Thursday, May 31, 2007
See D. Haffner's post on the emcee heckling she and other peace supporters received on Memorial Day.
Crib notes on peace for those with limited attention spans...
When soldiers don't die at war they can be with their families and hopefully die of natural causes at a much later date. This will make for less parades, yes. But, oddly... it seems to make the soldiers and their families happier.
It is an amazing thing, but you really can respect and honor the sacrifice of veterans while praying for peace.
From the Daily Mail...
Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid
offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed. It found some
teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students
whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. There is also resistance to
tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for
control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local
The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using
history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'.
The report concluded: "In particular settings, teachers of history
are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in
which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
But Chris McGovern, history education adviser to the former Tory
government, said: "History is not a vehicle for promoting political correctness.
Children must have access to knowledge of these controversial subjects, whether
palatable or unpalatable."
English and history classes in my day were sometimes rough. Emotions ran high. Teachers and students disagreed. Students and students disagreed. And I remember a couple of days when I seemed to disagree with everyone. We were different races, classes, genders and religions, but we all survived those discussions. I also recall getting into a good university and not being shell-shocked by in-depth class discussions because I'd already experienced them in high school.
As I stand on the precipice before my 20th (public) high school reunion, I (like every other reunion attendee in this world) am not thrilled by all of my memories or the thought of re-living them. But I am grateful for the times my mind was stretched. I am glad I shared years with people who tested me, annoyed me, openly called bull on me, and were honest in their mostly civil disagreements.
As adults we find ways to limit the human thorns in our sides. As high school students, we don't have that power and, yet, for many it is the most educationally significant time of their lives. I believe there's a connection. You can't take the edge and the ire out of adolescence by hinkying with history. Or biology. Or sex ed. The holocaust, species diversity, and sexuality are all hard to talk about in depth. Whether you agree with your conversation partners or not. Therein lies the education. We learn, grow, and sometimes change.
Speaking of which, my son and played on my public elementary school playground the other night.
"Is this where you went to school, mama?"
"Yes, indeed! The place where I learned to read. The place where I learned to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. The place where I learned how to boogie. I still have some of the moves. Wanna' see them?"
Come on now. You didn't think I got these moves from church did you?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The co-worker said, "%&*() ^#%^@ *(@7**!$^, Belle, ^#&!*"
Sisyphus, we'll miss you in the little Luddite leagues.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I post a concern about UU World and Philocrites, on a Sunday no less, responds within minutes. Once again securing his position as the Big Daddy of all UU Bloggers.
He almost makes me want to reject my luddite ways.
New members, Philocrites is on the case. We'll work this out soon. Until then, check out his blog through my link to "Big Daddy..." or UU World at the link in posting below.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Grandmama Cameron died yesterday. The children and I are headed down to Florida in a few hours. By car. Through a wildfire. And in the middle of the night. My husband couldn't get out of his caseload.
So this is adulthood? I'm done with it. Then again...
It was when I became an adult that Grandmama told me what it was like to lose her pregnancy, to be a war bride, to find a breast lump, to watch her husband die, to mourn her son's death for 20 years. She taught me how to be a friend, a hostess, a relative. She taught me patience (a lesson we were still in the middle of.) She shared her love of books and babies. She taught my son how to bang a pot with a spoon. She looked like Judy Garland and had a beautiful speaking voice. She called those she loved, "Doll."
My last conversation with her was to tell her how much better her son, my father was doing. The day he got off the ventilator we had a long conversation. I was the comforter, which felt like a strange turn. She was so happy. "Now I can sleep again!" she laughed.
I've been teaching the Book of Job for the past month. The death of a woman in her late eighties who'd lived a wonderful life, was an inspiration, and lived on her own until her death is not a tragedy. I know this. But I will miss her so. Life always seems too short when well-lived.
While I'm gone, our minister emeritus and Director of Religious Education will lead the Sunday service. Our Pastoral Care Associates Leader will lead Vespers. My husband will hopefully water the plants. Shalom y'all.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Twenty-first Century Luddite's code:
I will not learn how to do new stuff even though it will help me because -
it's too hard, I forgot, I don't have the time, I don't know what a meme is... blah nlah ylah dah.
I will roll my eyes and pretend not to listen when people effuse about their new technology. 3 years later I will want a nano very badly.
I will use the technology I have poorly, thus causing my friends and colleagues to roll their eyes, mutter, or gasp in disbelief at my incompetence.
I will then rope these people into helping me fake that I have embraced the new technology by getting them to program my cell phone, de-bug my computer, re-vamp my blog, build my spreadsheets, trick out my power point.
Finally I will appear technologically up-to-date while I am really still writing everything on index cards and ultimately losing them.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Until I was in my early twenties. And started looking at the old photos. And needing income. Suddenly I realized my mother was a flipping sartorial genius. Throughout the photographs from the 1980's my mother is a fox. I am an extra from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sure, it's kinda' cool, but I'm glad I moved on.
All of this is to say that sometimes it is hard to take well-meant advice. Which is why I want to congratulate the UU Fellowship of Fredericksburg, Virginia. I am a monthly guest in their pulpit through May. Last month I shared with them some ways they might not be as welcoming as they would like, including their website. For some, it was uncomfortable news. For others it was all they needed to unleash their creative sides.
Check out the newly revamped website of this feisty congregation. This photo is from their Hogwarts Thanksgiving. Nice work, y'all!!!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
It was advertised that I would be speaking on Gender and Faith in Islam. I hope to speak on that topic later in the summer and have included the following photo as a peace offering to anyone whose heart was set on that topic.
This is from Alexandria and is one of my dearest friends being mobbed by Egyptian schoolgirls on a field trip. My friend is the one without the veil. Go figure.