First of all, thanks to Margaret for posting a great reading from Ecclesiasticus this morning. As someone often distressed by the nastiness in the blogosphere, I particularly liked this verse:
Do not find fault before you investigate; examine first, and then criticize. Do not answer before you listen, and do not interrupt when another is speaking. Do not argue about a matter that does not concern you, and do not sit with sinners when they judge a case.
Wise words. So hard to do.
One opinion I tried hard to listen to this week and found fascinating was this comment about the crazy way we compensate teachers. Such a hot-button issue, but I thought this made a lot of sense:
Work environments hospitable to continual innovation tend to have relatively low barriers to entry, and relatively low barriers to exit. Schools invert that. Many have extensive up-front credentialing requirements, forcing novice teachers to invest substantial time and money at the beginning of their careers, before they can even decide whether they are indeed well-suited for the job. Early career teachers tend to get the least desirable assignments, and to be paid barely enough on which to live. On the other hand, most compensation packages are grossly back-loaded, offering lock-step seniority raises and substantial retirement benefits. So it's tough to get in the door, and once you do, leaving entails abandoning the rewards for which you've already labored before you can enjoy them. That's crazy.
I hadn't thought of it that way.
In total nerd mode, I found these definitions of philosophers' names using their philosophies amusing. eg: voltaire, n. A unit of enlightenment. Yes, I know. Sad, really.
In movie news, I liked this Guide to Romance Cliches.
Teen romances have their own separate cliches. Actually, they have one separate cliche: teens from out of town find it hard to fit in so they start hanging around with social misfits or goths or beatniks or vampires suffering from social anxiety disorders.
Finally, if you have the time, here's a talk from one of the co-founders of Kiva. One of the things I like about this is that she speaks directly from the outset about how she was motivated to take up this work due to what she learned about Jesus in Sunday School. I think this could make an excellent Adult Education offering.