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A. G. Tock

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  1. I'd like to start this thread by giving a bit of background information regarding myself. I am an 18 year old freshman attending a private university. I am in a four year degree program, and my major is Global Security & Intelligence studies. I was raised in an affluent suburban neighborhood. Both of my parents attended some college, but neither of them hold degrees. My father is the owner and manager of his own company and he also manages the assets belonging to my family including real estate and other investments. My mother is chief controller at a geotechnical firm where she has been for 20 years. In short, my family's story is right along next to the American dream. My grandparents came to this country from western Europe after the second world war with $200. My grandfather worked hard for 30 years so his family could be in comfort. Now, thanks to his hard work, the apartment buildings he once did the janitorial services for belong to my family. My parents raised me to work hard and to never surrender what I worked for. Growing up, intellectual pursuits were always much more important to my parents than anything physical, like sports. Instead of playing catch with neighborhood kids, I much preferred to read books that piqued my interest, listen to the radio, or watch documentaries on the history channel or similar. For some reason, I always enjoyed these kind of things much more than others my age. Because of this, throughout my career in school, many of my teachers and administrators described me as extremely articulate and intelligent. Unfortunately, I never felt the need to apply myself through school, and I had a tough time following what I thought were stupid rules. I got in trouble frequently, and in high school my grades also suffered. I did end up graduating and getting into the well rated school I am in now, but I never once enjoyed my public education. About halfway through school interestingly enough, I got a job working at an office. I worked in this office for over two years. My managers and supervisors all seemed to like me very much, and after a short time working at the office, they began to award me with more responsibilities that some employees who had been there for years had never had to the opportunity to take on. I left this job to go to college, but I have been asked to return in the summer time. Oddly enough, even while I could be failing classes in high school, I enjoyed my job. I was always on time, my work was done correctly, timely, the first time around. There was something I really enjoyed out of going to a job and earning my own way. I ended up making very good money for my age, and for a while I had more money than I knew what to do with, which of course I enjoyed. On to what I am getting at; throughout my life, I have consistently run into people who are unmotivated, or unchallenged in life. I've noticed these types tend to complain a lot, but it never really bothered me. I knew this simply meant less competition for me in the end, but this changed when I arrived at college. Before I left to start my degree, I had an idealist view of what college would be. I figured it would be like minded individuals who were motivated to create and lead their own lives. It seems I have ended up in a place where the exact opposite is what I am surrounded by. In short, just about everyone around me champions the idea of being stupid. When it comes to my education, I strongly enjoy my work. I feel my classes have purpose now, and that I have a real honest interest in what I am studying. Often, I find myself wanting to learn more about what I am studying in a particular class. I am proud that I can have an intelligent conversation about anything I desire, but all of the people around me are proud of the fact that they are self described as stupid. They have no motivation to have a better life for themselves, and they often reply to my intelligent comments with smartass comebacks which rouse laughter from those present, but to me all they do is make me fear for the state of the world. I honestly never knew people like this were the majority population of the world. It is perfectly acceptable for these people I am surrounded by to spend the rest of their lives in mediocrity, never desiring to grow intellectually, or in their maturity level. They resent the fact that some have more money than them, and use the excuse that they have been cheated frequently. I am getting so sick and tired of having to live with people who simply accept what is given to them. Of course they feel they are in the right in their actions and feelings, but whenever I try to have an intelligent conversation with any of them, they either don't comprehend, or they become offended with what I am speaking in regards to because they are turned off by a few different words. My motivation for posting this is because I feel so completely deprived going to school here. Back home, I had a few good friends who really understood where I was coming from. They felt the the same urge I feel, to learn and grow and to create things. Now that I am at school, I have had a hard time finding on another person who feels as I do, at least in my immediate surroundings. Everyone here simply takes what they are given, and then falls in line with all of the other people around. I suppose it's really that no one here likes to think for themselves. Lastly, I would like to state that even with a serious lack of interesting conversation and people around me, I feel perfectly fine. I am very satisfied with who I am, and where I come from. I like being me, and the rude comments of others do absolutely nothing to change this or even challenge this. How can I argue with the fact that since I became quite happy with myself, everything else in my life has just seemed to fall right into place, while others are always facing a new struggle? I suppose what really gives me comfort, is that I know there are people who are motivated and have the brains to do as they please. They run the world around us, and are responsible for the creation of much of what surrounds us. I know I am one of these people. I'd like to know what you think about this. Do you find that the people around you behave this way as well, or is it just my new location, or the fact that many of the people I am talking about are young? What's the deal?
  2. Before I start, I am not trying to start an argument with anyone or have one start between other people. I also have a great deal of respect for police officers and I generally feel their job is a thankless one which deserves more respect than they usually receive. First a bit of background; I was driving back to my dorm, from sears after buying a 3/8" to 1/2" converter for my socket set which conspicuously went missing recently. I was pulling onto North AZ-89, heading north from Prescott Lakes Parkway. The posted speed limit for this stretch of 89 is 50 MPH. Over the past month or so, I have noticed (among other problems with my gauge cluster) that my speedometer is either not working at all, or indicating speeds significantly different from the speed I am actually traveling at. While driving on this stretch of road, my speedometer was not functioning at all. I was driving with the flow of traffic which happened to be 4 cars up to a roundabout which I proceeded to head east after driving through. Shortly after departing the roundabout, I was pulled over by a police officer who elected to not use his sirens, but rather just his mars lights. It took me a minute to realize I was getting pulled over, but once I did, I pulled on to the gravel shoulder and waited for him to come up to my car. Once the officer came up to my car, he told me to roll my window down. I motioned that I couldn't roll my window down (my kick panel was off so the circuit breaker was disconnected). I then opened the door and the officer asked if I knew the speed limit on the stretch of 89 I had just departed. I replied, "I am not sure, 45 or so?" He then replied, "You're close, it's 50." He then asked how fast I was going. I replied, "65 or so like the four other cars I was traveling with." He then stated I was driving at 70 MPH. He subsequently asked for my license, registration and insurance. I supplied him with all of the requested items. After this, the officer shut my door, walked back to his car, but did not enter. He simply grabbed a clipboard and began writing me a ticket, indicating to me that he likely did not check my driving record which is absolutely spotless. I have never been pulled over, never been in an accident and never had any sort of ticket, citation or infraction. After this, the officer returned to my car with the clipboard and handed back my insurance, and registration. He informed me that I would be receiving a citation for the full infraction of 20 MPH over the posted speed limit and that I could either pay the ticket cost of $265, or attend a driving school for around $100 less than the ticket to have it expunged from my record. I signed the form authorizing I received the complaint. The officer gave me the violator copy then told me to have a good day. I wished him the same. After this he returned to his car, and before I could even realize it, he had his sirens on again and was pursuing another car in a group of six which were all traveling on the road beside me. Here is my problem, I feel this ticket was given to me not because I was actually violating the law, but rather because my car is a prime target in my area for a few reasons: 1. It has CA plates, 2. It has an Embry-Riddle parking sticker (my university), 3. It is a BMW. In addition to this, I feel that if I were driving a Corolla in the same group of cars at the same speed without a Riddle parking sticker and with an AZ plate than I would likely not have been cited. During the time I was pulled over, I was so intimated by the police officer who was festooned with a thick flack jacket, a rather large semi-automatic pistol and a tazer, which he kept putting his hand on, I neglected to say anything about my speedometer and other functions of my gauge cluster not working. I simply complied with his instructions, did not argue, and signed where I needed to. I even apologized for not noticing him behind me. Because I feel I do not deserve this ticket, and because I have no way to pay for the class or ticket, I plan on taking it to court, citing my speedometer problem and the flow of traffic which I was adhering to. To back this up, I have evidence both on PayPal and and in emails that I would be receiving a new speedometer and other cluster parts as recently as 3 days before the ticket, and as far back as 3 months before. In the end, I feel I was unjustly targeted for a ticket. I have talked to a few other students on campus with nicer cars all of which have had speeding tickets given to them recently. The general consensus seems to be that Riddle students, particularly with nice cars, are being targeted for tickets. I have a legal consultation with an attorney scheduled, but I wanted to get the board's advice on this. Where do you stand on what happened to me? I have been getting a lot of mixed signals from everyone. My parents are encouraging me to go to court, but others are saying to simply take the driving school. I feel taking it to court is the right thing to do, because I feel I was wronged, but I know the driving school is the easy way out, but I simply can't afford it right now, and if I could I would have a hard time letting my hard earned money go to a corrupt government body which is likely to waste it anyway. So, what do you think? Thank you for your time and thoughts.
  3. Today, as I sit here in class viewing the Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama for the 4th involuntary time, I find it a suiting place to start my career, here on the Objectivist Board. Has anyone here any throughts on this collective we call the public school system? Where acceptance and tolerance is not an option, but an absolute necessity.
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