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{the people I didn't see today}

I wrote this last year on the Roe v. Wade anniversary, but I thought I would post it again for today’s date (even though today is obviously not a school day).

Today is a gorgeous, sunny blue day with perfect temperatures.
Today, as I walked to my Shakespeare class, I was surrounded by hundreds of fellow students, all talking, laughing, or just going about their business.
As I looked at the people around me, I was struck by the faces I didn’t see among them.
I could almost picture these faces— but instead, I could only see them as blank silhouettes.
These faces were the ones that should have been students here today….should have been laughing with their friends on this day out of April…should have been going to class…should have been sitting next to me in a lecture and asking questions about the syllabus.
And I didn’t see the younger teachers…those 30-somethings with a fresh Ph.D by their names, who spend their days talking about their intellectual passions.
They should have been cracking stupid jokes to their students….should have been calling the roster…should have been chuckling about the way their laptops kept malfunctioning during class.
All of these people
–both the students and the teachers–
should have been here today, doing these things.
But they weren’t. Because they were aborted.
Today is the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
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They're People, Not the Problem

 

After a lot of thought and discussion on a certain topic dear to my heart, I feel the need to address a huge problem I’m just now beginning to fully realize within the homeschooling community as a whole.  

The problem: Labeling and stereotyping people who are/were publicly schooled. 

This problem that I see running rampant through the homeschool community is our tendency to lump “publicschoolers” under one huge umbrella, namely that of Bad Government Stuff and Ungodly Kids Who Don’t Think At All the Way We Do.   But do y’all see what happens when we do this?  We’re basically combining the people with the problem, failing to see these people as having been made in God’s image.  The people who are/ have been public schooled are not the problem.  The real problem is the government-fed education system itself. 

Over the course of my life, I have been blessed to know many, many wonderful (and Godly!) people around my age who went to public school, and to this day, some of them are my dearest friends. Yes, they did  some things differently from me, and sometimes their personal tastes didn’t line up with my beliefs.  And whenever this happened, my parents were quick to discuss it with my siblings and me:  “We don’t do that.”  or “We do not talk that way.” But this was not a reason to reject them and categorize them as stupid or “bad”.  Remember, kids don’t often have a choice in what kind of schooling they receive.  An overwhelming number of my  public-schooled friends always told me they wanted to be homeschooled, but their parents would have none of it.  

Also, I have heard the argument (from some people, not all) that  lots of kids who have gone to public school often lose their faith, that there’s no/little Christianity in the schools, etc.   This is absolutely untrue.  You would not believe how many public-schooled people I know who are absolutely on fire for God.   They are committed to shining His light around them, and they truly have a heart for Christ.  They inspire me.  And what’s more, the ones I’ve known from childhood have always been that way, not just recently. 

And what about their education?  Well…obviously, I believe that the best education is always going to be achieved at home and “in the field,” so to speak, not in stuffy, standardized, secular classrooms.  However.  I also know many, many public-schooled people who are absolutely brilliant.  They have goals and they know how to achieve them.   Sure, they may be the exception to the rule (and yet I still pity them for not receiving home education 🙂 ).  But my point is that we can’t lump all public-schooled kids under the ideology of “publicschooled and stupid”, whether consciously or unconsciously.

In conclusion, it really hurts me to see this huge dichotomy between public schooled kids and homeschooled kids.  I’m not saying homeschooling parents should rush to make sure their children receive all the knowledge of public-school kids.  I just wish there was more widespread compassion and friendliness toward public-schoolers…because when we do that, we are not, and I repeat, not, showing the world what it means to be a Christian (much less a homeschooler!)  I know from experience that many people see homeschoolers in general as being very antagonistic towards public-schoolers. 

This is not right, y’all.  These people are people.  They are not the problem.

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the pressing need to explain oneself

 

 

Awkwardness strikes again! Only this time…there was really no way around the awkwardness. I just helped things along a bit.

Back in October I authored a massive word-spillage, regarding my love for (and obsession with) names. I simply adore them, and I’m afraid this is quickly becoming an addiction. As I often tell others, it’s just like word etymology, only applied to human beings (or, in some cases, pets…appliances…etc.) Now, in the summer months, I pore through old British books, looking for unusual names. I pull up my elephantine name list on my computer and read off names to any family members within earshot. (On that note, I think my family is beginning to regard me as a harmless lunatic who must be humored–despite her odd passion. It’s rather unfortunate.)

Tonight, my mom, Ellen, and I made a pilgrimage to the realm of Half-Price Books. That store makes me happy. Jazzy piano music, murmuring voices, and the walls of bookshelves simply entice you to poke around in search of that one elusive treasure. After perusing the poetry section and picking up a small notebook for my soon-to-be-started “List of Happy Things”, I suddenly got a maggot in my head. Baby name book. I want one.

We used to have a baby-name book around our house, long ago. But alas, it has long since mysteriously vanished. And so, tonight I decided I needed a new one…one of my very own. Internet name websites are all very well (and I’ve found some fantastic ones), but sometimes it’s nicer when you can just see the words on paper in front of you. With that thought in my head, I began searching for just such a book. It wasn’t long before I spied the “Psychology/Self-Help/Parenting” section. (This combination I find disturbing. I guess parenting really does do things to your mind!) Hesitating a bit (because wouldn’t it look a bit strange for me to be looking at parenting material?), I slipped into the section and began to scan over the psychology textbooks. But, out of the corners of my eyes, I was stealthily surveying the parenting books on the other side. And I couldn’t see “Name Books” anywhere. My spirits sank.

Nothing daunted, I headed for the “Reference” section in hopes of finding The Book. But there were none. I knew it was now or never. Snatching Ellen, I commanded her to re-enter the Parenting section with me so I wouldn’t feel quite so strange while giving it a more thorough combing-through. She willingly obeyed and it wasn’t long before we had successfully located a fat paperback volume entitled A World of Baby Names.

Victory! But the question still remained…I still needed to check out! A quick glance at the counter revealed…to my horror…a lone cashier…a 20-something species of Guy…manning the checkout. Horrors. “Ellen,” I hissed, “there’s a guy at the checkout! This is going to be sooooo awkward!” After all, there are only a few conclusions that those not among the name-obsessed can possibly draw when they see a girl my age buying a baby names book. And I wanted to avoid this at all costs. Nevertheless, the purchase had to be made. So I dragged Ellen with me up to the counter. And this is how the conversation opened:

Me, dropping book on counter with a small thud: Ohbytheway, I’m kinda a name buff, that’s why.

Cashier Guy: *looking confused*

Me, gesturing at book cover and speaking rapidly: Ilikenamesthat’swhyIgotthisbook

*awkward silence*

Guy, doubtless feeling he should say something in response: Ah yeah, it’s kinda cool seeing where names come from…

*I finish paying…Ellen and I walk away*

Ellen: Wow, you were kinda blunt there, you started talking way too fast!

Back in the car, later on, we told our mom the story. Her statement?

“Margaret…you made it awkward!”

Sadly enough, I agree.

The End.

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In Which We See The Effects of Insomnia

(Cross-posted from my Blogspot blog…I thought this was too funny not to share with y’all.  🙂 )

According to eMedicineHealth.com, some of the effects of insomnia include

◦Poor concentration and focus

◦Difficulty with memory

◦Impaired motor coordination (being uncoordinated)

◦Irritability and impaired social interaction

 

This morning, after exiting my Texas Geography final, I headed for Bernie’s to get a mocha. Judging from the events that followed, I obviously needed it.

Me, looking through wallet as I was paying at the counter: That’s bizarre, I could have sworn I just had the card in my hand! What did I do with it…?

Nice Lady at Counter, {HANDING ME THE CARD I HAD *JUST* GIVEN HER}: And here you go!

{item for consideration: I had absolutely no memory of giving her my card to swipe, just seconds before. None whatsoever.}

A few minutes later…

Nice Lady at Counter: Do you want whipped cream?

Me, somehow thinking she was asking my name: Oh…Margaret.

This, my friends, is what insomnia does to me. And it’s also why I’m ready for this barrage of finals to be over!

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Living Forever: Tuck Everlasting and the Mercy of God

I love many types of children’s (and youth) literature.   Usually, I am most fond of the books that make me laugh.   

However, every once in a while, I read a children’s book that intrigues me beyond words— so much that I keep coming back to the story to “chew” on it and ponder its meaning.

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt, is one of those books. 

Maybe you’ve read the book and/or seen the movie.  (For the record, I have never seen the movie, but I have no desire to do so.)   Assuming you haven’t, though, here is the basic plotline:

Winnie is a young girl who leads a somewhat boring life in a household full of adults, in a tiny old town.  One day, she stumbles across a strange family (consisting of a father, mother, and their two teenage sons) by a stream in the woods near her home.  The family immediately kidnaps her and whisks her away to a little house hidden away among the trees.  And it is there that the Tuck family members tell her their story, and their terrible secret.  Decades earlier, the Tucks had come to the area as new settlers, and stopped one day to take a drink from the stream running through the woods.  Little did they know, however, that this stream had immortal powers.  And so, as the years went by, the Tucks realized that not only were they strangely immune to otherwise fatal accidents, they were not even aging!  

And so, the Tucks explain to Winnie, they must keep the stream–and its effects— deadly secret.  For the Tucks— a simple, sweet-hearted family– realize the horrible potential of this stream; if it were to fall into the hands of evil men, the world would be overturned and utterly hopeless. 

I won’t spoil the end of the story, but Tuck Everlastings premise is chilling when we ponder it thoroughly: What would it be like to live forever in a world of sin?  It would be, literally, hell on earth.  We would be forever at the mercy of wicked human beings who could not die–and we ourselves would be trapped in sin and misery with no hope of escape. 

Whether Natalie Babbitt realized it or not, her story drives us to think on God’s mercy.  Let’s think back to Genesis, starting in Chapter 2, verse 9.  The text mentions that God made “every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”  And then we’re told, more specifically, that “The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”    Later, in verses 16-17, God tells Adam, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

As long as Adam and Eve remained sinless human beings, they could eat from the Tree of Life, for it was a wellspring of eternal life.  But when they ate the fruit and sinned, the Tree of Life became a curse for them.  

The Lord drove them from the Garden of Eden shortly afterwards, but, as heartbreaking as this was for all involved, it was ultimately a display of God’s great mercy.  See Genesis 3:22-24:

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.  And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

In short, God, in His everlasting mercy, was preventing the now-sinful human race  from becoming like the Tucks—from eating of the Tree of Life and cursing themselves to live in death forever.  He had already made the promise of a coming Seed at that point, and so now Adam and Eve had hope….a hope that death and misery could not possibly last forever.

So, hopefully it’s clear why I love Tuck Everlasting.  By showing what life could have been like at the dawn of time, if not for the Lord’s incredible mercy, this story only drives me to the Cross anew.

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i take pictures of eggs.

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