Showing posts from January, 2013

Drawing Adult Education Ideas from Educating Rita

Psalms in the New Testament

Sex as Self Discovery

Sometimes I am exposed to messages via the radio, TV, or books that disturb me but that cause a light to go off.

Such enlightenment happened Friday when I was listening to an interview Terri Gross of Fresh Air did with Lena Dunham, she of the TV show "Girls" and the creepy, bizarre pro-Obama commercial when she implicitly compared voting for Obama the first time like the first sexual experience. 

She is the writer and star of the show, which is about four girls who have graduated from college but, like most young people today, can't find decent jobs and have to live according to their meager means.  So far, so good, but apparently instead of finding jobs these girls have a lot of sex with various and sundry men.

At one point in the interview Dunham said something about sex being a means of self-discovery for her character, and one has to imagine, for her.  This struck me first as odd, then sad, and then meaningful--in the sense that it means one of three things, or perha…

Marijuana: Does the Government Have a Reason and Right to Protect the Stupid

I like what this writer for CNN says, but it also makes me somewhat uncomfortable.  Marijuana is NOT  a good drug, people.  It's bad for you.  But what's the line on the government protecting us, and who decides who is stupid? 

Additionally, I have recently learned that people who develop schizophrenia at college age tend to be marijuana users.  HUMMMM.

Whites Writing About Blacks

This debate really interests me, because my novels include African American characters and I try to write them faithfully and sensitively.  According to some, I have no right to do so.  Thankfully, James Baldwin says it's all right.  I was trained in new criticism, where only the text matters.  If the text works as literature, then the race or gender of the writer shouldn't matter.  Criticize what I write, not my skin color over which I have no control.

Violence in America

Eric Metaxas has written a wonderful BreakPoint commentary on movie violence today.  Check it out.  (Google Breakpoint)

We are a bunch of hypocrites, he basically says. Hollywood is the worst.  "Give up your guns!" they shout--and then show unrepentant violence on screen.  And we watch it.  Two people I know went to see Django Unchained.  I should have gone all prophetic on them.

I watched, by the way, the old "Oceans' Eleven" movie last night. I thought it was surprisingly good, mainly because of the Greek tragedy ending.  It used to be in Hollywood, evil and crime had to be punished.  Not any more.

In reading Genesis' account of Noah, I was surprised to see that what the people were being punished for was violence!  Same with other times of judgment.  We think we will be judged for sexual deviance--but maybe not so much.  I think America is under judgment right now anyway because of our innate violence, more than our sexual sins, although that's part …

Some curmudgeonly comments this Wednesday

I do not give to Komen, nor will I.  Some people in the media say that its donations went down because pro-choicers were angry with its flipflopping about the Planned Parenthood funding.  No, they have that wrong.  The pro-lifers have seen the light and pulled out funding.  I am one of them.  I could go on a screed here that the whole ribbon campaign has gotten out of hand.  There is lots of documentation on that, and how corporations are using it to make money.  So be it.  They just won't get any of mine.

I am about sick (to use my husband's expression) of evangelical narcissism.  Evangelicals really think that God loves the world but He loves them most.  That God will alter the whole world order to fix their problems.  That their little problems equal world hunger.  That Jesus would have died for them if they were the only person in the world  (maybe He would have, but the issue is, we AREN'T the only person in the world.)  Perhaps this is why young people are drawn to s…

Speaking out about Kallmann's Syndrome

I occasionally go to the Facebook pages or other sites that discuss Kallmann's Syndrome, a genetic condition I have.  As a middle-aged woman who has never knowingly met anyone with Kallmann's but who has corresponded a bit with others online about this disorder, I do not consider myself an expert in KS but I am a "survivor," if you will.  I am sometimes floored by what people write about it; all I can conclude is that their journey has been much harder than mine.  Perhaps I am just too clueless to know how hard my journey has been, or I lack imagination to envision what life would have been like without KS.  Perhaps being ignorant of the wider community of KS persons was to my advantage.  The Internet makes cross-national communication on these matters so much easier, which is a good thing, but it also gives a voice to people who perhaps should think twice about what they post.  I also have to conclude that this is generally harder on men than women, but only very sl…

Inappropriate Language

We have noticed that our students say "colored people."  We are not sure if they are just dumb, are hearing that from their grandparents, or are confusing "colored people" with "people of color."  The names we give for people groups always fascinate me; usually they are incorrect or insensitive.  I have noticed how insensitive "college" and scholarly types are about disabilities.  The words "retarded," "autistic," and "Asperger's" are used as if they are adjectives rather than neurological conditions.

Classic Movie: Johnny Belinda

I got the opportunity to watch a movie I had wanted to see for a real time, Johnny Belinda.  It was so good.  It moved a little too fast, as old movies do, but it was tender and sensitive and well acted.  It's why I like old movies.  The scene where she prays and signs the Lord's Prayer was heartbreaking.

Theory U--I Actually Read It

Theory U was on our reading list for a class in Organizational Development.  I actually finished it, a monht after the semester ended.  Here's my take.

Theory U was a struggle to read, not because his language is dense, philosophical, or arcane.  Individual sections are quite lucid and he uses lots of good examples and case studies to  exemplify his ideas, of which there are many, to say the least.  Or maybe not.  The book is hard to read because it is so redundant, and you read a chapter that is 50% or more a repetition of something earlier in the book, and he keeps going back to that darn farmhouse fire!  That must have been incredibly traumatic for him as a child. 

It is also hard to fathom because his model is inelegant at the same time it is oversimplified.  Everything is in fours:  four levels of this, four levels of that, and then there are six pathologies of organizations, three kinds of openness, etc.  By the time we get to the end, the U is covered with all kinds of addi…

Late Have I Loved You

Wonderful quote from St. Augustine:
Late have I loved you, oh beauty so ancient and so new. You were within me while I was outside of myself, searching for you. You shone yourself upon me and drove away my blindness. You breathed your fragrance upon me...and in astonishment...I drew my first breath.