Monday, August 1, 2011

Hopeless in the City

The folks who should be credited for the idea of public education (but are not because they weren't in this country) are quietly dwindling away.
Now mind you, this isn't another made-up Luther idea: Martin Luther actually recommended to city fathers in Germany that ALL children should be allowed to attend school at least half a day. He cites reasons such as educated citizens are better citizens, among other reasons.
This year at least four Lutheran schools (two of them named Hope--hence we are Hope-less) in my heavily Lutheran city are closing due to lack of students. I don't know how many more in the country are following suit. I know of many others around the country who are barely staying afloat--in fact, this may be their last school year.
One school I taught at used to have multiple classrooms per grade. Now it has multiple grades per class room. The school I attended as a child used to have over 100 students. Now it barely has 30. Other schools can't afford to pay their faculty. Others are asking faculty to voluntarily leave so the school doesn't have to make the hard decision of which to ask to leave. Teachers who are looking for positions in Lutheran schools are looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
What are the factors causing this? My mother asserts it's the charter schools. It's like having a free, private education right in your own school district. The local newspaper, when running a story on the plight of Catholic schools in the city (which, interestingly, one could have inserted "Lutheran" for every time "Catholic" was used in the story and end up with pretty much the same article and it would be no less true), asserted one of the problems was birth rate. The church members aren't having as many children. My mother had four children. To date, she has only four grandchildren. Just to be equal her rate, she should have sixteen grandchildren, all attending Lutheran schools.
As a Lutheran teacher I have heard many excuses.
*"That school has band/choir/art/underwater basket weaving. . ." Okay, but what happens in a budget cut? Besides, if you really want the extra curriculars, find like-minded parents who can help you start it in your own school.
*"I can't afford it." One always has to calculate what one can and can't afford, but should a child's education not be a priority in the family budget behind other luxury items?
* "They get religious education on Sunday." If the child comes to Sunday school. However, how can 45 minutes once a week compare with 45 minutes a day?
* "The public schools are just as good." If you compare raw data, sure, the public schools are equal, and may even surpass. Yet test scores do not make equality. This excuse is probably the most vexing to me when said by Christian parents. If a parent truly wants to rear their child in the faith, a public school will not do it. Public schools must teach every teaching that comes their way, especially those that deny Christianity. That's fine if you want to teach your child to deny Christianity themselves.
I hear the mutters of the nay-sayers now. Everything from "that's as it should be--religious training is child abuse" to "you gotta teach them to be open-minded" to "hey, it makes them stronger in their faith." If you fall in the first mindset, I'm not even going to touch that argument, because no matter what I say, it will be wrong. As for the other arguments, they are fallacies. Having attended a public high school myself, I can say for a fact that there were plenty of people teachers and students who believed I was closed-minded and tried diligently to convert me to non-religion. This from people who also taught that all beliefs were to be respected and accepted. Therefore I should give up mine? It tested me and I became stronger, but some of my friends acquiesced.
This post, however, is not to quibble over such. It is to hold up Lutheran schools as good, solid schools where students can still learn how to read, write, draw, sing, think, and pray.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Tiny Dose of Facetiousness

Big Bang Episode #38:
Upon dropping my box of beads and findings, I discovered that the force of the gravitational pull combined with the impact with said items upon the floor created a bracelet and two sets of earrings.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Billboard Controversy

Insensitive? Possible. Lapse of judgement? Maybe. Slanderous? I suppose if you know the person and the person's ex. "Distasteful and offensive?" Only if you are offended by the truth. The man was upset that his ex-girlfriend terminated her pregnancy with his child, so he put up a billboard. Maybe not the best way to handle it. After all, he is only the father, and as we all know, the father has no rights when it comes to unwanted pregnancy. If you think I'm being sarcastic, know this: the courts have backed it up time and time again. The only person in the case of abortion who has any say is the one pregnant. Too bad, so sad for anyone else who wants the baby to be born. In that case, sure, the billboard is offensive. Any woman should be offended that anyone else dares to imply that a decision for an abortion has any ramifications outside the woman herself. After all, nobody else has to endure 9 months of pregnancy and then labor and delivery.
Yes, sarcasm may be the protest of the meek--despite the sarcastic tone, these arguments are made constantly. If implying that a woman who chooses to kill her unborn baby might be selfish, I suppose that could be distasteful and offensive. Maybe the groups sponsoring the billboard could do a whole series: This could have been my grandchild, sibling, ME, etc. Just next time use people who are not seeking revenge.
**Side note: The friends of the woman in the billboard suit claim she had a miscarriage, not an abortion. In which case, the billboard would be in error.**

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spirituality in the News

It's nice to know that spirituality isn't all dead, she states, somewhat sarcastically. There's the chocolate Seder or the Earth Day Festival. I'm glad it's Holy Week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

How About 1 Reason Not To?

Call me an old-fashioned prude, but what is this? It used to be "should I kiss him on the first date?" Now we're given reasons to copulate on the first date (pardon me for being so crude). Apparently Mr. Quindar hasn't come up against Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who--I'm quite certain--can come up with a good reason opposing each of his "good" reasons. By that I mean she can come up with a logical, intelligent argument as to why this is a bad idea. I default to her because she's the expert and has a better way of explaining it than my round-about method. (No, I didn't do well in geometry because I hated proofs; not to mention that my writing professors always railed on me for not being able to support my statements with proof.)
Anyway, if anyone questions the oversexualisation (is that a word?) of our society, here it is, when we have to justify ourselves this way.
My response is this: 1) save it for marriage--that's how it works; and 2) check out this for a good reason.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Parenthetically Laden

No, I'm not opinionated, or anything. (That said sarcastically since tone-of-voice is really difficult in writing.) Of course I'm opinionated. Most people are, and the ones who aren't likely don't have a blog with an obviously opinionated title like mine. The problem I've found with my opinion is three-fold: 1) I'm not pithy, witty, or profound in expressing my opinions; 2) most of my opinions run contrary to popular opinion; and 3) (or is this a sub-set of 2?) I, like Hwin, am easily put down (not that I am remotely as gentle and humble).
I guess I've known for some time these three items, even before I could articulate my opinions (not that I'm very good at articulating them now). I can't rightly pinpoint when I first noticed this, but it was somewhere in elementary school when I realized that maybe I WAS a "goody-two-shoes" as my classmates liked to rudely point out. I hope I've mellowed (as far as the sanctimoniousness goes), but I know my opinions on some points have crystallized over the years through learning and all; ergo I've become more inflexible. I still find myself wishing I knew (in high school) what I know now (then I'd be able to respond to certain detractors), but on the other hand, I'd probably realize I'd still fumble for the wording.
I guess all I'm saying is I have lots to say, but very little to say well (read: expect more of the same) and you may not like it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Hitch

Wow, if the prevailing view on marriage is anything like those who commented on the story about George Clooney not planning on getting married again, we should be very concerned. I can understand Mr. Clooney having been married and divorced once and not wanting to marry again. Marriage isn't easy, divorce is awful from a monetary and emotional standpoint. Add the famous actor angle, and it's no wonder Mr. Clooney is wishing to not do it again.
Now, I don't know the extent of the relationship Mr. Clooney has with his current girlfriend, but it is reprehensible if he is having the benefits of being married to her without being married to her. Some of the commenters speculate on this angle with comments of buying cows and free milk. One commenter actually did state that if this is the relationship the two of them have, then they are "married" in a sense. I know he is referring to I Corinthians 6:16, but to just throw that out into cyberspace does nothing for one's cause.
Other commenters take the approach that if Mr. Clooney does not wish to wed, he must not really be interested in women. Many "Rock Hudson" comparisons. Only one comment I saw (not that I read all 700+ in-depth) said that that is faulty logic.
Still others stated that marriage is over-rated, women are just looking for a piece of paper to validate whatever it is they need validated. If that is the case, why is there a certain group of people pushing to gain same-sex marriage rights in this country? I'm guessing many of these commenters would support those people in their cause. Marriage is okay for some groups, but not the average person? Huh?
I think I'd most agree with the commenters that said who cares--why is this news? Maybe there was just a slot to fill on the news feed until the football game was over.