Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting my Conference kicks

Here are the best quotes from the April General Conference Addresses:

1. "A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence". Julie B. Beck
Sister Beck always seems to hit me right in heart. How often do I think to myself how much I need a break from my kids, when in reality I need a break from my teaching job in order to spend more time with my kids. Thank god for summer vacations when I can center myself and refocus my priorities and live up to my heavenly fathers plan for me.

2. "Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and suggests that they leave their mark on mankind only by seduction-easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves." - Elder M. Russell Ballard

I can't speak enough on how the media is corrupting our youth and ourselves if we let it. There are no limits to what can be shown and what is acceptable today. It hurts me to think of what young women and young men perceive to be popular and cool from MTV and even Cartoon network. Women should know that they shouldn't idolize dumb, big-boobed women who flaunt their body and have no idea what intellect is all about!

3. " The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home." - Elder L. Tom Perry

Want to know what's wrong with the world today? Here's your sign.

4. "In Tyndale's day, scriptural ignorance abounded because people lacked access to the Bible, especially in a language they could understand. Today the Bible and other scripture are readily at hand, and yet there is a growing scriptural illiteracy because people will not open the books. Consequently they have forgotten things their grandparents knew." - Elder D. Todd Christofferson

One of the most difficult challenges for a High English teacher today is preparing students to be successful readers and pass standardized test when most students have rarely opened a book outside of the classroom. A gross injustice is being done when children have never been exposed to classic not to mention biblical stories. My high school students cannot make basic biblical connections in literature and boldly tell you they have never read the bible. My muslim student a few years back was more familiar with old testament stories from the Koran then some of the others!

5. " Someone said once that true love must include the idea of permanence. True love endures. But lust changes as quickly as it can turn a porno page or glance at yet another potential object for gratification walking by... True love we are absolutely giddy about...we shout it from the housetops. But lust is characterized by shame and stealth and is almost pathologically clandestine... Loves comes with open hands and open heart; lust comes with only an open appetite." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
One of the best distinctions between love and lust.

6. "Waiting can be hard... We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions... Patience-the ability to put our desires on hold for a time-is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and , at times, bitter." -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This is bitter pill to swallow when I struggle every day wanting so much that I can't have right now. But I also know how important it is to teach patience to those I love.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A celebrity among us

High school is right of passage, a bad memory, a training ground for the "real world".

My junior year of high school I was the relatively unknown, smart girl with one random friend. I belonged to NO group and was NEVER invited to anything. I was the "behind the scenes" girl for the drama club and my claim to fame was the only smiling hippie in "Groovy".
My junior English teacher was Sue Youngblood. An institution at WCHS, She had been teaching since the stone age and everyone was destined to pass through her classroom at some point. She taught all the junior honors courses, and this is where we first crossed paths. She was also the cheer coach and had a mysterious power over everyone. Some may mistake it for blackmail:). As a teacher she was always doing something else besides teaching (we never knew what) and when she did teach, it was a tough as nails kind of teaching. No helping, or babying, just "you get it or you don't and then you make the grade". I made the cut by the way.
As a colleague, I have learned that Sue Youngblood is a power monger. She thrives on having control of others and micro-managing . Those who know Sue the best know that she has her faults and forgive her for them. Others just resent her over matters of interference, jealousy, or misunderstanding. I am purposely indifferent most of the time.
As a cheer coach Sue is loved by her cheerleaders for being fiercely loyal and a loving mentor.

Here is the point of this story:

Last August the world premiere of Glee on the Fox network shocked everyone from Worth County. Sue Youngblood was on TV in the form of the character Sue Sylvester. Was this a CRAZY coincidence? We all thought not, and now 9 months later the truth is known; Sue Youngblood, my high school English teacher and colleague is the model for the grossly exaggerated and satirical Sue Sylvester.
After some investigative work from two colleagues and Sue herself we now know that a cheer coach friend and national choreographer of Sue's, Jamie Parrish, was in the planning meeting for the pilot of the show and gave them the idea of a tough and ruthless cheer coach who wore gym suits and had short blonde hair, Sue Youngblood from Sylvester Georgia!
So now that Sue is famous she has become the one we all love, hate or love to hate, depending on your affiliation before the celebrity reveal.
I am taking the curious observer stance. I can't wait to see what becomes of this spotlight.