Monday, April 30, 2007

Time Passages

I don't typically go this long between posts.

I've just been reluctant to move Caleb's sunshiny picture down the page, but I either have to stop posting, or time must move on.

One reason I haven't wanted to change it is that I had a very challenging mid-term Friday that I spent the week studying feverishly for, and the post provided a pleasant image for me to look at during study breaks - a refreshing reminder of a simpler time.

I also kind of wanted to keep his happy picture up because there is so much sadness and strife in the world - the Iraq War, Darfur, Afghanistan, the shootings at Virginia Tech, difficulty nearer by in my former church home, and other issues large and small in many places nearby and far away - lots of hurt - lots of struggle. It was nice to open my blog and see a child's drawing of a spring day complete with waterfall, butterfly, bright sunshine, blue sky, a hill with a cave to explore, and the requisite hole in the tree as a home for some creature to live in.

As I've pondered "moving on," I received the latest issue of Time Magazine, and, as I looked at the cover of the new issue containing images of the Jamestown Colony in celebration of its 400th year and compared it with the cover of the issue from the week before containing faces of people killed in the Virginia Tech shootings, I wondered if it was hard for the people at Time to put out the new issue.
How is it possible to move on in just one week from something so profound. It almost seems publication should have stopped for a period of time, because that news was so weighty that it feels it deserved a "moment of silence" - perhaps a few weeks with no new publication - just to let us pause respectfully and soberly.

Getting a new issue gave me a feeling that VT was last week's news and now we move on.

We do move on, as we always must, and yet there are individuals and families who will never really move on and who will never really be the same because of this event. So, as I write this, I think of all who were personally impacted by that event, and I desire to remember and honor them with my thoughts and my words.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Know it All

Well, I just came across another Grook by Piet Hein that expresses the other half of my "Know it All" comment. I sure would have liked to meet him!


Those who always
know what’s best
a universal pest.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Know it All -- Follow Up

On April 5 I mused about having been omniscient as a teen but finding I no longer know everything - and the realizations that have followed - despair and then reality.

I happened across the following poem this week, another Grook by Piet Hein. To some degree he expresses what I was getting at but much more briefly and elegantly. See what you think.


Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happiness is . . . (2)

Happiness is . . .

. . . rocks, water, boys, vacation:

Monday, April 09, 2007

On Vacation

Spring break has finally arrived.

My mother-in-law has also arrived from out of state, so we'll be maximizing some "grandma time" - visiting, playing games, hiking, bowling, gardening, scrapbooking, having family friends to dinner, and whatever else comes to mind - and letting Grandma enjoy the warm west after having experienced some light snow flurries back east on Easter (where people were jokingly wishing each other a Merry Christmas rather than a Happy Easter)!

Sadly there is no real break from grad work, so I will also be figuring out where to squeeze in research, study and writing time while yet being engaged with the rest of my family, all of whom are TRULY on vacation!

. . . SO, I'll be taking a blog break - be back in a week!

Friday, April 06, 2007

We Call This Friday Good

And with His stripes we are healed.

And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Know it All

I used to know and understand everything when I was a teenager.

REALLY, I did!

It's rather disappointing to realize that I no longer know everything.

Well, at least that's how I felt when it first hit me.

I just don't have all the answers anymore, and I really used to.

Then, as I thought about this loss of omniscience, I began to think a little more broadly, and I realized that the only adults I know that "know everything" are those that have not outgrown their adolescent years. Their black and white view of the world may make them comfortable, but it makes everyone else around them miserable as they wield their "truth" like a sword.

And, of course, they DON'T know everything, none of us do. They're just so insecure that they need the sword of "knowing it all" to give them the illusion of safety.

It is said that "Ignorance is bliss."

I don't know about that, but perhaps it is the case that "Recognition of ignorance is one element of maturity."

It seems a more genuine security is present in those who are able to be comfortable saying, "I don't know the answer."

None of us knows everything, and to pretend otherwise once one is past adolescence is just pathetic.

Monday, April 02, 2007

OK, OK, Fine.

I'd always been a bit proud that we were not into the cell phone thing. We had an old phone - ONE phone - (doesn't flip open or take pictures or do anything but send and receive calls), and we never turned it on. It was only for road emergencies, but most of the time we forgot to take it on trips anyway. No one had our number.

So many people are so attached to cell phones that I think their skin has bonded to the phone. My students walk into class talking on cells, then get immediately back on them at break, and then get immediately back on them after class (some use them to "text" during class and think I do not know what is going on!). That kind of dependency on constant connectedness is a bit . . . um . . . disturbing.

My family has been out playing frisbee at the park and had a person immersed in a cell phone conversation walk right into the path of the frisbee without being at all aware of their surroundings or the fact that they were in danger of being smacked in the head.

Last time I went to a movie in a theater, the person directly in front of me spent almost the entire time "texting." I wonder if she had any idea how incredibly bright a small cell phone screen is in a dark theater and how many people were annoyed at the distraction. I wonder if she cared. I also wonder why she paid the expensive cost of a movie ticket to see a movie and then "texted" for two hours instead of watching it.

(If you wonder why I didn't say anything it's because last time I was at a theater and someone's cell phone rang and someone asked them to turn it off a fight nearly broke out as the person with the cell phone began yelling obscenities at the person who asked them to turn off the ringer. I figured dealing with a little distracting brightness was better than dealing with a fight. It seems people get really feisty about their right to use their cell phone whenever and however they want.)

I realize cell phones can be useful, but I had only ever found them to be annoying.

The human race actually made it to the late 20th century without cell phones, and I've just been a bit put off by how dependent people have become on them and have not wanted to be part of that.

Well, as of today I am crying, "Uncle."

I will now be carrying a cell phone with me everywhere and insisting my husband do the same (although we still are not going to have them turned on).

This decision was triggered by two events. Earlier this year my husband had a mini-stroke. Thankfully it happened at home before he was in the car driving the kids to school, but it could just as easily have happened while he was on the road. Today my vehicle broke down as I was on my way home from class and heading to my son's school to pick him up. I was not in the nicest section of town (but thankfully had just gotten off the highway and was not stuck in the median - which in California is not a broad grassy area!). I needed to get help in the form of a tow truck. I needed to let family members know where I was, and I needed to arrange for my son to be picked up (thank you B for doing that!).

Given my resistance to cell phone culture, it is amazing I had mine with me and that it was charged up! I was very thankful when I reached into the pocket of my backpack where I thought it might be to discover it was, in fact, there!

OK, OK, fine. I will make sure to have a cell phone with me from now on, but don't worry, the ringer will be off at all times, and I won't be "texting" anyone while in a movie theater.