Poetry and Other Thoughts

So many notebooks…

Well, my original thought was to post something from one of my many notebooks here tonight, however, I’m finding that locating something publishable “real quick” is proving to be a challenge. Therefore, you get modern-day me who is quite sleepy and about to fall into bed.

There are a few things running around in my brain which I will let out on the blog pages in the near future, but to get you started thinking, here are some things to ponder:

1) What is it that perpetuates racial tension when everybody I talk to (of all shades) is ready to be done with it all? I watched with interest, and a heavy heart, a conversation take place on social media this week which I found disturbing. This conversation began with, what I felt was, an articulation of taking personal responsibility and a call to treat people with respect and equality whatever the skin tone. People are people, right? Unfortunately, the conversation ended with name-calling from someone who had a differing interpretation of what was said. What can be done here? I know both parties are ultimately on the same side of the issue, but could not come to terms with how to get to that side. Does that even make sense? How can we solve the issues of racial tension when we can’t even have civil conversations with those who want the same outcome?

2) The other topic near and dear to my heart tonight, since we’re smack-dab in the middle of it, is state testing for students. There is much left to be desired when it comes to student–and teacher–assessments. It seems to me the goal of education is no longer the education of our students, but the lining of pocket books and the boosting of political careers. And this happens at the expense of our students.

These are hot button issues these days, and I for one have much to learn regarding both topics. I am happy to enter into conversation with you, but know this–comments must be civil and display genuine interest and respect toward participants. Lewd, crude & rude will not be tolerated or posted. I’m after a genuine conversation, not a bashing session. I understand there are tensions and frustrations all around, just choose your words wisely. Please and Thank You.


  • Rob

    Everyone comes to the table with so much baggage, so many words attached to meanings with invisible cords, each person with their own set of cords, their own internal dictionary, everyone seeing the world through eyes warped by individual circumstance, history, perspective. So few people write with distinction, precision, clarity; even fewer read properly the emotion behind the silent words on the glowing page. How can we be expected to understand the subtleties of a writer whom we have never met, never interacted with, never experienced in the flesh? When I read your words, I see your face, I hear your voice, I create the inflections from memory, and I believe my recreation of your thoughts are accurate. How is this possible with someone who exists only as a static image on a Facebook page? There can be no imagination without memory, no recreation without historical precedent, no true understanding without in-depth dialogue. For this reason, I will not enter into conversations about controversial subjects unless I am face-to-face. And since my first inclination in the case of conflict is to flee (far far away), even that is an improbability.

    For the most part, for this very reason, I remain a lurker on social media. Better to be mistaken for silent thoughtfulness than reviled for babbling idiocy. A “like” is as good as a nod.

    As for your other comment: This country, and this state, has abandoned the true purpose of education for political pandering; and there will come a day of reckoning, if it has not already come upon us. As for me and my house, our goal is for our children to disregard the political distractions and focus on development of a love of learning which will serve them – and inspire them – all of their lives, not just for the first 22 years. We make every effort to volunteer at the schools, to assist the teachers as best we can, to supplement their efforts, to support them as much as possible, to advocate for them when needed; and we try to correct the negative effects of the directives by reminding our children and others that the purpose is not to pass a test, but to master a subject, to experiment with all manner of knowledge, to find areas for which one’s heart has a keen passion, and to focus one’s life on the pursuit not of perfect grades or government standards, but on the pursuit for perfection of heart, mind and soul in the service of the Creator, and of our fellow creations.

    And ignore Dad when he’s complaining in his prayer closet about all the “idiots” in politics.

  • Cassie

    Wise words, Rob.

    My first contention stems from frustration with all that seems to still be going on in the world. I can’t help but think can we not just get over ourselves and treat each other the way we want to be treated – whatever shade your skin tone may be. But you’re right. It’s difficult to have meaningful conversations over social media without the facial expressions, body language and vocal tonality. My hope is that people will influence their individual social circles to live by the “golden rule” and in so doing, cause a ripple effect that reaches deep into the culture.

    I like what you said, too, about your goal for your children’s education. One reason we home school is so that our son can pursue his passions and move at a pace which is comfortable for him. I totally agree with your assessment that the true purpose of education has been abandoned for “political pandering”. Our kids–and, in turn, the future of our country–pay the price.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rob. I look forward to hearing from you again!

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