Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Steinbeck Reading Plans

I like Steinbeck's writing and have been through East of Eden several times with reading groups of faculty and students. Now I've decided to read through all the rest of John Steinbeck's writings --sort of in the general order of his writing... I'm just getting started but here is the order I'm going to read them:

1 Cup of Gold (1929) (over Christmas break)
2 The Pastures of Heaven (1932) DONE: (Great short stories of the people in one valley--many sad stories with great insight on human nature)
3 The Red Pony (1933) (over Christmas break)
4 To a God Unknown (1933) DONE: (Probably the deepest writing [after East of Eden] for religion readers--about a nominal Christian's reverting to paganism)
5 Tortilla Flat (1935)
6 The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to the Grapes of Wrath (1936)
7 In Dubious Battle (1936)
8 Of Mice and Men (1937)
9 The Long Valley (1938)
10 The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
11 Forgotten Village (1941)
12 Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941)
13 The Moon Is Down (1942)
14 Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team (1942)
15 Cannery Row (1945)
16 The Wayward Bus (1947)
17 The Pearl (1947)
18 A Russian Journal (1948)
19 Burning Bright (1950)
20 The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951)
21 East of Eden (1952) DONE --several times--can't wait for the next trip through... are there 'moral monsters' born with no conscience?)
22 Sweet Thursday (1954)
23 The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957)
24 Once There Was A War (1958)
25 The Winter of Our Discontent (1961)
26 Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962) DONE --a wonderful tale of travel--my first Steinbeck writing..can;t wait tor ead it again!
27 America and Americans (1966)

28. Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969) DONE--for a writer a must to read near East of Eden!
29 Viva Zapata! (1975)
30 The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976)
31 Workings Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Best Little add-on I've seen... (Morning Coffee-for Firefox)

I don't swoon over computers or programs--I treat them like automobiles: they just need to get me there. I have four different computers with three different operating systems and I have not fallen for any of them (including my MacBook Paul H Hontz!).

BUT I'VE TOTALLY GONE BONKERS OVER A TINY ADD-ON program that cost me nothing Morning coffee for Firefox. (I don't particularly like Firefox but I use Firefox simply so I can have my Morning Coffee)

Each morning (say Tuesdays, for instance) I can click my little cup of coffee in the bar and the program loads in tabs every single web page I've picked ahead of time for Tuesaday (and any other day, or just weekends, or weekdays etc).

BAM I have before me the blogs and web pages I've decided to read that day and I can then work my way through them one at a time.

I have fallen head over heels in love with Morning Coffee... {swoon!}

First Snow from my new office

Today was the first snow in Marion... this is what I saw from my new office window upstairs in the CM building...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Headed for Christmas

I thought I'd update my classes this semester...

CURRICULUM: I'm really feeling like Christmas is just around the corner. Last night in my Curriculum class we all realized there are only two classes left... next Thursday (when their projects are due) then the Thursday after Thanksgiving when they take their exam..whew... two more classes 'til Christmas! Next week I get their curriculum projects--each has done something different... and they look good so far.

LOCAL CHURCH EDUCATION: This course is awesome... it is the best course I have...and every semester that is true. They are writing their final chapter for their book next week--Adult CE. Most of the students have written about 80 single spaced pages so far and they are incredible. Every semester I show the best work from last semester and the students seem to climb right up on the shoulders of last semester's students and make something even better. When can this stop? I am so impressed at the hard work of these students... senior pastors who complain that new graduates are lazy just don't know the key to motivation. I have never seen such hard workers!

CE CAPSTONE: A new course for me called "leading Christian Education." First time through for me as these CE seniors work through managing a CE program in the local church. It is pretty good for the first time through--sorta' a Church leadership for CE people."

CHURCH LEADERSHIP. We are in the "personal life of a minister" section now--their books are almost done. Yesterday they brought in the email responses from past graduates on what to expect in transitioning from college life to adult life/church life. They merged the feedback from last year's graduates like this:

I. Advice about preparing for adult life
Make a budget
Pay your bills
Value free time
Get support from others
Expect feeling lonely< find a "drinking buddy"
Find a friend
You have to be disciplined and responsible
Expect to not get poured into spiritually

II. Preparing church ministry
You will be trusted and expected to know what to do
The prof’s grade on knowledge…the congregation grades on everything else
You always have to be ready to be relational, to smile, to make conversations, and portray Christ in a positive light
Learn to work as a team
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable
Need for balance. Flexible yet leave time for sermon prep
You will always be a pastor, its not a hat you can take off
Other people are depending on you to get the job done

III Things I can look forward to after graduation
These aren’t practicums, they are yourflock and your youth group
Freedom…the sky is the limit
You get to impact other peoples lives
Putting passion into action
Ministry is hard but also very rewarding and amazing
Constantly growing, learning, and being ready
Freedom-you can create, come into your own, choose your time (within reason)
You get to do what you are passionate about-ministry
Separating people from the problems they cause and enjoying the people
Prioritizing relationships w/family, students, their parents, and staff
Peace about being where you are called