I Kept Threatening To Do This

It’s time for the true identity of Will Servant to be revealed. It’s a pretty flimsily disguised nom de plume to begin with. A lot of you already know me anyway.

My name is Ric Studer and I’m coming out of the anonymity closet to announce my candidacy for School Board in my home town District 742, in the St. Cloud MN area. Several current board members whose terms are ending have chosen not to run. I have been feeling I should run for this important community service for some time and there is need for good candidates to step forward. I’m not normally one to toot my own horn but I believe I have the skill set and character to represent our community well.

Although I am politically a progressive it is clear to me that School Board membership must be a non partisan position. It is my goal to be a voice of reason based on common sense and humility. I will advocate for adequate funding to assure that every teacher and student, including adults, in the district gets all the tools they need to succeed. But I will also look for areas where we can reform and conserve in order to spend each dollar wisely and to the benefit and best interest of the local taxpayer.

There are new ways of approaching education that serve all stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, students and the taxpayers who support them and we must consider them before doing the same old same old because it’s easy and has always been done that way. At the same time we can’t just throw out the baby with the bath water. Many time tested methods and programs should continue to be used to serve the district and it’s community. We will be wise to fully explore there new ways of looking at education, and the forward thinking they represent.

Capital expenditures, currently in the form of replacement and renovation of aging structures, has been a major local issue for several years and the district has struggled to make an effective case for adopting their recommendations, even after extensive research into all the alternatives. The unfortunate disconnects between the Board and community can be bridged through hard work by all parties. I’m sure of it.

Trust in the board, by community leaders and citizens alike must be restored and that can only be done by reaching out into the community and having honest conversations with area residents from all economic, ethnic, racial, political, underrepresented minority backgrounds. Every voice must be heard and every decision transparent. This is the only way to conduct business in the 21st century and the only way the Board can regain the trust and support of the people.

St. Cloud area schools have also reflected the major social issues of the community, as religious tensions have found their way into our schools. As a quality learning environment is imperative if we are to give our students a place to excel, it behooves us to do everything in our power to resolve the religious and ethnic differences that have poured over into the school district from clouded and muddy pools that have sprung up in the community.

Although the conflicts have, to my mind, primarily arisen from the activities of small groups of activists. Their voices are loud and the fear they generate is real. It infects many in the community. Once again, honest, open and respectful conversations are the key to reducing the tensions that impair student’s ability to thrive. I am certain that through this effort the good hearted and self respecting people of the district can find the common ground that will nourish us all.

As we aspire to a new educational philosophy our efforts must can only be directed inward. While researching and discussing the direction of district development and allocation of resources from a new perspective, we must reach outward as well. We must go to the students themselves, in their environment, and meet them where they are, learning for ourselves by discovering what they know and want to know, their life experiences and how they learn.

We must also use this approach to work toward solutions of our social challenges, engaging in meaningful conversations with both the hurt and the hurtful to better create the unity so desperately needed, not only in our schools, but in our communities. We have to humble ourselves, coming together in good faith to listen to everyone’s concerns and working as one  forge a path toward what we all ultimately want, a school system that provides the best possible learning experience for the most possible students.

Everyone says that the single most important thing to them is the kids.  If we really believe that we need to set aside our egos and desires and surrender to our children, who are more precious than gold and and most worthy of our love and nurture. They will show us the way if we have ears to hears and eyes to see.

I ask for your vote and support in my journey toward excellence in service, both public and private, as I learn and grow through giving.

 

Playing From Behind Again

Yesterday’s assignment was to write a blog post saying exactly what we want, to the person or persons we really want to talk to. We were also to include a new element in our post, one that we have never worked with before. I have never embedded a photo into my blog posts so I will attempt to do that a bit later in the post. Here is what I really want, without filter, to say.

There are lots of people I really want to speak to directly, under the illusory protective umbrella of this blog. To choose one group out of many is a somewhat daunting task, but today I’m feeling like speaking to those who proclaim themselves Christians, and miraculously, devout Christians.

Not all, but many of them, by my humble moral standards and mandatory incomplete understanding of scripture and the Christ, love to slavishly quote the Bible without having the foggiest notion of what it really tells us.

Thank God for Martin Luther. These people will still have a chance to gain heaven through their faith alone. For their works are not only not good works but are often cruel and damaging works, and can also include disdain for and the absence of good works. Yes, they are charitable, but just as they cherry pick Bible verses to support their profound misunderstanding of their role as Christians, they cherry pick whom to be generous with. Like the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan they judge who is and who is not deserving of their charity.

Somehow they believe that because they are more pious and devout and “Better Christians” than others they somehow deserve most favored VIP status here on earth and extra compensations from the divine coffers. They demand that absolutely everyone accept certain of their doctrine, while personally ignoring other of their religion’s precepts. They malign those religions whom they accuse of violently forcing everyone to convert, while expecting everyone to accept that theirs is the only true religion and thus the only moral arbiter.

They advocate for an American theocracy, claiming Biblical law supersedes Constitutional law, while condemning other theocracies across the world as authoritarian fanatics.

I could go on.

Before I go let me illuminate just one hypocrisy I see in the western, predominately racially white, Christian Church. Jesus was undoubtedly a Palestinian. Had he been tall, white and blue eyed he would have been suspect and likely would have had a difficult time convincing his Jewish followers that he was the messiah.

So, did Jesus look like Barry Gibb?

picture-jesus-greg-olson

Or like a common era Jew?

gallery-1450102902-screen-shot-2015-12-14-at-91810-am

I’m not sure this second guy would be real popular with the TSA. Not to mention he would be persona non grata to certain other currently newsworthy persons.

I thought we were created in God’s image, not the other way around.

 

I Ain’t Gonna Change

BTW. For my six regular readers, I am taking a blogging class, generously offered gratis by WordPress, basically to learn how to write a sentence less than 50 words long. Wish me luck. You will be seeing me write my assignments over the next weeks. If they grade on a curve I’m screwed. Wish me more luck.

Regarding yesterday’s assignment (Yes, I’m already falling behind on only the third day) I have already changed my blog’s title and tagline several times and have settled on these after considerable soul searching. It is important to get both a title and tagline that reflects who you are and clearly reveals the blog’s essence. I feel my title and tagline combined do that rather well in that sardonic, dyslexic cynic’s style, of which I am so enamored.