Archive for the 'General' Category

The Tornado, John Piper, and Keith Ellison

August 20, 2009

I woke up this morning to read this tweet from John Piper:

Tornados do have a voice. They talk to Lutherans. And the rest of us. They talk about sexual sin. Stay tuned.

You will find, if you read his blog, that he believes that “The Tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin.”

I’m not one who quickly grasps for this kind of explanation.  Saying that God used natural disasters to warn his people about problems in lifestyle or doctrine seems to be a really obtuse way to speak to us.

On the other hand, I know God has run the gamut of ways to judge or warn His people- both harmless and very fatal ways.  He disciplines us for sure.  Just take a look at Hebrews 12:7-12.  So I won’t rule it out.

What do you think?

On another note, about a month ago I e-mailed Keith Ellison and requested that he consider some legislation that would require smaller class sizes in public schools.  I included some examples of overcrowding in our schools right now such as in Anoka-Hennepin, where, when I toured the high school, the normal class size was getting close to 40 students.  This was compounded with the fact that they had just laid off  many teachers.  (A teacher normally gasps a little at the prospect of 30-35 students.  It’s a tougher gig.)

Here is beginning of his response:

Dear Ms. Schofield, [my emphasis]

Thank you for contacting me about improving our nation’s public education system.  I am honored to hear from you and proud to represent you in the United States Congress…

He then talks about certain bills he voted for that would increase education funding for increasing class sizes for preschools, which is slightly related to what I was talking about but not the issue I talked about.  He also talked about some bills that would allow schools to be waived from No Child Left Behind regulations if the government doesn’t give them the promised amount of money for their budget.  This has nothing to do with what I e-mailed about.

The e-mail then ends with a friendly “This is an unmonitored email account.  Please use our webform at http://ellison.house.gov to contact our office.  Replies to this email will not be read.”

So I’ve been called a woman and brushed off.  Thanks, Mr. ellison!

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Garfield Without Garfield

February 14, 2009

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Student Teaching Ahoy!

February 4, 2009

I’ve began my student teaching, and, I tell you what, it is busy up in here.

But there are two bright spots in this homework-laden, juvenile-filled jamboree: Christine and sesame street actor cameos! As Christine has already pointed out in her blog, actors come in bizarre appearances on sesame street to somehow lesson the boredom for parents while watching this delightful kids program.

Below is what I someday plan to use for an “anticipatory set,” as us educators say in the biz.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2Z6tDSb6c8

Churches, Non-Profit Organizations, and Whaling

January 28, 2009

Whilst researching deductions of “Charitable Contributions” on the IRS website I came across this little gem of a tax break:

Whaling Expenses

Last I heard, whaling was decreasing whale populations to dangerous levels.  This is weird.

The Power of Imperative

January 27, 2009

Last night Christine went on a  date to the laundromat.  We enjoyed lugging our laundry to a new-fangled laundry to try to fit our king-sized bed covers in the the over-sized machines. I enjoyed losing repeatedly to Christine at backgammon. We enjoyed paying way to much to cleanse our newly-purchased bed covers.  (Seriously though, great date.  I love my wife.)

And for some reason the “Cha Cha Slide” was stuck in both of our heads.  This brought us to discuss the power of imperative sentences.  Bear with me:

  • Nike pioneered imperative marketing when in 1988 they launched the “Just do it” campaign.  People have been happily doing it ever since.
  • Coca Cola took a hint and started the “Enjoy” campaign in 2000.
  • Classroom management is often fixed by changing your speech from a mitigated “Would you please…?” to a threatening, authoritative command.
  • The Cha Cha slide hit the 1996 UK singles chart.  The voice of DJ Casper has commanded whiteys in every wedding reception ever.  (Except for Christine and my wedding.)
  • The black-eyed peas have hit the top 100 charts with characteristic, threatening titles such as “Don’t Phunk With My Heart,” “Pump It,” and “Don’t Lie.”

I’ll leave you now with a word from DJ Casper.

Now it’s time to get funky
To the right now, to the left
Take it back now ya’ll
1 hop this time, 1 hop this time
Right foot 2 stomps, left foot 2 stomps
Slide to the left, slide to the right
Criscross, criscross
Cha Cha real smooth

Let’s go to work…