No more papers, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks…
Please tell me there is someone out there who remembers that line. Yes I was that odd homeschool girl who grew up on movies like Anne of Green Gables and Sound Of Music more than I did actual movies from the nineties, but how can you not love Miss Anne spelled with an E?
It is funny the things that stick with you even years later.
I finished my last final presentation the other day, and that line from the movie came to mind.
Hello world, I have reappeared from underneath the mountains of homework and finals. For all of three weeks… sigh. But the end really is in site, as by August 1st, I will have officially completed all my graduate level classes required to graduate. After that all that will be left to complete will be my Thesis, which is it’s own beast, but at least I won’t have to be juggling homework and other papers and assignment alongside it.
Oh May of 2016 you can not come soon enough, for graduation will surely be oh, so sweet!
Anyways, I digress.
So I have lots of goodies to share today, as I just saved the ones I had started collecting last week and added more to them.
A few thoughts on the usual Townhall format. Typically I try to categorize the links I find to share and offer a few thoughts of commentary on why those links spoke to me throughout the week. However, I think I am going to try letting these voices stand more on their own with less of my own commentary. The point of the Townhall is to share with you other voices and resources I come across around the blogosphere and internet. I am also wanting to spend more time focusing on investing my writing energy into a new original series I am planning to start. (MORE on that at the end of the post!)
So bear with me as I make some adjustments around here, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get on to the good stuff!
Voices Worth Sharing
So first off, let’s start off with some hilarity and truly poignant satire on how so many people in this country say they care about their Mother’s. I love this man. He always makes such great points, while also cracking me up.
John Oliver on Mother’s Day!
I began to realise that time is power. That time is a feminist issue.
And it’s time not only for all the invisible work that women have always done to be valued – time diary data tracking child care and house work time is actually being used by some countries to calculate GDP, because without that work, economies don’t grow and the next generation of society isn’t raised. It’s also time for that invisible work to be shared more equitably, so that women, too, can have time for leisure. ~ Brigid Schulte
A powerful reminder on how women spend what time they have and how they and their time are valued. How do you spend and value your time?
When I left church at age 29, full of doubt and disillusionment, I wasn’t looking for a better-produced Christianity. I was looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity: I didn’t like how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people were being treated by my evangelical faith community. I had questions about science and faith, biblical interpretation and theology. I felt lonely in my doubts. And, contrary to popular belief, the fog machines and light shows at those slick evangelical conferences didn’t make things better for me. They made the whole endeavor feel shallow, forced and fake. ~ Rachel Held Evans
Rachel’s words are always so perceptive and in tune with the heartbeat of questions so many of us are asking about faith and church and how they intersect our lives. Read them and be encouraged. Also make sure to get a copy of her newest book, Searching for Sunday. It is some of her best work yet!
Sacramental Christianity Won’t Win Me Back
What I want is a church that doesn’t have an opinion for once. That doesn’t have a vested interest in my money, time, or perfect behavior. Where there are no paid professionals. Where to follow God is an amateur endeavor forever. ~ Matthew Drake
Matthew’s words are so perceptive. I love this different perspective he bring’s to Rachel’s recent work Searching for Sunday. Some of us are still searching and he is right that some of us will not find our way back, or even want to. For me personally it depends on the day. That is a story for another day though.
How to Help the Hurting
That’s why, many times, you enter a place of loss with someone for no other reason than to be there. It’s not to pronounce words of explanation or anything else. You’re just there to be there. That is enough. In fact, it’s more than enough. ~ William Paul Young
I loved the Shack. I remember weeping while reading it and loving it so much that as soon as I read the last page, I sat in silence for a moment and then flipped to the beginning and started to read it again. It is one of the few books I have read multiple times. Young’s perception of God and how Christians can better support each other through suffering, tragedy, and loss are truly a gift, both in The Shack, and here in this article.
Love can and does and will transform us in every way – our ideology, our opinions, our habits, our values, our priorities, our very names. But it’s not a prerequisite or a requirement, it’s not behaviour modification, it never is, not for Love. ~ Sarah Bessey
Sarah’s words here took my breath away. Such beautiful, wholly needed, loving truth.
‘I have learned to block everything out and focus on my truth. I had to answer some basic questions for myself: Who am I? No, really, who am I? What do I care about?’ she said, adding that the thing she cared most about were her daughters. ‘And at the end of the day, by staying true to the me I’ve always known, I found that this journey has been incredibly freeing. Because no matter what happened, I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name-calling, the doubting — all of it was just noise. It did not define me. It didn’t change who I was. And most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back.’ ~ Sam Levine reporting on First Lady Michelle Obama
Powerful words from a powerful lady. I love hearing what she has to say, after seeing her spend so much of her time advocating for Veterans, us Military Spouses, and our families. She has a special place in my heart for her care and work on our behalf.
Studying Islam has come at a price. Old friends see me as a traitor; family members see me as “strange,” and Muslims see me as someone who will never be good enough. These developments make me think deeply about the issues of loyalty, love, and knowledge. Thankfully, I do have kindred spirits around the worldwide who understand my mission and who appreciate the courage it takes for an individual to put relationships on the line in an effort to acquire knowledge and understand the mysteries of our world. ~ Ro Waseem
Interfaith dialogue. I didn’t even know this existed growing up. You were either a bible-believing Christian headed for heaven, or doomed to hell. Now, I don’t even know if I believe in hell anymore. Gasp, I know. Anyways, that is also a discussion for another day. Waseem’s words here and his experience are one I really appreciate learning about. What if people of faith did this more? What would the world look like if people of faith wanted to learn from each other rather than judge and alienate each other?
The Duggars are not shy about their associations. They have promoted Bill Gothard’s ATI and Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum for years. They also promote S. M. Davis’ ministry, and have promoted Michael and Debi Pearl’s To Train Up A Child in the past. They are open about using Gothard’s homeschool curriculum. This subculture is their home. They live it, they breathe it, they preach it. If you want to understand the Duggars—what they believe and how they parent—you have to understand that subculture. And I can promise you right now that it’s more than sunshine and roses. ~ Libby Anne
Libby Anne’s thoughts on the Duggar Family are spot on. They were spoken of as celebrities in the world I grew up in, but in reality they are growing up surrounded and enmeshed in the same controlling, patriarchal, sexist, and damaging teachings and mindsets I grew up with. So many Christians I know are truly ignorant of what circles this family runs in and what teachings these circles espouse, so I am sure that is why they are often touted for being such a “godly family” and such a great example for “family values.” However before looking at them as some cute and slightly strange modern-day-version of Little House on the Prairie, it is probably best for you to understand who they are and what they really believe.
In the wave of home-schooled children coming of age today, many are less concerned with carrying their parents’ torch than with speaking up on behalf of kids like themselves. ~ Patrick Michels
An informative and detailed article on the state of homeschooling in Texas. Given I am a homeschool alumni from Texas, who was homeschooled Kindergarten through 12th grade, of which 2nd thru 12th grades were spent in Texas I feel I should speak up on this article in particular. I remember all too well how little the state cared about what kind of education I got. Thankfully I had parents who although chose to homeschool me and my siblings, did care and could afford to give us one of the better forms of homeschooling education available at the time. That being said, it still left me gravely unprepared for college. The only real bonuses that homeschooling gave me were advanced reading/comprehension skills and a skill set in self-discipline to accomplish my studies in a timely, organized manner. These proved to be extremely beneficial in college, where other students struggled with discipline, time management, and juggling large amounts of dense textbook reading. So while I was able to get myself caught up in the areas where I was lacking (science and math), other students I grew up with, particularly girls were lucky to even finish 8th grade, much less get any quality level of high school education.
These last two links bring me to my own news.
My Upcoming Series
I had the chance this semester to take a class on Leadership Studies. In this class, we got to examine various leaders both historical and present day to better understand how they were good, bad, effective, or worth following. I chose to do my final paper for the class on Bill Gothard, the man in charge of the ATI homeschool organization, an organization I was very familiar with growing up and worked for during my senior year of high school.
One of the things I have enjoyed about graduate school is the freedom we are given as students to select our own research topics and focus throughout each class. This has allowed me to better educate myself on topics that I am interested in, passionate about, or want to better understand or be informed of.
This was one of those projects for me.
However, it was arguably one of the hardest papers I have ever written.
Not for it’s length or assignment qualifications, but rather because of how personally connected I felt to the research. Doing a leadership analysis of Bill Gothard meant researching and reading about his style of leadership extensively for days. Gathering resources, testimonies, reading through personal accounts and all the data the whistleblowing site Recovering Grace has gathered on him, and so much more. It also meant reading scholarly work of professional psychologists, social workers, and leadership theory experts on his type of leadership.
I have never cried while doing research for a school paper until now. I have never had to purposely take weeks to write a paper, in order to give myself a break from the subject matter.
That being said though, I feel now that it is finished, that it is some of my best work to date.
I love research, because it has taught me all the more how to access, process, and learn from gathering information. So often in college, I would just pick a topic for a research paper based on having a base line of knowledge already or easy access to sources–whatever I needed to do to get the paper written and quickly. Now I know that at at a graduate level, quality work is expected of me. So in order to produce quality work, I have to put in quality time and this is so much easier to want to do when it is a topic I am actually interested in or passionate about.
Toni Morrison once said,
If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.
I believe this is true for academic social research as well. One of those areas where I have struggled to find recent academic, sound social research on is homeschooling. You can find ions of research on public and private education, leaders within education, etc. But homeschooling is it’s own unknown frontier. I am thankful for organizations like HARO over at Homeschoolers Anonymous who are working to change this. I think however, that maybe I have something to contribute too. Even if it is just a graduate student’s research paper in an online class.
So with all that to say, my new series is going to be sharing some of my recent research on leadership and homeschooling. Stay tuned for a new post!
Until Next Time,