Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Interior of the Barton House in Shutford, Oxfordshire

I snapped some photos of the interior of the Barton House, the barn conversion we're staying at in the village of Shutford, Oxfordshire.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Personal and Institutional Submission: A Spiritual Perspective

Welfare states infantlize people. Public initiative is put away as individuals are left to do things within their own spheres of influence. What this means is social interactions carry greater significance as attention is placed on sports teams, celebrities, music, movies, etc. As attention is placed on these objects, individuals use them to identify and separate themselves.

Whilst this can be seen as a smokescreen from pressing political, economic, and social issues affecting society, there is an appropriate application for the concept of dependency.

Shutford, Oxfordshire

My in-laws arrived in England, and we rented a barn conversion in the village of Shutford, outside of Banbury, in Oxfordshire. It is an idyllic and surreal place. I took Wynnie out for a walk with the family, and we saw the sheep, ponies, and thatched roofs and vernacular architecture. 

Our rented barn conversion

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wynnie the Pooh

So excited to begin a new adventure with this lovely little lady, and the always lovely Lindsay Lee. Welcome to this world Wynnie Maguire Watson, we're excited to show you how incredible life can be!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Science and Religion: Asking Questions and Finding Answers

Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, spoke at an event in Oxford last year. In his speech, Christensen, telling of his religious beliefs, explained that God has a warehouse of information He desires that we have, but the problem is we don't ask for it. Christensen's thought struck me whilst reading William Godwin's, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. In this book, Godwin writes:

Upon our decision in this case it depends, whether those persons act wisely who prescribe to themselves a certain discipline and are anxious to enrich their minds with science, or whether on the contrary it be better to trust every thing to the mercy of events (40).
This passage expresses two separate states ubiquitous in modern society. The first is science as the catalyst for enlightened mankind. The other, trusting every thing to the mercy of events, is indicative of determinism.

Monday, July 21, 2014

CLA Games - Blenheim Palace

The lovely Lindsay Lee and I went to the CLA games at the Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, with my cousins, the Hamn family. An incredible event with very fun people!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kidlington, Oxfordshire

The lovely Lindsay Lee and I took a walk through our village, Kidlington, in Oxfordshire, and came upon a number of houses that would satisfy most ideas of a dream house. We swam in the nearby river as sheep fed and dogs played. A delightful time!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Cocoon Inside

By: Sean Watson

The room cradles me as a cocoon would.
It is like a treehouse
High above, looking down.
It is not clear to any below
If it is abandoned,
Or if I am secretly spying.
But there is no one below
It is just wild grass, hedges, and trees.
Sparrows and squirrels maintain company,
And foxes occasionally intrude.
It is simultaneously soothing,
Though buzzing in my ears.
Bustling streets surround the plot,
And rattle below the flesh.
Though silent, it is never quiet.

I leave this cocoon,
And with belongings in hand
Slip into a fussy street.
Fences and barriers occasionally fit room for nothing,
As nothing gradually refuses fences and barriers.
The strawberries have already been picked,
And the raspberries will soon ripen.
They drape freely to be pulled as easily.
The first brood of ducklings has taken to the water,
And mother duck nests once more.
They are suspicious of me,
And I know very well why.

The buzz has desisted,
And the pace has lost motivation.
The soothing will be delayed though.
It is far too vast to be a cocoon,
But the sky places me into eternal context.
Inside me a cocoon begins to grow.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library (POVAL)

I took my camera to work today to document some of what we've been doing. We've digitized massive amounts of slides, detailed where Paul has gone, and found patterns to his collections.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lean On Me - The Role of Mormon Sociality

It is not a pivotal time for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, nor is it a direction changing time. For many members of the Church, it is a trying time that will come and go either affirming or discouraging beliefs. It is heartbreaking to see Church disciplinary actions affect not only individuals, but their families and friends as well. That story is not over though. My friend Flavio in Sao Paulo, Brazil, faced similar Church disciplinary councils, and was excommunicated also. He said a weight had been lifted from him, which could be physically observed, and that he had begun to recognize his mistakes. He sought from then onwards to regain church membership. The ward (local congregation) was encouraging, demonstrating their best by rallying support around him.  It is this final aspect that I’d like to write briefly about, the role of sociality in the Church.