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Friday, April 22, 2011

Junie B. Jones has a Dead Reckoning

I'm going to have my vent right here about what I have so far been quite ignorant about. I am not the most vigilant of parents, so it shouldn't surprise me that this escaped my radar. I was just happy to find that Priscilla was getting into reading on her own and choosing to read for leisure. It warmed my heart to see her lying on her bed after school reading voraciously. I just figured, how bad can 1st or 2nd grade literature be? Should be fairly harmless... besides, I don't have time to read every cutesy novel that crosses her path. Think again, clueless Mama.

Junie B. is not necessarily earth-shatteringly bad. It did do what I suppose it set out to do - inspire reading. That's about all I give it credit for. After asking someone what she thought of Junie B. I was surprised to discover she wasn't given the green-light go-ahead by my friend. Then I thought, 'Well, I can't just rely on what my friend said - she may just be hyper-sensitive, I'll have to read one for myself...' And I did, and it took all of less than 30 minutes - which I didn't feel was too great a sacrifice to be sure my kid wasn't mentally digesting junk food. I'd say junk food in reality would be a better waste of time and energy - you can run off junk food and change diet and be none the worse for wear. What is planted in the heart and mind is not so easily shrugged off.

Here's my story-line suggestions for our dear hopeless brat named Junie B.:

Scenario 1: The Spiritual Approach

Junie B. discovers a Bible. She flips it open and her eyes fall upon: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." She falls off her chair. Her heart sinks. Her eyes turn towards Heaven and with great anguish of voice, she calls out her prayer: "Oh Lord, forgive me for my rebellion and foolish ways. I repent of my lack of respect for the authorities you have placed over me! I repent of making light of what little discipline I encounter! I am so sorry for thumbing my nose at authority. I have wandered through my first-grade world thinking I am in control. I have considered myself my own boss, and have forced my will on all those about me. Please forgive me. Amen."
The End.

Scenario 2: The Common Sense Parent Approach

Junie B. sets out to become a hair dresser. She certainly needs lots of practice and begins with her stuffed animals, graduating to her dog and finally herself. This, after repeated instructions by Daddy about leaving well-enough alone. Suddenly, parents get a backbone! She is NOT rewarded for her ill-gotten behaviour with a trip to the hair-dresser to fix her debaucle. Oh, no. Not when Common-Sense Parent (CSP from here on out) arrives on the scene.
"Junie B. will you come here please!" calls CSP from the kitchen.
Junie shudders to think what she will face if she answers this call. "I'll just hide under the covers and make her come find me." she thinks to herself.
"Junie! I know you hear me. If you are in the bathroom I'm giving you 'til the count of three to finish up and come here." CSP calls out.
"I will just stay here cozy and warm in my bed. She'll forget in a minute." naiively Junie reckons - not realizing the force she is about to come upon.
"Okay, you made your choice." In marches CSP.
"Junie, you will have a spanking for not coming when I called you." (If you can't handle the spanking part, insert "Skip dessert tonight." here.)
Spanking over CSP looks upon her shorn daughter. What a sight! It looks as if the lawn mower zig-zagged across her scalp - taking spontaneous leaps and bounds right and left. Well, Junie B. is about to have her reckoning with reality.
"Junie, because of your disobedience and lack of respect for the instructions you have been given, you will be going to school today without a hat. You will face your classmates, teacher, and most likely, Principal as you are. You will not tell lies, make up stories or any such subversive thing. You will truthfully read from the card you will carry with you throughout the day: 'I foolishly disobeyed my parents. I look this way because I chose to put myself above the authorities in my life. I was wrong. I have to endure your laughter because I deserve it. This is my punishment. Will you still be my friend?'
You get the idea.

Scenario 3: Choose your own Adventure Junie B.

Junie B. grows up after her many years as a 1st grader, though she has sailed through the higher grades, her maturity has stayed at 1st grade level. She is so glad her parents and teachers love her - this is all that matters to her! Never mind that they tell her what to do and she can't really figure that out, since she really is master of her universe.

She enters college.
"What do you mean I have to turn this in by Friday? When will I ever get my nails done?!" she tells the professor.
His jaw drops and says, "Oh, I'm so sorry, please, be my guest, turn it in whenever you please. Just be aware what happens to students who choose to ignore my directives..." Junie is puzzled. She chooses her own adventure.

Will she:
A. Dawdle her time away chasing bunnies all over campus
B. Do her paper on time
C. Display her fancy nails to the class when she conveniently forgets to do her assignment
D. Transfer to another school
E. Become a cheerleader

Then each story line will have it's own ending...


Junie ought to be thankful, or on second thought, enraged, that she didn't have a parent like me. What was the author thinking writing this stuff?! Oh, it's so cute - children are like this, and they like to read about kids who reflect their own imaginations and reality. I'm sure they do. Why not plant weeds in their little hearts and inspire them with foolishness!?

When I write and send my letter to the school, the District and the Library I'll include a copy on my blog. I'm too annoyed to say much more here at this point.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Apologies

So, I'm stuck in the middle of the story - sorry folks, I'll continue in due time. I just don't know why it always gets a week past the burglary and I'm befuddled as to how to explain that we got engaged just a short 5 weeks later. I mean, it is taking me longer to write it than it took to happen. I do intend to continue. Call it writers' block. Pregnancy brain. Four kids, a mother-in-law and a husband on a business trip. This, I tell myself, is not the time to update the blog. So thank you for indulging me, and being patient.

Just to give you a preview of coming attractions, Sam did not really have an interest in me for the first two weeks after the burglary. Sounds like not a long time, I know, but at the time when I look back I didn't know it would only be two weeks. I thought he would be another in a long line of my 'hopefuls' (me being the hopeful one). Maybe it wasn't such a long line. There had actually only been 2 or 3 in my life that I'd had an interest in. I mention this because this was one of the first conversations we had - about our longings for marriage. Basically the conversation went like this:

Sam: Well, when it comes to girls I can just see that there are dozens, or hundreds of possibilities. I can see how if I got to know almost any girl (faithful Christian), that we would just be good friends and eventually we would get married. Doesn't sound so difficult to me.

Sarah: That's pretty interesting. I mean the part about dozens or hundreds. I've met many many guys and liked some here and there, but as for considering any of them marriage-able, well, I can only think of one or two that I ever saw potential in. Somehow, within minutes of meeting and getting to know someone, I have usually crossed him off as far as any potential future. Maybe I'm just too picky. But I figure, it doesn't hurt to be picky.

And on the conversation went from there...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Journal Entry from 18 August 1999

Well, I've just decided to go to Hong Kong. I can't say exactly why I'm going - just to do this TESL course I suppose and because Mom and Dad seem to want me there. I'm not even exactly sure if this is what I ought to be doing for the next 4 months, but it's been decided. I'm only really concerned about how I'll manage financially. I don't know if I'll find any good English teaching jobs, on top of that, if I do, I wonder how I'd fare since I don't feel all that capable of English teaching! I'm a bit concerned about leaving the apartment without properly packing up. But I suppose it's just like me to up and leave on a whim. I'm also worried that when I get back I won't have any more piano students or that when I explain that I'm leaving (piano students that is) - they won't be too happy - since four months is a long break from piano lessons. I guess I'm just really trusting that this is what God wants me to do - even though I'm not really sure. I just wish I had more time to get everything done. I really hope we find someone to room here while I'm gone or else I'll have to pay rent in my absence. I'm really praying God will provide for a roommate and English jobs in Hong Kong.
I really enjoy my life here in Wheaton. In leaving I wonder if I'm walking into something over my head - especially if I stay until Christmas time. Christmas can be such a busy time in the Crutchfield household. I suppose I'll grit my teeth and bear through it. I wonder if I'll have a social life. I guess I don't have much of one here, so no big deal if I don't. It's not as if I'm sacrificing anything in that area, although I know I will really miss my friends and piano student families who seem to have adopted this lonesome soul.
I guess Hong Kong is my lot for now. As I've been learning (my whole life), "For I have learned in whatsoever state (or country) I am, therewith to be content." Pardon the King James English but I like how that verse sounds that way. I think I'll follow Paul's example in this and learn to be content though I really haven't a clue as to what exactly lies ahead. I'm sure I can trust God in all things, to meet all my needs, and I can be content whatever the circumstances.
I guess I won't be getting to play much tennis like I've been able to this summer with Melissa. She wants to come visit me in Hong Kong. I doubt it'll really happen, but I guess it's possible if she gets a cheap flight.
I must say I am kind of excited about going to Hong Kong, but I still can't believe I'm really going. I've gotten kind of tired of being in this country. I haven't exited these borders for just over a year, and I'm feeling stifled. It's so boring, albeit pleasant, here. I need to get away.