Archive for October, 2017

Large and small

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Administrators tend to think bigger. 

That’s vision.  That’s moving ahead.  That’s progress.

To think bigger is to plan for bigger.  To plan for bigger is to upset the apple cart, or perhaps more rightly, to put new tires on a larger box.

Then I ask myself how we got bigger, or at least why we have grown to this point. 

And the question arises, is the smaller what we build on to get bigger? 

The idea that understanding the great movement we have been a part of, that we would like to invite others into, that has been a great thing up until this point – is where we should start to figure out bigger.

Go back to go forward.

And perhaps in engaging in the excitement of the past, we will trust that the structure to hold the organism will be forthcoming.  If we merely borrow someone else’s infrastructure, we may eliminate the very thing that makes for growth.

Be sure you know where you came from to get where you want to go.

Censorship

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Is there ever a time when we do not censor?

As a Master’s of Library Science grad, I remember the discussions on censorship.  All intellectual property should be available to all.  We harm people by not exposing them to the full orb of knowledge.  Knowledge is power.

The decades following brought variant views (not all of them worth listening to).  Here are some of the many thought lines you can follow.

Knowledge is not power, transformation is (thus we seek our inner self to gain an understanding that leads to who we truly are). 

A collections policy for a library is censorship (you can’t have it all, so choose the information that will socialize them to the current culture you want to see promoted).

Even the publishing of books is subject to censorship.  A publishing company designs what will be there theme.  The Canadian Government will no longer do Cataloguing in Publication for self published authors (oops, that should be authours).

Why do we fight censorship?  Most often because our point of view is assailed, assaulted or set aside by censors.  Oppression appears everywhere and we are not willing to be set aside or dismissed.

And the war goes on – all of us looking to promote our truths.

Who says truth is dead?  Censorship proves that the pursuit of truth is alive and well.

A Great Little Quote

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

So, I’m sitting in the midst of a group of us at our local seniors home.  The session is a devotional by one of our local clergy.

He holds his hands to his ears and says:

What do you get when you put your two ears together?  A heart.

What is in the middle of the word heart?  Ear.

What a great illustration of the need to listen to other people.

Phrases that count

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

So, I’m sitting with a good friend and having a conversation.  Then there is a great twist of phrase, and all of a sudden I’m asking for a pad of paper and writing furiously as he repeats his saying!  He’s invited me back, but next time I have to bring my own pad of paper!

Here is a bit of the phrases I jotted down:

*  God has decided to become obvious in me (a bit about how we talk to people about the God they cannot see).

*  In our non-abilities we are called to show off God.

*  Jesus had trouble convincing most people even though he knew what the full Gospel was (on asking the question, what is the Gospel?,  and what are the implications of that?).

*  The religious institution/church of Jesus’ day was a fighting place (Jesus realized the institution of his day was contrary to what gave empowerment)

Palliser Heights– a half century later

Friday, October 6th, 2017

I am a student from the early days of Palliser Heights school in Moose Jaw. From 1960 – 1965 I attended Grades 1 – 6. I attended school the day JFK was shot. I was there when the soccer field was shoots of grass and gravel. I remember the hallways being polished and the structure being only one story.

My own story was as a student coming to Moose Jaw as a raw grade oner! My memory was of entering the classroom after the school year had begun. I was scared and was welcomed in. By Grade six I was comfortably situated in a school community that I enjoyed. And then we moved.

In the early grades, the English readers which students studied carried stories by now famous authors. One story struck me. “Circumstances Alter Carla.” Carla had transferred schools and had learned to live into the circumstances instead of fighting the changes. She was mentored by older people and cared for by her peers. This scenario, portrayed in a classroom assignment, became very real to me in coming years.

When students say they learn nothing new each day, that’s how I felt in my elementary schooling. Perhaps normal daily life in the classroom was the teaching environment. Nothing new but everything newly experienced and taken in. Mrs. Winslow (or so I remember the name) was my grade three teacher. In Grade three life was about stories of travels. Sitting at the front of the class, Mrs. Winslow would talk of climbing mountains and seeing the beauty of nature. A world that needed to be explored.

By Grade five I was beginning to enjoy writing. My competitive nature came out when journals were required of each student. The journals required cursive writing, but also gathering in of our observations. My friend, Donald Dankewich, was neat and organized. His journal was outstanding and he received the highest honours – an honour I did not begrudge him, but that also spurred me on to excel and not just coast along.

In Grade Six I was abandoned to “The Other Grade Six Class” when I was unable to attend a scheduled day-time field trip. In the class, the teacher handed out pictures. Mine was of a white-tailed deer. The assignment? Observe the scene and write a paragraph about what you saw. Each of my sentences began with “The white tailed deer . . .” The foreign class laughed at me and I felt shame. I determined to either not write again, or only write in such a way that I expressed myself well and the reader became immersed in what I was saying. In strange settings, some of our best incentives come clothed as failures.

In August of 2017, I returned to Palliser Heights school, with my grandson in tow. He was entering Grade Six and comparing his school with the school his grandfather grew up in. Thanks to the principal, Jonathan McLean, for the tour of the facility, and for those teachers and staff who were present to greet us. I truly believe the students are in for a treat as they are guided by your patience, presence and passion for them this year.