Friday, October 08, 2004

The YellowJacket

Woo hoo! I got a package in the mail today. You thought the mothers (that means Mothers of College Kids, for those not in the know) only sent packages, not received them, huh? What was in my package? The last two issues of the LeTourneau University's student newspaper, The YellowJacket. Why am I so privledged to get this in the mail? No, I did not write the guest editorial--I just have an inside track with the editor.

It looks like a nice little newspaper. I don't know that much about LU, having never actually been there. I hear quite a bit about it, however, since a lot of my colleagues send their kids there. I got to know the editor, Charley, a couple years ago when he lived with our family for a summer. (p.s. to Charley--I think you are wise to skip the barcode tatoo. If you wait until you start to go bald, you can have comb-over that looks like a barcode:-)

I hear complaints about LU sometimes, usually about meals. I don't know whether to consider them seriously or just assume they come from typical college kids who miss mom's cooking. I mean, I sent my three kids to other Christian colleges, and they complained the same way.

Sometimes I've heard complaints from LU students about chapel. I assume chapel attendance is required, otherwise they wouldn't be complaining about it. Maybe LU should consider making these changes to chapel, and see if things improve:
  • Chapel is voluntary, not required.
  • Chapel speakers and musicians are of high quality.
  • Chapel is when campus announcements are made.
  • The library, post office, and snack bar are all closed during chapel hour so staff can attend chapel.
These policies were in practice at the Christian college my boys attended, and there was never enough seating for everyone to get into the auditorium for chapel.

Hmm, maybe I should ask the YellowJacket editor if I can write a guest editorial for the next issue.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

"The Politics of God"

I don't really know that much about politics, but it is the political season and I did watch the VP debate last night. Today I read an article entitled "The Politics of God." It was kind of interesting, a little summary of how religion affects how Americans vote. (This article came from the Kennedy School of Government Bulletin, but when I last checked that URL, it was not the latest issue. This magazine arrived in my mailbox because our older son is a recent graduate of the KSG and Ethiopia is too far away to mail it. And even though they, no doubt, expect me to cower in respect, I did find a copyediting error in the article, a missing closing double quote. "So there!" I say smugly.)

The article talks mostly about voting patterns since the Kennedy election in 1960. According to the author, 82% of American Catholics voted for JFK.
Twenty years later, the once-burning "Catholic issue" was forgotten, replaced by the "Christian Right" question. After voting for Jimmy Carter in 1976, the nation's white evangelicals overwhelmingly opted for Ronald Reagan in 1980.... Urged on by fundamentalist preachers like Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority and then by Pat Robertson and his Christian Coalition, those voters dropped the Democratic Party by the millions for wholehearted embrace of the GOP.

The article goes on to point out how Americans are much more religious than Europeans, and they vote according to their religious values. But it is too simplistic to say religious Americans vote Republican and secular ones vote Democrat. Rather, the author says Americans divide up along these religious percentages:

25% Catholic
25% white evangelical or fundamentalist
25% mainline Protestant
10% black Protestant
2% Jewish
2% Mormon
1% Muslim
10% secular

and then vote thus: white evangelicals and Mormons will vote Republican, black protestants and Jews will vote Democrat. Therefore, the election is in the hands of Catholics and mainline protestants.

Hmm, maybe I should have posted this entry on my favorite
online forum, but then all those twenty-somethings would think I'm interested in politics.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Risk taking

Once a month my boss sends out a newsletter to all the people who work in our section. I found this paragraph from his newsletter kind of interesting:

We are in a better position to take risks than non-believers. For one thing,our identity isn't tied up in our accomplishments. Our identity comes from who we are in Christ. And we know that the Lord is sovereign and will accomplish His purposes both through our successes AND failures.

I don't really see myself as a big risk taker (although I have stuck my neck out in a few cases that involved relationships with people). I think it is his second sentence that caught my attention: our identity is not tied up in our accomplishments. You know, if that is true, it is a very freeing concept. Who I am is not a sum of all the things I've done (or not), or all the money I've earned (or not), or all the pats on the back I've gotten (or not). If my identity comes from who I am in Christ, and if yours does too, then you and I are petty much equals, just different parts of the same Body.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Top ten ways you know your nest is empty

10. You rediscover the color of the carpet in your kids' bedrooms, and find silverware that has been missing for months.

9. You make a car-sized space in the garage and when you come home from work, the space is still there.

8. Your telephone is free, but silent, since your friends gave up months ago trying to get through.

6. You run the dishwasher once every two days instead of twice in one day.

5. You go to the grocery store once a week instead of once a day.

4. You go out to eat at Chili's instead of McDonalds.

3. You clean the house and it stays clean.

2. Your husband says he wants to have more kids so you will at least cook dinner

And the number one reason you know your nest is empty,

**has been censored** ;-)