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May 18th, 2004

09:04 am - Poke-a-teacher's-fiancee!
Hehe. My students in first hour are beside themselves to meet with childlikeone. One of them, Kathleen, just said that if she came to visit the class, she needed to poke her and prod her to see if she was real.

: Poke poke :

Are you real, childlikeone? If so, please reply. And maybe do your own blog-thingy. :)

How was your weekend? Inquiring minds want to know. :p
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: The Scientist, Coldplay

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May 17th, 2004

02:00 pm - Urset and Childlikeone are getting hitched!
Yesterday afternoon, at approximately 3:30, in Detroit, MI, I asked childlikeone (Priscilla) to marry me.

She said yes. :)

Hooray! You mean, I get to live with her, laugh with her, cuddle with her, raise children with her, shout with her, whisper with her, pray with her, and talk with her for the rest of my life? Are you serious, Lord? I am abundantly blessed, and abundantly thankful, and abundantly impatient for this whole marriage thing to get happening. :p

A Song About HerCollapse )

More, tons more, to follow this -- I don't have the time or the energy right now to even begin to express my happiness. But the day must be documented, and if you look at the screen really closely, you can see me smiling. Even from all the way over there, where you're sitting right now.

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May 14th, 2004

11:28 am - Music Quiz Thingy
This quiz is thanks to welah. It's pretty cool, but I'm afraid my musical taste might be a tad bit obscure, and I'm afraid that I don't have too many (Live Journal) friends. I might post the answers later; make your guesses now.

Quiz HereCollapse )

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May 12th, 2004

01:45 pm - Made my day.
A student in fifth hour just made my day. We spent a nice calm (and tremendously warm) period reading "Great Expectations" silently, and as he left class he said to me,

"Mr. Propson, this book is awesome."

If there was any doubt, there is a God. ;)

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May 10th, 2004

11:02 am - I got published
Two or three times a year, usually, I send in a letter to the editor to a newspaper. I have a pretty good record as far as getting published, too -- something like a 70% success rate. When I was going to the University of Michigan, I sent letters to The Michigan Daily. Now, as an "adult," I send letters on occasion to the Detroit Free Press -- the best newspaper in Southeast Michigan. (Although, it must be said, the competition isn't exactly stellar.)

Anywho, I sent a letter on Friday, and I saw it in print today. :)

There is something reassuring about seeing one's name in print. Perhaps slightly dangerous, as well, but reassuring. Now, if only they paid people for writing letters to the editor...

Urset's Letter to the Editor

The article I was responding to

Current Mood: pleased
Current Music: What Do You Do With a BA in English? (Soundtrack to Avenue Q)

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May 7th, 2004

03:09 pm - Poor girl

One of my students, K------, is a "slasher." She was wearing a short-sleeve shirt today, and for the first time I saw her wrists. I am on the verge of tears right now, just thinking of it. There are many -- it seemed like dozens -- of straight faded red lines on the underside of her wrist.

K------ is one of the most creative and inventive students I teach. She writes passionately, and although her grammar skills certainly leave something to be desired, she demonstrates no small talent for language. Her comments in classroom discussions consistently show eloquence and depth of understanding. She is perfectly respectful of me as a teacher, and values my opinions. She is a wonderful girl.

And yet, in some very real and profound way, she is miserable. Miserable enough to slash at her own wrists, to desecrate the temple that is her body.

I already knew she did this before I saw her wrists, but somehow seeing makes it so different. I don't understand. There's more to her story, but I don't feel that this is the time or the place to share it. She was brought up Christian, in a manner of speaking -- as much as anyone with inconsistent and selfish parents can be. (But then again, come to think of it, we're all inconsistent and selfish -- what a terrifying journey is parenthood!) But I think that right now her faith seems to be, more than anything else, making her feel condemned.

If you're the praying sort, offer up a prayer for K------. Pray that God's love would break through her own self-hatred. And pray for me -- because the most trusted teachers of students like K------ have the opportunity (and challenge) of having a real impact on their thinking.


Current Music: Forgiveness, Patty Griffin

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May 4th, 2004

07:39 am - Good morning!

Current Music: Still Fighting It, Ben Folds

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May 3rd, 2004

02:59 pm - My students got me thinking... (imagine that!)
I just had an absolutely fascinating conversation with my first hour class this morning. I cannot resist repeating certain aspects of it here, if only as a document so I myself will not forget it.

They are reading "Antigone," a play in which an authority figure (Creon) makes the following statement: "Good lives are made good by discipline." In this statement, he was trying to justify the fact that he was condemning his great-neice (who had broken one of his laws) to death. He claimed that his vow to put any lawbreaker to death was not impacted by the fact that it was his neice who was in the situation. He had to be disciplined -- in other words, to make good on his vow.

My class agreed that, "Good lives are made good by discipline" is a reasonable statement. If I continually commit to certain things, and then fail to follow through on them, I have destined myself for a meaningless and unrewarding life.

What then? Shall Antigone be put to death, so that Creon may remain disciplined? Wouldn't having mercy on Antigone make Creon a liar? And who wants to follow a government led by a man who lies?

But the answer is: discipline is not an absolute good. The most tremendous and powerful actions of evil in this world are also terribly disciplined. This does not give us an excuse to act in an undisciplined way, but it does indicate that we must always be concerned, not only for what is disciplined, but for what is right. "Whatever is good, whatever is true, whatever is noble, if anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think on these things."

We cannot simply do what is consistent; we must do what is right. Often, our greatest inclinations toward evil find justification in our minds with the rationalization that we are being consistent. (I can be rude to this student because I am rude to every student, and it teaches them how to deal with rude people. I already download illegal music online, so it's just consistent to download an illegal copy of Windows too).

But no amount of justification will ever work to convince ourselves. We do things that are evil. Even when we do good, our efforts are often undisciplined and ineffective. It's that simple.

But God loves us. And, in the face of God's steadfast love, all our evil is just a drop in the bucket. :)

But let's stop doing it anyway. ;)
Current Mood: Inspired
Current Music: The Steward of Gondor, LOTR Soundtrack

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April 28th, 2004

02:45 pm - My map
Following up on welahsister's entry on US states she's been to, here's my map. Cool idea!

create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide

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April 23rd, 2004

03:08 pm - The Madman Returns
Gee, but I haven't posted here in a long time!

My school just bought all its teachers new Windows XP IBM computers! 32 Gigs memory, flat screen monitor, superfast processor. I am totally pumped about this.

Quotation of the week: "You know, for an anti-technology guy, you are sure pretty good at the stuff." - childlikeone

Work has been tremendously busy lately, and shows no sign of letting up. Hence the tersity of this entry. (Tersity? Is that a word? Do I care?)

Current Mood: not-comprehending-Friday
Current Music: The Cartoon Song, Chris Rice

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