“What is a citation style, anyway?"

“Styles of documentation... When I write my research paper, I know I need to give credit to the sources from which I take information, but why are there so many stupid rules about documentation?”

Because people overcomplicate everything, that’s why. When I was in college, I mostly only needed to use APA, and I hated it. After I graduated, I wanted to be able to write for a living, so I had to learn ALL the documentation styles! As an adult, out of school, I had a different attitude toward it. I had suffered through so many stupid jobs, I really appreciated the chance to type instead of work!

So, I help people with the documentation styles. Every student must expend so much mental and emotional energy in order to accommodate these stupid, trivial particularities of documentation -- while they are supposed to be learning important things! The thing I hate about it, the thing I hate on behalf of the students whom I help, is that totally different parts of your brain need to be activated in order to attend to the pointless details of any given style.

People in psych and business programs often are required to learn APA;

People studying philosophy or theology often need to use either Chicago or Turabian, which are very similar;

People in general college programs, like liberal arts, often are required to use MLA. The details of documentation interrupt the process of learning and stunt creativity.

Documentation, itself, is necessary. For sure. It should be simplified, that’s all. Until it is, though, we are here to help. Sue, Justin, and Sarah all know the different styles, too. Incidentally, we often need to double check everything with a particular school’s documentation guidelines, because the styles even differ from one institution to the next! So, send us your project (along with any submission guidelines from your school), tell us the style that is required, and we’ll help you twist it into shape.

Even if you just have a simple question and don’t need any writing/editing done, run it by us, and we’ll be glad to help.

Kevin Matteson


Chi Kung to Stay Young

Dr. Robert O. Becker’s The Body Electric begins with discussions of miraculous healings that take place when a patient or devotee is in high spirits.  Sometimes, a sick person is touched by a healer whose influence raises his or her spirit.  Other times, Dr. Becker writes, 

"[Spontaneous healings] don’t even require a healer.  The spontaneous healings at Lourdes and other religious shrines require only a vision, a fervent prayer, perhaps a momentary connection with a holy relic, and intense concentration on the diseased organ or limb."

What Dr. Becker is saying is that the sick person must enter an enhanced state of mind somehow, and it is easy to understand how a healer’s laying on of hands often causes that enhancement in the same way as does some contact with a holy relic.  Even a great piece of music or writing can make that feeling happen – that feeling that sometimes feels like an energized chill in the spine.  That must be what “raising the spirit” means.  

Raising the spirit is also one of the important concepts from Chi Kung as taught by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

I always saw “Raising the Spirit” as a confusing teaching. I never realized that “raising the spirit” is about what I think of as the feeling of inspiration, and I wanted to write this little note in case other people had misconceptions about it, too.  In my practice, I knew how to “firm” the spirit by keeping my mind at Ni Wan (I feel cool air hit the center of my brain when I inhale, and it helps me get my attention fixed in the brain), but I never understood raising the spirit.  This realization that I had today – that raising the spirit is the same as “inspiration” – may dramatically change my practice! 

When Dr. Yang writes about raising the spirit, he seems to be talking about something that I think of as “inspiration.”  I had never realized that was the feeling he was talking about, but now I am pretty sure it’s the one.  “Raising the spirit” can mean so many different things to different people, so it can be confusing!  This phrase is commonly used to mean “making someone who is sad feel better.”  Dr. Becker goes on to write about soldiers in battle who were able to perform incredible feats despite having injuries that should have incapacitated them.

This is what Dr. Yang meant when he explained that it is easy to raise the Shen, but if you raise the Shen by getting all worked up, the mind is scattered.  Soldiers, and other people who are about to fight, deliberately fire up their sympathetic nervous systems by breathing fast and moving around – getting “pumped up.”  But Dr. Yang explains that this leaves the mind “scattered.”  

What is the opposite of “scattered?” The answer is “centered,” of course!  Your mind is all over the place if you get all worked up in order to raise the spirit.  The way to feel fired up without getting all worked up is… inspiration!  What an excellent realization.  I studied Qigong for three years without realizing that “raising the Shen” meant “feeling inspiration.”  So, the next question is this: Now that I understand that the familiar feeling of inspiration is the key to circulating Qi, how can I apply it in my practice? Dr. Yang explains that the Qi and the breathing are supposed to be “mutually Dependant” and that the Shen and the breathing are supposed to be “mutually combined.” More info is available through Dr. Yang's publications at www.YMAA.com       

For our clients who are still young, and for our older clients who can GET YOUNG by using Chi Kung exercises, here is a quick explanation:
Some people are able to maintain their youthful vitality throughout much of life. If you learn about longevity from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you can practice the way of collecting energy and storing it in the lower abdomen, the biobattery at your physical center.

***For any kind of writing and editing help, contact: