Showing posts from September, 2006

Comic Relief

Sitting here grading online composition essays. This is 'advanced composition,' the sophomore critical thinking course. I require a minimum number of sources for the paper, and I run across something I haven't seen in 12 years of teaching college. On the Works Cited page, let's say the student's name is Dave Smith...

Smith, David. Self. 24 Sept. 2006.

I see. He cited his own paper in his own paper. Man, that is funny. Or maybe he considered it a personal interview.

Another essay attempts to argue against Freire's banking concept of education using a film called The Island. It would help if I'd seen it, but of course, it is fiction. Real world examples are always better than hypotheticals. And Freire himself hated what he called the banking concept in education; he coined the perjorative term. One poor girl got it entirely backwards: she blasted Freire for promoting the banking concept and not supporting problem-solving education for seven pages.…

Still Working

I haven't posted in a while. Work is keeping me busy, yes, but I'm currently working on three different posts, all which are actually getting drafted. Yes, for someone who teaches writing process I'm actually trying it on the blog (in part inspired by Romy's writing).

In the short news, I'm slowly working through Wright's second NT book VOG. It takes time because he moves quickly between major theories and their creators; I want to feel centered in the material. Surely, just because Wright is brilliant doesn't mean he's always right; also true is that he is not de facto wrong just because some of his conclusions support orthodoxy, support, in fact, the view of Jesus his followers espoused within a generation or less of his death. All possibilities must remain open. But he takes time.

I sailed to the Farallones Saturday; an entire post is in the works there. And my hip is killing me. My lower back injury, apparently, has spread somehow into the mu…

Suffering on the Small Scale

Last week I left my sunglasses in my morning class. I like these glasses; I splurged and spent 35 or so bucks for them, on sale, at a sailing store. To me that's an expensive pair of glasses. I announced today that I had left them on the chalkboard in the morning class and did anyone see them?

This afternoon, after my announcement, I find my sunglasses, in urine, in the men's urinal on the same floor, around the corner from my office.

Beauty, eh.

Both classes that meet in that room (I have it for two classes in a row) have seen me working hard in the class lectures, prepared and passionate. The response seems positive. The discussions good. We haven't even had a graded assignment yet.

Sometimes the problem of evil looks awfully like idiocy.

On My Birthday

Because I am one of those with a high need to be heard, here goes:

I knew when I began grappling class injuries were a concern. Currently a tendon in my knee is tweaked, my neck has been shot for two weeks, and the left side of my lower back is pretty well wounded. I see a massage therapist Wednesday and hope for some help.

The guys try not to hurt you, but my older body is not as resilient. And, oddly, they fear my kickboxing because they've seen me work the bag. So even if I'm boxing very light, my dear 240 pound friend will charge in and yank down on my neck like a small condominum (that is the way to stop a good puncher).

On the plus side, I'm losing weight (a very little I think) and my wind is coming back. And even though I'm hurt, I love the training.


9/11 is a tough day for a birthday, but barring loving community in the next life, it's better than no birthday. I keep the tv off and read very little online news. Still, seeing just a few slides on ms…

Zane's Story

Sandalstraps and others have been writing about suffering lately. This post, so fresh for me at the moment, is my addition.

When I was about twenty and first came to the Evangelical church where I was to spend almost a decade, I met Zane (of course, not his name). Zane was bright and personable, a leader in the college group, an articulate and friendly young man. His girlfriend was beautiful in the girl-next-door way; I saw a recent picture of her on the church website and she still is. Zane was known, above all, for wisdom. He could give life-advice, and often good life-advice, better than anyone his age in a large church. He was also deeply sensitive. When I attended my first retreat with the college group, fresh from my burn-out at Little Geneva, the Reformed bookstore that drove the TULIP nail through my brain, Zane asked in a small group discussion if anyone had heard of Imitation of Christ. I said yes, he looked at me for the first time, and said, "Troy probably taug…


More than once I've thought of things I've said in blogs in the past which need correction. Thanks to Sandalstraps for setting me straight on my misrepresentation of Borg. I will read Borg. It's only a matter of time.

Resistance is futile.


And I'm actually looking forward to it. The naive biblical literalism of some very good scholars leaves me shaken. Ditto those who do nothing with the Bible but dismantle it (operating, almost always, with logical conclusions derived from the fundamentalists themselves: if this book is the product of a divine Mind surely every line will agree with every other piece of the revelation and God's voice will be heard in each part).

Really? That's not fair to the texts we have.

The prophets may claim to be speaking directly for God, but is the author of Chronicles or Samuel doing the same? It never seems so in those books.

I don't want to talk about the Bible today, though.


My depression is kicking me pretty good tod…

On Your Mark

As usual, I don't have time for a 'real' blog entry; then again, almost none of my blog entries are 'real.'

I have begun Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God, and am again struck by his intellectual talent. Incidentally, I read Mark's gospel since my last post, and am once again struck by the force of that document. I do have trouble with the demon possessions, though I know demons were considered the cause of many illnesses by Jews of that period. But when the demons talk to Jesus? Fact is, I haven't seen or heard a demon.

This does not mean they're not real, however. There are also other possible explanations for the demon-component in these healings (besides the 'Mark is pure fiction' stance): the two demons who do talk (other times a person is delivered with no dialogue) could be embellishment (on Mark's part or, perhaps more likely, before he received the tradition) meant to show Jesus' true nature and his power over all ot…