Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Adventures!

Matt, Kaci, and I went on an adventure Saturday.

Kaci and I met Matt in Collierville, because I was getting new tires put on my car (I desperately needed them). Matt picked us up and we headed to bass pro shop. We looked at the kayaks there, and got a price range. We decided to go to Outdoor Inc in East Memphis to look at kayaks there. Matt drove us to East Memphis. I didn't like any of the kayaks there, but we needed to get the stuff to stabilize the kayak on top of my car. We looked into an official kayak rack, but I decided that was too much money to spend in one day. We walked out of Outdoor Inc with 2 styrofoam Vs and 3 straps to hold the kayak in place. Matt drives us back over to Bass Pro Shop. I buy the kayak (plus a dry bag and paddle), we put it on Matt's car. We go to pick my car up from getting new shoes! We go to strap the kayak down. Unfortunately, the kayak bent in my roof. This was terrible news. With my ingenuity I did something I needed to do...

It was time. This was the perfect way to fit my kayak. I no longer needed to get a rack or have V supports. Doesn't it look great? I have been thinking about buying a new car for a while now. I have plenty of money in savings to put a great down payment on the car. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's blue.....

I am just kidding. I don't have that kind of money. I wouldn't get an Xterra. I would get a new Subaru. I did the logical thing and made the investment in a kayak rack. It took us another hour to drive to Outdoor Inc on Union and then it took two hours to put it on my car (very tedious work I must say).

I spent a ton of money yesterday, but I really believe I will fully enjoy my kayak. I already went out in it once today, and my family had a blast on it. Here are a few pictures (Sarah is in all, because sarah posted them on facebook).

Taking it off of the car to put it in the pond.

The Kayak got played with in the pool. It was fun to watch everyone.

Matt and Kaci deserve an extra special shout out. They did so much to help on Saturday. Matt drove us around, helped me pick it out, put together the kayak rack, and as if that wasn't enough he unloaded it to the basement the same day. He did so much.

Kaci was there for me all day. She helped me make decisions, and comforted me when I felt sick because I had spent so much money. And then she played with me and the kayak.

I have really great friends. They are pretty spectacular.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thinking Long-Term

Few random points that all seemed to pull together....

I had an interview Wednesday. It was a weird interview. They asked some of the most random questions. I don't think I got the job, just because I feel like I had no measure to base my performance on. I think I gave good answers, but i don't really know. However, whether or not I get the job, I will still be working in Memphis Schools this next school year.

In the Vietnam war, one of the main reasons we lost was we had no plan. We were extremely short sighted. We had no definite plans. Also, our soldiers were only required to serve on year. So literally when they reached the shore they were counting down the days until they were allowed to leave. (This wasn't the case of all the soldiers, but majority).

The problem with short-term:

If I was considering teaching in Memphis as a short-term profession, just somewhere to hang out for a year, I would not be as dedicated our put my entire being into teaching. I would find ways to make short cuts and not be investing as much energy as I do now.

These short-term soldiers were often more considered with themselves rather than the betterment and protection of their group. It changed their entire mentalities about war. It made them less effective and it was a constant supply of men who needed training, so there was little experience on the field. (yet another problem with why we did not succeed)

The greatness of long-term:

By committing and planting myself, I am able to insert my self into the story of God in a deep way. I am able to spend my time becoming as effective as possible. Stats say it takes a teacher 3 years to become effective, 5 to become good, and 7 to be an expert. That's a long time, but it's an investment well made. My returns on my investment will be greater because of the amount I invested in the beginning. It's the theory of compounding numbers (don't ask me to explain. I was trying to type it out, but it got too confusing).

Long-term leads to success. Hopefully I will maintain this mentality. Short term things are very lucrative.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lessons from History

Hindsight is 20/20. Seeing the failure of event after event is brutal.

This is what my Vietnam class has been like. The United States will do something in the name of defending freedom of all people, and it will be no better than the alternative evil (communism). Today I got angry. Many of the officials seem to be pursuing Vietnam for pride and pride only. However, it goes deeper than that....

1834 a Journalist claimed that it was our "Manifest Destiny" to become the largest, best nation in the world. God had ordained us to accumulate as much land as we can and to share our freedom and ideals with them.

Without using the term Manifest Destiny this is what we do even today. We did it with Vietnam, we did it with South America, we did it with the Middle East.

The Puritans desired America to be a "City on a Hill" for all to look at and use as an example.

It sounds great. It sounds legit, but humans are corrupt. We gravitate towards chaos. Knowing the depravity of myself and those around me, the thing I should be looking up to is Jesus Christ. My pure motivation and example of what "freedom" and "liberty", "grace" and "mercy" looks like is Jesus.

The Soviet Union and China aided Vietnam in the belief that communism would free the people.

So which was right at the moment? Now we have hindsight to determine that obviously the communist triumphed in Vietnam, but overall capitalist outlasted.

Being a citizen is a hard job. You have to constantly sift structures and bureaucracy to see what is true and in line with the gospel and what is not. Then chase after those things that give glimpse into the life Christ desires for us. With the grace and mercy of Christ one day his kingdom will come and it will be restored. In that is my patriotism and conviction.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Update...

I promise there will be more of these sooner or later. It's been kind of crazy these past two weeks, just because of the amount of reading and homework I have had to do. Also, I have gone out of town the past two weekends. Here is a recap:

Interesting facts about Vietnam War:
--- We were way over our head before the beginning
--- The French are lame.

Interesting facts about Civil War:
--- There have always been cultural differences between Southerners and Northerners. It started in England.
--- It was inevitable.

Interesting Facts about the weekends:
--- MTR Barn Dance was fantastic! Memphis is fun and I love Emily's nephews
--- Any time spent with the Robertsons is always a good time.

Interesting facts about this week:
--- Test Monday
--- Test Tuesday
--- Will (Kaci's 12 year old brother) is staying with us! It's going to be great.
--- June is back!! (the dog, not the month)

Interesting books I have read or am reading:
--- Battle Cry for Freedom
--- America's Longest War
--- Pride and Prejudice
--- The Book Thief
--- Causes and Comrades

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back to school again

After a great last week in Memphis, a super fun weekend at the beach, I am back to school at Mississippi State once again.

This first term of summer I am taking a Civil War and a Vietnam class. I think they have great potential. They seem like funny people. Here is my homework list for this week (due by Friday):

-- Read prologue and 3-21 of America's Longest War
-- Read Ho Chi Minh's 1946 Appeal for Help
-- Complete a take home quiz
-- Read chapters 1-3 of Battle Cry of Freedom (110 pages)
-- Read half of For Causes and Comrades

Basically it's a ton of reading... all summer.

Greater news, I am learning new things and new ways I can present information to my students. I am loving that part of it. Already I have been really excited about the class room.

Since I am not teaching over the summer, I have decided to review the other books I am reading for pleasure on the blog. That way I will have something else to blog about than the aforementioned classes.

P.S. I have a friend that is starting to sell headbands. Check her blog out!