Friday, January 30, 2009


Yipes! Life has been incredibly busy. New semester leaves my head spinning with resolutions and the like, leaving little time to do a whole lot else. Trying to keep up on grades and the like is nutty, writing is also nutty since I have been trying to keep up on grades, I preach next week at my church, a movie-fest to clean for this weekend, trying to learn how to speed read so I can more efficiently do all sorts of reading related activities...the list goes on--for a little while.

Sorry to have not been writing. Hopefully, I'll cope with my responsibilities and organize more.

On the good news, I've not played WoW in over a week and I'm feeling fine. I say that I may quit altogether for a good chunk, but my wife still wants to play. Alas...addictions.

Monday begins a new week, and hopefully a more productive one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finals! Yea!

As a student, finals are the dumbest things ever except for chewing on rocks. As a teacher though, they are sweet. Shortened days, more time to plan and grade, going out to lunch becomes an option. Life is wonderful.

The end of the year finals are much better though. As happy as I am right now, I know that I need to be planning for next week when I get some new students and move into the same routine that I've been in for a couple of months now. The good news is that I get to do a lot of poetry. I'm always looking for some good stuff, so if you have some poetry that you really like, let me know what it is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Not Being Sick

Yesterday, I thought I was getting sick, but it turned out to be just a headache and a foggy noggin. I was kind of disappointed. Being the last day of normal classes for this semester, I would have loved to not be around for it. Alas.

Stupid health...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Education: The Social Perspective Part III

This is mostly a combination of the social and moral perspectives.

I always thought that people who were not Seventh-day Adventists were people that were not worth my time. They clearly did not have everything figured out and they were so wrong about so many theological truths that they were certainly not to be associated with.

This is the mentality that clouded my head until late in my college career.

At its core, Christianity is about love. If you disagree, take it up with God. Therefore, I should have been taught that people that had different beliefs were still people, and if they appeared to have no regard for Christ or other human beings, I should love them anyway. I never got this impression. With the addiction perspective, maybe my parents and other like them never wanted me to love outside my denomination for fear of losing me. Either way, it's a shame that I was in my twenties before I made any effort to care about somebody's soul. It's a bigger shame that people go their whole lives without reaching that point.

I talk with my wife about the tragedy of having so few friends outside of our Adventist circle, and it really bothers us both that so many people we know and go to church with have no friends beyond denominational lines. Somewhere along the line, the church has taught me and others that it is better to stay within our own pool and never spend time in others'.

The biggest problem? Relation. As a member of the church board and a deacon and elder, I hear a lot of talk about witnessing and evangelism, but so few know how to relate to the people in our community because we've never been plugged in. It's a religious prejudice that keeps us alone and shrinking.

Seeing how Christ spent so much time with known sinners and low-lifes, it seems so plain to do the same--to love as much as we can and as best as we know.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Education: The Social Perspective Part II

I really have been writing this week, but there was something about this entry that never satisfied. So I'm going to throw out the thoughts I've got and stop caring so much.

Culturally, there is something wrong with dating. It's broken, I think. I came to this realization after talking with some good friends that had their dating heyday before I was born (they don't like it when I bring that up). They talk about dating as being a series of dates and that's it. I don't see that happen much anymore, but I wish I did.

Going to a boarding high school, I saw that dating can be even more broken. In my years since attending, I see that the whole social atmosphere is unhealthy for dating and what that entails. The biggest problem: no dates.

When I started going out with my first girlfriend, we were a couple for months before we had our first date. The problem here is that I found myself latched to the person without really getting to know her. I think it's better to have to option of being with a person without faculty watching, without friends influencing conversations, without the gym as a primary hangout spot.

Not having the option of a date morphs the whole idea into something that is formal, special, personal, and private. The result: once on a date with one person, an established relationship of sorts is solidified. My mother tells me of a time when it was common to go out with three different people within a weekend. That was normal. If people tried that within an Adventist realm, the reputation of a person's honor would be at stake. A date used to be casual, a getting to know you type of thing. It has changed to something that carries the weight of commitment on its shoulders, often crushing at least one of the two involved.

I have watched dozens of relationships crumble after a couple that has been joined at the hip for years throughout high school because one of the two people never discovered how to relate to people. In college, they discover that the social rules change and there are more people that don't expect you to take vows before holding your hand.

Now that I'm not in the middle of it, I would advise high schoolers to not date at all if they are at a boarding school. The list can get lengthy, but for the sole reason of being confined to a serious relationship instead of a casual one is enough to be extremely cautious. But something about the Adventist boarding school culture enforces a serious relationship or no relationship at all.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Education: The Social Perspective Part I

I remember when spending the night at a friend's house was the ultimate activity a kid could partake in. Something about a sleepover forged friendships like nothing else. With many schools in the Adventist Educational system, rooming in a dormitory is most common for students. The best part was that it was like having a sleepover any night you wanted.

In high school especially, friends are your life. I can't imagine going through high school and having to go home at 3:00 and not see your friends until the next day. Therefore, boarding school was the coolest thing ever. With not needing to go home after classes, friends could really hang out with each other, building social networks all day, every day.

When the time would come to go home for a week, my friend Josh and I had rituals that would last the whole night. The highlights were making a homemade bean dip. The ingredients and flavor are now legendary. We would try to watch a movie at 3 am and not fall asleep. We would climb out the window and pee somewhere on campus. It's weird, but those nights have fueled more conversations and good memories than I can count.

During senior class trips, I spent a lot of time with a friend known as Billy Goat.We had known each other for a while, but never really hung out that much. During the week we spent in California, when some of your favorite might not be around, I found that it is less stressful to just hang out with somebody else. Billy Goat and I were not great friends, but we had a blast.

Of course, not every friendship works out perfect. Some of my best friends before I went to boarding school slipped away and we never reconnected. But being surrounded by so many all the time, I feel that my social skills were boosted and I learned to work through levels of friendship and turmoil that would not likely happen elsewhere.