Tag Archives: teaching

let’s not pretend…

Oops too late (Post-Election Poll Jump For trump - 54% of Americans think trump will succeed as president, and trump gets all-time high likability rating of 47%, up about ten points from pre-election . What's the matter with America????):

A follow-up to yesterday’s post, this powerfully direct statement by Eugene Robinson is a plea for all of us to stand up to the intentional destruction of common decency that the election of the #BLOTUS represents. The open misogyny, ugliness, and vindictive behavior of those in power should  never be normalized.

No person, especially the President of the United States, deserves respect when basic human decency seems to be a foreign concept to them. Leadership requires far more than wealth and power.

When children act inappropriately we are quick to teach them how to behave properly. Isn’t it time we do the same with the leader of the free world?

just follow the money…

Nominating Betsy DeVos for the Secretary of Education is putting the bear  fox in the henhouse. BLOTUS is already attacking every major gain we have made as a nation, not just dismantling public education, but in every other arena, as well.

three great treasures

Jesus taught that where our treasure is, there will be our heart, also. If we agree with the great Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, our hearts are surely in a good place. Our world would be a far kinder and much more gentle place if we would demonstrate our wealth in these treasures.

either/or…it’s our choice

My first thought when I saw these two quotes was that children are the great imitators. They learn by watching.

My second thought was the quote, “Actions speak louder than words.” We live in a society saturated with violence, both real and artificially created for our entertainment. Our children are not just exposed to this violence, they are submerged in it.

We glorify power and vengeance and then act surprised when our children imitate our values. Maybe when we come to the place where we stop giving lip service to the idea of peace and actually become peacemakers we will have children that live peaceably, as well.

Until then we need to accept the fact that our children are learning by watching us. We are the ones teaching our children that violence is not only acceptable but a good and natural way to live.

 

worth the effort

In my last post I focused on a couple of European proverbs that dealt with both how God provides and our responsibility. That morphed into a mini-rant on the flaws in our US welfare system.

A more familiar saying to most of us, and a response I hear on a regular basis when I teach about ending hunger in our lifetime, is

God helps them that help themselves.

We are told that this little nugget is a Biblical teaching pointing out that the poor are poor because they are to lazy to help themselves. And although there are some poor who are not as industrious as we think they should be, this proverb is just another traditional saying. It isn’t in the Bible.

Many would like to have the Bible to help justify not helping the poor among us, but this proverb is not a quote from the Bible. Look for yourself. It just isn’t there.

As I pointed out yesterday, there are some poor in the United States that have come to the place where they feel entitled to help. This comes from a flawed welfare system that rewards people for not exerting the effort to help themselves.

That doesn’t mean that the hungry in our country should not be helped. Hungry people need to be fed, wherever they are found. How can we tolerate over 40 million of our citizens going hungry on a regular basis?

What is needed is that we fix the broken system. That includes changing the law, It also means changing the values and lifestyles of those receiving aid.

Changes of this magnitude do not happen without tremendous effort and time, but I think it is worth the effort. Do you?

 

 

my first lesson plan

Tomorrow is a big day for me. It’s the day I begin teaching at George Mason University. And yes, I am excited. GMU is now the largest university in Virginia, with an enrollment of over 34,000 students.

Teaching at the college level is something that I have wanted to do for a number of years. I have taught dozens of classes at various colleges and universities and I always walked away from those experiences wanting more. I always leave those classes wanting the chance to do more, to interact more deeply with the students. Now I have been given the opportunity to do exactly that.

So for the next 15 weeks I will be commuting up to Fairfax, VA every Wednesday to teach Sociology 352: Social Problems. Not surprisingly, the class will focus on global hunger.

I am not exactly excited about the drive, but I am thoroughly pumped about spending 3 hours a week engaging young people in learning about ending hunger. I have already been enjoying the challenge of learning to fully integrate the internet as a teaching tool.  (And I used the word “challenge” intentionally. Those that know me best know my abilities with electronic media)

But the reality is that this semester is a tremendous opportunity for both me and the students in the class. Together we get to figure out how our spirituality, our values and our lifestyles all merge together in the midst of a hungry world. And hopefully, by the time Christmas rolls around, we will all have learned how each of us can make a real and lasting difference in that world. I want us all to leave the class knowing that by working together we can end hunger in our lifetime.

At least that ‘s the lesson plan.