Six weeks into the school year, Miriam and Jacob have happily transformed into eagles--Grand Rapids Christian Middle School Eagles, that is. From soccer to history class to orchestra to (gasp) art class, GRCMS feels like, in Jacob's words, "being released from a prison and led into a beautiful woods." The prison, apparently, was their old school in California where (significantly) they had to wear uniforms.
Of course, GRCMS is not perfect in every way, but Mia and Jake are grateful for
1) an approach to the spiritual life emphasizing lifelong growth and service
2) commitment to the arts: choir is required, orchestra and band strongly urged
3) everyone has art class: for Mia, this week is acrylic landscapes; for Jacob, etching
4) teachers who know everyone individually and care about each kid, no matter what their grade point average
5) a relaxed atmosphere emphasizing the fun of learning together
6) refusal to assign "busy-work" homework
7) let's face it: eagles is a way cooler (and more appropriately Christian) mascot than the (gulp) crusaders.
Besides, Mia's 8th grade girls GRCMS-blue soccer team is currently undefeated. And guess who their leading scorer is? You know!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
This past summer, I spent two wonderful weeks directing a Calvin Seminars in Christian Scholarship seminar. We gathered 17 incredible writers from a variety of disciplines including publishing, academia, and the pastorate. Our seminar was titled "Writing as Christian Proclamation in Contemporary Contexts: The Truth's Superb Surprise." We spent our time together reading excellent books and discussing the Christian writing "scene," trying to figure out how to speak the big truths in rich, relevant ways.
The entire affair spoiled me as a teacher. When else in my teaching life will I show up with one or two little questions to launch the discussion, which will then take off and go on for three hours while I just relax and enjoy?? We reached some intriguing insights, I think, many of which are available in our daily summaries, posted here and here.
We came away from our time together having launched a little service project called "Write on the Money." This project has encountered some unexpected and humorous drama over the last two weeks. We are thinking perhaps the project should be called "Write on the Money We Thought We Had." The whole story is now emerging on our group blog.