Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year

Well, I suppose with 2009 here, I should stop pretending that I don't have time to write. I know I haven't written anything here in two weeks, but as my breaks nears its end, it shall all return. Tomorrow I'll have another entry on Adventist Education (The Social Aspect Part I). Also, some potential last words will make a reappearance. But for now, it is almost 2 am, and I must sleep. Happy New Year, everybody. See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

But really, there's not a reason to stop making me angry. I take this break from my Adventist Education series to contemplate how utterly not wrathful I can be. I have a class in which students are horrible, disrespectful, little whelps that I can't imagine being successful in life if they act outside of my class like they act inside of my class. And it grew today. I now have 27 kids in the class that should be capped at 20. Last year, the same classes were never larger than 15. It doesn't bother me so much, but it is overwhelming often.

As for me being angry, it frustrates me more to not know how to take that anger out. I'm a sulker, a brooder. I take life as it is, laugh off what is annoying, and write off the infuriating as something that can not be helped and only complete ignoramuses will ever actually be so ridiculous. Nevertheless, I am trapped with these ignoramuses for one class period a day. I keep expecting to pop, explode, scream...anything. But nothing happens. I don't know where the line is or what I should do when that line is crossed.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Education: The Morality Perspective

For my education series, I plan on alternating between positive and negative days. So, here's a more bask-like perspective.

Whereas my education experience kept me from a lot of harmful and potentially life-altering situations, the message to a lot of students was one that was more dangerous than it could have been. The reason to not drink, have sex, do drugs, or pee on people is that it is not moral. And even if the logic is sound, there is no way to prove morality or fully show the consequences.

In connection to yesterday's post, I know many people who, once they were free of the clutches of church-mandated service, do all they can to show their churches how wrong they were. I had a lengthy debate with a friend last summer whose point of view focused on how the church and school condemned so many people for silly reasons. And with his discovery and absolute love of beer, he was doing his part to show that he needed no religion to tell him what was right and wrong.

He was right, of course. There is no church that can determine what is moral and what is not. Churches are, after all, groups of people who follow what they believe is the word of God in a common way that seems correct. I don't think I'll find much argument in saying that morality comes from a connection with God, not attendance in church. This friend, however, saw God and church as practically the same thing, and in throwing out one, he seems to have thrown out the other.

I wish that Adventist education would require more balance. It seems trivial to say, "This is what we believe, but really, morality is not established by us." But people need to know that it's not the drugs that keep you from the kingdom, it's the addiction that leaves you craving another hit instead of Christ. It isn't drinking that separates us from God, it's relying on the liquid courage to get through life instead of the strength of the Almighty. It isn't the sex that locks the the pearly gates, leaving us stranded, it's knowing that it can damage our relationships and not caring.

It is truly sad that people have dug into their ruts from spite. It's pathetic that people shift focus from a huge Creator to a steeple and think that He is responsible for their actions. I wish that people would re-evaluate why they have such contempt for legislated morality and move on to forgiveness.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Education: My Addiction Perspective

Throughout the years, I have been stuck, against my will, in many discussion with people as they debate the merits of private education--specifically, Adventist education. In these debates I often defend the cause of what is often referred to as "Christ-Centered Education." So, today I want to take the time to talk specifically about why I loved my experience at Campion Academy.

With time, I have recognized myself as a person with great cravings. Whether for foods or entertainment, my desires come fast and strong, leaving me to find the quickest way to satisfy my hunger. More recently, I can talk myself out of satisfying some of these (Ben and Jerry's is not worth that much money. or Log off now. Live an actual life). And what this all breaks down to is the fact, that I was kept away from many things that could have sparked a number of other cravings.

When I went to school, the idea of drugs and alcohol were so far from my perceived reality that I was certain that nobody ever really indulged in such revelry. Later, I found that one of my best friends frequently frolicked about in a stupor of some kind, but I had no clue. As far as I was concerned, drugs and drinking were not just for losers, but you had to be a weird, junkie-type of individual to even get the stuff.

This all plays a huge role for me. Since I figured any such thing was impossible to come by, I never thought of using or abusing any of it. The joy came when I got old enough to realize that coming in contact with any of the aforementioned substances might have created in me a craving that I may still face.

This is not the view of many. I have a handful of good friends that love their substances and they curse the church and the school system for treating these substances as pure evil (this while revealing anecdotes of how they were so wasted...then something happened...and it was so funny...but it's not funny now...because we aren't in a stupor). For me, it's not about the rights and wrongs of drugs and drunking--it's about keeping myself away from something that can become an addiction. From what I know of me, I could be swept away to a magical world of incoherence and fumbling about from which I would have to fight the rest of my life.

On this topic alone, I could go nearly forever as I recall conversations, circumstances, and friends gone stupid. But I will close it off here. Adventist education kept me away from things that could have hooked me for life. In doing so, I can honestly say that I have never had a drink or a puff of anything. As a brilliant friend of mine has said before at a get together, "What's great is that we have this much fun, and it doesn't require us to be wasted." For this mentality, I am thankful for Adventist education.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

Hurray! Free time!

I have meetings at the district office, so I don't have to go in until later. So, as mentioned last week, the story of my being locked out of my house.

It was cold. The first snowfall, actually. Amy had left early to go exercise before work. I was trying to hustle along as the week had been leaving piles of work for me to sort through. I was doing well, getting out of the house a good ten or fifteen minutes earlier than usual. As I closed the door, I remember thinking that I had better close it tightly because it sometimes doesn't want to latch. I yanked quite hard. Satisfied with my secure home, I began down the steps toward the garage, feeling my pockets as I went. As I patted each leg, the jingle and jangle that I have become accustomed to was not to be heard.

"Oh, no."

I leapt back to the door to see if I had, maybe, not secured it as well as I had hoped--no luck. It was not yet 7:00, and nearly every house was still dark. As I looked up and down the street, wondering who to wake up, I saw a man come out of his house and begin scraping his windshield.

"Hurray, hurrah!"

I shuffled over there, but he had made it back inside his house before I got there. I had seen him many times before, but never talked to or introduced myself to him. So I stood, knock, knock, knockin' on Tahim's door. He opened and said, "Good morning."

"Hi," I said. "We've not met. I'm Cale, and I locked myself out of my house."

He invited me in and gave me his cell phone so I could call my wife. She didn't answer. She was probably just ending her routine or maybe showering off. Either way, her voice mail was not a welcome message.

"Is she going to call back?" Tahim asked.

"She will after a bit, but it's cool. She'll call my..." I remembered that my phone was in my house with keys. "Dang it."

"Just keep mine, then."

I had never thought of cell phones in this way. You can let somebody have it for a while and it will be useful wherever they go. But I instantly thought of people abusing the privilege. The thought had either never occurred to Tahim, or it didn't bother him. He then told me that he needed to take his daughter to school, and that I should make myself comfortable. So I sat in his house for a good twenty minutes with nobody else there--it's a weird thing to do if you've never been given the chance.

At this point, when I was telling my students, some of them asked if I snooped around or mentioned how easily I could have stolen something...ugh. Brilliant idea. I could take his stuff and sit outside my house where I wouldn't be able to stash the stuff.

Anyhow, he came back and we got to talking about religion and how people ruin religion's name by taking it in the wrong direction and turning it into something it's not supposed to be. We spent a good half hour talking before my wife made it home.

Despite taking 40 minutes to drive to school and missing my first class, my day was great because I knew that humanity was alive across the street.

He's totally getting special Christmas cookies this year.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Followed a Truck Today

The aforementioned truck had a license plate that read "Weener."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coming up for Air

I don't want to say that this week has been crazy busy because that's just a thing that people say regardless of their level of business. But I don feel very rushed for time due to things that must be addressed. So here's a short bit about what's been on my mind and what worthwhile things have happened to me. These will both be written about in more detail when I get some breathing space and time.

1. Adventist Education.
It's a topic that fascinates and discourages me. As a teacher who has no children, I feel my view is unique. Therefore, I want to analyze more fully what I actually think of it, and how I think things should be done (because I know what'

2. My neighbor.
I got locked out of my house today and had an incredible experience. My neighbor, Tahim, is awesome, and the world shall know it.

I'm going to plunge back into my world now. Have a great day, and I 'll write more later.