Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Choosing Sides

The Texas high school football playoffs will end this weekend with champions crowned in a number of size classifications. The following entry was based on my favorite television show which is based on high school football in Texas. This is from February 14, 2007.

We had a disagreement in my sophomore Bible class yesterday, centering around an incident in the television series, Friday Night Lights. In last week's episode, Dillon High School was staging a powder puff flag football game for its female students. Two football players, Matt and Tim, were the coaches and as such, had to pick their squads from the thirty or so girls assembled in the gym. Matt had first pick. Sitting off to the side was his girlfriend, Julie, who happens to be the football coach's daughter. Julie is being forced to play in the game by her mother as punishment for skipping classes. It is obvious Julie doesn't want to be there or have anything to do with the contest. So, Matt picks Tyra, a good athlete, first and doesn't select his sweetheart Julie until third. Julie is very chapped. I explained the scenario to my class and asked the girls if Julie was right to be angry. Lea took the position, adamantly, that Julie should have been upset. I wondered why, knowing that she didn't want to play and Lea's reply was loyalty. Lea turned the question around and asked me and the boys in second period what our response would be if our girlfriend didn't pick us in those circumstances. Universally, the boys' answer echoed mine: "THANK YOU!" Lea was mystified and even rekindled the discussion with several other male faculty members at the end of school who, of course, took the same stance as her favorite Bible teacher. When I presented the situation in my other classes, every girl sided with Lea and every boy saw eye-to-eye with me. Talk about following the party line!

Today, I had several of my students write messages on the Love Board. Although normally a strictly optional expression of "love" for the opposite gender, I imposed on four girls to each take a five inch by five inch square and post a public Valentine. There were two provisos: the thoughts had to be in the young ladies' native language and they could not tell me the content of their statements. Kim wrote in Vietnamese, SunWoo printed in Korean, and Joy and Eva penned their pronouncements in Mandarin Chinese. During the day, I pointed out their squares to my classes. There were several students who could translate one box but no one could understand all of the five inch impromptu Hallmark cards. I even had Kim read hers aloud but no one else in that period could comprehend her words. All of us saw the identical scripts and some even listened to a pronunciation but the meanings were hidden by language barriers. In a sense, it was like the difference between the way the boys and girls view the choosing/not choosing the girlfriend for the powder puff team. The lens our decision was filtered through was dependent on our gender. We saw the same event but came to diametrically opposed conclusions. Sometimes, we can see but not really see. I don't understand why Lea and the other young ladies think as they do but it isn't a big deal. Some things are a big deal. Jesus told his disciples,
"blessed are your eyes because they see and your ears because they hear." The Savior was referring to parables and the understanding the apostles would gain versus the ignorance of the crowds. Today, my understanding was shrouded in ignorance. I saw what those girls wrote...but it had no meaning to me. I heard what Kim read....but her words were unintelligible noises to my ears. I could learn....but without incentive, I won't. I can fathom the meaning of God's word but that doesn't mean I will. Sometimes, I can't even understand a teenage girl.


Applicable quote of the day:
"There are two great unknown forces today, electricity and woman, but men can reckon much better on electricity than they can on woman."
Josephine K. Henry


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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