Friday, October 5, 2007

And the winner is...

JP of course. She has seen her hubby and I "discuss" the merits (or lack thereof) of NASCAR vs. my beloved NHRA. Number 4 is the fib. NASCAR sucks.

#3: I have a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and once took second in a sparring tournament. I'd have taken first, too, if they'd allowed contact to the head. I gave up almost as many points as I scored because my opponents kept dropping their hands so I hit/ kicked them in the head. It's just what I do.

#2: Yes, I am one of those people. My favorite shows are Good Eats, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I DVR them all. Oh how I love my DVR.

#1. Ian, you made my day when you said that was "badass". I'm not really a badass (am I JP?), but I call myself a Lean Thinker. Being a Lean Thinker means that I have no tolerance for waste - particularly wastes of time and money. I also understand that if you want your process to be Lean, you have to standardize it. Sometimes, it gets me in trouble. Sometimes that bothers me. Most of the time, however, it does not.

I first got in trouble at the Sunday School teachers' meeting because I had asked the person (who coincidentally HAD the information) for my curriculum materials instead of the Sunday School Superintendent (Shoot me! I didn't know she was in charge since I'd never talked to her before the teachers' meeting). I teach the high school class. I like it and I think that some members of our church (not all, evidently ;) ) were happy to see me back because no one else had volunteered for that class. It doesn't bother me. I'd rather deal with the high school class than a preschool class any day.

I raised the super's ire further when I talked about what I had planned for my class. The three curriculum books I was given to choose from (Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the same series) are written at about a sixth grade level. I know, from my previous year teaching this class, that the high schoolers hate them. They're boring. I said so. I've put together a plan to do a series of short programs rather than one year-long curriculum. We're starting with a book that I think is quite good. It's called "The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus". It's short, easy to read and tells a compelling story. And, when you've spent two weeks playing X-box because you've got nothing to teach from, you grab what you find on the shelf. Yes, believe it or not, there's a Bible Game for X-box. It's awesome - if you're teaching a High School Sunday School class and need to fill the time up. This was the point at which I was told I didn't need to come any more because I'm not teaching the same thing that the other classes are teaching. ~Shrug~ I'm a rebel.

I'm pretty sure that by the end of the meeting the Sunday School Superintendent was 100% sure she didn't want me back. Because after that, a couple of aspects of my personality came into play. First, the aforementioned lean thinker. I hate indecision. "We want people to do this on these days, except for this one of these days when we want them to do this." Well, the activity they want to do on "all" non-communion Sundays is valuable and enriching for the kids. They'll like it. The adults will like it. It's value-added. The other activity is frivolous and people won't remember which non-communion Sunday is which activity if they try to add it in. So, I said so. I did preface it like this: "Forgive me, but my background is in Lean. Lean is about standardization. If you want people to "always" go [here for this activity] then you always need to do that on non-communion Sundays. I'm not saying that the other activity has no value, but it might be better after Sunday School on that fourth Sunday rather than before." When the question arose about what to do when there's a fifth Sunday in a month, I suggested having the other activity there. Ooohh baby, did I get some decidedly Un-Christian looks.

Then my hackles were raised when the attendees of the meeting started bad-mouthing parents of teenagers who don't force their children to attend Sunday School after they are confirmed. Well, kids, I am one of those parents. I didn't make them go because the class was boring. Here comes Lisa the Marketeer again. "You know, as a parent, you have to choose your battles and parents tend to focus on those they can win. If our class is boring, kids aren't going to want to go and it is not worth expending the energy to force them. What we need to focus on is creating a value equation for our high school students and offering them something that they will want to participate in."

~Sigh~ It was a long night.

I don't want to sound like a bible thumper here, because I'm really not. I believe in a higher power and I have felt that power work in my life. Because I was raised in the Christian (Lutheran) faith, the concept of Jesus Christ as my savior works for me. I try to live my belief that you need to treat people the way you want to be treated and respect the differences between people that make us all unique! Do I think the Lutheran Faith is the best? No. It's just best for me. Whatever works for you, works for you and that is awesome. I also believe that I'm not going to hell just because I choose to buy groceries rather than give 10% of my gross to my church and I do not necessarily believe you should cut down trees to build bigger churches when you can just as easily worship at the tree. Being the Sunday School Superintendent is not a position of power, but rather one of facilitation. Not a "you need to run things through me" but rather a "How can I help you?" position. Is this wrong? Someone needs to tell me if it is because I really don't think so.

Happy Friday. Sorry for the Jesus-rant.

Peace and Blessings,



janiece said...

HAHAHA--I heard basically the same thing because I dared to suggest people didn't hike their asses to church/temple all the time back in Jesus's. That didn't mean they were bad people--just couldn't get there. Yep, heaven forbid you might think differently. I prefer the idea of me being a free thinker. Such as--yeah well if God wanted me to have 12 kids he will supply me all the resource to have them. And also, maybe God gave us the brains to develop birth control so we wouldn't have to worry--that's his way of giving us resources. Yep, we're a pair of rebels!!

Ian said...

Your Sunday school class actually sounds interesting. My mom used to teach CCD, I think to fourth-graders, and she freely admitted the other night that she pulled most of her lessons out of her ass. (And I can see now that most of my teachers throughout those ten years did the same...) At least you had a plan.