
Then, as if they were something that, though strange,
She could not trouble her mind with too long,
She sighed and passed unscared along the wall.
'This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?'
But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait.
A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall as near the wall as they.
This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril,
Not the same doe come back into her place.
He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head,
As if to ask, 'Why don't you make some motion?
Or give some sign of life? Because you can't.
I doubt if you're as living as you look.'
Thus till he had them almost feeling dared
To stretch a proffering hand -- and a spell-breaking.
Then he too passed unscared along the wall.
Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from.
'This must be all.' It was all. Still they stood,
A great wave from it going over them,
As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour
Had made them certain earth returned their love.

-- Robert Frost

Hat tip to Bill for this.

May 15, 2011

The Mikado

Late one Saturday afternoon, I had decided to take a nap after a haphazardly assembled study session of my Anatomy notes for class at Parker. An hour and a half later, I woke up. The clock read 6:35 pm. The show was to begin 30 minutes away in Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall at 7:30. I wasted no time jumping in, racing off and flying at a blistering 65 mph (faster than I usually go). “I’m not gonna make it,” I say. I encountered a gaggle of metallic geese unreasonably curious about a certain group of flashing lights going off on the other side of the highway barrier. “Oh, now I’m really not gonna make it.” Even so, I arrived at the parking lot at 7:25.

“All right,” I’m thinking, “5 minutes. You can do this.” 3 small blocks later, I crossed the entire width of the performance hall, paid for my student ticket, and recrossed most of the width again to find my seat. The chamber had been enveloped in darkness. The orchestra was intoning the concert A pitch for their final warmup. I sat in my seat. After the conductor popped his head up to greet us from within the pit, the orchestra played an overture of four songs.

The curtain rises to find a geisha standing with flourishing arms and a bent back and head, under a pure white spotlight, against a background of high-hanging Japanese lanterns and large, opaque shoji doors. This geisha soon found herself running away from ninjas careening down from the rafters on ropes, and the shoji doors immediately slid open to reveal a panel of linear lights. Businessmen slid out, talking away on their smartphones, one by one. They suddenly break out into a dance and do all sorts of wonky moves while singing a ditty until a fiery-headed macho man with an eclectic fashion sense (one mismatched sleeve from a letterman jacket was sewed onto a black leather jacket which was usually worn by the fairer sex) made his presence known. Nanki-poo, as this black-spotted chap-wearing punk rocker was called, declared his love of the girl with the bubble-gum hair, fittingly named Yum-Yum.

When that ended, a man with a white ragtop and an orange suit came riding out on the stage with orange-accented Heelys shoes. He bursts his bubble with news that the Ko-Ko (also an older man who was theretofore engaged to Yum-Yum and was supposedly condemned for the crime of flirting with said girl) had become the Lord High Executioner instead. Another man, wearing a white suit and a smirking look, appears and describes the Executioner’s functions to be “particularly vital.” Nanki-poo disappears to search for her.

The two men remaining behind with the businessmen break into song, but they paused in the middle of it... Pooh-bah, the white suited one, gestured to the conductor, who in turn pointed toward the lower right corner box closest to the stage. The spotlight tracked to that box, and out came a green-suited Ko-Ko, who proceeded to sing about people on his list of potential executions. Among them were Oprah, as he had thought the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) would take over the world, and Donald Trump and his “birthers” for believing Obama to have no proof of an American birth certificate.

The plot takes on a comic angle throughout, and the Mikado would be the next and last character to make a reference to current events; he mentioned that any servant of his who failed to follow his commandments would be the next person to wash and scrub all of the local TRE trains in the metroplex.

Overall, the singing was full, powerful and high-reaching, though at 2 and a half hours it was a bit long for an operetta. Six young singers were out there, and there was even one ninja boy who promptly pulled down a white bandana over his eyes after Katisha tied it over his forehead, as if she had failed to tie it as rehearsed (all while staring straight ahead and holding a katana on open, flat palms). The set was sufficiently modern, with the background lights changing colors and patterns, and even displaying a big “Ko” when the namesake character first appeared. All in all, it had accomplished something that only the Fort Worth Opera can seem to wish for: a wacky and unexpected yet fresh and comical take on the usual antics of love triangles.

April 14, 2011

The Continuation of the Chiropractic Experience According to Brock

The hiatus is dead, long live the hiatus.

And so is my first series of chiropractic appointments, but soon enough I will be diving into the world of the public clinic and resume my appointments there. My intern will have many more diagnostic and treatment tools at his disposal, running the gamut from bona-fide blood tests to the “pew-pew-pew” of cold red lasers. For now, however, I must close the unjustifiable, inexplicable gap I created as life pulled my arm and took me into a tailspin like no other.


We last left off with yours truly promising a follow-up to this tale of discovery and wonder (but mostly of discovery). My intern and I had just finished the physical process, which I have established to be more extensive than was anticipated. From there we went into a pattern of cervical decompression-palpation-flexion, proceeding into another pattern of thoracic palpation/mapping/lamina-digging, followed by some jumping on the bridge that is the lumbar, and rounding it off with see-sawing on the ilium/hip bone. Neither of us had ever anticipated any extra-spinal challenges, aside from my right knee making a rare phone call to the central nervous system for urgently requested assistance.

My General Physics class finished 30 minutes early one evening (we got out at 5:20 pm) and I had received a text from my intern indicating his immediate availability. Little did I know that we would be needing to use every minute for something so unexpected. What’s life without a little twist thrown in by the Lord?

In less than five steps away from the car, and a few more away from the entrance, my right knee suddenly felt compelled to go on high alert and tighten security, as it were. Whenever I would try to sit down or stand up, it did not want to cooperate so easily. It still obeyed my orders, though not without groaning and moaning under the 60 pounds sliding up and down. As soon as I alerted him to this, he tried to test the flexibility of some muscle by bringing my right leg over the midline. Only as this was occurring, something else within that area felt the need to cower and falter in pain.

After we seemed to be getting nowhere fast with this, he brought his staff doctor to peruse me. In less than a minute, she got everything she needed to know about my sudden case. So she asked me to point out my “belly button” and take my finger somewhere nearby, and an instant later I felt a train spike land at the makeshift crosshairs. She asked if it was tender, and I said it was -- how could I be blamed for being surprised at such an unexpected jab like that? (That same spot remained sore for the next few days -- that was how strong the pressure was.)

A few minutes after, I was reminded of my past experiences with massaging my mother’s feet at certain places. That was me trying to practice reflexology, having as its premise the normalization of organ systems through said rubbing of the feet -- for example, the brain would be at the top of the big toe and the sinuses on the other toes, and the spinal column on the inside edge of the arches. That’s the theory behind it, anyway. I personally haven’t placed much belief in it, partly because my mother kept showing the same complaints over and over again, with little sign of an end in sight. In the present case, though, I felt a hint of a calming aura. And all of that for the inguinal ligament, which is a whole degree separate from the knee altogether. Which still held tight as a Burmese python to its ever helpless prey.

So I went out of there knowing it to be the busiest day for me and my intern -- it was definitely different from the usual cycle. The knee loosened up after a couple of days, either under the impression that it was going to stay stuck the way it was or after it found an opportunity to fix itself. Either way, I’m looking forward to my first pair of free $250 Foot Levelers custom orthotics, which will do wonders for my horrifically flat feet. They would make Fred Flintstone proud.

March 31, 2011

My virtual thank-you card

For those of you who have arrived at this blog through New Catholic Blogs, I hope that this rather eccentric collection of posts will interest you to some degree.  I actually started this blog just as the blogosphere was beginning to take shape, though I have not been as diligent in maintaining it as I could have been until recently, when I decided to write about my experience in chiropractic school as the first of my family to attend and receive chiropractic care.

My thanks go out to Andrea of New Catholic Blogs for getting the word out along with those of fellow bloggers. May you all have a blessed Lent in Christ, and may his mercy wipe away your greatest doubts.

March 28, 2011

A holy canonical reminder

I write this knowing that we are in the middle of a great penitential season, when on such Fridays we are obligated to abstain from meat without question. Having said this, what is about to follow may not be relevant now, but after we witness the glory of our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter, we will want to keep this in mind throughout the rest of the year.

It is little known in the Church today that we are still obligated to offer some sort of spiritual sacrifice on each and every Friday throughout the liturgical year (with one notable exception, which will be explained below). I first learned of this through a sort of public service announcement through EWTN several years ago presenting two men in a restaurant ordering dinner. One chose to have a hamburger, while the other requested a fish dish. The narrator explained that even outside of Lent we are to abstain from meat or, if we choose to eat it, offer another kind of sacrifice in its place. However, I was left wondering why: the PSA didn’t cite any source. It made no mention of conciliar teaching, canon law, or even the Catechism.

Because a PSA cannot fit everything into 30 seconds, many important details naturally had to go missing from it, so I dug deeper. Indeed, the directive is derived from an interpretation of several canons within the 1983 Code of Canon Law (CIC). Here are the important ones, with my emphases:
(c. 1249) All members of the Christian faithful in their own way are bound to do penance in virtue of divine law....[P]enitential days are prescribed in which the Christian faithful in a special way pray, exercise works of piety and charity, and deny themselves... especially by observing fast and abstinence according to the norm of the following canons.
(c. 1250) All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.

(c. 1251) Abstinence from eating to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not readily apparent from the canons themselves that we are allowed to substitute abstinence from meat with another spiritual sacrifice of our own. These canons, however, uphold abstinence from meat on every Friday as the traditional requirement, which some Catholics who are aware exercise as their penance anyway. Even though the US bishops have not elaborated further on canon 1249 as to what the “works of piety and charity” entail, the universal law still dictates that we are to offer a penitential sacrifice nonetheless. In the same way, the tradition of “giving up something” for Lent does not describe anything in particular -- we are to determine our penance in this case as well.

In my case, if I find myself eating meat on a non-Lenten Friday, I would pray at least the Sorrowful Mysteries...once I remember to do it, that is. This and other forms of prayer can serve as legitimate and efficacious substitutes for abstinence, as long as one remembers to do them in good conscience.

March 20, 2011

My first (and second) chiropractic appointment

Hearing some of my classmates talk about their first experiences with their respective student clinic interns, I expected my first visit to be purely diagnostic in nature. It was only my first physical exam, so it shouldn’t be too long to take, right?

Well, like all journeys, a map must be drawn, plotted and marked. Indeed, there was no exception for my first chiropractic appointment. I have heard that the physicals would take two hours “if you were really awesome with your intern”, as one classmate said. Not too long after I walked into an exam room, however, I realized just how thorough this physical exam was.

I was pretty surprised about the thoroughness of the exam itself: I was asked about my family history, common maladies (e.g. headache, fever, cold, flu, congestion, etc), prescription and OTC drugs, exercise habits, psychological condition (verified by a simple three-object short-term memory test), and, of course, how long I’ve had my physical “complaints.”

And that was just the start: he proceeded to tap a hammer on my ribs, elbows, and knees; listen to my heart and lungs in no less than 9 different places on the abdomen; take my blood pressure on both arms; flex, extend and rotate my neck; and flex and extend at the waist.

All of the above took 2 hours, which still wasn’t enough to cover the complete physical.

The next week, I rated the pain in my neck and left knee on a scale of 1 to 10 and indicated whether the conditions improved, worsened or remained the same. My intern then put me through several drills, including lunges, marches and leg-hip coordinations. I also did some stretching of the hamstrings and a yoga technique to assess my flexibility (or lack thereof). After all of that, I was given a consent form to read (with only about four pages of size 12 font) and sign with the staff doctor present.

In the second hour, he carried out a static palpation of my spinal column, from the upper cervical portion down to the sacrum. The first thing I noticed was when I felt fingers press with such high pressure against the thoracic zone -- I immediately winced like a delinquent second grader getting slapped by a meter stick. According to him, the sharp pain was there because my thoracic vertebrae were tight and unwilling to bounce back and say, “hey, I’m okay!” It turned out that all of my years of reading and writing in school at such a hunchback angle have finally come to bite me.

Even after this, he told me that he needed to draw up a treatment plan with his staff doctor (hence the map) before he could deliver any real adjustment. Four hours of appointments, and not one adjustment was made. Even so, I understood the purpose of long exams: they’re there not only to give you, as the doctor, an idea of what the patient is presenting, but to help you establish a record of ethical practice, which is supplemented by record-keeping and daily signatures.

It’s only going to get more exciting from here, so stay tuned for Part II of my fantastically wild chiropractic odyssey...

March 12, 2011

An update

EDIT: Refer to the comment made on this post for the proper context. I could not answer this simply in one comment.

Somewhere in the past week and a half, I received a great challenge from an old acquaintance -- the kind of challenge I was sorely lacking when I had come to think about going the chiropractic way. After all, I have had practically no experience with chiropractic before coming to Parker, and the word was never mentioned among my family members. (I can attribute this fact to our own ignorance about its benefits—even my mom, who has inherited some of her mother’s fear of chiropractic, is slowly beginning to open up to it.) I honestly didn’t think I would have needed an adjustment since I was staying fit while running on the cross country team in high school. Like many teenagers going through and coming out of puberty, I thought I was invincible: in a way, that very mentality kept me from seriously considering chiropractic.

This challenge came from a recent commenter on this blog, when the commenter assumed superiority in video gaming over me and my own abilities. In that first post, I had only meant to provide a humorous twist on the aspect of making my ultimate career choice. The real issue, moreover, lay in the commenter’s premise that I had chosen chiropractic without doing enough research on my own. I was given a link to a page of a 3/30/2000 article by a Ph. D who reportedly has been watching the profession for three decades and had much to say about it, including how “chiropractic encourages self-delusion.” The following establishes the author’s bias, with my emphases and comments:
“My doctoral dissertation, completed during the early 1970s [when the AMA was in a tizzy over the chiropractic profession, prohibiting MDs from associating with “unscientific practitioners”, lobbying for the exclusion of chiropractic from Medicare, and ultimately plotting to “destroy chiropractic” as a whole (see the case Wilk et al. v. AMA)], was based on a study assisted by nineteen chiropractors. My close association with these practitioners persuaded me that they were basically honest, hard-working, well-meaning individuals who believed that their treatment was effective even though no scientific studies had tested this belief. One of the chiropractors even acknowledged that the trouble with chiropractic was that it had never been proven scientifically [True, but only in the early 1970s; research on chiropractic’s theories soon followed, but are still under attack today by those who haven’t moved on from that period or are otherwise skeptical for other reasons].”
The “trouble” with the author is that he seemed to be stuck in the early 1970s. It is apparent that he carried his bias with him throughout the three decades, never giving much heed or credence to any research that followed up afterward. What’s more, he only gives one reference in his entire article: a list of Health Education Assistance Loan defaults by chiropractors. There was no substantiation to any of his other claims, other than the word of a few individuals. In my opinion, Ph. Ds should know better than to assert something without backing it up with authoritative evidence, even if it falls under an overarching opinion against chiropractic in general. In short, he has not given me a good reason not to pursue chiropractic.

In my first two posts, I have talked about my personal inhibitions and reasons for walking down the road of chiropractic, knowing that any path I walk will be arduous. There is no one single profession in this world that can claim to carry only pros and no cons. Every path has its ups and downs. Even so, I feel that the greatest good that I can do for humanity and for the common good lies in the practice of the science, philosophy and art (SPA) of chiropractic. I wouldn’t be saying this with such certainty if I weren’t able to offer this, this, and this as evidence of my conviction. This challenge has only pushed me further toward life-improving health care. I will not look back. And when I come to treat the honorable servicemen and women who fight to protect our country from evils domestic and foreign, I will thank my challenger first.

You have seen why I wanted to do this. Now you will come to learn how it can be done. After all: if I love my job, I won’t have worked a day in my life.

March 4, 2011

School of Ministry controversy at UD

Within the past 36 hours, the University of Dallas has been in quite an upheaval over the establishment of an undergraduate pastoral ministry major. This was mainly due to the reported heterodoxy among some of the professors in the School of Ministry (SOM) and the students' concerns with protecting UD's Catholic identity. Some background on the situation should explain the essentials.

The professors in question were exposed in a piece of commentary written by the parent of five UD alumni (two of whom I personally know) the day before the vote by the Board of Trustees was to take place. This led much of the University community -- particularly the resident students -- to gather at the campus' main student center near 7:30 Thursday morning to hand out copies of the above article to board members. As it turns out, however, the members had already read the article and the process was in the planning stages for months.

I received a letter from President Keefe in response to my email, and it reads as follows, with my emphases:

Dear _________,

I believe there has been a serious misunderstanding regarding the formation of the undergraduate degree in pastoral ministry. The program was developed at the specific request of Bishop Kevin Farrell, Bishop of the Dallas Diocese, because of the urgent need in the Dallas diocese and in the Church at large for additional lay ministers. Bishop Farrell has 64 active priests to serve the over 1.3 million Catholics in this diocese. There are presently seven parishes that have no priest to serve the parish, and over 15,000 Catholics go without the benefit of Mass each week.

When the University of Dallas was founded in 1956, Bishop Gorman stated that the purpose of the University was to support and serve the Church. This program was designed to do just that. Requested by Bishop Farrell and supported by Bishop Kevin Vann, Bishop of the Fort Worth Diocese, the program was developed by a joint committee of faculty, including distinguished members of the Constantin College Department of Theology and members of the faculty of the School of Ministry, and the program was approved by the Faculty Senate, the governing body for academics, and the Board of Trustees. The curriculum that was developed has been thoroughly reviewed and scrutinized by Bishop Farrell and Bishop Vann and has received their unqualified endorsement.

In 1990, Pope John Paul II promulgated directions for Catholic universities in the world through Ex Corde EcclesiaeEx Corde is very clear that the core of the instruction of theology at a Catholic university is to be reviewed and approved by the local ordinary and that the faculty assigned to theology instruction are likewise to be thoroughly vetted and reviewed by the local Bishop. Bishop Farrell has stated it is his responsibility to assure that the instruction of theology, the School of Ministry, and the attendant courses of study are truly orthodox. In a video on the UD pastoral ministry program, Bishop Farrell said, “Let me remind the Catholic people of the diocese that this is my responsibility, and I’m the one who has to stand before God. I do not take it lightly.”

I know that we all want what is best for the Catholic Church and the University of Dallas.  I can assure you that the President and the Board of Trustees want the same thing, as do Bishop Farrell and Bishop Vann. You can watch a video from Bishop Farrell about his rationale for this program at  You can also read a letter from Bishop Vann online at  I also invite you to fully explore the courses involved in the program itself, which include the entire Core curriculum, the Rome program, additional theology coursework taught by our theology department, an internship and a capstone project.  

I apologize for the length of this e-mail, but I know how important this is to all of us. 


Thomas W. Keefe
University of Dallas

February 28, 2011

Why I chose chiropractic

Before I begin with my reasons, I would like to make one thing clear. I wish to thank the doctors and surgeons that personally gave their services to me, in all of my times of need. There is no feasible way for me to express completely my appreciation for their presence. Without them, I would probably be crippled and deaf. For them, I am thankful.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was immediately attracted to the chiropractic profession partly because it offered me a sense of security and would prevent me from doing, in my mind, the impossible. As a member of the most vulnerable generation of humanity in recent times, that protection from the unwilling violation of my own conscience was (and still is) significant to me.

Moreover, my experience with some of my more recent treatments for ordinary diseases left many other kinds of treatments to be desired. Knowing that the vast majority of drugs employ a mechanism involving a chemical modification of some microscopic body part to repress symptoms, I would have to risk a permanent alteration to my chemical makeup just to see whether the symptom disappears. More often than not, this kind of alteration introduces some new complications that the body tries to compensate for, potentially setting off a chain reaction of anomaly after anomaly.

The same principle applies to surgeries: once something is removed or modified, there’s no turning back. In the seventh grade, I attempted to pull off an “ollie” on a skateboard, and I literally paid the price with an arm (specifically my left elbow). Seven years later, I began to feel the effects of those foreign nails as they dug into the surrounding muscles: my pushups weren’t as explosive or smooth (even now I hear cracks almost every time), and local numbness of tissue persisted there. One might see this as a frivolous complaint about something so necessary, but the nature of surgeries cannot be ignored -- especially when there is often another way.

While I have a high regard for doctors and specialists and for what they do, they are best suited for emergencies—no other healthcare professional can handle emergency cases better. For everything else, chiropractors can fill in the gaps: they regularly provide nutritional advice, teach health and witness principles, and bring a mildly (or severely) encumbered body back to the path of healing itself, all without pressure from the pharmaceutical companies to sell and prescribe for profit. (It is true that there are MDs who advise their patients on matters of health and wellness, but this advice is limited at best, and unfortunately often overshadowed by the prescription itself.) Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of chiropractors do recognize the limits of their modus operandi, and don’t believe that the adjustment is a panacea. They just believe that adjustments can fix many neuromusculoskeletal abnormalities, which give rise to many other abnormalities in turn. This is very much akin to a distrust of the entire Roman Catholic hierarchy based on the actions of a few disturbed priests—such distrust is as unjustly deserved on their parts as well as on chiropractic in general.

This is even more important to me because, before my future intern lucidly explained chiropractic to me, I had never received an adjustment up to that point. That’s right—not even one moment of exposure to a chiropractor. Many of my classmates at Parker run the gamut from avid adjustment junkies to children of current practitioners, while I’m just a lowly neophyte in the world of chiropractic. Yet, from what I continue to learn every day, I find myself wondering how I haven’t come to find this sooner. There’s nothing like feeling the energy rush (not from adrenaline) and the endorphins flowing through after an adjustment. It’s something you have to experience for yourself in order to understand it truly.

February 26, 2011

In hoc tempore...

If you had talked to me about chiropractic three years ago, you probably would have met with a confused and bewildered screwing-up-of-the-face that often comes with having thought nothing about something that you would find interesting enough to interest me. It had never occurred to me that chiropractic would be in the forefront of my conscience -- I was already embroiled in studying St. Augustine, the entire Gospel of John, and dozens of thinkers in the ranks of the Angelic Doctor and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Teaching had been a strong possibility, as it is with being a theology major in general. (Having said that, my fellow majors have diversified into myriad fields -- business, nursing, canon law, grad school, and even a religious vocation or two -- so it is not as limited as one thinks.) After my 2009 Alternative Spring Break, however, I came to the conclusion that there were indeed more polished teachers out there who could do the job better than I and set far fewer fires than I would with my own anxiety and self-consciousness.

That was when I went back to what I thought was (and still is) my general purpose of living -- to help and to serve people in the best manner that I could. I thought and thought and thought -- if not teaching, then what else? A practice in medicine? Criminal law? Nutritional consultation? Playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl in the MLG (Major League Gaming) just to imply to others I beat that they should forge a better path for themselves?

Well, the one thing that was always on my mind beside my ultimate intent was to ensure that I do whatever I have sworn to do at the expense of no one innocent person. I’ll clarify what that means shortly. Even before Obama (henceforth the POTUS, Barry, B.O., etc.) took residence in the Oval Office, he had sworn to remove conscience protections for healthcare professionals, particularly MDs and nurses. (As POTUS is hot on the heels of the House for endeavoring to vote on the Protect Life Act, which aims to, well, protect the conscience protections among other things, he still holds true to his rash promise.) This fact would play a huge role in how and why I chose the path I’m following now, along with a visit by a friend of a friend to one of the aforementioned friend’s social gatherings.

In the spring of 2009, I was eating dinner with other guests when two sprightly young men came walking in. It was the first time that I had seen them, so I went and introduced myself to them. One of them seemed particularly interested in carrying on a conversation, so I asked him about his current state of affairs. He was going to a chiropractic college in the immediate area, and I was curious to know a little more about it. I didn’t know whether my actualized curiosity was a mistake waiting to happen or a fortuitous occurrence, because the chiropractic student was happy to oblige.

He started off by enlightening me on the basic principle of chiropractic – that is, the nervous system controls every single aspect of the human body right down to the cellular level through the many pathways the nerves take, from the brain to the extremities and everywhere in between. If there is a disconnect of any nerve at any place and time, the part of the body which the nerve touches would be affected in some way because the energy that is being transferred to and from the brain is cut off from that part. These disconnections happen most often at the spine, as almost all of the body’s nerves pass through the column and out of each of the individual vertebrae in pairs. Under this principle, if the cervical nerves were somehow impinged (whether painful or not), certain neck muscles would not work as efficiently as they could. If a thoracic vertebra were pinching something, the heart could be adversely affected (I’ll talk about this case more extensively in a future post). The chiropractic adjustment is there to remove these disconnections by realigning the vertebrae into their optimal position, where the nerves could freely transmit their energy to and from the central nervous system. In a sense, the adjustment aims to treat the cause of the symptoms, not the symptoms themselves.

After I had heard this, it started to make sense. What was more surprising to me was that the chiropractic adjustment was all it took to alleviate a lot of everyday sicknesses -- there were no drugs or surgery required (or permitted), it was quick and (relatively) painless, and it was literally cheaper by the dozen. Not only was it a more effective tool for such treatments than Ibuprofen and Vicks, it also meant that I wouldn’t have to face a catch-22 and procure an abortion under penalty of termination or certain spiritual death. I thought, “THIS is the way to go. This is everything that I’ve been hoping for all along!”

A year later, I applied for admission, got in without a hitch, and registered for those undergraduate sciences necessary for my complete admission into the DC program. I’m in the process of finishing them up right now. I’m also being adjusted by my intern, who happens to be the one who brought me here in the first place.

February 21, 2011


Much has changed in three years.

So has my life, to a great extent.

The many events that passed in that time have shaped me and forged me as but a humble short sword. (Incidentally, this reminds me of the new University of Dallas president, who took his post last March and was officially inaugurated the following August. In the last six months alone he has revamped the university's appearance, refined the official logo and created an icon to reflect a sword plunging through blue UD letters, with the hilt on the left side. This image proclaims his belief that every student who passes through UD starts as a gleaming block of metal, beaten, chiseled and forged into a sharp sword by the professors in the four years they spend there.)

My regrets for allowing these events to pass out of my reflections are incalculable. My resolve to bring them back, however, puts my regrets to shame. I think it even puts me to shame. (I'm listening to Barber's Adagio for Strings as I type this.) The kind of shame deserved for withholding the most exciting trip to the Eternal City. Shame deserved for keeping out of the public square the radical lessons I glean from Scripture. Shame deserved for holding back my desire to evangelize on the new frontier of the Internet, even if no eyes would have read my testimony. Shame deserved for hiding the most mundane things in my life from the public eye. Shame that moves me to begin anew.

And so I begin once more with this newfound resolve. You'll see a few changes on here within the next week. I will get you squared away with what's happening with me right now, and we'll go from there.

I'm honored that you would join me on my own journey. I'm honored to be a part of yours.