Friday, January 25, 2008

Losing my mind to technology

I arrived at school around 7:00 this morning, got the stuff out of my car and headed in to my classroom, when, as I got close, I pushed the remote unlock button I use to unlock my car. Ladies and Gentlemen, I was trying to remote unlock my classroom door. And you would think that I would realize I hit the wrong button, but no, I actually tried to open my door because I had hit the button, and the door should unlock.

I laugh when I see the SYNC commercials for Ford's new technology in their cars, where the person tries to start a treadmill, open a store door, close blinds before doing whatever they are doing and laugh at the idiocy and yet...

Yea, I think I need a weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Climb into his skin

I have just started teaching this book to my freshmen, and have been amazed at how much more I learn from a book when I have the chance to teach it. I spend more time in depth, reading and researching, but experience plays such a large roll in it. I handed out a survey to all five of my classes asking them to answer with the promise of anonymity and was amazed at the results. There are so many great kids that I associate with and all of them had their little issues (even without names on them, there are still certain students whose handwriting I recognize) and those who were hardest on themselves weren't just girls.

I have also become more aware of the power of words. We all make little statements to others, about others, which have absolutely not been warranted, but we say them anyway. Why is it that we can't accept that just because someone is different, that doesn't make them bad. I wonder how much of this has been taught and how much is naturally in us. I try to teach my kids that just because someone is different doesn't mean that they are weird or whatever, but they still make those comments.

As I was typing this post, this song came on my computer, which I think works well with this whole topic (it is one in my playlist on my blog for the two of you who have the tendency to read this blog and have any interest) It's a song by Incubus called Dig.

We all have a weakness
But some of ours are easier to identify.
Look me in the eye
And ask for forgiveness;
We'll make a pact to never speak that word again
Yes you are my friend.
We all have something that digs at us,
At least we dig each other
So when weakness turns my ego up
I know you'll count on the me from yesterday
If I turn into another
Dig me up from under what is covering
The better part of me
Sing this song
Remind me that we'll always have each other
When everything else is gone.
We all have a sickness
That cleverly attaches and multiplies
No matter how hard we try.
We all have someone that digs at us,
At least we dig each other
So when sickness turns my ego up
I know you'll act as a clever medicine.
If I turn into another
Dig me up from under what is covering
The better part of me.
Sing this song!
Remind me that we'll always have each other
When everything else is gone.
Oh each other....
When everything
Else is gone.

In all reality, and in light of everything that is going on with the crazy economic market, it would seem that the fundamental goal we should all strive for is, like Atticus says in TKAM, You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Literature and scriptures

As I was sitting in Gospel Doctrine last Sunday (a week ago) I was struck by the idea of how much literature, well written literature, hits on some very gospel oriented topics, even when it isn't expected. We were cramming the first two lessons of the year into one Sunday, because apparently the week before there was some confusion about who was teaching or something like that. The main point that the teacher was trying to get across was the importance of having the writings that Lehi's sons were trying to get. There was so much that was important to their lives from that, heritage, wisdom, teachings of past generations, etc. Lehi was willing to send his sons to get WORDS, sending them into a situation that he knew very well was dangerous, all for words. This reminded me of Fahrenheit 451, when Montag finds people who stay in the group because they had memorized one book. The whole group of people fought to beat the system in defense of words and knowing it would cost them the lives they had. And this whole idea makes me very sad, that we live in a society where books and words are disregarded for the better, easier, less thought provoking video games and TV. I won't deny that I find them enjoyable, but I can't fathom having them replace words.

In Relief Society, we started studying Joseph Smith and had a discussion about how he had the courage to go against what everyone was telling him was the only way of life, to go against what he had been taught and follow what he knew was right for him. As I was listening to the discussion, I kept thinking of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand has a gift for depicting people who know what they want in life, and will persevere in-spite of people telling them that they are doing everything in their life wrong, going against what is normal and expected, and will surely soon realize the wrongfulness of their ways. In all of these situations, there are people who do what they know they need to do and achieve amazing success, even if the story doesn't end happily ever after. Great life lessons I think.