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Announcement

Even more Amazon discussions for you!


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Showing 1-25 of 559 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2008 7:22:57 PM PST
Hello Religion discussions fans!
You've made this forum one of the most active communities on Amazon.com. We're glad to bring together such passionately engaged customers!

In response to your feedback, we've added several new ways to find more discussions. At the bottom of this page (and every discussion page) you'll find a current listing of the most active Amazon forums today. Then the "See all customer communities" link will take you to a site-wide directory page to discover even more discussions. See the directory here:
http://www.amazon.com/communities/directory

Finally, to remember the communities you've found and to return easily to check on them, you can build a saved list of Your Communities. Just click the yellow "Add to Your Communities" button that appears in the top right of every community discussion page, to add it to your list.

You can always get back to your saved list of communities with one hop. The same listing of top forums at the bottom of discussion and community pages also has a link to see "Your communities." On any page at all, the menu at the top of the page for <Your Name>'s Amazon.com (right next to the Gold Box menu for "Today's Deals") also includes a link to Your Communities:
http://www.amazon.com/communities/your

We're interested in what you think of these features. We do see your comments here, and you can send feedback directly to our teams at any time with the links found on the Guidelines and Help pages for discussions or communities.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 7:42:18 PM PST
So does this mean the other amazon discussion thread is now kaput? I really liked that thread...

Sincerely,
a mostly satisfied customer

(I'll reserve this space for future use. :))

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 7:46:54 PM PST
If you mean the previous announcement, "How long can you go on," it's still here in Religion--just not pinned to the top of the discussion list all the time.

Here's a link for posterity: http://www.amazon.com/tag/religion/forum/?cdThread=Tx2WVH6NR9LQE9H

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 7:59:00 PM PST
Awww!!!! Shoot, can we get the old article back?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 8:09:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2008 8:24:33 PM PST
Wow! You really talked to me! I don't know what to say - you guys are the best!!!
And thank you for posting the link to our old thread. It's floating around on the forum with some of my favorite posts planted on it. (It's kind of like that spaceship in "Silent Running" - you know that movie about the spacecraft with the trees planted in it?)

Alpha Goof

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2008 10:25:17 PM PST
Robert Hellebush wrote a beautiful poem on the "A close relative died yesterday" thread:

Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2008 10:41 AM PST
Robert Hellebush says:
T.M.S.

I penned this thought for you today...

Inevitably, we all face the timeless abyss,
whether a mom or dad, brother or sister,
relative or friend... perhaps even a child;

Their names are placed on the ever lengthening role of
the ages, of those dear friends and loved ones
who have preceded us in the passage.

Yet they live.... in our warm recollections, in the
fading photographs, the box of memorabilia held
so dearly in those quiet times we conjure up
the face, the smile, the eyes, the touch of those
we have cared so much about these many years.

Soon, it will be our turn. No pain, no sorrow, no joy
or laughter... just the return to the eternity we knew
so well before we were born...

And those we leave behind - each awaiting a turn - will
feel for you as you feel now. It has ever been thus...

Peace, my friend!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 2:30:18 AM PST
Ice Floe says:
Is this some kind of trick? Is there REALLY an Amazon "person" connected to this screen name? It walks! It talks! It crawls on its belly like a reptile! Is your REAL name "Little Egypt"? Or are you REALLY like the "wizard" in Oz?
Should we call you Mr. Amazon announcements or Ms. Amazon announcements?
I must ponder this dilemma. Although all of our "voices" are rather like disembodied spirits the Godazon of Amazon always SEEMED even more disembodied!
Tell the family I said hi! Don't eat too much at Thanksgiving! Oh, what the heck! Have fun and stuff yourself!
Icey

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 7:48:17 AM PST
This is from sfon, on the "Atheists: Chew on this for awhile" thread -

Winston Waldemayer says: "I have to admit I must know so much about it because I used to be the skeptic (atheist)."

From my perspective this is the least compelling of all arguments. What YOU ARE or what YOU WERE... your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, and sensibilities... have no bearing whatsoever on the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, and sensibilities of others. Each spirit is unique. You have no superior claim of insight into all others... only (perhaps) yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 8:08:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2008 8:10:41 AM PST
wakecowboy says:
Of course they talked to you Kare-Bear,
they probably know everything about ya.
After all, yer like their most chatty-lil'-Kathy-doll, responsible for like 4/5ths of the postings here. (And they don't even have ta pay ya)
This whole thread was just a ploy so they could say, 'Hi' and 'Thanks Karen'.

:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 8:49:14 AM PST
AR says:
Okay, Amazon.com Discussions Team,

If you are reading this, then I want you to know a few things.

This forum has given so many the opportunity to expand and learn new ideas or examine old ideas more closely.

In some ways, it acts as a mini-classroom by enhancing and articulating viewpoints very few of us would ever have the ability to hear or express.

Since I have been a 'forum member', I have tried to purchase exclusively through Amazon out of a sense of appreciation and gratitude for this service and plan to continue to do so.

Thank you so much for this great experience.

[Whew! KT, I thought all your hard work was gone forever! AND,,,,,,You got an ANSWER! Wow, you must be Popellina!]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 9:04:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2008 9:25:12 AM PST
Wake,

HAH! :)

Oh, the irony.

There was a poster who use to chastise me because I didn't participate on the forum enough, and didn't seem to be drawn to her threads. I know. I hadn't realized I had a Forum supervisor either, until she let me know that I wasn't keeping up my part. :)

You are a sweetheart, Wakecowboy. Glad to know you. :)

Wingoov:
Will
I
Never
Get
Out
Of this
Vortex?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 9:08:29 AM PST
Dear AR Nilrem,

"This forum has given so many the opportunity to expand and learn new ideas or examine old ideas more closely."

Yes! Well said, my friend! :)

Popellina

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 9:49:03 PM PST
Tim Barrie says:
Hey Amazon.com Discussions Team, I have to agree with everyone else. Great site and it's great fun to be here. I've learned a lot and have started using Amazon for much more...

Some suggestions:
Be more responsive. Allow people to ask questions and actually respond to them.
Allow people to make suggestions, and respond to those suggestions at least with a comment.
How about a voting facility, so people can vote on an initial posted topic, as in whether they agree with it or not?
How about a search function, search on posts by a particular poster?

Wouldn't it be great if you would actually provide feedback on these suggestions, even if its simply 'no chance, we have much more important things to do!". :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2008 7:50:16 AM PST
A wonderful post from AR on the "Happy days are here again :))" thread.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In reply to your post on Nov 5, 2008 7:45 AM PST
AR says:
Hi KT and all:

I am trying to get packed and out of here to places unknown, but I found myself drawn one last time to all of you during this historic moment.

There is so much that is going unsaid, I felt that this was the appropriate place to voice the thoughts many must be having today. I beg your tolerance.

I hope each and every American stops for one moment and considers these things.

When "I have a dream" was spoken forty years ago, little did we understand what the one, victorious moment last night could do for a nation, for a people and for the world.

This statement of hope was spoken in the same year as the assassination of Medgar Evers. The stories and the struggles span two centuries, hundreds and thousands who have fought, suffered and died for the freedom and rights that were so casually given to others due to a skewed and bigoted perception of the majority. We still see this attitude in so many issues and areas today. Please, make no mistake, the issues have not disappeared.

The struggles and the fights, the degradations and the human suffering, the death and the horrendous situation of being `less' simply because a physical aspect of a person was different than his neighbors' has weighed on the shoulders of our nation for a long time. We, as a people have abhorred the history, hated the hatred, and most of all, knew not how to reverse the past. Our hearts have been heavy with this burden, as we all know the poison that hatred engenders; it seeps into our spirits, our daily lives, and pollutes our souls. I have wondered at this my entire lifetime; how a loving, freedom-screaming horde of liberty-seekers could deny the same to others in bigoted blindness.

Last night, I heard the collective sigh of the multitude; all of those who have felt this weight lift just a bit; imagined the knowing smiles from the graves of all who have gone before and of all who have hated the hatred. It does not make up for one moment any of these `freedom fighters' suffered, but it did do one thing.

It did say that we have risen to a new dawn, a new horizon of hope. Bigotry and hatred, stupidity and ignorance, and most of all selfish intolerance are one step closer to being out-the-door. Just one step, but a step none the less. The majority of us have said, in a quiet way, one ballot at a time, "Enough." Enough hatred and small-minded bigotry; Enough judging others for who they are, Enough of your poison and your idiocy.

Enough.

Enough.

I celebrate this moment, not because a candidate won an election, but because we all won something very important, vital and sustaining. We won a silent war on freedom. Please, let's not forget that this was won not only for us, but also by and for the ones who have gone before, the ones who have paid an ultimate price for us to stand here and celebrate those famous words 40 years ago.

I envision, someday, a world that learns this crucial lesson from us, that we humans can put aside our hatred, our prejudices and our bigotries; we no longer have the petty need for false and imagined superiority; we can be one world and one people while retaining the best of each and freedom for every one of us.
As Americans, THIS is what we could bring to the table; we could ensure a better future for all.
You see, "WE HAVE A DREAM!"

[In humble gratitude, admiration and awe to each one who has given us the freedom to choose liberty. May we all rest in peace.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2008 8:32:22 AM PST
Here's a post from Ice Floe on the "Happy days are here again :)" thread that, I think, expresses the feelings of a lot of people in the U.S.:

In reply to your post on Nov 7, 2008 10:19 PM PST
Ice Floe says:
"Ice,
The day after the election I garbed myself from head to toe in red, white, and blue - something I've not done much in the last eight years - I'm so proud to be an American right now. :)
And I'm so glad you're still smiling - me, too! Wonder how long we'll be walking around with these silly grins on our faces?
Karen"

Karen, I'm pretty sure I'll have the silly grin on my face at LEAST through January 20, 2009! Even the virulent naysayers can't spoil this moment in history!
I hope ALL of us remember it wasn't easy to get to this day and it won't be easy to make things right. ALL of us have to try to help in whatever way we can. We just can't allow things to go back to narrow-minded, dark age, bigotry. Even on this thread there is some of that and it will take MILLIONS of us to insure that the far-right neo-cons don't take over the country again!
Smiling! --- Icey
Work for REAL science!
Work for REAL equality!
Work for REAL justice!
Work for REAL peace!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 6:35:01 AM PST
Here's a great post by Conley Thorne from the "All Creatures Great and Small: Pet Stories" thread:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In reply to your post on Nov 16, 2008 6:38 PM PST
Conley Thorn says:
A.W. KAREN: I know there are a lot of animal lovers on the forum and was wondering if anyone would care to share stories about their pets here.

THORN: I have many animal stories. Most would be stories about cats. I've had cats in my life since I was ten years old. Each had a unique personality, and though cats are among the most independent and self-sufficient of animals, many of them acquired almost human sensibilities and sentiments. Cats are the most agile and physically coordinated of animals, and I've seen them perform feats that aren't easily believed. If this thread continues, I'll contribute one of two cat stories.

I've had two dogs. The first was a small Eskimo Spitz named Jerry. I was 5-6 years old, and never got to know him very well. He was killed by a train. To please my mother, who was a very tender-hearted waman, my father put Jerry in a dynamite box from the coal mine where he worked and we took Jerry's casket to a pristine place on a mountainside to bury him. My father lugged stones from the nearby stream to cover the grave, because my mother was afraid wolves would dig up the body. She cried all the way there and home.

The only other dog I ever lived with was a female mostly German Shepherd my 13-year-old son named "Betsy." We got her from the animal shelter when she was about five months old. She died of a cancer at age fifteen. She was as close to human as a dog can get, and we all loved her about as much as we loved each other. I can never adopt another dog. It would be like trying to replace my son or daughter.

Betsy did all the usual dog things, catching frisbys, chasing sticks and squirrels, showing off by walking on her hind legs. One time we gave her a large hambone and she buried it in the back yard; then she dug it up and buried it in a different place. She buried it four times before she decided she'd found the right place.

At that time, we also had two cats, Treetop and Whiskey, both toms. Whiskey was a loner, and temperamental, but Treetop was humanized and very loving. They lived indoors and out, because I've never felt right cheating a cat of it's nature. Whenever Treetop came in for breakfast or dinner, he'd always go first to Betsy and they'd nuzzle each other in greeting before he ran to his bowl to eat. Once, when I had Betsy tethered in the backyard, two strange dogs came by to check her out and Treetop leaped from the top of the doghouse and chased them across two lawns.

I think Betsy might have learned to talk a little if she'd had the right vocal equipment. She knew a lot of what we said to her. When the cats got into a quarrel, Betsy would jump between them and break it up. If my wife and I got a little angry with each other, Betsy would get between us and look pleadingly from one to the other. She was a remarkable animal.

Dogs are a very special animal; in some ways, they're more human than we are, in the best sense of the term. The world being as it is, we've had to make cruel use of other animals, and too many people still think they have no real emotions and no intelligence. But if we're to become more human, we'll have to become more understanding of, and more sympathetic toward, our fellow beasts.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 6:41:19 AM PST
And a couple of other fun ones from the "All Creatures Great and Small: Pet Stories". This first post is a contribution by James Longmire's wife, Kathi.

In reply to your post on Nov 17, 2008 6:28 PM PST
James Longmire says:
I used to live on Chocolate Lake, and my backyard was a long sloping lawn towards a small wharf. Nicely-the-cat would sometimes go after the ducks in the lake. He would start very far up the yard, and run as fast as he could down to the lake, across the wharf, and launch himself into the air with his paws outstretched, and land on the back of one of the ducks in the lake. It was an incredible sight to see. A couple of other ducks would take off into the air, and the duck he landed on would go under water with the cat, and then swim away in a big flap. Nicely would paddle up to the surface, and paddle out of the lake again, climb up on the lawn soaking wet looking absolutely furious, and stalk off planning his next attack ...

I would love to have a videotape of that now ...

-Kathi

This post is from Jayne:
In reply to your post on Nov 16, 2008 8:39 AM PST
Jayne says:
Good Story Karen! I'm glad the pup made it!

I have a Scottish Terrier; a breed created to chase vermin into their burrows and dispatch said vermin. Well my little terrier was raised with an elderly cat sister, a hamster, and two parakeets, each of which was unquestionably accepted into our pack.

One nice spring day, my terrier came running up to me, asking for assistance as dog do, so I followed her to see what she was upset about. Out in our back yard, there was a fat little fledgling blue jay sitting on our grass. My dog runs much faster than I do so by the time I saw what was going on, she was towering over the little bird and trying to figure out how to pick it up without hurting it. She opened her mouth several times but each time decided it wasn't a good idea. I thought for sure that little bird would be accidentally crushed by my well meaning little beastie but I called the dog back and she actually listened to me. I told her to sit still while the little bird hopped back up a nearby bush and back to its mother and she actually listened to me! Scotties just don't do that! Shortly after, the little fledgling got the hang of flying and went about its regular bird business.

And this post is from z fish (this one gave me a good chuckle - can we all relate?)
In reply to your post on Nov 17, 2008 5:56 AM PST
z fish says:
Great story Karen, thanks.

I don't have any heroic or beating the odds type stories about my dogs, but they are good loving friends. This Saturday evening (in the dark) I decided to take my boader collie for walk. It was finally a Fall evening in the mid forties (I live in houston, we have very short Falls) and she likes the cool weather. Well, about a mile into the walk she starts pulling on her leash like madness (which is unusual). So, silly me, I just thought she wanted to run out some energy, so I obliged and let her run. Before I knew it I realized she was going after a creature, which I initially didn't recognize ---- it was a skunk!!!!

Long story longer, I got to wash my dog in baking soda and hydrogen peroxide four times in the dark in forty degrees, and she still stank!!! Pets, you gotta love 'em.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 3:17:42 PM PST
Here's a really moving post from Iain Mcintosh from the "What type of learner do you think you are?" thread:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In reply to your post on Nov 6, 2008 8:19 PM PST
Iain Mcintosh says:
Dear Alpha W.K.,

From yours: ''(See my previous post - I'm in agreement with you.)''

I knew there was another reason I liked you; the other one being that you have a well developed sense of humour.

Anyway, I really am sceptical about ''expert knowledge,'' especially in areas where it's difficult to test the theory.

Here's an little anecdote, with all the usual warnings re anecdotes.

My son, Alex, is seventeen, a junior at a huge but high powered Catholic high school; last year, 93% of the seniors went to college from a senior class of around 250.

Well, Alex was adopted from Korea, and he was 7 months when we got him. He was a physical mess, and the medical records that came with him detailed his problems graphically, including some brain damage, a result of his mother, a poor, outcast sixteen year old, trying to abort him with saline solution. I'll cut this short a bit and say that at seventeen all his physical problems have been fixed, and he's now tall, slim, and handsome; girls won't leave him alone.

But to my point. When he was eight months, we took him to a neurologist and showed this guy the medical records. The neurologist ran him through a battery of tests, and then told us, and I'm not making this up, that it would have been better for all involved if the attempted abortion had been successful; Alex's brain was too small, its growth arrested by the saline invasion, and he would never be able to function normally as an adult at any level. I'd been reading Gould at the time, and I wasn't too impressed by the small brain thing, but it wasn't a great time for his mother and me, as you can imagine.

So when Alex did, in fact, show early symptoms of failure to thrive, we weren't optimistic. he had to repeat kindergarten, for example, and was very, very shy and retiring. At all the elementary school teacher meetings, we were told that Alex struggled and probably would continue to struggle. Then, when he was eight, but it didn't happen suddenly, everything began to change. His mother and I had always tried to help him every way we could think of, stimulated him visually, verbally, physically and so on, and we continued to do what we had always done. He just got better and better, smarter and smarter, happier and happier.

As a junior, he has a 90% average, is well liked, though not the ''most popular,'' which I'm grateful for, if that makes sense, and has a wicked sense of humour. So I'm sceptical as far as expert opinion is concerned, though I'm not suggesting I'm that way because of our experience with Alex; I've always been that way.

I hope this didn't bore you.

Iain

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 3:27:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2008 3:34:54 PM PST
Man, I wish I could just paste the entire "What type of learner do you think you are?" thread here. Some great stuff from everyone who participated on it.

http://www.amazon.com/tag/religion/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx417AUXOWKSRN&cdThread=Tx1C8SPMEAKIOTN&displayType=tagsDetail

Here's one from Rebecca:

In reply to your post on Nov 10, 2008 3:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2008 3:32 PM PST
Rebecca says:
As briefly as this English teacher can do this, Karen --

Several years ago, I had a particular special ed. student who was just falling by the wayside. Bright kid, but he HATED coming to school. After numerous conferences with his parents, guidance counselors, etc., I finally took him aside and asked him what HE wanted out of life. His answer? "To just be able to go to work at the restaurant." (His family has several very successful restaurants in the area, and he had been raised in the business.)

So I said, "OK -- Come to school for the next few months; do A, B, and C for me; and I will see that you pass English 12 (which is what he needed to graduate)."

He did, I did, and he is now helping to manage his family's places and has opened a bistro of his own. He is happy, and he is an intelligent, articulate, and VERY gracious young man.

Cookie cutter, schmookie cutter. We're supposed to be helping KIDS who, the last time I checked, are INDIVIDUALS!

Rebecca

PS -- Whenever I want a great Italian/Greek meal, I know where to go, and I never have to pay for it! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 3:30:36 PM PST
And from Vainamoinen (on the "What type of learner do you think you are?" thread):
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2008 6:02 PM PST
Väinämöinen says:
Allan: ...Can also go a long way to explaining the end result; there are people who can battle their way out of the slums, but they are few and far between...

V: Say it ain't so! I've known quite a few to work their way out of it. They go to college, and don't give up until they move out of the Bronx and buy a house in Weehawken. They're doing OK, Norm. Give more access to college and bigger dreams and people will believe in the middle class again.

Innovation

comes from the ground up--
you know dang well that a fat,
tired, greedy, high-position,
self-positioner-garnerer
hasn't time to
come up with a
single
sellable idea
besides
speculation
on
something
he
hasn't
figured
out
yet.

Yet
the middle
class dreamers
are the ones who are
hungry to change their status.
Who don't understand the cost of their climb,
who are the ones that make the economy grow and grow.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 3:33:11 PM PST
And this wonderful post by N.B. from the "What type of learner do you think you are?" thread:

Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2008 8:09 PM PST
N.B. says:
Rebbeca, if your students are anything like me, they will understand you leaving and just appreciate the time you were able to give them. I knew that the teachers that left our school for a different place with did so because they had burnt out and had to do what was best for them. I appreciated the time I had with them there, but understood why they needed to leave.

I grew up in the barrio (aka a ghetto, but we call it a barrio). When I was born my parents were living in low-income housing. Because of the cost of my medical care it put an even greater financial strain on them and we moved to the projects where we lived for two years. Due to a financial housing grant, my parents were able to move us out of the projects and into our own home, partially funded by a very low interest rate mortgage.

After that we moved here and there throughout the barrio but never really leaving it. Then we settled into a home where we lived for the next 12 years. When I was 21 we were finally able to move from the barrio, into a nice, middle-class, normal neighborhood where people look out for each other rather than shooting each other.

Life in the barrio is hard to describe. I thought it was normal until I moved to where I live now. I just thought that was how people lived.

I learned from early on from my parents you don't go outside alone, you don't go outside at all after dark if you can help it. You keep your head down, you stay out of trouble, you refuse drugs, you don't pick up a gun, and most importantly, you hit that floor as hard and as fast as you can when you hear a gunshot, no matter what direction you think it may be coming from or going towards. You hit it and then you figure it out after the shooting stops. You don't look at the shooter. You don't make eye contact with them. You do not say a word. You wait and you press your face into that floor until it is safe. Then you hightail it home as fast as you possibly can, tell your parents, who put in an anonymous call to the cops.

That's just how it's done.

I honestly didn't realize that normal people actually lived in places where there were not shootings every day or drugs on every corner or gangs trying to get you to jump in. I thought those families and neighborhoods on tv were fake ideals that couldn't possibly exist unless you were rich. But then you have to understand, too, that our idea of rich was having enough money to buy your lunch at school and not be on the free lunch program (98% of the school was).

Despite that my parents made darn sure myself, my sibling and my foster siblings got as good of an education as humanly possible. My mother drove us for a half hour, along with my best friend, to school every day and back home, so we could attend school in a different barrio with better education. We were all poor, still, but our teachers CARED! They knew they could get to us before we jumped in, before we started drugs, before we shot someone or killed someone or robbed a store. They cared enough to see that we got clothes, food and whatever else we needed. They made sure we at breakfast at school and a good lunch, with a sack dinner to take home if we needed it.

And then they made sure we learned as much as we could in whatever way was possible. They found money for materials from grants that I know they spent hours researching and applying for, hours that were unpaid. But they cared. And they wanted the best for us. They *were* social workers in addition to being teachers but they found that balance. Enough caring to get us through, but enough teaching to let us know we could get out, we could move to a better place, we could go to school, we could provide a better future for ourselves and future children then our parents could us. Our tests scores were way above the normal middle class school, rivaling some of the gifted schools in the Phoenix area. Our gifted program out-scored them every year. We had teachers who volunteered after school was over to run the study-line. When we went home and had homework and nobody to help us, we called the study-line, and a teacher would walk us through our homework and help us the same way a parent would. Luckily I was blessed with amazing parents and so I didn't need the study-line but a lot of students did and they got the help they needed because of it. They also ran a study-hour after school, unpaid, for the students who needed in-person help with their homework. Kind of like one-on-one tutoring but it was free and every child was given the chance should we need it. The PE coach stayed 2 hours late everyday, unpaid, and opened the multi-purpose room, thereby giving us a chance to hang with our friends after school in a safe environment.

My mom was a special-ed teacher at a school close to the one that I attended. Which worked because if I was sick she could rush to my school and get there before the paramedics.

My parents cared a lot about us. They didn't have money but they had love. They worked so hard to keep us above the water. My dad worked and went to school, trying to earn his degree and give us a better future. My mom often held down two or three different jobs. They raised us with values and morals. They took in other kids and gave them a life, and they always reminded us that eventually we would get out and it would be ok. My mom taught us how to engage the gang leaders so that we were offered protection without a price. What people don't realize is gang leaders are really just teenagers or young adults, seeking for acceptance in their own, violent way. We never condoned what they did but my mom loved them anyway. And they never hurt us or our family, and we were protected. They knew if they had a problem (not an illegal one) they could come to mom and she would advise them or help them. She fed them when they were hungry, she drove their pregnant girlfriends to doctor appointments, she helped the newborns get the best care. She offered them a taste of what their lives could be like without a gang and with a real family, and because of that they protected our family, our home, and us children.

High School was a different story. The teachers there were for the most part burnt out. I don't think it was that they didn't care, it was just they didn't have it in them anymore to fight with the kids and try and teach and try not to get shot or stabbed or whatever. Because of that I attended school for a half-day, then went to my mother's school where I had a desk and she kinda-sorta home-schooled me, (kinda-sorta because we weren't really at home) until my afternoon nurse came to pick me up. Then I went to her house where I continued with my work. My half day at school was mostly math, my electives and my science classes. 2 years out of the three I also took English there.

I graduated with a full-ride scholarship to college and attended college with that scholarship, where I graduated with a 3.89 GPA and honors.

It's possible to give kids a taste of what they can have outside the barrio - or ghetto. It's possible to let them know there is more out there. But they also need outside supports most of the time in order to make it work - in my case my parents. And it must be so hard trying to balance the social work aspect and the teaching aspect all at the same time.

You did what you could and that was probably appreciated by some of the students. I never held it against our teachers that left. I knew they were doing what was best for them and it didn't mean that they didn't care, it just meant that it was time for them to move-on.

Edited: Sorry for the long post, guess I am full of hot air tonight!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 3:49:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2011 10:01:47 AM PDT
Edit: You'll find this one in *The Humoristian Chronicles: A Most Unusual Friendship*.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 4:08:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2008 4:09:51 PM PST
Tim Barrie conducted a survey on how people on the forum feel about gay marriage. He discovered that the people who responded to his survey, whether they identified themselves as atheists or theists, were mostly supportive of gay marriage. Here's his summary of the results:

Initial post: Nov 15, 2008 12:06 PM PST
Tim Barrie says:
Results - Gay marriage is (not) okay because.....?
First of all thinks to everyone for participating in this thread, particularly those who actually made an effort to provide the data as requested. The results are surprising, at least they surprised me.

Results:
The "for's" overwhelmingly have it. 19 to 4.

This is possibly surprising given that this is a religious forum?
Representation from theists (9) and atheists (10) were roughly equal.
7 of 9 participating theists were `for' gay marriage.
9 of 10 participating atheists were for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 5:51:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2008 5:53:31 PM PST
Joe W, from the "What is your opinion of gay marriage?" thread:

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2008 10:08 PM PDT
Joe W says:
What are you looking for? Universal agreement? Where no one raises a voice against issue X? There is not universal agreement on squat. Eventually things that shock people become common place and the majority of people fail to care. I go the same places and do the same things with a woman of a different color as I do with one of my own. We are seated at restaurants in full view of everyone (gasp) and enjoy all sorts of public assignations. That could not have happened were I an adult 40 years ago and lived in this city.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2008 10:33 PM PDT
Joe W says:
I have three objections to that solution. There are an awful lot of people, past and present, who have been married by Justices of the Peace. It would be interesting to hear you explain to couples across America that they really aren't married, or better yet that their parents or grandparents were not married; just civilly unionized. Do you really think that people who get married without the religious ornaments would stop calling themselves `married'?

The second is that "feeling" that marriage is a religious institution is not felt by everyone. Especially by those of us who are not religious. The concept is in the public domain, and the religious have no exclusive claim. Marriage is a contract of property and lineage and an oath of various degrees of fidelity. The religious blessing is not a constant, nor a requirement.

Third; it would be as repugnant to accommodate the morally squalid conservative institutions that wish to discriminate against the GLTB community, as it would have been to accommodate them with mixed marriage

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2008 6:20:22 PM PST
Posts by Zatheus, from the "What type of learner do you think you are?" thread:

In reply to your post on Nov 7, 2008 2:07 PM PST
Zatheus says:
I consider myself to align more closely with #3 (Intuitive-thinkers), and to an extent #1 (Sensing-thinkers), & #4 (Intuitive-feelers). I enjoy debating and analyzing quite a lot. I'm not at all religious (I'm a strong Agnostic), but that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy debating or talking about religion with people that are capable of being sensible about it. I do think people that are more analytical probably tend to be less religious, but I'm sure that's not the case for everyone.

Not to try to skew your results any, but I think my father (who is also a strong Agnostic) is probably somewhat near my results, but my mother is probably more closely aligned with the 2nd (Sensing-feelers), and the 4th (Intuitive Feelers) to a lesser extent, and she's an Atheist. That one might be a little more puzzling. =)

In reply to your post on Nov 7, 2008 3:08 PM PST
Zatheus says:
I share in your perceptions, and I suspect quite a few other people probably do too. It's just not all-encompassing. I think the human brain is too complex for us to completely understand it at this point, and in truth, we may never fully understand it. I've met some truly unique people in my life, in which I have no doubt that the "mold was shattered" when they were born. They've certainly shattered many preconceptions that I've had about people's religious beliefs compared with how they learn, think and act.

I don't think you were pigeon-holing anyone, at least not in a mean-spirited way. It's a self-analysis study for people, and they're free to come to their own conclusions. And you certainly don't appear to have any ill intent in doing this, so I don't see any harm in it regardless. Self-reflection is an important tool for people to learn. I'm interested in seeing what other people have to say as well. As I said, I think there is truth behind what you're getting at, some people just have to be a P.I.T.A. and be in that statistical anomaly group. =)
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