Thursday, April 19, 2007

Went to see the showing of Christian Smith's film, Soul Searching, at Notre Dame last night. It made me wonder if at times if we make this more difficult than it needs to be. It seems to me that if we support families as they try and raise their kids, and we do that in community, the research shows that we are usually pretty successful in acheiving our desired outcomes. Not to make this sound too critical, but it seems, at least from his research, to be true. The more parents are engaged in the lives of their students, the more stable the student is.

Nothing new, but the responsibility falls on the adults. The onus is not on the students to teach, it's on the adults/parents. One of the points Chris made last night, is that too often, while trying not to push them away, we leave our students with nothing to push back on. We don't pass anything on to them in thinking they need to discover things on their own. In the end, we're all worse off.

The giraffes in these pictures were taken on our safari to Kruger National Park over Christmas break. If you look close, you can see the one above is torn up pretty badly, we were guessing by some cats the night before. What you can't see in that picture is the reason. The little one in the picture below was following closely behind mama, maybe 10 paces. It became obvious to us that this mother was in a battle for the very life of her little one. At times they understand some basic things better than me.

So, today, I'm going to try and be a better adult for those I influence. That is what I'm hearing they need.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Not an hour has gone by today without me thinking about the tragedy at Virginia Tech. It is interesting to see how quickly we begin to move to protective measures to make sure the same "won't happen here".

How can we guarantee that? Who saw this coming? Like they knew, and did nothing! How quick we are to point fingers.

Being on a small college campus in the midwest, the questions quickly turned to how that could happen here. Today we're all reminded that the world isn't perfect. The way we deal with each other is disturbing at times. Will that ever change?

That's here. That's close. Definitely too close for comfort.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, children in Sudan suffer every day. As loud as the gun was in that building in Blacksburg, the guns in Darfur remain seemingly silent to us. Out of sight, out of mind. So, we continue to localize, minimize, and at the same time distance ourselves from pain. As long as things stay as far away as Blacksburg, as close as that is, here in Bourbonnais we remain safe; or so we say.

Today, though, the world seems really small.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Saw someone this past weekend from a trip I was able to take this year over Christmas break. It was a trip, more like a journey, that 45 from the US were able to experience together. Seeing Brian brought to the surface many of the feelings I have for these people and what we experienced together. Sitting around drinking coffee with Brian, Drew, Terry, and myself, trying to catch up was good. It made me realize how much I miss them; miss their friendship, miss our conversations, miss the hugs, and miss their understanding. 2 1/2 weeks with a group of people can really shape you in ways you don't expect, never see coming.

That happened to us over three months ago now. I'm still hearing stories about Lindsey, Ashley, Daniel, Karen, and how our experiences are continuing to work on us. It's a good work. It's a work we understand best about each other. It's a work that together was at times clumsy, but none-the-less, was a work. It remains a work-in-progress, that I hope continues, with all of us. I also hope we get to meet again.

I guess tomorrow came sooner that I expected.

Hello all, er, or whoever is choosing to read this.

I'm just starting this, "blogging" thing, after having this site for almost two years, finally getting her going, so here goes something.

Spring in Bourbonnais is very unpredictable; cold one day, pleasent the next, waking up to snow once again, and I'm sick of the cold weather. That combination has me ready for summer, when I'll get to complain about how hot it is; such is life and weather.

Interesting thing for me about this site is, like much in cyberspace, I had forgotten I even had this site. Upon returning, found I had never posted. Why do I have it, not sure. Will this be my only posting for the next two years; possibly. Either way, this is my shot. Here's hoping I haven't forgotten my password when I try to get into it the next time.

Until whenever?!?