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Posts Tagged ‘south carolina’

This is what my backyard looked like this morning. As you can imagine, I am supremely upset about this.

If you didn’t already know this about me, I’ll tell you now. I’m a warm weather person. I don’t like anything about the cold, I don’t think that it brings anything to the table. I have been skiing numerous times and I have enjoyed it. However, I maintain that my life would have been a better place had I never had the occasion to see, touch or feel snow.

Skiing and/or sledding, which really can be combined into one category: Careening Downhill on an Uncontrollable Platform, are the only things that can be done in the cold and not done in the warm. To me, cold weather is simply useless.

Anyway, it seems that the Snowpocalypse/Snowmagedden/Unusually Large Snowstorm has passed and through the parting clouds is coming a great light. Next week is Mardi Gras and that means that this week is The Mardi Gras Ultimate Tournament. (I tried to warn you about the frequency of Ultimate frisbee on this blog.) Not only does Mardi Gras bring Ultimate, but Ultimate brings friends.

Mardi Gras 2009's South Carolina Alumni team.

Where there is great Ultimate being played, some member of South Carolina’s Ultimate program is not too far away. We played in this tournament last year with a ragtag group and had an absolute blast. So much of a blast that it has become quite legendary in USC lore. Also, so much of a blast that the powers that be decided to make this USC’s official alumni tournament.

Needless to say we have a little bit more interest and this year we are fielding two teams with a total of over 30 people attending. To be completely honest, I’m like a kid on the night before Christmas. I get like this before Ultimate tournaments in general but this is certainly no exception as the bog, muck and mire of turnaround has started to wear on Kendall and I. This weekend is certainly going to break up that tediousness like Yoko broke up The Beatles.

There are a cast of characters like you wouldn’t believe and they are headed my way as I type these words. I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll have the full report for you on Monday.

This is what I feel like on the inside right now:

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There are probably a lot of people who are going to be surprised about the selection of the next focus of the “Yup, These are Our Friends” category. Not the least of which will be its focus himself.

I wouldn’t say that Paul Bowers and I are really close friends. We got to spend a lot of time together during my stay at The Daily Gamecock. While I can’t speak for what Paul’s impression of me was after to our time together, I can speak for what my impression of Paul was and is.

Before I get to that, I’d like to introduce you to Paul’s newest project. When I say newest, I mean his most recent project since wearing any and every hat at TDG (The Daily Gamecock for you uninitiated folk), interning/writing regularly over breaks for The Charleston Post and Courier and reporting for The New York Times. Yes, you read that correctly, that New York Times.

That project is this site: Homeless in Columbia. I’ll direct you to his introduction post and the “About” section of the site to get the idea of the site in the author’s words. In my own words, Paul is going to live as a homeless person in Columbia for a single week. Abandoning everything and taking nothing, he is hitting the streets in an effort to truly walk a mile in his neighbor’s shoes and he is going to take all of us along for the ride.

This is an admirable effort from an admirable person to do some real journalism in the age of hyperbole and shameful excuses for the written word.

However, considering what I know of Paul, I shouldn’t be all that surprised. Paul is a lot of what I look(ed) like in some of my daydreams of being a real writer. Since day one of meeting Paul, he has stuck to his guns on every piece of debate that I have seen arisen around him.

In my mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Paul picks a side and stays on it, that means that Paul envisions his goal and he sides with whatever side is going to be most likely to get him, and the world at large, closer to his goal. So, the next important question is: What is Paul’s goal?

I think it can be simply summed up as this (I leave him to correct me if I’m wrong): To see the Gospel of Jesus Christ further spread to its greatest potential and to increase the amount of love that each person encounters throughout his or her lifetime. While that may sound rather grandiose and obscure, I truly believe that Paul is the type of person who is accomplishing his goal one person at a time.

I’ve often thought that if, when I die, one person says, “I’m a happier person today because Michael Aguilar lived.” Then I’ll have accomplished my life goal to a certain extent. I don’t believe that it is the scale on which you help people, though large scale help is nice and means plenty. Rather, it is the quality that you help each individual person that truly matters.

Whereas I, often times, only postulate and pontificate on that idea, Paul is living that idea out and I believe that you’ll see that if you follow along with his blog and the rest of his writing career.

He is the type of person that we need in the journalism world. Media, in its many forms, is the most powerful way to communicate ideas that man currently has. There is no one that I personally know that I trust more with that power than Paul Bowers. Follow his blog with me, we may just learn a thing or two.

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