Showing posts from March, 2015

For the Love of March Madness

My newly divorced dad was trying to connect to me, his teenaged daughter. Munching my breakfast cereal, Dad placed the sports section of the Seattle Post Intelligencer in front of me. He quickly explained how the NCAA basketball tournament worked. The Seattle PI was offering a contest—the best bracket would win a trip to Hawaii. Basketball didn’t enthuse me, but scanning the prizes, I thought, why not?

Folding the paper, Dad said we’d begin our research that evening. Research? I had real homework to do. How hard could it be to pick winners and losers? But that was all part of the fun according to Dad.

This was before the Internet, so researching college teams wasn’t easy. We relied on newspapers, magazines, and radio commentary. On my way home from school I went to the library and checked out old newspapers and magazines. Yes, that’s how we used to do it way back then.
For the next several evenings, Dad and I perused dozens of sports commentaries and plotted the course of teams we’d …

College For Free

College is obscenely expensive and with a nearly 50% unemployment rate among graduates, is it worth it? College debt tops ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. That is more than American’s house/car/credit card debt combined. 
College costs have increased 1000% in my lifetime. And bankruptcy isn’t an option with college debt. Where you go, the debt follows.

Luke was a high school graduate without finances for college, so he decided to volunteer for an African mission—digging wells and running food shelters for displaced refugees. 

He didn’t make any money, but he learned management skills, first-aid on the fly, how to fix a generator with altered parts, and gaining a worldview that living in a tin hut provides.
Arriving back in the states, he still couldn’t afford college, but he found a job stocking grocery shelves. Rather than settling in with the reasonable salary and benefits, he used his free time to take online college courses.
Why pay for what you can get for free? Luke tapped into economi…

Wife-Swapping Entertainment

On the same channel featuring the faith-driven Duck Dynasty, A & E will soon be premiering, Neighbors with Benefits. Perhaps the title leads you to suspect what this reality show offers—wife-swapping with no shame and all the sexual favors. As the promo explains, this is just your average suburban community, but behind the doors of some well-kept homes, weekend parties are opportunities to hook-up with the neighbor’s husband or wife.

Once illegal, this swinger lifestyle is now glorified in ways that defy logic. Why even be married? There is no faithfulness, or promises for sharing a unified partnership, or much of a future beyond the next party. 
It’s hard to imagine this happening in a typical neighborhood, but having this lusty group willing to make it a reality show says a lot about them. Even more telling is what it says about our culture.

Maybe I’m just getting too old. Or maybe I’m disheartened with entertainment that deliberately confuses lust and love. Making adultery a g…

We Don't Need No Thought Control

In 1979, as I neared college graduation, an anthem swept the nation—Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall. It quickly soared to the top of the charts with students shouting the lyrics, “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”It protested rigid schooling and government control. 
We’ve come a long way since then—in the wrong direction. In the past forty years our schools have transitioned to meet increasing government demands. With tax dollars funding schools, accountability is needed, but our kids and their teachers are the ones paying for it.

In the final months of the school year a slew of tests are scheduled in classrooms across America. You can go cross-eyed reading various reports on school performance, testing, and education reforms. 
But if you really want to know what’s happening, talk to a teacher. Ask them how these tests impact their instructional time and how it affects the kids.

Unraveling this knot is going to take time, but there’s a multi-natio…