Monday, October 05, 2015

Ealing And The Phone Call

Ealing is one of my favorite students ever although I have come to appreciate her more as an adult than as an 8th grader in my Bible class. Now a grad student at the University of Houston, she is heading toward a stellar professional career in the medical field. We interact semi-regularly on FACEBOOK and while I have always known she was brilliant, I have now discovered she has a Last Comic Standing sense of humor, albeit a very clean sense. The stuff she writes on her status updates about her daily life just kills me. Recently, she wrote about a college boy who approached her after she had worked out; he had no clue she was in no mood at the moment for any romantic intentions. It was hilarious, while also played out in the backdrop of cultural setting; Ealing and her sister were born in the US while their wonderful parents grew up in China. The comments following her vignette reflected the exasperation felt by her FACEBOOK friends with the lack of social skills toward the opposite gender displayed by many young men today. I should say all of these came from women with one exception. I chimed in with the thought that at least the guy had good taste and should be given some credit! Ealing replied that she would give him props for that.....but not her phone number! I told you she's funny.

The next day in class, I read her post to several of my high school classes. We had just watched Johnny Lingo, a short film produced by Brigham Young University for Mormon kids on the subject of kindness towards others, particularly the other gender. You might wonder why I emphasize this in middle school and high school Bible classes. I always tell my students the biggest decision they make, after deciding if Jesus will be their Savior, is who they will marry. So using Ealing's words as a lead in, I showed in several sections over a number of days another BYU short film, The Phone Call. Made in 1977, it tells the story of Scott, a high school boy, who has a crush on a girl, Pam, but lacks the guts to call her on the phone. Scott enlists the help of Becky, a twenty-something young lady he works with to walk him through the process while he also is learning karate for confidence. Becky has an abusive boyfriend, Joe, who Scott stands up to, sort of. The point is that girls aren't that scary and don't settle for jerks. Also, many believe the character of Napoleon Dynamite was based on Scott so the kids like the cultural aspect of the quirky twenty-three minute classic!

Look, I know you might think I am the last person to be giving a spiel on male-female courtship etiquette but if nothing else, I can repeat what I witnessed with my parents. And I can tell the kids how my dad's side of the family is in a streak of five consecutive generations of Golden Wedding Anniversaries. But it really boils down to Jesus' teaching of treating others how you want to be treated, regardless of number of chromosomes. For more than two decades now, I have had all the boys in my classes stand when a lady walks in and by lady I mean any female. With my 8th grade boys on their feet, I always ask the female visitor, and today it was Roseline, "Do you like it when young men are polite?" The answer is invariably, "YES!" Let me give a real life example. Last week, one of my favorite former students, Tiffany, came by to visit during my planning period. She works as a recruiter in the Texas public university system. Our conversation turned to romance and she told ne she had found the one, a young man named Tony. Tiffany told me one thing that sold her on Tony was how chivalrous he was, even arranging a gondola boat ride in Dallas after telling him how it was her favorite memory of her trip to Vienna. That same week, they got engaged! Isn't how it's supposed to end? Maybe in a fairy tale world. But sometimes, the good guy gets the great girl by just being a good guy, with a slice of guts thrown in. Your time is coming, Ealing. And he will be one extremely lucky guy.

Applicable quote of the day:
There's no chivalry in culture any more. Sometimes you meet someone who everyone says is polite and you're like, 'Wow,' but then it's like, 'Hang on, isn't everyone supposed to be polite?' "

*If you want to watch The Phone Call, here it is!

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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