Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Life Lessons in Simplicity, Service and Common Sense""

A great debate has been raging in recent years about how to
improve our schools. I believe all good schools must recognize that the
moral growth of students is at least as important as their intellectual growth.

That's what some educators mean when they say that the only
proper education is amoral education - which is
not to be confused with a sectarian education.

The goal of Quaker teachers is to imbue students with the desire
to let their lives speak when they graduate and enter the adult world.
Non-Quaker educators express the same view somewhat differently
when they proudly describe a former student as a productive and
useful member of society, an exemplary parent, a warm and responsive
human being, an altruist. We can't simply focus on turning out
academically well-prepared graduates who will be accepted at the
colleges of their choice or enter the workforce with
excellent prospects for advancement.

Formal education is only a jumping-off point for a lifetime of learning and doing,
and what concerns good schools and good teachers is how
students apply the learning they acquire to living their lives.

From Robert Lawrence Smith's A Quaker Book of Wisdom (1998)

Smith's book has been floating around the house for the past few months,
and every time I pick it up I find little golden gems of truth and sensibility that
I find even more special and inspiring as the year winds down to a close.

Right before we left for the cabin (literally, while the guys were packing the truck)
I decided to dismantle the living room in preparation for the holidays.
I had tricked it out thoroughly with little gourds and pretty goldenrod
and other harvest-ish things. When we got home from the cabin, I came to
the sudden and horrifying discovery that we have pretty much zero
holiday decorations. We used to have loads... but I just can't find them.
So, we're back to a bare walls and a sad-looking mantle for the interim.

Our trip Up North was fun! The goal was to come home with a few
deer to eat for the next 12 months. Three experienced hunters, in blinds,
with bait apples and de-scenting spray... and the most exciting thing spotted
was a lone turkey. Just two days before on the same land some friends bagged
two does and a buck, so we know they're out there. Somewhere.

We hit up Shorts Brewery, in Mancelona, on Friday night. SO COOL!
I loved their sample paddles. For about $8 you can choose 5 beers
from their list of 20 or so. The Bourbon Wizard is not my friend,
but their grape juice based "Da Vine" was delicious!

We're headed back up right after Turkey Day lunch in Williamston
for Bag Some Deer, Round Two! We're also on the look-out for
Christmas trees and decorations, as well as some cheap land
on which to build our dream compound.

Here are just a few photos from when Sean and I went to
Elk Rapids on Saturday.

(If anyone can make these last two crazy shots into
an epic .gif, PLEASE DO SO. Then, send it to me. Please.)

EDIT - Blahhh! The centering/spacing is all off. I don't feel like fixing it again.
Sorry if it loads for you like it did for me.
Hopefully, your browser is better/smarter/faster/stronger.

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