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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Say It to My Face

I've muttered things under my breath before.

In fact, I think I did that just yesterday.

And this morning, I responded to one of my dad's posts and, after submitting my comment, I began to wonder: Should I have said what I did in the way that I did? I think what I said is accurate, fair, and insightful--like most of what I write <cough>--but would I say it Swanson's face? Would I post such a comment on his blog--assuming he ever enabled comments?

Probably not.

Similarly, how I talk to Amber or Justin about our MathTacular projects is very different from what I would say to my mom. Does that mean that I'm lying to either party? Am I disingenuous?

I don't think so.

I am, however, hopefully responding in such a way that makes sense to my audience. I'm attempting to speak to them in a way they understand. My words change, not because my message is different, but because my audience is. Blogging, however, makes this much harder because anyone can come across my words. That's scary.

And when we are critiquing the ideas of another, how do we apply Psalm 19:14? I want my words and thoughts to be pleasing to God, and part of that is watching my doctrine which often means working through what appear to be errors in others' ideas.

Hmm... now I wish more than ever that Swanson would post his ideas and allow people to comment. Then I could say these things to his face, and I think it be helpful. As it is now, I fear that my words are not as gracious or uplifting as they should be. But I don't know, Jesus wasn't particularly mild when it came to urging for correction...

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Very enlightened and philosophical discussion going on at your dad's. My honest reaction is that it's so puffed up with knowledge and with so little heart that it made me cry.

I have a non-verbal child.

He has never said "Mama." He has never prayed. Of course, not speaking... it's gonna be tough to teach this child to read and I don't care whether you use Sonlight, the Bible, Dick and Jane or Dr. Seuss or any combination of these resources.

It wouldn't matter a whit to me which method would work if we could find something... ANYTHING... that will help my child.

Where's the heart?

I guess I'm not seeing the prayer and the love and the diligently seeking after God's FACE in this post. What the major theme of Psalm 103 would be means nothing if my baby doesn't understand "Jesus loves me, this I know" theologically in his heart.

Maybe my priorities are all wonky, but I guess that's what happens when you have a child who is different and you find yourself re-evaluating what the first thing is you want to teach him.

Then you wonder if he will learn it.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Would I tell your dad that it's puffed up with knowledge? Nope. Because honestly, I'm not his target audience. If he were writing a post to moms with non-verbal kids he wouldn't use so much... verbiage.


Anonymous said...

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chapman55k said...

Luke, this last series of posts have been great. I read your comments on your dad's blog and had exactly the same vibe as you. Legalism can kill. Still, I loved what was said about rhetoric, fear, and humility. One of our biggest obstacles in homeschool is the pride in implementation and finding a group that is both supportive our homeschool efforts helps us fight the battle against pride.

Warren Baldwin said...

It is hard to keep our words gracious and uplifting. I think we need to try ... but who is to say that open confrontation that is even painful isn't gracious and ultimately uplifting? "Don't go in the road!" wasn't always welcome words from my parents when I was a little kid, but it kept me alive until age 49! In retrospect, there was graciousness and uplift to them.

Luke Holzmann said...

Mrs. C, that's a really good insight... and one I never would have had. While I'm sensitive to people who struggle with reading--because I did/do--I'm rather out of touch when it comes to verbal issues. You make some excellent points! And your last bit there is almost poetic is has so much heart. Excellent.

And, yes, my dad is writing for a very different audience. But you make an excellent point: While we're out here discussing how homeschooling "should be," we must keep in mind all the various homeschoolers and where they are coming from.

Anonymous: If Swanson opens his blog for comments and starts recording his ideas there, I would love to start dialoging with him about these things. But I can't force him to do so, and I don't have too much hope that he's going too. He doesn't seem to give much regard to other bloggers like me.

Ken, I agree completely: When we surround ourselves with good people who support us, and may not agree with us, that can really help keep us humble. It's hard to remain humble when you surround yourself with only those who sign your praises.

Warren, that is a great point. I couldn't have said it any better, and I hadn't even thought of it.

Thank you all for adding your wisdom and insights here.


Julie said...

off topic...but speaking of boys are now referring to Justin as "Math-man-monkey-man" because of the "math monkey" in one of those videos. Oh, and yes, you are "math-man-monkey-man's brother Luke." Aren't you glad you don't have to sign checks w/that name?

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Excellent post.

Luke Holzmann said...

Julie, that is utterly fantastic! I love it, but, yes, I'm glad I don't have to use that as my signature <smile>.

Heather, thank you. <smile>


Leslie said...

Great post, Luke--that's some deep reading for this time of night! :)

Luke Holzmann said...

Leslie, I do most of my blogging stuff in the morning... and it's pretty deep stuff then too <smile>.



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