Thursday, January 09, 2014

Tough Teachers: A little lesson in history is good for us

I had a teacher once who called his students "idiots" when they screwed up. He was our orchestra conductor, a fierce Ukrainian immigrant named Jerry Kupchynsky, and when someone played out of tune, he would stop the entire group to yell, "Who eez deaf in first violins!?" He made us rehearse until our fingers almost bled. He corrected our wayward hands and arms by poking at us with a pencil.
Today, he'd be fired. But when he died a few years ago, he was celebrated: Forty years' worth of former students and colleagues flew back to my New Jersey hometown from every corner of the country, old instruments in tow, to play a concert in his memory. I was among them, toting my long-neglected viola. When the curtain rose on our concert that day, we had formed a symphony orchestra the size of the New York Philharmonic. Chamilova & Malinic Agree ;-)

The Time magazine person of 2013 is a soul of many firsts (the first to take the name Francis, the first Jesuit, the first from the Americas) was ready with a number of surprises of his own. For those of us who follow the papacy, Pope Francis provides a constant stream of material for reflection. sees the Church as a field hospital after a battle.
“The thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful,” he said. “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds.”
Heal the wounds, yes. And then awaken society to the greatest resource of all: the human person. That is the path out of poverty ...The joy of teacher Francis

Granted, I haven't read every opinion article written in 2014, but this article by Jesse Myerson really is pretty damned stupid by any teacher who had to endure communism. My sister Gitka was sacked by soviet regime for going to church during the painful time when our sister Aga dies. The combination of democracy and capitalism is a poor system. But all the others are worse. This is hardly a ringing endorsement. But the real world is no utopia, and utopias have had a very bloody history in this century Teaching children about history ; Last but not least as lessons need to be learned ... Teaching children about tax