The Blank Sheet

Catharsis: purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art: a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension: elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression (source; emphasis mine)

Kathy’s post brought back an amazing string of memories.  She wrote about helping families in need provide back to school supplies for their children. Instantly I was reminded of grade school and my writing tablets; the excitement I felt when I looked at a blank sheet of paper.

As a little kid, I loved loved loved getting new paper. I do remember crying when I first learned to write. I was incredibly afraid of the teacher, Mrs. Warren, would punish me severely if I didn’t get it just right. Of course she didn’t, and I can remember her telling me I would be alright, that I was doing a good job… and that I needed to stop crying because I had work to do. I am smiling over that last part as I type this. Mrs. Warren made time to encourage, but she was also about getting it done too. In short order, I grew to love the process of writing. Whenever I would receive a brand new stack of paper, and pens/pencils, I felt like the luckiest kid in the world.

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Embrace The Imperfect Student – A “No More Perfect Kids” Reflection (Cross-posted)

Here is the full text of my guest blog post on Dr. Kathy’s blog not too long ago. I am so honored to be guest blogging over there!

I am honored to be blogging here today! Lately, I have been reading No More Perfect Kids by Dr. Kathy Koch and Jill Savage. The story below tumbled out and onto the screen after reading the first chapter of their excellent book. I hope you will see the value of how a teacher can embrace an imperfect student, help affirm their innate gifts, and set them on a positive course. Mrs. Pierson has always been a personal hero of mine. I am sure you will see why.

Mrs. Pierson had this completely ’80’s longish bob hairdo thing going on. This was of course completely appropriate because the scene I am going to describe happened in 1984. She also dressed like a college professor (in my mind) even though she was my 9th grade civics teacher. I wouldn’t say she was overly gregarious, but she always seemed super-smart, confident, and calm. For many reasons, I loved her and that class. In all of my school years, civics was one of the very few classes I felt eager to attend. I never hesitated to raise my hand and answer the questions she would ask.

I loved the subject and I loved seeing her eyes light up in recognition of my eagerness.

Even when Tip, the kid in front of me, would blow spit bubbles randomly in the air, I was always focussed and enjoyed that class. Tip was cool too.

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An Open Apology To The Gay Community

This post first appeared on my old blog July 23rd, 2013 (screen cap above.)

Today is the 21st Anniversary of attending my very first Exodus Member Ministry meeting. I didn’t plan this apology to coincide with this date. I just realized the coincidence this morning. Regardless, I find it incredibly fitting that this apology is being published today.

When Alan Chambers made his apology to the gay community, I couldn’t have been more supportive. I am so proud of my friend and fully agree with what he shared.

I, too, have been taking a personal moral inventory. So many eye-opening experiences have occurred in the past twenty-four months – including the suicide of a beloved friend and former partner this past January. The loss of Michael forced me to face some issues I had not been willing to deal with until that time. And it’s through this process that I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to apologize to the gay community.

Public Policy

My understanding of public policy at that time was limited to the talking points I was given to tailor my testimony around. I did not do much research beyond these talking points – and as a result, my perspective was limited and nearsighted. I am very sorry that my uncritical perspective contributed to the hurt that many LGBT persons were already feeling.

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