A New Semester of Visual Notes
2 months ago
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
"There’s a lot of emphasis in youth groups on saving sex for marriage,” said Ellen Sweeris, a 24-year-old nurse in San Francisco, Calif., “which I think is great. I largely attribute my unswerving belief that sex is for marriage to the fantastic teaching I received in the church as a teen. However, the teaching and exhortation on this subject sort of dropped off around college. It’s actually a lot harder at this point in my life to be celibate, but I’m not getting the same level of encouragement at church to keep waiting. I have fantastic friends who fulfill this role for me, but it would be nice to have it acknowledged in a more formal setting, other than just a more-or-less silent expectation that we’re not having sex.”
No More Teacher's Dirty Looks
After a natural disaster, the newscasters eventually excitedly announce that school is finally open so no matter what else is terrible where they live, the kids are going to school. I always feel sorry for the poor kids.
My dangerous idea is one that most people immediately reject without giving it serious thought: school is bad for kids - it makes them unhappy and as tests show - they don't learn much.
When you listen to children talk about school you easily discover what they are thinking about in school: who likes them, who is being mean to them, how to improve their social ranking, how to get the teacher to treat them well and give them good grades.
Schools are structured today in much the same way as they have been for hundreds of years. And for hundreds of years philosophers and others have pointed out that school is really a bad idea:
We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a belly full of words and do not know a thing. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. - Oscar Wilde
Schools should simply cease to exist as we know them. The Government needs to get out of the education business and stop thinking it knows what children should know and then testing them constantly to see if they regurgitate whatever they have just been spoon fed.
The Government is and always has been the problem in education:
If the government would make up its mind to require for every child a good education, it might save itself the trouble of providing one. It might leave to parents to obtain the education where and how they pleased, and content itself with helping to pay the school fees of the poorer classes of children, and defraying the entire school expenses of those who have no one else to pay for them. - JS Mill
First, God created idiots. That was just for practice. Then He created school boards. - Mark Twain
Schools need to be replaced by safe places where children can go to learn how to do things that they are interested in learning how to do. Their interests should guide their learning. The government's role should be to create places that are attractive to children and would cause them to want to go there.
Whence it comes to pass, that for not having chosen the right course, we often take very great pains, and consume a good part of our time in training up children to things, for which, by their natural constitution, they are totally unfit. - Montaigne
We had a President many years ago who understood what education is really for. Nowadays we have ones that make speeches about the Pythagorean Theorem when we are quite sure they don't know anything about any theorem.
There are two types of education. . . One should teach us how to make a living, And the other how to live. - John Adams
Over a million students have opted out of the existing school system and are now being home schooled. The problem is that the states regulate home schooling and home schooling still looks an awful lot like school.
We need to stop producing a nation of stressed out students who learn how to please the teacher instead of pleasing themselves. We need to produce adults who love learning, not adults who avoid all learning because it reminds them of the horrors of school. We need to stop thinking that all children need to learn the same stuff. We need to create adults who can think for themselves and are not convinced about how to understand complex situations in simplistic terms that can be rendered in a sound bite.
Just call school off. Turn them all into apartment houses.
ROGER C. SCHANK
Psychologist & Computer Scientist; Chief Learning Officer, Trump University; Author, Making Minds Less Well Educated than Our Own
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28
Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself. - Madeleine L'Engle
Through some strange series of events not fleshed out in the dream itself, I had ended up a fighter pilot in the Bay area of California. Basically my dream job. But this was no good dream. This dream starts in mid-dog-fight over the city of San Francisco, where some nefarious nation's naval forces were seeking to clear the air for their impending nuclear strike (via bomber plane, don't ask me why) on the city. I had fought long and hard, but eventually there was only so much damage one F-16 could take. With fuel and munitions running low, and a mostly shredded tail-fin, I dropped down to the deck and pointed my bird towards the water, leaving the hot-zone over the hills of the city.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the sun-glint off the grey steel of the enemy ships pressing towards the Golden Gate, but my target was the Bay Bridge...seconds later I burned over the Embarcadero and ducked under the bridge, just past the first girder. I figured by flying low to the water, and using the bridge for cover between the girders, I might just duck out of view from the fighters above, and get my plane back to Travis in one piece. It was the right move, our forces were running thin over the city and none of my squadron were left anyway for me to support. I would be up in a new bird in just hours, back in the fray, I thought, and that's when I felt the hot sear of metal passing through my arm.
The first round passed across the cockpit from the upper left corner, angling down and slicing through the top of my right bicep, maybe only half an inch deep, but a fair 2 inches wide - cauterizing a huge gap in my arm even as it passed through and exited the fuselage on the other side of the cockpit. The thought hit my mind a second after the next round - but it had lodged in my seat, inches behind my lower back. Instinct took over and I jolted the plane in the direction of the fire to dodge the next girder and go above the bridge, and I only saw the shadow of the Mig that had found me from the side. He was behind me now, and knew where I was headed, and I had no choice but to stay near the bridge and use it for cover.
He had missile lock before I was back over dry land, but I was close. I wanted to put it down over water so I veered hard-right along the docks on the water and grabbed for the ejection, praying it would still fire as I pulled.
Next thing I'm floating in the water. I'm alive. Its cold, but its still a sunny summer afternoon in California, and I didn't have far to swim. I was kicking on my left side because my right arm was useless, like dead weight. I thought "shark" briefly but realized that I still wasn't bleeding much. (I have no idea if a wound can actually be cauterizied by an aircraft fighter round).
I pull myself up a rusty ladder on an old shipping dock and find people standing around staring at the flashes in the sky, miles across the bay. I don't look back to see what's going on, I know what's coming all too soon, and I start to run in the opposite direction, screaming at people to get as far away from the city as they can, but nobody's listening.
Warehouse district begins to turn into a sparsely populated commercial / residential, and I'm still running in my olive-colored flight suit, holding my arm to my side, starting to dry out a little. I finally come to stop and turn around.
White light. No blue sky. No brown shadow of city on the hills. Just white light, everywhere. I'm blind for at least 5 minutes before I begin blinking objects into view again. I realize I'm still running. Still screaming at people, but now they're actually running with me.
The dream passed on from here into a blurry survival mode of trying to find a truck, using my side-arm to hold up a mom-and-pop hardware / sporting goods store to get a 12 gauge that would serve to help me keep my truck on what would be the longest drive ever from Oakland to Travis. And at one point I end up a little further down the road looking for food in a Home Depot. They had one of those built-in McDonald's, like they do at Wal-Mart, and I was tired, and hungry.
The last thing I remember was screaming at some family that refused to leave their home, all the while pointing at the radioactive plume pushing its way across the bay towards us. And they wouldn't budge.
And then I woke up.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."