Mike Cope's blog

Friday, December 03, 2004

Loved being in MO for a few days for Thanksgiving. I especially was glad to see my nieces and nephew on that side: Kari, Crista, Maddie, Van, Tatum, and Hunter. Tatum, my niece from Vietnam, warmed up to me when I sat down and played Barbies with her. She was disappointed that I didn't know the difference between a blouse and a shirt, but otherwise she seemed to enjoy the playtime. My brother and his wife have a new house on fourteen acres just outside Neosho. When I walk around there, I realize the Ozarks are still in my blood. The hills and the trees (walnuts, pecans, oaks, etc.) stay in the system. The local paper carried a great story while we were there. There is a dispute in an area school system concerning a kindergartener who got in trouble. His mother is defending him, saying: "Alex picked up acorns and he accidentally threw one at a teacher." You've got to love that. I've written about this before. Children whose parents constantly side with them against teachers, coaches, and other authority figures are children headed for trouble. Of course, there are times, when parents have to step in to defend. But all you have to do is hang around an elementary school or a little league field or even the children's wing at church to realize that it's gotten way out of whack with some parents.


  • I totally feal you, I visited the ozarks over break too and there is something about being in those woods and hills that just feels so right.

    By Blogger Brandon Moore, at 12/03/2004 01:40:00 PM  

  • I'm with you on both points. The Ozarks are a big part of why I moved back from the Texas Panhandle. I loved living in Amarillo, but there were 1)no rivers, 2)no trees outside of town, and 3) no 3 million acres of national forest to get lost in, which I wanted my boys to have access to just like I did growing up. The only place even close is heading from Amarillo to Canadian and the huge cottonwood trees around the Canadian river as you dropped off the caprock. Truly a beautiful place, but that was all on private land, and you couldn't get at it.

    On the other point, I have a close friend who could not let his kids take the blame (or consequence) for anything, and they grew up knowing they could do no wrong. Some of the sorriest kids I have ever met, and it's really not their fault. (See, there I am absolving them of any blame.) But seriously, had they been made aware of personal responsibility, they wouldn't have turned out like that. I can't prove it, but it's true.

    preach on!

    By Blogger don, at 12/03/2004 03:01:00 PM  

  • Mike, Im proud to say that even though i was a highly acclaimed Barbie girl, I also do not know the difference between a blouse and shirt. Some things are left for the store clerks and people like my roommate(who kindly corrects me when I call a sweater a sweatshirt) to know and dwell upon. We on the other hand can calmly and openly display our clothing without knowing the cotton percentage or thread count. Right on Mike! Im with ya!

    oh and I miss trees as well. I miss the pine trees of Michigan. My good friend owns an xmas tree farm that we used to have snowball fights in. Arg to texan trees, yay to sunshine in december.

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 12/03/2004 04:39:00 PM  

  • I'm retired from a large school district (just under 200,000 kids). Most of my time was spent as an elementary school secretary. Deliver me from the "my kid would NOT do such a thing" parent. :( Not only are the kids difficult to teach and discipline, the parents can be among the rudest, coarsest-speaking human beings I've ever met. Talk about learning patience and conflict resolution - go to an elementary school!

    As far as adult kids that were brought up that way, the moment they become aware of the problem and where it came from, it is no longer the parents' problem, nor their blame. Rather it sits firmly on the adult kid's shoulders to correct personality problems once they become aware of them. IOW - don't blame your parents, that's the ultimate sluffing off responsibility to others, imho.

    But as Paul wrote, "Thanks be to God, through Christ Jesus our LORD" we can be rescued from our wretched mistakes. PTL!

    As far as trees are concerned, where are the majestic redwoods and the ancient Sierras, the gently waving palm trees? Love the people in Abilene, but surely do miss my California forests. :)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/04/2004 05:45:00 AM  

  • Living in NYC is great. Heck, it's the greatest city in the world but I have come to appreciate the flat plains of west Texas: Tahoka, to be exact. I didn't even know it was possible to miss west Texas but there are days when I long to see the sun rise and the sun set. I guess there is a certain beauty inherent in west Texas.

    By Blogger jch, at 12/04/2004 06:39:00 AM  

  • Doesn't anyone live in the city of their birth anymore? How about the state of their birth? I'm 30 & have lived in Illinois all my life. My parents have lived in the Chicago area all their lives (59 & 55 yrs.) Every winter I grumble about moving south, but palm trees for Christmas? No, thank you. As cold as I am, nothing beats watching the cardinals on snow-covered pine trees. I don't miss being anywhere else today!

    By Blogger Beaner, at 12/04/2004 08:25:00 AM  

  • Mike, great blog as usual. The problem you brought up is the biggest factor in why I chose to leave teaching after 16 years. Children had no respect for authority, because their parents didn't either. You can question authority and still respect it. That was not the case. And as you pointed out, you don't have to look far to find kids with NO regard for authority.

    Did our generation know where we were headed when we were the first to question in the 60's? My take is that it went WAY beyond where we were. Give em an inch and they will take a mile! :)

    By Blogger David U, at 12/04/2004 08:58:00 AM  

  • Perhaps the beauty is simply around us in MO or wherever our minds take us—away from or in the region of our roots. "Truth is beauty and beauty truth. That is all you know in life and all you need to know."

    Maybe human beings grow in developmental stages. Somewhere around 25 we mature into resilient, responsible human bengs, for the most part. Every year some of the younger generation is turning 25. My bet is still with them that they will grow into Godly, decent human beings and have children who will mature to a Godly realization too.

    By Blogger WDS, at 12/04/2004 09:24:00 PM  

  • I miss Texas sunsets too!! Mike--always great postings! Thanks!

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 12/05/2004 05:29:00 AM  

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