My daughter’s first day of second grade was today. My son will start his first day of kindergarten in a few days. I am curious to see how my school system addresses the Common Core/testing issue that seems to be destined for a lifetime of litigation tied up in the court system. Feel free to give me an update on what’s going on in your parishes and schools. I’m not aware of anyone compiling a list of experiences and issues but that seems like something someone should be doing, so why not us?
I’ve been getting some e-mails from folks asking me what’s up with my posting decline of late. I assure you I have not abandoned my post permanently, although I was consciously taking a break for a little while to regroup and take some time to catch up with health, home and family responsibilities. (Getting my water turned off accidentally because I lost the payment e-mail was another good clue it was time to take break.) Taking breaks is good for the mind and soul. This is an intense fight many of us are engaged in, making mental health breaks more important for keeping our minds fresh our spirits lifted and attention focused.
I’ve probably chatted with some of you over the years about this phenomena/situation. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little “me time” for yourselves and I strongly encourage you to do so when you start to feel overwhelmed and dispirited. The chance for a new perspective and fresh start will only make you stronger. . . and maybe you will decide need to retool your involvement; scale it back or ramp it up – and either decision is fine.
I don’t think I have any allies that are paid advocates for their positions (unlike many of our opponents). We all have families, jobs and lives to live that need to come first. If we try to save the world but lose ourselves and our families in the process we have paid too much for our pursuit of victory and justice. Ours is a battle of many voices and roles and to be successful we must recruit more to our cause to help shoulder some of the burdens we bear, not to simply add their burdens to our own shoulders and loads.
Lately I have been in a more passive listening, reading, inquiring and analyzing mode without trying to pass judgment or discount other people’s views or opinions. I think this is one of the great weaknesses of the Reform movement – a lack of listening and learning from others – especially when what we hear is not always affirming or what we want to hear. I will admit one of my weaknesses is doing too little listening and too much talking and telling – and there is a time and place for that like in a blog, but that drowns out other voices and perspectives. I appreciate it when people comment (constructively) because that helps keep me honest to myself and serves and a reality check, and because I genuinely don’t know everything (my wife would tell you this is huge confession) because everything is not knowable to any one person or group. I like the blog format because it helps form the basis of a community of voices. I am very grateful to all of you who take the time to invest some of yourselves in this community. Even if we don’t always agree, I hope you always feel welcome if you come here to participate in the spirit of listening and learning (and not just trying to shout the loudest).