April 18, 2007

sacrifice, dogs, and West Coast superiority

Last week in class we talked about crime and punishment. That crimes deserve a punishment... if we commit a crime, we must also accept the punishment. I gave them this scenario, "What if your best friend commited a crime and faced a horrible punishment? What if you could save your friend by giving up something that is very important to you?" We then brainstormed things we would give up to save our friend. The lists they came up with were great! They'd give time, money, status, reputation, love, family, friends, job, dreams, opportunities, and their own life. I defined those as sacrifice- that giving up things that are important to us are 'sacrifices'. That lead straight into the Easter story. It really clicked for them, that He was the sacrifice for the crimes of humanity. It was such a great week of classes!

During our discussion of crime and punishment, I put a list of crimes on the board and had the class judge the punishments that they deserved. I made it more personal for the class and ascribed the crimes to actual students in the class. So for outspoken Sarah, I said she "stole a mobile phone from a store". Sarah shook her head and said, "But I'm an honest girl..." Her judgment, made by Willow, was a fine and 20 hours of community service. I said that William "didn't feed his dog for a month". No one thought it was a big deal, which surprised me. I asked, "Isn't that animal cruelty?" William responded, "No! Dogs are delicious!" That ended the conversation... cultural difference #486.

West Coast:
On Tuesday nights we have our weekly faculty meetings and Team Dinner. This Tuesday Dan was out of town and we made the decision to have an extravagant night by going out to Pizza Hut for dinner. Pizza Hut is high class in China, we drop about $4 each, which is big money here. I'm not kidding, we look forward to cheese at Pizza Hut. I think one day I'll look back at our Pizza Hut joy and get a good laugh, for now it's legit excitement at Western atmosphere, forks, etc. So Tuesday night at dinner we got in a little debate.. West Coast vs. East Coast. I pulled out the old slogan "The West Coast is the best coast." Childish, I know, but I had to state my loyalty. We went back and forth for awhile. Mikayla and I on the West Coast Team. Stephen, Adam and Emily on the East Coast Team. And Rachel stayed neutral- she's from North Dakota. It was friendly banter. When we left the restaurant we split up to go in different taxis and it was just Stephen, Rachel and I. Stephen looked at me, with a pretty serious expression and said, "Alright, on the West Coast you have gangs, but on the East Coast...we have extended family". That sent the 3 of us into laughter, it's more funny if you know Stephen's North Carolina drawl, actually much more funny.

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