Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old Friends

I have had several opportunities lately to be with friends I rarely see.

My dear friend from college/post-college years, Holly, spoke at our women's conference ten days ago. She spent the night with me, and although we only covered about 10% of the things we'd have liked to discuss, and although we're both old enough that we had to go to bed around 11 instead of the 3 a.m. it would have been years ago, it was wonderful to spend a few hours with her.

Good friends, even if you don't see each other but every few years, can take up right where they left off back when!

Billy and Shelby came to visit my folks, and stayed at our house. Shelby is the kind of lady that appeals to all generations. Everybody loves Shelby! And Billy is a fine man also. It was a pleasure to keep them at our house.

Finally, before Andrew's recital, I met up with a former student from my very first year of teaching. Their class had a reunion that night, and invited me, but I couldn't go due to the recital/reception. Well, this dear friend, Cheri, wrote me on Facebook and said she would come over to the recital beforehand so that we could get together for a few minutes. And a few minutes it was - only ten - but such a joy to see her again. And it really meant a lot that she would go out of her way to find and see me for such a short time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Andrew's Recital

Andrew's senior recital was Saturday night. He spoke for 45 minutes about the storyteller James Thurber - and brought the house down several times.

The light wasn't right but at least I got this - even with the reflection.
Mr. James Thurber himself -
The fam -
With the family of the head of his quartet. They are a lot of fun!
It was a great night -

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Saturday Funny

Heard on the radio this morning:

The late J. Vernon McGee was preaching a series at a church on the book of Jonah, when a woman asked to speak to him - she was offended that he was preaching on a book of the Bible that has no women in it.

In his inimitable style, he said to her, "Well, Madam, we're not sure about the whale."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Power Plant

Power Plant trip yesterday with my 9th graders. We went to see a local steam station - a great opportunity for them to get to see where electrical power comes from. However, before you get trapped on the roof, make sure that the elevator is free to come back and get you - it is not fun to walk down seven flights of grated stairs with a panicking student.

My group (including our bus driver). There were two other groups as well as they split the class of 21 students into smaller ones for the tour.
At the right you can see inside the running furnace.
Coal pile:
River outside the plant:

Explanation from our tour guide:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Conversation with the "Third Mr. Elliot"

This morning during the first part of Bible class, my classroom phone rang and the secretary said "Lars Gren is on the phone for you." Lars Gren is the husband of Elisabeth Elliot, the author, and I had mailed an order for a CD to them. (I use the CD every year to play for the seniors before they graduate, and mine had disappeared. The Grens are the only ones who still carry this particular message - I can no longer find it on the Focus on the Family website.) Mr. Gren had a question about the order, and we had a nice brief conversation as well. I told him how much I have appreciated the writings of his wife throughout the years.

Anyway, while the secretary was transferring the call, I said to my class "You'll never guess who's on the phone - Elisabeth Elliot's husband!" And one of the girls replied, "Who, Jim?"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Looking at the Truth of Some Perceptions of Christian Education

Looking at the Truth of Some Perceptions of Christian Education

Many people are acquainted with someone who has at one time been enrolled in one of our area’s private Christian schools. Some people may have questions about this form of education. Some have perceptions about it that may not be accurate. Let’s look at some of these ideas.

Perception 1: Christian schools are just glorified Bible schools.

The Truth: Although Bible is taught, the purpose of Christian education is to approach all subjects with a biblical world view. Math is a reflection of God’s order. Science is the study of almighty God’s complex creation. History is a record of man’s actions and God’s interventions in the world. Literature is the written expression of the deep truths of the universe written on our hearts. Grammar and writing prepare young people for the challenges of influencing others.

Perception 2: If I send my child to a Christian school, he will lose out on good academics.

The truth: Although a private enterprise may not have all the latest extras of current education (no government funding is provided), a good Christian school should provide a solid education in all the basics and be staffed with faculty who are properly educated and know their subjects. Since all schools are not created equal, a parent should investigate before deciding to enroll a child.

Perception 3: Christian schools want to attract only people who believe the same way.

The truth: Most schools welcome people of any creed who are willing to abide by the policies and understand that the children will be taught a biblical world view. I have taught students from a dozen different denominations, as well as several from non-Christian religions.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that God puts certain students in my classes for a given school year. My responsibility is to teach them careful academics, model God’s love and fill their minds and hearts with God’s truths for daily living. Teachers are not responsible for convincing them to live according to a particular creed; God must work in their hearts.

Perception 4: Christian education is too expensive.

The truth: Well, that depends. Some schools are pricey; some are more affordable. Some schools offer little for their cost; some are a great value for the dollar. Some parents can easily write the check; others sacrifice greatly to put their children in Christian school. Some say they can’t afford it but have plenty of money for expensive playthings and vacations. Some truly can’t afford it but depend on God to provide the funds.

Unfortunately, the modern idol of materialism has convinced many people that they cannot afford this “product” for their children. A family friend who put five children through Christian school has often said that the checks he wrote each year were “the best investment [he] ever made.”

A Christian school is not a panacea for the ills of society, nor is it a reform school. It does not take the place of good parenting, and the students enrolled — as well as the teachers — are not perfect. Solid Christian schools exist for the purpose of partnering with parents to train young people both academically and spiritually, and to draw those children to God. Look carefully and choose wisely.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Husband on YouTube!

A student found this clip on YouTube and told me that he saw my husband on it. It appears to be unedited video of Sen. Graham's visit to the nuclear station. Mike was at work that day, and we looked and looked for him on the news stations but he was not to be found locally. Well, here he is!!! It's between the 4-minute and 5.5-minute marks of the 7.5 minute video.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fistulas and Modern Medical Care

The current edition of WORLD magazine has an interesting article about two Australian doctors - husband and wife - who started a "fistula hospital" in Ethiopia around 1960. Fistula is a rarely-seen disorder in an advanced country like the U.S., but in third-world countries it is rampant. In a euphemistic nutshell, a fistula is the hole that remains in a woman who has had a difficult labor and childbirth. These women labored for days, sometimes over a week, almost always giving birth to dead babies, and being left with little control over any elimination functions - thus leading to odor problems and rejection by family and society. The article was very eye-opening to the horrible OB/GYN problems these women experience - and that we virtually never see. Over 35,000 fistulas have been repaired at this hospital. Many women can go home after the repair, but the hospital team has also built a village for those women whose problems are so bad that they can never be accepted into polite society again.

What these women wouldn't have given for good OB care, for Pitocin, for caesarean sections. I say this deliberately because there are some women in our modern, clean, fistula-free society who, usually because of a bad birth experience, have turned on OB care. While there are no doubt "bad apples" in the OB profession as much as there are in any other field, it is inaccurate to paint OB care with such a broad brush. When women do so, they are ignoring the huge greater picture - that we have some of the safest birthing care in the world. How often do we hear of babies dying in childbirth, or of mothers dying, or of fistulas? Very, very seldom.

My own son was an unexpected and difficult breech birth. I shudder to think of the possible outcome had he been a home birth. He was an initial 2 on the Apgar scale, but oxygen available in the birthing room brought him up to a 10 by the two-minute mark. Was the situation ideal? No, but he is alive, healthy, and soon to graduate from college. I may have some minor lasting results from the situation - but no fistula. The circumstances around his birth are cause for celebration, not condemnation.

I am thankful for modern medical care. If age and family weren't issues - maybe I'd go to medical school, get an OB license, and go to Ethiopia to help those women.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Andrew Senior Recital

Saturday night, April 23, 5:00 p.m.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Goldfinches Getting Summer Colors

It has been fun to watch the goldfinches go from their drab winter colors to their summer brightness with the black caps. The males, that is. The females stay drab. The one on the left is a male; the one on the right is the female. Not the best of pictures; even the best of shots gets lost when the camera has a slight delay.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Wonder of Power (the Electrical Kind)

Electrical power is a wonderful thing. Never has the sound of the refrigerator humming been such a beautiful thing.

I see now why pioneers went to bed so early. When it gets dark. . .there's nothing else to do. All our artificial entertainments and diversions, I believe, have affected our sleep patterns, and therefore our rest cycles. Darkness is for rest, and we have changed that natural pattern with all our nocturnal activity and gazing at screens.

So much of our lives is controlled by access to electricity. I was brought to my knees during 36 hours without power. Couldn't see, couldn't shower, couldn't fix my hair, couldn't open the refrigerator or freezer doors, couldn't use the phone, couldn't sew, couldn't much of anything. And horror of horrors, couldn't use the computer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Morning Misc.

And when do I ever get a chance to do a leisurely Monday morning post? During SPRING BREAK!!!

--ML came home Friday night and went turkey hunting with her dad on Saturday morning. They didn't get anything but saw a lot. Best line of the day? ML: "We were sitting under some trees in the middle of the day and I dozed off. I woke up and thought 'Dad will be mad at me for sleeping.' I looked over at him - and he was dozed off himself."

--Andrew came through both Saturday and Sunday, headed to south Georgia to meet the quartet for a concert and then returning. Saturday there was nothing to eat here at the time. His solution? "I'm going to Grandma and Papa's house." As you would expect, she fed him well. Last night he was here and then realized his pass lasted until this morning, so he spent the night. I fixed eggs and grits for him before he left to make a 9:00 class.

--I made fried wild turkey breast yesterday for lunch. It really does taste just like chicken - does not have the wild gamey taste of venison that is not, as Mike would assert, "just in my head."

--Had a yard sale with my folks on Saturday. Mike says an $80 sale is not worth all the work. He may have a point. But it was fun. I did, however, promise not to have any more. After all, he's the one that has to lug the tables back and forth.
This refuses to split into paragraphs and I don't intend to spend any more time trying to get it to. EDIT 4/6: I figured it out!