that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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to include or not to include?

As I am nearing the end of the 2/3 semester of my teacher’s training, I am trying to put into thought/personal philosophy some of the theory we’re learning by attaching my heart to the ideas of the texts and lectures. Part of the learning process for me might be to bounce these ideas off of others (ie: you) that are not connected to my level in the field (ie: my classmates). Here’s my concluded thought on inclusion of students with disabilities and exceptionalities in the classroom. We used this piece in a presentation yesterday and it’s fairly long but I would love some feedback on this, especially if you feel strongly one way or the other or if you have a student, child, or peer in your life that lends inclusion to being a personal concern of your own (presently or in the past). Disclaimer: I am obviously a little idealistic in some ways as I haven’t taught yet but like I said, I am attaching my heart to theory.

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We’ve outlined the main positives and negatives of inclusion when looking at it through the individual versus society paradigm.

As a collective whole, we argue that inclusion, for the most part is a good thing and should continually be a part of the BC school model.

We conclude this based on the principle of benefit maximization that ‘justifies any exchange between the welfare of one group for the welfare of others so long as the average welfare increases’. Yes, this principle can do potential harm if human rights are denied to increase average welfare but we found that this threat simply enhances just how serious an issue were are faced with when questioning inclusion.

As such, looking at the positive and negatives for both sides of the theoretical tension, the positives for both necessitates inclusion.

However, we recognize that inclusion needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. For example, we cannot decide that one ADHD student can’t be included in our classroom and from then on, all students with the same disability are also not included. This is because everyone….student, parent, colleague, admin…are all unique from one another and thus, so are their cases/circumstances and have to be treated the same way.

When we are presented with or choose, collectively, to include disabled or special needs students, we have to recognize that we are TEACHERS. When we train for and take  on this career, we commit to a moral responsibility to best serve our students and have to commit to do so in whatever capacity we can. Inclusion requires us to use resources, special education support and staff, parents, administration, and any finances available to make it as successful as possible. We can only in our most vigilant and humble ability do the best that we can.

Social inclusion ensures diversity in the classroom which brings a richness of culture and knowledge to the community. Through inclusion we learn to live, work, play, and learn together. It also results in a more equitable environment where we work towards common goals while recognizing the value of individuals.

The BC Teacher’s Federation states that we’ve made substantial progress in terms of integration but are still far off from complete success which is something our group agrees with. Students needs, while often unmet, need to simply be acknowledged and then we can move a click forward.

When we emphasize the individual versus society paradigm, the issue of ‘able-ing the disabled’ becomes largely about whether or not the morality of society deems inclusion as a valued investment. So we need to ask what are the COLLECTIIVE needs of each INDIVIDUAL society?

From this moral ideal, we cannot quantify the benefits or investing in certain types of students (ie: the majority) over another (ie: special or exceptional needs) because they are DIFFERENT. And while this difference should not be emphasized in order to favour one group over another, the difference HAS to be acknowledged so we can recognize one simple truth:

We cannot equate the circumstances and needs of humans but authenticity and recognition of equality should be the basis of where all our decisions and efforts for inclusion fall.

Furthermore, we need to remember that our individual goals may not always fall in tandem with goals and views of society.

So the conflict of a SOCIETY comprised of multiple INDIVIDUALS is simple: the differences and abilities between the individuals need to be recognized, accommodated, and celebrated… not feared and ignored.

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grace is for sinners – serena woods

Go out and buy this book. Do it. And if you can’t buy it, like I couldn’t, order it off of Amazon and check out the blog link on my list to your right for grace is for sinners. I will lend mine after my bursting preggers sister gets her hands on it but she might be wanting to lend it out herself. I am re-reading it so I will give my full account and feelings once I have a chance to fully devour it the second time around but it is important, its message is important, and grace is the most important of all (next to love anyhow). Take my word for it:

graceisforsinners

One review:

Grace is for Sinners is the story of a woman who found grace where it was most needed and from the purest source-God Himself. But it came through the most painful of voyages across the wilderness of guilt, misguidance, and isolation. Christians who didn’t know how to handle grace on an industrial level burned the bridge that Christ meant to bring Serena back into restoration. Serena freely admits her guilt, but so convictingly reminds us, “Jesus didn’t hang on the cross in case you need him, he hung on the cross because you desperately need him.”

If we are still sitting in judgment of one remorseful believer’s failures over and against our own with no posture of restoration, it can only be because we ourselves have not found the profusion of healing that God aches for us to take from His scarred – over hands. Perhaps we are still cowering from our own guilt, covering it up by pointing at the decoy of others’ guilt. Grace levels the playing field. Redemption is meant for all.

Grace, in short, is for sinners.

[taken from wrecked.org]


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james joyce

As a pending English teacher, I’ve been trying to broaden my literary arsenal so-to-speak. This month is poetry. So I will share some of the poems that I am reading and reflecting on… I encourage you to do the same because there is something oh-so-beautiful about the words of those past that still have passion and meaning and a voice in our very-present-moments.

Here, is my good friend James Joyce’s ‘At That Hour’ (we’re not good friends, but I wish we had been – he was quite smart) to start off July, Kate’s poetry month:


At That Hour

At that hour when all things have repose,
O lonely watcher of the skies,
Do you hear the night wind and the sighs
Of harps playing unto Love to unclose
The pale gates of sunrise?

When all things repose, do you alone
Awake to hear the sweet harps play
To Love before him on his way,
And the night wind answering in antiphon
Till night is overgone?

Play on, invisible harps, unto Love,
Whose way in heaven is aglow
At that hour when soft lights come and go,
Soft sweet music in the air above
And in the earth below.

What did you think? Poetry ain’t half bad!


Happy Birthday my beloved Canada… I am watching your skies today.