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Archive for February, 2022

Transitions

When I was an educator by vocation, one of the frequent comments in meetings was “Change is your friend; get used to it because it’s here to stay.” I am here to say that change is no friend of mine and never was. Change is a sometime enemy that stalks my peace, effectiveness, efficiency, stability, and progress as a teacher (1) and person. It cannot be avoided but it should not be applauded, lauded, and promoted. In education, I think change is probably an excuse for never settling on a good and meaningful curriculum and pedagogy. Good teachers who are allowed to teach the same subject will reflect on their craft and better it in delivery, content, and relevance. Bad teachers will not be jolted by change to better their approach, but will find loopholes to continue their poor delivery. (2) I am not quite sure where all of that came from. It must have been latently hovering below the surface for a while.

The real subject of this post is change that really is unavoidable if more beneficial outcomes await. Change, just because it is or because we refuse to resist its eroding influence, is frequently contemptible, but change resulting from a transition which leads to a better place may be hard, but good. (3)

So, my wife and I are in a major transition. At our age, 60’s, these are usually to be avoided for settling and security. In our case health, finances, and pursuits are driving change. The basement of our home of 22 years was growing in water content and mold. Given my wife’s health and blood tests identifying mold as a partial culprit of her symptoms, we decided to sell our house. Some of the pictures (click on “Parting Shots“) reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly. We could have spent the rest of our days in this house, given its wooded yard, quiet neighborhood, familiar surroundings, and good community facilities. (4)

Financially, it may not be reasonable or possible for us to live at our accustomed and desired standard of living in terms of housing in this town. Anyone at all aware of real estate at present is aware that it is flat out crazy. Pandemic paranoia and panic has doubled the price of houses in our town. The only house we were able to get as far as bidding on was gone by the next day. We cannot compete. But God’s providence, rather than more direct means, very frequently guides those who are trusting Him to where He wants them. To where might this lead?

That brings us to the last transition driving point, pursuits. In this context, I mean what I (we) desire to do with a part of the remainder of our days. For that you must wait until we discern where and how God is leading us, be it down the block or across state lines.

  1. Fill in the blank with your profession.
  2. Certainly opinion but one gathered from 28 years of being in the trenches.
  3. Many of the educational elite would say that this is what they are after. I do not beg to differ; I insist upon it. If transition to a better place was what was sought after (aka reform) then education would be better, but much of “educational reform” is a smoke screen for covering incompetence and wrong presuppositions. Leave the good teachers alone to settle in and improve their craft. Help the bad teachers to see they may need to find other work. Maybe this should have been a post about educational reform (or lack thereof).
  4. We agreed and I said, “I think that perhaps what I like best about this town is the [6 mile] wooded trail by the river”. I have run, walked, biked, explored, photographed, read, disc golfed, played with grandchildren and friends, picnicked, and talked on this greenway for 15+ years. I have not yet seen another one of equal beauty or variety.

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I have not written here for just over a month, but it seems longer. My wife and I have gone through a period of difficulty and transition. Just after Thanksgiving we both had COVID. Then our house, sold, we moved into a rental house, and the closing on our house was delayed by a failed structural inspection. During the process of moving, I borrowed a trailer from a friend of mine. We met at dusk about halfway between our houses, so I needed the trailer lights. The problem was my truck’s plug did not mesh with his trailer’s plug. How was I to get it home without him spending an extra hour of driving to deliver it to my house?

When your ship is floundering in the swells because of storm damaged rigging and masts, you put up a jury-rig, an improvised, temporary sail that gets you into port. You use what you have. Check out what I had that worked at Trailer-rig.

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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18

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