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Life Is Full of Contradictions

picture of contradictions

Do you ever feel conflicted about what people tell you? Good people with differing points of view both seem to make sense ... at least on the surface. Some would call it post modernism, I guess, but it definitely makes you scratch your head. I'm glad to have the Word of God to go to for answers. No one has differing points of view about what it says! (Tongue firmly planted in cheek....)

From the midst of all the noise of man's wisdom out there I bring you today a list of some commonly used bits of conflicting advice.

Birds of a feather flock together.
Opposites attract.

He who hesitates is lost.
Look before you leap.

You're never too old to learn.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

The early bird gets the worm.
Good things come to those who wait.

Look before you leap.
Strike while the iron is hot.

Two heads are better than one.
If you want something done right do it yourself.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Better safe than sorry.
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Make a Caption

I have received several pictures recently that amused me greatly. I thought it would be fun to ask my readers to create captions for them.

This one came with a caption something like this (I tweaked it slightly):

You know it's time to hang up the car keys when your dog has a look like this on his face!

picture of a scared dog

Here's the front page of the Telegraph from about a month ago. A suitable caption eludes me.
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Politically Correct Three Little Pigs

picture of politically correct cartoon

Earlier this year there was a huge flap about rewriting Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to soften some of the politically incorrect language and culture in it, basically rewriting history. The opinions on both sides of the rewrite issue were strong. I was reminded of it all when I received a "politically cleansed" version of another classic — The Three Little Pigs.

With very little searching I found out that the story comes from a book called
Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner (I wonder if he's related to Huck Finn). I have not read anything else in the book, so please do not interpret my post as an endorsement. In fact, I made one modification of some strong wording, so as not to offend the sensibilities of my readers.

The (Politically Correct) Three Little Pigs
James Finn Garner

Once there were three little pigs who lived together in mutual respect and in harmony with their environment. Using materials that were indigenous to the area, they each built a beautiful house. One pig built a house of straw, one a house of sticks, and one a house of dung, clay and creeper vines shaped into bricks and baked in a small kiln.

When they were finished, the pigs were satisfied with their work and settled back to live in peace and self-determination. But their idyll was soon shattered. One day, along came a big, bad wolf with expansionist ideas. He saw the pigs and grew very hungry in both a physical and ideological sense.
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Yet More Funny Signs

After the special blog post on Monday, I'm back to my normal once-a-week Wednesday post.

On our mini-vacation last week, Becka and I saw a funny sign outside the window as we ate ice cream. The sign was at a crosswalk on a street where there was next to no traffic.

picture of a funny sign

Does that sign seem to have way too much detail?

This next one came from a reader who found it on the edge of an army training area on the South Island of New Zealand.

picture of a funny sign

It seems as if it would be just as easy for this homeowner to password protect his WiFi.
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Reinventing Yourself?

picture of a fork in the road

One of my favorite Yogi Berra quotations is "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." My best friend will be at a definite "fork in the road" a year from now when his time on faculty at BJU will have come to a close. He and his wife are currently in Europe where he is exploring one of the possibilities that lies before him. He is also considering another part of the world where he could use his talents as a German teacher.

The buzzword "reinventing yourself" is not a new one, but after hearing it several times this past week, I've been thinking about the whole concept. Companies reinvent themselves, as do politicians, celebrities, and average people as well. It can be anything from changing little things about yourself to an extreme makeover. In his book Reinventing Yourself, Steve Chandler talks about viewing yourself as an "owner" rather than a "victim." Some use the expression for what has long been referred to as "midlife crisis." A web search will lead you to thousands of articles about reinventing yourself after 40, after 50, after 60, or after retirement. Many people are forced to reinvent themselves because their job skill/experience is no longer marketable.

At a recent SCFLTA conference, we foreign language teachers were reminded that many universities all over the country, not just mine, are eliminating foreign language majors. Foreign language classes are still being offered, but just not leading to an undergraduate major. We find ourselves wondering where the future language teachers will come from if foreign language majors are no longer offered.

The elimination of the French major and of the German major and minor at BJU is why my friend will be leaving at the end of next school year. Working overseas is actually something he's been considering for about four years — this recent turn of events has just given him the exact timing to begin exploring. In the fall of 2012, with one fewer French course per semester, I will be teaching a German course each semester in its place. I have taught both high school and college German for 16 years of my life, but it's been a while. So, in a sense, I guess, I'm reinventing myself. I'll have to alter the header of my blog to read "one French and German teacher's humorous and serious perspectives on life…" and add some images from Germany.
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