Jul 05 2008

What Love Is, and Is Not: Celebrating a marriage

Category: love,marriageharmonicminer @ 12:00 pm

Yesterday, I watched my daughter marry a fine young man. So now, in addition to being a patriotic holiday and my mother’s birthday, July 4 is my daughter’s wedding anniversary.

I’m proud of the happy couple, and hope and pray the best for them, as well as the strength to weather times of trial and challenge. Part of the ceremony involved the pastor reading from the first letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, 1st Corinthians 13, sometimes known as “the love chapter.” Among the portions he read were verses 4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Sitting in the front row as father of the bride, I was close enough to clearly see the groom’s face, in a way not many could. As the pastor read, I realized that the husband-to-be was reciting the words with the pastor, very subtly, not making sounds, barely moving his lips, just enough so that I could see he knew the passage by heart. Even two rows back, I think I would not have known. I’m not even certain he knew his lips were moving, ever so slightly.

I think my daughter is very fortunate to have married a man who values these words enough to commit them to memory. It will probably not hurt any of us to remind ourselves of just how love behaves…. and how it doesn’t.

Congratulations and best wishes to the newlyweds!

Disneyland 4th of July fireworks

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Jul 05 2008

Virtual Diversity: The Diversity You Wish You Had

Category: diversity,education,higher education,universityharmonicminer @ 9:00 am

Is this so bad?

A sociologist at Augsburg College, together with an undergraduate, recently studied the viewbooks of hundreds of four-year colleges and universities, selected at random. The research team counted the racially identifiable student photographs and also gathered data on the actual make-up of the student bodies.

The findings: Black students made up an average of 7.9 percent of students at the colleges studied, but 12.4 percent of those in viewbooks. Asian students are also more likely to be found in viewbooks than on campus, making up 3.3 percent of real students on average and 5.1 percent of portrayed students. The researchers acknowledge that appearance does not always tell the story of race and ethnicity, and say that they only counted clearly identifiable photos, and feel less confident about figures for Latino students. But they report relatively few students whose appearance suggested that they might be Latino, which is striking given the growth in the Latino student body. (A total of 371 colleges were studied, and historically black colleges were excluded; the findings were recently presented at the meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society.)

I suppose there are all kinds of reasons for fudging the appearance of diversity, maybe even including trying to attract a more diverse student body.  One assumes that these schools also try to make residence facilities, meal plans and recreation areas look better than the truth….  that is, after all, the American way…  for some of us.  This is not a random failure to be accurate….  none of the minorities were represented as being less than the real figure.

And when some of the students who see these viewbooks come to campus, and fudge the data in their academic work, at least they have a good excuse….  they learned it from the university they attended.

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