Showing posts from November, 2016

Advent 2, 2016

John 1:5:  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehendit.

The gospel writers are not overly optimistic about how the world would greet the Coming One.  This is an interesting image, peculiar to John to use light and darkness, not in the Greek idea of wisdom and ignorance, but of the revelation and brightness of the Christ compared to the world into which He comes.  Wisdom and ignorance are relevant, but only a part of it:  love vs. apathy; attention vs. dismissal; faith vs. disbelief; acceptance vs. rejection;  righteousness vs. rebellion.   The darkness does not comprehend light.  Why would it?  Even from a physics standpoint (of which I know little), light would confound darkness.  So we shouldn't be overly surprised that people just don't get us sometimes when we worship Christ. 

Advent 1, 2016

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: and we beheld his glory … and of his fullness have we all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:14, 16).

I am down with a cold or something worse today and yesterday and hope to be able to go to work tomorrow. This is the worst time of the year for college teachers.  All the Christmas events collide with the end of the semester, which collide with illness and other aspects of life.  I am not a good sick person and become depressed at the very thought of not being able to do what I want, which today was attending church on the first day of Advent. Our new pastor is going to preach on it, something I looked forward to. Baptists don't usually pay much attention to the ecclesiastical calendar.

Christianity Today has some good articles right now on Protestantism and Advent.  It strikes me that the church is so deeply embedded in history but no one today seems to realize it.  We can't dismiss 2,000 years of church practice j…

Time for Some Random Observations and ARRIVAL

Amazon ad:  Give the gift of permanent hair removal this Christmas.  Seriously?  I want that under my tree?

The only thing worse than a self-righteous conservative is a self-righteous liberal.  Sheesh.  Even worse are the self-righteous liberals who used to be self-righteous conservatives, but someone in their family converted them and they can't just agree to disagree--they have to make the whole world listen to them.

I have totally gone off Facebook.  I only checked it today for a message, but I hope to train my friends to contact me another way. It is bad for my relationships bad for my blood pressure, bad for my time management.  Of course, I am still blogging. 

I went to see the movie Arrival on Sunday.  Quite good, although any ambitious film like that is going to leave some questions.  My first one:  how could those beings manage to create those spaceships without opposable thumbs (or much else in terms of anatomy)?  Second:  if your language doesn't allow you to think…

Little Update

If James were writing today, instead of "Be not many teachers" he would write in addition, "be not many bloggers."

Epiphany of the day

I admit to being slow on the uptake.

I see now that anxiety, fear, or worry are  products of the illusion of Control.  (I capitalize it.)  If I think I am in control of other people (and therefore responsible for their behavior) and they are not doing what I want, I worry about how I am going to get their compliance.  All based on faulty logic.  I am not in control of them.  I am not responsible for their behavior.  Therefore, worry is futile.

Now, I am responsible for me, for sometimes meting out punishments, for dealing with outcomes, and for trying to make good conditions.  But people choose and I can't change that.

What a relief.   

Post Election Part I

Although I should write a long treatise on the election results, I will probably take a shotgun approach.  Ambivalence reigns.

First, let me be clear (as someone likes to say), I did not vote for Trump or Clinton or Johnson or Stein.  I wrote in a candidate, which is meaningless but my conscience is clear.  Some would say I am a wuss and noncommital; I was committed to not falling prey to binaries or voting for people I believed were bad for the country.  (Nor was I voting for a geographically challenged weedsmoker whose running mate should have been the Libertarian candidate.)

Second, some of the reaction has been so over the top I am embarrassed.  By both sides.  Trump is not "GOD'S MAN."  Please.  That level of naivete and faith in a human being is downright scary coming from an alleged Christian.  Shame on you.  And he isn't going to hurt gay people (what does he care who they sleep with, considering his own background?).  Now, immigrants, I can understand some o…


I want to write about the election results, but I'm still processing.  I never saw that coming. I assumed Hillary would win, whether I liked it or not, because of the conventional wisdom on demographics.  Wow. 

Presidential Race Finals

--> I have not posted about the presidential race, which thankfully is coming to an end, for a while.I voted early Friday, which was the last day, so it really wasn’t that early.I wrote in a name, which was meaningless because even though Georgia allows it, the write-ins have to have gone through a petition process with a certain number of names.But there was no way I was tapping the screen beside either of those names. One of my students came up behind me in line at the polling station.This was her first time voting.I wanted to say “I am sorry, then, that you couldn’t have had better choices,” but I didn’t want to seem like I was electioneering!They take that seriously.The place was packed.I am pretty sure 90% of the people there were voting for Trump, whether they were enthusiastic or not.This is a deeply Republican county, but not always in a good way.All but one of the other races involved unopposed incumbent Republicans.The Senate race had three choices.There were fou…

NaNoWriMo 2016

I wrote over 15,000 words in the last five days. Why in the world would I do that?Because I am participating for the third tme in National Novel Writing Month. This is an annual event that, in general, is supporting literacy.The idea is to not create a great novel but to get a draft on paper.The folks at NaNoWriMo know that writing is rewriting.They aren’t saying that producing the 50,000 words to “win” NaNoWriMo (you really don’t win anything) is going to get you a publishing contract.Fifty thousand words is a nice, round, doable number. I did it the first time in 2011, then in 2014 (but I cheated that time, because I just uploaded something I’d already written; uploaded novels are immediately removed from their server.)This time I am really writing but also taking the dialogue of a play I wrote and refashioning it.Yesterday I dug in and wrote over 10,000 words.It was neat for a couple of reasons. That morning I had read the opening passage of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.I paid a p…

Grendel by John Gardner

A friend of mine required this book in her dual enrollment English class at the College.I read it last weekend.It grabbed me from the beginning and I didn’t want to put it down.It is mercifully short, though.I did get tired of the details of eating people. It is a good companion to Beowulf from a literary perspective and would allow the students to think about Beowulf from a different stance.As a stand alone book, however, I sort of saw it as an experiment.I loved Gardner’s The Art of Fiction and need to read it again, so he clearly knows what he is doing in literature.Some reviewers on Amazon criticized the teenage whininess of Grendel and that the mother is portrayed as powerless and mindless.The prose is remarkable.I was transported in that regard.

Jeremiah chapter 1

Two versions of reality

Wednesday night on Fox:  New Alert:  Hillary Clinton's email shows new levels of corruption in State Department and DOJ.  Trump's lack of knowledge and experience?  Crickets.

NPR on Thursday morning.  What kind of (horrible) people vote for Trump?  Hillary and corruption? Crickets.

A Reflection on Life with Kallman's Syndrome

A reader emailed me this morning with the following articulate, moving message about her life with Kallman's.  I asked her if I could post it and she consented, which I greatly appreciate.  For those new to this blog, I had written about it in the past; you can find it if you google Kallman's and the name of this blog.  I don't know exactly what it is I wanted to say to you, but felt compelled to reach out as I have never read of Kallmann's from a personal and female perspective. I feel like most information on Kallmann's is so medical that I need to google 75% of the articles and still don't have the answers I am looking for. My doctors and nurses, while wonderful, are not always the best at translating the syndrome into real life. The nurses are kind and sympathetic but often don't fully understand the condition, given how rare it is. My doctors are factual, scientific and strangely excitable. Over the years whenever I meet a new OBGYN or endocr…