Of Basketball and Bonding

I posted a bit about the day out snorkeling at a nearby island, and I wrote about the starfish.

While out on the boat and on the island, they swam, snorkeled, one of my guys got pretty sunburned, and the group visited with and got to know other staff and family members of staff at the school.
Several of the Christian school grads are back for Christmas break visiting their parents, who are teachers at the school or serving in some capacity as missionaries here in the area. While on the little island taking a break from snorkeling, three of the MK (missionary kid) young men played basketball with three Filipino guys they randomly met on the beach. Have I mentioned that basketball is very, very big here? VERY big.

When they started playing, there were just a few people around. My boy says at some point in the game he happened to look around and there was a huge crowd watching them. He didn’t know where they came from or when they showed up. Life is like that, isn’t it? You never who is watching, but somebody is, and you never know what they are learning from you. You have little or no control of your audience. All you can control is you, and we all know that is often nearly impossible- as James says, ‘For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.’ Without God, that much control is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.

I share here a picture somebody took of the players (if the blog will let me) – what you are seeing here is three Filipinos and 3 missionary kids. One of the missionary kids is a college student in Korea, here visiting his parents for the holidays. One is a college student in the states, here visiting his parents for the holidays because he kind of grew up here, and one is our son, a high school senior who has been here two weeks.. The missionary kids only met each other today on the boat. (My boy says, btw, that the young Filipino man in the green shorts can jump higher than he can). I find this remarkable, and encouraging, and it puts a smile on my face.

They bonded over basketball, and that’s a beautiful thing- look at that picture. Can’t you just feel their happiness and comradely spirit, even though it may be fleeting?

I know a more beautiful thing to come:

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.

Praying that all involved, including all of you reading, one day will be part of a great multitude, praising God from the heart, directly before His throne.

P.S. *In case you’re wondering, they played twice, and the MKs and the Filipinos each won once.

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Our Little Citizens- Primary Education Article, January, 1920 Part 2

Part One was ever so very long ago (almost a year):

From Primary Education, January 1920


Plain Living and High Thinking Let us return to this slogan of the good old Americans. No nation was ever more prosperous than this. If the truth were told about the High Cost of Living, it would be seen that profligate spending and under production due to strikes are the cause of the greater part of the increase in prices.
Use stories of the Pilgrim children to teach thrift. Cooperate with the Government in all its thrift activities. Above all, show how cheap and degrading, how vulgar, profligate spending is. No good American is paying extravagant prices for luxuries. The good Americans are trying to save, to make their earnings last as long as possible to live decently, not extravagantly.
It is the cheap, ignorant, flashy type that is engaged in an orgy of spending. No class is suffering more from this than the teacher. Surely we can put our hearts into teaching a refined, cultured standard of living.
Let us make an inventory of Personal Property Let the children put in everything they possess — toys and all. The idea is to build up in the them concepts of possession and contentment and thrift. Tell them to list damaged toys and then see if these damaged toys can be repaired as a manual training exercise and donated to other children or to hospitals.

It is said that the aliens among us who wish to overthrow our Government get more money in a week now than they used to be able to save in several years. They were contented until the agitators preached to them against our country and now, though some of them make over a hundred dollars a week, they call themselves wage slaves and want to take over the factories for themselves. Their discontent was artificially created by agitators.

Uncle Sam’s Census Tell the children that Uncle Sam takes stock of his people every ten years, and that 1920 is a census year. Tell them the first census bill was passed in 1790 — let them find out how many times the census has been taken. Let them take a census of their own family (fine opportunity for spelling, reading, writing — fine opportunity for teacher to become better acquainted). Tell them that Uncle Sam wants to know everyone’s name, place of birth, age, occupation, whether the children are in school or at work, and whether everyone can read and write English. Stress on this last part may increase interest in Americanization work. We don’t realize our power. What we put into the minds of the children reacts powerfully on their parents. It is a moving and pathetic sight to see little children bring their mothers to evening school to learn English, because some teacher has been inspired to make them want to help their parents understand America. It is good civic teaching to thoroughly explain the census, especially if the children come from foreign homes.
A perfectly accurate census has probably never been taken, but we can help set up a standard of courteous truthful co-operation with the census man.
Explain that with the census as a basis, Congress apportions the number of representatives. If we find that our population has increased in the last ten years, we will have a greater number of people to each representative — the number of representatives may be increased. We have now 435 representatives on a basis of one for each 211,677 persons. Due to the war, and influenza deaths, and the return to foreign lands of a great many of our residents, the population in this census will probably be considerably lower than what might have been the expected growth of a normal ten years.
The children can dramatize:
1 A census taker.
2 The administrator of an estate, who gets three appraisers to make an inventory. (Watch newspaper for such items.)
3 A furniture loan man — loans arc given only on part of the value. They are called “chattel mortgages.”
4 A personal property insurance man.
5 An auctioneer. Use the information gained in their inventories as the basis of their dialogue. They should be encouraged to make inventories of home possessions, to mend and keep in repair home furniture and tools, to get a sense of the money value the family possessions represent, and a feeling of loyalty to this Government, founded to protect them in their rights.
Be sure that Grades III and IV read the clauses of the Constitution that relate to the protection of private property. “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without the due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” (Fifth Amendment.)
Make them realize that schemes which take away the right to property are un- American. Create a scorn of the ” kicker,” especially of the one who discourages workingmen by telling them lies. The real agitators do not work, they roam about talking.
There are two kinds of discontent in this world — the discontent that wrings its hands and the discontent that works. The first loses what it had — and the second gets what it wants. — – Graham
Note Miss Leighton will answer questions or send references for teaching our Government as contrasted with Sovietism, Socialism, Communism, etc., or the economic fallacies of schemes like the Plumb plan, etc. Address Miss Etta V. Leighton, National Security League, 19 West 44th St., New York City

More about the National Security League here.



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1920 Advice on Assessing Your School part I

She is writing for the public school, but there is no reason much of this could not be used for a home school as well.

Volume XXVIII January 1920 Number 1
Hang Up Your Thermometer
Ida E. Roger Grade Supervisor, Mt, Vernon, N. Y.
(Book rights reserved)
NOT the glass and mercury kind, but the mental variety that registers your pedagogical temperament, that blazes to you the challenge, ” What am I Doing and Why am I Doing It?
” — hang up in your mental vision this measure that stings you into intro spective sifting, that calls, Am I working through principles or merely imitating devices of as many different varieties as the 57 kinds of Heinz, all of which can’t be meant for the same meal!
Honestly face the question, ”What Sort of a Place Ought a School to Be?” — not what is the type we have inherited, nor again the type you have stumbled upon and helped in working out through blindly following your principal’s hobbies, but the sort you would like to see offered your own child, or yourself (could you find yourself once again a six-year-old trudging to school)!
What Are the Tendencies toward which the efforts of our elementary grades are bending?
To this query, can we not affirm that our aim is a character-building education and that not as mere teachers or givers of outlines but as workers in developing in each child a Response to his opportunities, do we hold that we are justifying the confidence of every child coming to us with a faith in humanity firmly fixed in his heart.
We agree, however, that efficiency in any educational institution must be measured by clear, definite, uncompromising standards, even though “the confusions of the profession we are following are the confusions of life and of that strange unconquerable thing we call growth.”
And so even when recognizing character making as our aim, we are also conscious that ours is the responsibility “for accomplishing with a large number of children in an economy of time what we would like with one child in an infinite period of time.”

As a measure of our present purposes, I suggest the testing of what we are now accomplishing, by the standards proposed by Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, President of Columbia University. His measure is as follows:

“These Five Characteristics I Offer as Evidences of an Education: Correctness and Precision in the Use of the Mother Tongue; Refined and Gentle Manners, which are the Expression of Fixed Habits of Thought and Action; the Power and Habit of Reflection; the Power of Growth; and Efficiency, or the Power to Do.”

The sound philosophy of these five criteria clearly meets the conditions necessary because of the world-war problems which demand that we shall prepare the child to take his place in the coming keen competition which he as the future citizen will face.

The failure of Greek philosophy was The Relaxing of Effort and the letting down of obligation. Our acceptance of these five standards demands, not a liberation from the old formal discipline to a chaotic condition indicating neither democracy nor freedom, but a practice of the right spirit of responsibility which produces “a delightful effort” on the part of the child.

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Isaac Watts


IX. When a person feels any thing of this invidious humour working in him, he may by the following con sideration attempt the correction of it. Let him think with himself how many are the beauties of such an author whom he censures, in comparison of his blem ishes, and remember that it is a much more honourable and good-natured thing to find out peculiar beauties than faults; true and undisguised candour is a much more amiable and divine talent than accusation. Let of sovereignty and dictatorship, to exalt and almost deify all the pagan ancients, and cast his scorn upon all the moderns, especially if they do but savour of miracles and the gospel; it is fit the admirers of this author should know, that nature and these ancients are not the same, though some writers always unite them. Reason and nature never made these ancient heathens their standard, either of art or genius, of writing or heroism. Sir Richard Steele, in his little essay, called the Christian Hero, has shown our Saviour and St. Paul in a more glorious and transcendent light than a Virgil or Homer could do for their Achilles, Ulysses, or jEneas: and I am persuaded, if Moses and David had not been inspired writers, these very men would have ranked them at least with Herodotus and Horace, if not given them the superior place. But where an author has many beauties consistent with virtue, piety, and truth, let not little critics exalt themselves, and shower down their ill nature upon him without bounds or measure; but rather stretch their own powers of soul till they write a treatise superior to that which they condemn. This is the noblest and surest manner of suppressing what they censure. A little wit, or a little learning, with a good degree of vanity and ill nature, will teach a man to pour out whole pages of remark and reproach upon one real or fancied mistake of a great and good author: and this may be dressed up by the same talents, and made enter taining enough to the world, which loves reproach and scandal: but if the remarker would but once make this attempt, and try to outshine the author by writing a better book on the same subject, he would soon be convinced of his own insufficiency, and perhaps might learn to judge more justly and favourably of the performance of other men. A cobbler or a shoemaker may find some little fault with the latchet of a shoe that an Apelles had painted, and perhaps with justice too, when the whole figure and portraiture is such as none but Apelles could paint. Every poor low genius may cavil at what the richest and the noblest hath performed; but it is a sign of envy and malice, added to the littleness and poverty of genius, when such a cavil becomes a sufficient reason to pronounce at once against a bright author, and a whole valuable treatise.

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Fruit of the Gods

I do not wish to be irreverent, and I mean this with the utmost gratitude and respect to the Divine Creator who made this so: The pineapple here is so delicious that eating it is a sacred religious experience.

Also: Mango. To add a word to this would be to gild a lily in Heaven.

Did I mention that candy on a tree known as Jackfruit? You have no idea, unless you have eaten fresh candy from a tree in the Philippines.

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