Odds & Ends: October 2005 Archives

Stand. Sit. Kneel.


Where might one purchase a clicker? Not a neon-green dog trainer's model, you understand, but a real real-nun certified version?

(I'm not planning shenannigans at the local Trid Mass, by the way, or, for that matter, shenannigans anywhere.)

Sign of trouble


A co-worker overheard this dialogue in a Las Vegas casino:

Wife: Let's go find an ATM.

Husband: What do you need money for?

Wife: I need to win back what I lost.

Nothing wrong with indoctrination


At a two-day training class I attended a couple of weeks ago, the students were mostly civilians, but there was a large contingent of Navy medical officers. In one session, groups of students had to hammer out a strategy for a fictional company we supposedly worked for. In the course of the discussion, one of the officers suggested that "indoctrination" would be a good idea for line workers.

The civilian half of the group assumed he was either joking or revealing himself as a crypto-fascist, but he was doing neither. "Indoctrination" is often used as a pejorative, but that is not its primary definition:

1 : to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments : TEACH
2 : to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

Or as one weapons instructor said to us in boot camp, "Indoctrination doesn't mean brainwashing." Immersing yourself in "fundamentals or rudaments" doesn't mean you have to amputate your faculties of reason; if you're really ingesting what you're learning, the opposite is true.

Fear of "indoctrination" is, I think, at the heart of why adults today are reluctant to teach kids firm principles. But the only way you can get kids to learn something is to repeat it until they understand, and then reinforce it frequently. Kids don't want, much less need, fine distinctions -- they crave clarity. When they want a fuller explanation as to why it's wrong to clobber your brother with a mallet, you can provide it when they are ready. Until then, mallet-clobbering is bad because it's wrong to hurt people, period.

Church hunting


I'm off to Las Vegas for a conference, so I may go to Mass Sunday
at this striking-looking church (once a shrine, now the cathedral); or maybe this shrine.

Since I'm interested in Latin Masses, I checked for one, but it doesn't appear there's a licit T-Mass in the diocese. There used to be a 1970 Latin Mass at this shrine, when it was a chapel of Discalced Carmelite nuns, but alas for the city, the Carmelites moved to Lincoln, NE. The chapel itself looks rather nice, but I'll have to see the sculpture out front in person to get a real sense of it: I assume it's a recent addition, since the place became a Vietnamese shrine-parish.

Isaiah sings the Wild Grape Blues

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Let me now sing of my friend,
my friend's song concerning his vineyard.

I cleared myself a vineyard, on a fertile slope o' ground;
Built a wine-press and a tower, and the choicest vines I put down;
But I went to look at harvest-time, (don't cha know) only wild grapes I found.

So neighbors, judge between me and this vineyard of mine:
Could I have worked it any better? Why don't it give me good wine?
I went to look for sweet grapes, but only wild grapes on the vine.

I'm gonna tear down all the fences, let the cattle trample through;
Let the sheep and goats graze on it: yes, that's what I'm gonna do;
Tell the clouds to hold the rain back, not a single drop of dew.

So hear: the house of Is-rael is the vineyard of the Lord;
and he gave the vine of Judah all the care He could afford (which is everything, don't cha know)
But the bloodshed and injustice means His word has been ignored.

(Oh, yeah.)

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Odds & Ends category from October 2005.

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