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Sometimes I Look at Sinners

Glory S. Davis Writes

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Sometimes I Look at Sinnersis a collection of eight, thought-provoking, insightful stories, each teaching a divine truth about Christian living.  Most of the stories contain lessons about sin. Take for example the title story, “Sometimes I Look at Sinners.” In it, an evil force flings Mallory Davis, an innocent schoolteacher, into a web of hate that robs her of everything valuable, including her job, her husband, and her son. The lead story, “The Landlord’s Glass Houses,” pokes fun at the main character’s meager and useless attempt to hide sin. He manages to hide a secret sin from his friends and neighbors but faces exposure by an angry, abandoned lover. Serving as an interlude from the serious subject of sin is Georgia’s Date, a fanciful story, that actually presents a common theory about the nature of dying. In all, the stories will entertain you, inform you, and just may convince…

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Posted by on July 7, 2014 in School

 

A Voice for the Affirmative

          There is a lot of talk in the media about the new federal regulations for school food. Many think that the government has overstepped its control and should not involve itself in such matters.  Others think that such a drastic change would be too expensive to implement, citing millions of dollars just for the change in serving size.    I, too, would like to voice my opinion. To be clear, I speak for the affirmative. Why? There are at least three sound reasons why the government should continue with the new regulations of school foods.

The first good reason for supporting the new federal regulation of school food is to assure a strong nation capable of defending itself from hostile neighbors and of enriching itself with new discoveries and inventions unmatched by any.  To guarantee a strong nation with these traits, we must be sure to guard our health.  Just think!  A weak, unhealthy group of people cannot contend in wars, cannot muster the strength to seek new discoveries, and cannot build its infrastructure.  It’s simple.  If we are to remain a great world power, we must be a healthy nation.  What better way to do it than to control a factor – our food source and distribution — that can have a far-reaching negative impact on our health? And, what better way to do it than to start with our children? They are our future.  Their health ten, twenty, or thirty years from now may very well determine our survival.

Another valid reason why we should embrace the new regulations of school food is that they help to reduce health care cost. Today, obesity, diabetes, and heart problems are our worse enemies.  They contribute greatly to the high cost of social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the monsters that many politicians say are weighing down the national budget. Guest what?  Obesity, diabetes, and heart problems are many times caused or aggravated by poor diets, the kinds that are rich in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.  Guest what again? These are the very foods that are provided for our children – in the cafeteria and vending machines — in excessive quantities daily.  It baffles me how we can cry reduce the budget on one hand and support a major cause of its inflation on the other. If we truly want to reduce the budget which is inflated by social security, Medicare and Medicaid, then we should get serious about tackling one of the real causes – poor diets that are making our nation sick and dependant on these social programs.

To help promote learning and to increase test scores are the best reasons why we should demand that the new federal regulations be implemented in all schools.  Research shows that students who eat healthy diets concentrate better and therefore perform better on tests.  Perhaps, that is why your child’s teacher sends a note home instructing you to be sure to feed him/her a healthy breakfast because state testing starts the next day? If a healthy breakfast will help to insure a good performance on a test, just think what a well balanced diet served every day will do.

Over the years we have tried thousand s of methods to enhance learning.  Why not give healthy foods a chance?

In a nutshell, if we are serious about remaining a strong nation, about reducing the budget, and about putting our children first, then we must seek and embrace new measures to eradicate problems that prevent us from achieving these goals. I have always been told that to cure an ill, we must find and eradicate the cause of it.  Since we know that a poor diet – a seemly simple cause — is actually a major factor in contributing to our nation’s greatest problems, let’s join forces and give a loud voice for new regulations of school food.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in School

 

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For Our Time in History

For Our Time in History

                Written in 1787 and amended in 1791, the Constitution of the United States guarantees us the right to bear arms.  That guarantee was given to us – during a time when it was critically needed – for at least three valid reasons. Those reasons were to protect ourselves against tyranny in government, to allow us means of obtaining food by hunting, and to provide personal protection for our family.  However, because our fears, our needs, and our times have changed, we should ask ourselves a very important question.   Do we really need to bear arms in today’s society? The answer is a resounding no.  And, here are the reasons why.

In the late 1700’s when the founding fathers were amending the constitution, early American depended on hunting for a large supply of their meat.   Thankfully today, we have a Winn Dixie, a Super Wal-mart, a Kroger, an Albertson or a Rouses on every counter offering an array of meat choices.  As a result, we no longer rely on hunting for food.  And, the argument that we should keep guns for hunting is no longer valid.  A trip to the grocery is not only more convenient but is much safer than hunting.

Second, when our founding fathers wrote the constitution, the fear of tyranny from our government was a real and present fear.  Why? We were just a few years away from the American Revolutionary War.  And, we were still replaying scenes of unjust taxes imposed to enrich the mother country in our minds when the constitution was written and an independent country was formed.  But, should we have that same fear today?  Of course not!  Those fears were from a totally different time and a different situation imposed by an outside antagonist. Today, when taxes are levied, they are for the common good of our citizens by our government, — whose intent is to protect our country and personal property, to finance economic infrastructure, to finance our educational systems, to provide a health care system, and to finance public transportation, to name a few, — and they are never imposed without a consenting voice from the majority of people.  “Taxation without Representation” can never again be our cry in America.  Why? Our forefathers made sure of that when they framed a government of three branches with checks and balances for the common good of all.  Our fear should never be that the government will dominate its citizens.  On the other hand, sadly, we can and must fear that a group of citizens armed with dangerous guns may siege and dominate the government.

Third, high-tech security systems present in many homes today, non-lethal devises such as the Taser C2 and other stun-guns, and modern surveillance equipment  are a few of the options for personal protection available today.  All are superior to the handgun because they are not lethal to either the intruder or family members.  Why then would we keep and use a pioneer-styled weapon that is destructive and dangerous when we have better options today?

Finally, consider the common sense logic of Thomas Jefferson who said:  “when a government becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new government that most likely effect their safety and happiness.”  Though, he was talking about tyranny and government, this same common sense logic can be applied to the second amendment clause pertaining to bearing arms.  Consider this: when a LAW becomes destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new laws that most likely effect their safety and happiness.    I propose that since handguns have become destructive to our citizens – even our babies – we need to abolish or alter the law concerning them to fit our present day safety and happiness.  Think about the Sikh Temple killings in Wisconsin, the mass theater murders in Aurora, Colorado, the US Representative attack in Tucson Arizona, the hundreds of black boys shot  in inner cities , and the Sandy Hook Elementary slaughter in Connecticut, and then do what must be done that is best for our time in history.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in School

 

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Time-out for Teachers

Time-out for students is a means of punishment whereby the punished child is placed away from other students – sometimes in a cubicle, in a chair, or at a vacant table – and is not allowed to engage in any classroom activities or other interactions with students. On the other hand, time-out for teachers is the opposite.  Instead of punishment, it is a vacation away from the stress of the job – a little time to refresh, to re-energize, and to regroup.  And, it gives teachers some time-out from the major issues plaguing education today.

What are some of those issues that are stressing teachers and sending them running away from the profession?  One of these major problems is school violence.   The nation saw just how serious this problem is recently when 26 little children, teachers, and other workers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut were viciously murdered on campus.  However, the public may never see how poorly disciplined and disruptive some school students are on a daily basis.   Shamefully, many teachers must contend with   acts of violence from student almost every day while trying to teach routine lessons.  Later, when students score poorly on standardized tests, teachers are usually blamed – which so often leave them stressed and burn -out.  Giving teachers time-out from school violence may help to de-stress and retain them.

Poor parental involvement is another problem from which teachers need a little time-out.  Why?   It is a known fact that parental involvement increases students’ grades, test scores, and graduation rates.  Because this is true, teachers are required to involve parents and inform them of their student’s progress and discipline problems.  Sometimes it is almost impossible to do so because every effort to communicate with parents fails.  Teachers invite them to school activities, scheduled conferences, but too many do not come.  Open-house is most depressing.  Why? During open-house, a teacher of twenty students should have a sign-in list of forty visiting parents. However, the most that shows up for open house is five or six. Offering prizes to students who get their parents to come adds only a few more.    Additionally, telephoning or e-mailing parents is ineffective as well.  Some teacher spends their entire planning period calling parents or e-mailing them – to no avail. Do the parents return calls or e-mails?  The majority do not.   Still teachers are held accountable for poor parental involvement and receive negative marks on evaluation forms because of it.  It’s not fair.  Give teacher a break and blame the parents instead.

A lack of adequate resources and funding is also a problem from which teachers need time- out.

There are never enough supplies in most schools.  As a result, many devoted teachers are forced to use their personal funds to buy necessary pencils and papers for their students.   In some cases, teachers buy lockers, teacher’s desks, and filing cabinets to help furnish their classroom.  Doing so put extra strain on their already tight budgets.  In addition, many mandated programs are inadequately financed.  Take alternative schools for an example.   Too many of them are one room schools – all grades and classes clumped together – with only one teacher facilitating each.  Such an environment is not good for students and is definitely not good for teachers.

Excessive and ever mounting responsibilities are one the greatest reasons why teachers need time-out.  Most teachers don’t have aides.  As a result, in order to finish their to do list, many have to arrive one to two hours before school starts and work  long after the dismissal bell.  This is done without recognition or promise of overtime pay.   No wonder some teachers burnout and leave the profession after only three of four years.

Perhaps the greatest problem that teachers need some relief from is the threat or fear of layoffs.  Thousands of teachers receive pink slips each April informing them that they will not be hired back the coming school year. Many times these notices are sent out as a political ploy to get states to approve funds for the next year’s budget. The ploy works in many cases and these teachers are hired back, but only after the damage is done to them.  How can school officials be so cruel?

In conclusion, school violence, parental involvement, inadequate funding, layoffs, and excessive responsibilities are only a few reasons why school boards should give teachers time-out.  These demons are stressing teachers and sending them looking for other professions.  If we want to maintain our teacher workforce, we need to do something dramatic.  I suggest that we all rally local and state school boards demanding that they give all teachers a leave from the job every three years.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in School

 

On School Violence and Arming Teachers

No one in his wildest dreams forty years ago would have imagined that a school would have an armed policeman on its faculty. However, it is true today.  Nearly half of public schools nationwide have a full-time police on its campus whose chief job is to enforce discipline.  In many cases, without the officer present, it would be impossible to maintain an environment conducive to learning.  Why?  Schools are infested with drugs, alcohol, gangs, bullies, vandals and poorly disciplined students that contribute to all manners of negatives behaviors which interrupt learning constantly.

Today, I heard something that made me sick to my stomach and feel that I must speak out.  The executive vice president of NRA stated on national TV,  and I quote:  “The only thing that stops a bad guy with gun is a good guy with a gun”.  He was literally suggesting that to stop the violence on our school campus we must result to violence.  How pathetic is that idea!  Has he not heard that one act of violence can not cure another? The best way to stop the out breaks of violence in our schools is to treat the causes.  What are those causes, you might ask? To repeat, mental illnesses, drugs, alcohol, bullying, poor parenting, gangs, and yes poverty: these are a few of the culprits that are at the base of today’s violence.  I strongly propose that they cannot be illuminated by fighting their symptom – violence – with gun.  I also propose that by no means should we equip teachers with guns to educate our children. How repulsive is that thought!

The only way to treat the cause of violence in an educational environment is to utilize researched based theories that have a track record of success.  That’s what we do in education.  What am I talking about?  We should be careful to provide proper counseling and awareness programs for the problems of gangs, bullying, and poor parenting, to provide counseling, facilities, and medications the mentally ill, to provide jobs and job counseling for the poor – to name a few. NRA SHOULD BE FORCED TO INVEST IN FINANCING SOME OF THESE NECESSARY PROGRAMS just as “Big Tobacco” was forced to finance programs for the problem of smoking and its effect cancer.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in School

 
 
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