Some may say there’s nothing in Kansas, but we sure found plenty to entertain ourselves. After a stay in Kansas City on the Kansas side, we traveled a brief distance to Topeka.
Both being educators, we decided to have our educational portion of this trip at the Brown vs. Board of Education museum.
Our next piece of entertainment was the numerous windmills. Mom was very excited, so it was good I was driving.
We chose our resting spot for the evening because there is a giant, 80-foot Van Gogh painting.
I even added my own touches.
If we’re still awake at dark, we might even step outside to see some fireworks. Tomorrow we’re crossing into Colorado.
This morning I posted 25 things for which I’m grateful for; this afternoon I’d like to post 25 things I still hope to accomplish/see in whatever time God allows me.
- See all of my family love God again
- Get married
- Have kids
- Finish my Master’s degree (well start…)
- Buy a car from this century
- Catch up on my reading list
- Have a rocking chair on my front porch
- Read the Narnia series to my children
- Visit England again
- Memorize more scripture
- Inspire a student
- See my first sophomore class graduate
- Paint a beautiful picture
- Learn another instrument
- Learn to dance
- Have nieces and nephews
- Dye my hair (bravery needed)
- Live near family
- Crochet a sweater
- Drive a stick shift
- Write a book
- Be a regular exerciser
- Hug a sloth (it’d be fun!)
- Live each day to the fullest
- See Jesus return
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. -Abraham Lincoln.
This quote was shared in a song last night at church. As a Christian who also aspires to be a teacher, this is a weight on my shoulders. The way that I teach English will affect how this country runs in the future. That means there has to be more to my job than teaching English. I love literature and the English language but I have to instill more than that into students in order to make a difference in the world.
During the early years of my education major studies at school, I was required to write what the school calls a philosophy of education. I wrote about things such as teaching the whole mind and instilling respect in my students. These are great things, but what is missing is how I’m going to deal with my own personal philosophy about life. I live as a child of God; I’ve been forgiven and shown awesome love. How can I go about sharing that philosophy of living life with students when the government says I cannot mix “religion” and school?
I know I can discuss religious matters when students bring the subject up for discussion but I want to influence students’ lives with God’s love. I want to be able to teach the Bible as more than just literature. I don’t want to skirt around religious topics in a piece of literature. Let’s be honest, most of the writings from pre-contemporary times had influences from religious thinking, and I might even venture to say that current ones do as well depending on how one defines religion. It’s inevitable that God will come up in the classroom.
I had a discussion about all of this with a couple of friends at lunch today. Both are Christians and one is planning to teach middle school math. Basically the only conclusion that we came to is that we can’t avoid this topic in school because that does not profit the students, but teachers also can’t force their ideas on students. It’s a fine balance that I’m not sure I’ve fully grappled enough with. I want to share God’s love but I also know of the restrictions placed on me.
Today during my EDS class, the professor asked us to get out of our comfort zones just a little bit and share a life changing experience. (You have to understand that there are only nine of us in the class and we know each other from previous classes). I shared about my parents divorcing and her question was “Does it still hurt?” That question threw me for a loop, because I’m not used to people, especially professors, asking about my feelings. Then I started wondering why it was such an odd question. I decided it’s because we’re not all real.
Then I found this song:
Well, I’m tired of saying everything
I feel like I’m supposed to say
I’m tired of smiling all the time
I wanna throw the mask away
Sometimes you just have a bad day
Sometimes you just wanna scream
Tell me I’m not the only one
Tell me that you feel just like me
We keep tryin to make it look so nice
And we keep hidin’ what’s goin on inside
But what if I share my brokenness
What if you share how you feel
And what if we weren’t afraid of this crazy mess
What if we were real
What if we were real
I’m over hidin my tears
I think I’m gonna let em’ go
I’m over actin so strong
When I ain’t even in control
We make it so complicated
But why does it have to be
Why can’t we open our hearts and let everybody see
What if we were real
We’d think a little less of ourselves
We’d care about someone else
‘Cause we’d know just how they feel
Maybe we could let someone love us
Maybe we’d a little more like Jesus
Why can’t we learn to real
I like this. Sometimes song can speak exactly what I am thinking and I think this one did it. I appreciated my professor asking that question, because it showed she cared. It gave me a chance to open up and be real.
Classes haven’t even started and I already have a cancelled class and homework. Yay for me (both literally and sarcastically). My only assignment at this moment is an article to read and a self-questionnaire. While trying to get ahead and filling out the questionnaire three days in advance, I found one question particularly intriguing.
What is your earliest memory of learning that people are different?
Here is my response:
I know that we spent time in elementary and high school studying different cultures, but I can’t think of any grand epiphanies during those years. During high school, there were exchange students who were almost always involved in band with me, I spent three of my spring breaks travelling to Europe, and there were people who believed differently than me. Even then, I don’t remember ever thinking about how different people are. For most of my life, I have been taught and believed that people are basically the same throughout, therefore I should treat them the same as I’d like to be treated. I guess college opened my eyes, as late in life as that seems, because when I got here I truly began to appreciate the differences in people. I still believe that people are inherently the same and desire the same things in life, but I also appreciate the way that people are different as well. People’s differences are what make them all individually beautiful.
I just don’t really get it. Yeah I know that people are different, but I’m not sure about this class since I don’t like classifying people according to their differences. People really are basically the same. That’s what I’ve learned during my travels to various countries. We all want the same basic things. I know that people live differently and have different ideas, but that’s what makes them an individual. Maybe the problem is that I’ve always known that people are different, but I really don’t see how that affects me. It doesn’t affect how I treat the people, I don’t think.
Ultimately, our differences make us beautiful and our similarities tie us together.
(I kinda wanted to give a sarcastic response about “people are different than what, animals”. Ha. I didn’t think the professor would appreciate the sarcasm on the first assignment.)
I have so many things I could write about, considering that I’ve been gone from campus for several days (that means lots of adventures). I think I shall just write an educationally-minded blog today. Amidst all of the games I played while at my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving, I also read a book called I’d Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had. It really made me think. The former TV actor, Tony Danza, decided to take a stint teaching. He had always wanted to be a teacher, but he pushed it to the side in favor of something else. One day he decided to go teach. The station latched on to the idea and decided to sponsor him by making it into a TV show. Thankfully, he was strict and said no scripting, because he wanted it to be natural. This turned into the show Teach (of which I’ve only seen one episode), which was eventually cancelled because it was not exciting enough. However, he continued to teach. Here are a few of my thoughts as I was reading the book and some of my favorite quotes:
” Being a teacher is part salesman, part actor, and lots of compassion.” Pg 33.
He did an Of Mice and Men scavenger hunt as a review for the test, which I was totally stoked about while reading. That sounded awesome.
He did an American Idol poetry reading contest. Awesome Idea!
“The bottom line is that everyone of us has a stake in getting education back on track in America. even if we can’t all be great teachers ourselves, we should be rooting for those who do go into this profession…we all still need to support the public school system, because our country’s future depends on its success.” Pg 259
I am still a little aprehensive about the TV show part, because I feel that might have swayed some of the enthusiasm. He did manage to teach even after the station pulled the cameras out of the school, though, so I feel like he at least found a passion for the students. The other factor is that he only had one class to teach, which meant he had more time to plan. Oh well. I still liked many of his ideas.
I am currently on a class trip to NC for my education class. Tomorrow we will be going to observe a middle college high school, which basically means high schoolers taking college classes. On the trip down here, I had a few thoughts I will share with the general public:
1. This week I have realized a new love for the mountains and fall. Earlier this week I was spending some time outside on campus and I looked out over the fields toward the more hilly regions. It was so beautiful that I wished I had the ability to paint. There were reds, greens, blues, yellows, and colors unnamable mixing together. This same scene was even more beautiful as I walked to class earlier that morning when the fog crept over the hills to make the colors muted and fuzzy. Today as we drove toward NC, I couldn’t help but gaze out at the bigger hills that were covered with the same beautiful trees. I typically groan about fall because it means that winter is coming, but this year I feel thankful for the cool air and the gorgeous colors. It’s almost as if God’s paintbrush was particularly full this year. Now, don’t expect me to be so optimistic when it really does start getting cold, although that will mean sweaters, scarves, and hot chocolate.
2. There are 16 people on this trip, which means that there is a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds. When I spend time with people, I tend to ask myself whether they’d be good travel companions or not. This is usually classified by their noise level, complaints, and neediness. There are definitely some people on this trip that I would not choose to travel with. In the situations where they are particularly complain-ey, I find myself becoming more the opposite. On a typical basis, I can complain some, but tonight I found myself being particularly nice to the waitresses. I guess my mind wants to contrast the other members of the group.
3. This is not something I noticed particularly today, but something I’ve been noticing for a while. I tend to be off and on about my personal Bible study, but lately I have been striving to be diligent about my Bible study. My previous excuse was that I had so much reading to do as an English major that I didn’t have time to do my Bible study, but now my attitude has changed. I am finding that I can still find time to study the Bible and all of my reading for class gets done. God wins.