(Miss America, Nina Davuluri)
We begin my classes each day by reviewing the material for our quiz/memory verse/test. I usually bring up several things in the news as we go though the class period. I inquired, 'Did you see the story about the security guard trying to trip students running on the field to celebrate a state soccer title here in Texas?' I mentioned a certain well-known child star who seems to be addicted to media attention a viewpoint seemingly cemented by recent public statements. During the course of my five sections, I also brought in several other stories which centered around teenage boys, often an easy target as I remember the ineptitude of my middle school and high school thought processes.
I first showed a clip from a CBS segment of On The Road. In it, a fifteen year old boy in Oklahoma, Christian Lunsford, apologizes and tries to pay back a recently widowed 78 year old lady who was mugged by the boy's dad AT THE CEMETERY WHILE SHE VISITED THE GRAVE OF HER RECENTLY DECEASED HUSBAND. The father, absent from the boy's life but not from jail, had recently given Christian $250 for a much anticipated school band trip. Believing it might have come from the victim, Christian returned the cash to the woman in an arranged meeting in a church parking lot; he was hugged and consoled in return by the very nice forgiving and understanding lady. I thought the best thing that came out of it was the teenager's statement that he did not have to end up like his father, to which I would add that he is on the right path.
I also brought up a news story you might have seen about the high school boy suspended from school for asking a young lady to his prom. Of course, there's more to it than that. The 'girl' was Miss America Nina Davuluri, the first Miss America of Indian descent, who was speaking last Thursday at the Pennsylvania high school of the young man, senior Patrick Farves. Apparently, the administrators got wind of the scheme and warned him not to do it but as you now know, young Mr. Farves approached her on stage and offered her a flower along with his invitation. Ms. Davuluri declined citing previous commitments but has asked officials to show lenience to her would-be suitor. No word that I am aware of if her pleas will be heeded.
After we watched the clip and discussed the prom proposal, I was intrigued by the reaction of the girls in my classes. Many were obviously touched by the film clip, of the boy who is being raised without a father and yet who was trying to provide a measure of restitution for the sins of the dad. At the end, the widow gave the money back to the boy so he could go on his band trip after all and there were audible 'aaaawwwsss!!!' from the fairer gender portion of my rosters. And after a very short discussion of the ill-fated prom invite, the girls were united in their admiration for Patrick Farves' attempt to win a date with the stunning Miss America. What if it was a billion or higher to one shot? He took his shot, weighing the risk versus the reward and apparently found the odds in his favor. The young ladies, upon my prodding, wished more boys had that kind of guts which I could have told them is wishful thinking! (Full disclosure requires me to state that I also was very critical of a well-known columnist who tweeted that Patrick's action was tantamount to, and I quote, 'sexual harassment.')
I've used three paragraphs tonight to make this point. Our quiz today was over Luke 19:1-27 which includes the story of Zacchaeus as well as the Parable of the Minas, the parallel teaching of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. In each case, one of the servants was punished for not taking any risk at all and burying what was entrusted to him. That's what I think the girls saw in these two young men- guys not afraid to go out on a limb. One boy risked embarrassment by acknowledging in person the damage done to a helpless soul by his father. The other risked punishment for a shot at glory with a lady he had absolutely no chance with. (Let me also state here as a teacher I believe Patrick deserves punishment as he willingly disobeyed the school authorities but even I smiled a little bit at his audacity.) Two boys who were absolute unknowns until their actions separated them from many of their contemporaries....... and my girls noticed. That might be a clue for the males in the audience. Risk and reward; there's a correlation to life in there somewhere.
To watch the story of Christian Lunsford from On The Road, click or copy/paste this link!
Applicable quote of the day:
Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years.
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