Monday, February 28, 2005

Separation of Church and State

I run the risk of being labled by admitting to the following thoughts. I am clearly aware of the undertones that are becoming more overt by the year. These overt undertones could be a reaction to Christianity's often holier than thou mentality, but never-the-less, I find the rejection of all things related in anyway to Christianity a bit pig-headed and just as judgemental as the holier than thous.
As I am navigating through my first year as an English teacher, recognizing the lack of texts to choose from, I began looking into new British novels to teach to the seniors. One such book, a somewhat steamy and mysterious novel concerning an Anglican priest came to mind. But I was immediately choked by that question of appropriateness, not so much because of the sex, but because the religious theme is quite prevalent.
I then thought of C.S. Lewis, by far one of the most renowned British authors of the modern era. He was clearly a Christian apologetic, interspersing some less relgious writings throughout his career. But his best work is by far christian. So, I am hesitating at introducing my students to a wonderful author simply because he is christian. Ironic isn't it? That those who discredit Christianity as exclusive and narrow-minded, do just that whenever it comes to Christian thought. It reminds me of that whole elementary school birthday invitation thing. You forgot to invite me, so I'll forget to invite you--and make sure you and everyone else knows I forgot to invite you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


If you've ever played a video game on a Playstation or X-Box, you may have been aware of the "cheats." These "cheats" offer the user the ability to skip levels, gain super power, or in essence get an advantage the user would not have figured out on their own. Our students, much like the video game cheats, are regularly looking for ways to gain an advantage they could not figure out on their own.On a recent assignment, 10% of my students turning in the assignment had plagiarized. That is a significant problem for me. Now, I don't claim to always hold to the high ground--I've made my share of mistakes and will most certainly make more. But I ask, have we in the realm of public education brought about the dillemna of cheating? Are we too focused on results and standards in academic learning that we have forgotten to teach simple integrity as part of our curriculum?