from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


The title of today's post operates on many levels.

Today there was a major bombing in Baghdad. Does this represent a different way of commemorating one year of US invasion and occupation? If so will we see more? Is this related in anyway to what just happened in Madrid? If so, is it not logical to also expect actions in England and Australia, among other nations? No predictions, just questions...

Through my significant other I have been offered a relatively cheap location to host my blog, one operated with Movable Type, which would allow far more flexibility, and the ability to allow comments. It is tempting, and I will probably explore it. I would have to decide if I would want to register a domain name, that could be hosted there. As it happens, my desired name is currently not a webpage, although does not mean that it has not been registered ... I would have to explore that.

In school ... my Comparative Religion class was apparently somewhat productive. I have had the students each read a book (mainly from my collection) from a religious tradition other than one with which they associate. They had to read a report, and also do a verbal report. We got in three oral reports today. One was by a Shi'ite Muslim girl who read Prager & Telushkin's book on question people ask about Jews. She gave a very insightful analysis. A young man I first taught 3 years ago his freshman year who views himself as a Buddhist read a Ram Dass on meditation and was quite articulate in describing it. And a young lady with a weak Christian identity who may well attend Catholic U next year (her boyfriend, also in the class, has likewise been accepted) read and gave a superb reflection on Thich Ngat Hanh's Touching Peace

My role in all of this was to guide the discussion, to help the students see connections with other religious traditions, to fill in some spaces [examples: the fence around the fence around the Torah; the idea of being focused on the present in Buddhism with Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection; the idea of letting go of self-definitions with the Gospel expression that whomsoever seeketh to save his own life shall lose it ...]. We will probably need to spend the rest of the this week trying to get through the remaining 12 presentations. Besides a basic overview, each student reads a brief passage s/he found particularly relevant or interesting. And this has worked out, at least so far, better than I expected.

I had ghouth that Dean was going to be on Larry King tonight. Actually, he was scheduled for tomorrow, but according to inof on dailykos, he has cancelled. So whatever I will learn about his plans will come not from watching him on tc, but from reading, either on newsprint or online.

I remain tired, fighting my sinuses, lacking energy, but feeling perhaps a bit more at ease about where I will be next year. Perhaps some of my unease at my current situation will be resolved, one way or another, in the next two days. I am prepared for my classes for the remaining two days of this week, and I have only 7 more days of hall duty this year (hurrah!!!), after which I can avoid the kinds of conflicts that come from enforcing the rules, being what my dearest refers to as a "hall meanie."

On an entirely different note --- I have an interest in some participation in the campaign of the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 5th CD of Virginia, having met him this past weekend at a fundraiser. I realized during the day that I had a contact that might be valuable in assessing whether I wish to be involved. The chairman of the Dean campaign in the 5th District is someone with whom I have had an email relationship, and who, if memory serves, was on my list of educators for Dean. I have sent out a feeler, and await his response.

I hae no papers to grade, no preparation to do, no bills to pay, I can now totally let go for the rest of the evening.

And so I leave this blog entry.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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