This is a book I can't remember if I read as a child. I remember the story, but also remember the movie...so I can't be sure. But a colleague who help...moreThis is a book I can't remember if I read as a child. I remember the story, but also remember the movie...so I can't be sure. But a colleague who helps me plan of family reading program considered this a childhood favorite, so I thought it would be a great choice. She was right. This has been a perfect choice. There is so much in here for kids to love...animal friendships, adventures in the city, that longing kids have for pets, imagination and creativity as the cricket changes a city and the life of a family with his talent. Oh, I can't forget the part about Chinese food. That is definitely a plus. If you are looking for a great story for yourself or to read with your family, dive in! If you love it, I also recommend Masterpiece by Elise Broach which features a beetle with a talent for pen and ink drawings. (less)
This was a collection of six educators who oppose the No Child Left Behind Act.
It was written just a few years after NCLB passed, so some parts are p...moreThis was a collection of six educators who oppose the No Child Left Behind Act.
It was written just a few years after NCLB passed, so some parts are pretty prophetic - like when one of the writers predicts there will be lots of cheating scandals related to this act. A strong case was made on how the Texas Miracle that was used to tout NCLB was anything but a miracle, but more of a fraudulent manipulation of data and statistics. Alfie Kohn suggests that NCLB was actually designed to ruin public education, and while I don't think he proved his case, there is definitely proof that at least some of the major players in this did have privatization and school choice as their ulterior motive. Because it was written so soon after the act, there is not a lot of information in here about how the act IS failing, but more how it could fail.
I would have wished for a little less repeating and similarity in the essays and maybe a little more practical advice on how those who oppose it can change it. Also, while the authors are very passionate in their opposition, there were times that they let this cloud their interpretation of data. Still overall a worthwhile read for anyone who cares about the future of public education in our nation.(less)
Another great testament to the power of a spiritual friendship with Mr. Rogers. I read this after reading I am Proud of You by Madigan. I think I like...moreAnother great testament to the power of a spiritual friendship with Mr. Rogers. I read this after reading I am Proud of You by Madigan. I think I liked that one a little bit better, but they were both great. So many lessons from his life that can guide all of us in ours.(less)
Used this with my true library tales series at Celebrate with Stories. The true story of a librarian who had to protect the library books by removing...moreUsed this with my true library tales series at Celebrate with Stories. The true story of a librarian who had to protect the library books by removing them from a war-torn city to protected places throughout the regions.(less)
While you might say the book is about a journey...it is also about a series of journeys. Taylor tell...moreI listened to this book and enjoyed it very much.
While you might say the book is about a journey...it is also about a series of journeys. Taylor tells the story of her younger years, in which she found God, not in the church (she was not raised in the church), but in nature where she felt a powerful and persistent call of a divine presence. She takes us through her college years where this presence turns into a major in religion, and then somewhere along the way becomes a call to get her Master of Divinity and be ordained as an Episcopal priest. She spends a number of years in a busy downtown Atlanta church, but feeling that burnout was on its way heads up to the Georgia mountains to lead a small rural congregation. While she does find a different kind of life, she also discovers that many of the struggles that led her out of Atlanta follow her. So we also follow her on one more journey as she leaves parish ministry all together to become a professor at a local college.
While the story is powerful, for even more powerful was her weaving of some very profound thoughts on faith throughout the narrative. Here are just a few.
“I know that the Bible is a special kind of book, but I find it as seductive as any other. If I am not careful, I can begin to mistake the words on the page for the realities they describe. I can begin to love the dried ink marks on the page more than I love the encounters that gave rise to them. If I am not careful, I can decide that I am really much happier reading my Bible than I am entering into what God is doing in my own time and place, since shutting the book to go outside will involve the very great risk of taking part in stories that are still taking shape. Neither I nor anyone else knows how these stories will turn out, since at this point they involve more blood than ink. The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to convince people to set the written word down in order to become living words in the world for God's sake. For me, this willing conversion of ink back to blood is the full substance of faith.”
“...salvation is not something that happens only at the end of a person's life. Salvation happens every time someone with a key uses it to open a door he could lock instead.”
“I have learned to prize holy ignorance more highly than religious certainty and to seek companions who have arrived at the same place. We are a motley crew, distinguished not only by our inability to explain ourselves to those who are more certain of their beliefs than we are but in many cases by our distance from the centers of our faith communities as well.”
I also like how the story is told is starkly human terms. Yes, her call to ordained ministry came from God, but it also was filled with all of her very real and normal human desires to find meaning and value in her work. Value she was really sure would be enhanced by the wearing of the clergy collar I think many clergy are afraid to talk about the human aspects of their calling, as though somehow their desire to have meaningful work invalidates the divine calling. Her vocational struggles, while certainly having some qualities unique to clergy, also resonated with me in struggles with all kinds of work where you serve others. It is so easy for people to set you up as the one they look to for the advice, guidance, etc. and it can be tempting to try and be "all that" for them. In the end it is quite a lonely place, and often leads to burn out. Really, what is better, is to be in a circle with people, connecting stories and lives without having to set anyone apart as the one with the answers. I loved her inclusion of the story of the Lakotas at the end of the book. I would like to learn more about their spiritual practices. (less)