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Messages - I hear America singing

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41
General Off-Topic Board / Re: prayer in public schools?
« on: July 12, 2005, 09:17:47 PM »
DodgerLaw,

Exactly what is your ideal view of public education?  What would you like to see regarding the handling of religion?

42
General Off-Topic Board / Re: prayer in public schools?
« on: July 12, 2005, 08:55:07 PM »
It's not true that you can't discuss God and Jesus in the schools.  As an ex-English teacher, I can say with absolute certainty that pretty much any topic is open for discussion as long as the debate is intellectual and not emotional.  In fact, all of the English textbooks I've been given to use have passages from most of the world's major religions.  I can't proselytize, but we are allowed to discuss the influence of religion on literature.

Also, I point out to my students that whether they are Christian or not, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the text if you want to explore the canon of Western literature- so much of what Europe and America has created is an allusory reference to that text.  If I lived in a Buddhist country, you can be sure I'd familiarize myself with the teachings of Buddha.  When you live in a particular culture, you have a responsibility to attempt to understand the culture, even if it's not your own.

When in Rome...

In short, God and Jesus can (and are) discussed in mainstream classrooms, if the focus is on cultural/historical/literary ramifications.  It would be impossible to not mention Christianity if you were a teacher of American History or American Literature.  Rightly or wrongly, it is ingrained in our past.

43
General Off-Topic Board / Re: prayer in public schools?
« on: July 12, 2005, 06:18:02 PM »
Quote
Morality is totally independent of Religion.  There are atheists who are much better human beings than I am (I'm a Christian).  Morality is how we deal with each other, not who or what we believe created us.  Most Christians make the mistake of entwining the two.  One could just follow natural law and understand the need to respect other people's person and property.
Quote

Some would argue that the natural law is equivalent to the Golden Rule.

I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge, my mind is pea-soup and I only feel like posting stupid stuff right now.

Kohlberg suggests that people ascribe to morality for three reasons; fear of reprisal, need for acceptance, or a sense of the greater good.  None of these necessarily have anything to do with religion.

44
General Off-Topic Board / Re: prayer in public schools?
« on: July 12, 2005, 06:14:51 PM »
"In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), the Supreme Court ruled that a voucher system established in Cleveland, Ohio for poor children in failing schools did not violate the Establishment Clause.  The Court held that a voucher program is constitutional if it is "neutral with respect to religion and provides assistance directly to a broad class of citizens," who then select religious schools out of a "genuine and independent private choice.""

45
General Off-Topic Board / Re: prayer in public schools?
« on: July 12, 2005, 06:05:47 PM »
Is this conversation actually taking place?

Unless they're indoctrinated the way you like, right? Then it's free.

just what sort of religious indoctrination is currently going on in public schools?

Since children are required to go to school about 6 to 7 hours per day -- and noone here appears to be opposed to that -- then what happens in that large chunk of time is an important part of their upbringing, and not merely a time to learn to read and write. They are also learning about life, morals, philosophies, etc... That is unavoidable.

What's currently happening in schools is that the subject of God is pretty much taboo where all sorts of other government-approved philosophies may be pushed at will. I wouldn't call it "indoctrination", but I would say that the government rather than the parent is deciding what beliefs are appropriate.

Which begs the question, "How can you discuss morals without discussing God?"

Morality is totally independent of Religion.  There are atheists who are much better human beings than I am (I'm a Christian).  Morality is how we deal with each other, not who or what we believe created us.  Most Christians make the mistake of entwining the two.  One could just follow natural law and understand the need to respect other people's person and property.

On the larger point, I'm a big opponent of prayer in schools.  I don't think that school is the place to espouse any religion, even one I feel might be right.  Why?  It's not just the separation of church and state thing, although that's a big one- it's also that I'm selfish.  There are school districts in Ohio, I'm told, that are just about majority Muslim.  I would not want my child to pray to Allah every day during school prayers, just as they do not want to pray to the Christian God.  The great goal of democracy is to enforce the right of the majority without trespassing on the rights of the minorities.

This is such a non-issue, why did this take four pages?  

46
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Cost of books for first year?
« on: June 29, 2005, 02:36:51 AM »
When I learned that I would be receiving a $750 stipend, the school told me, "That I'd be able to buy a couple of books at least."

Now, sadly, I get the joke. :P

47
While perusing various law school prep books, I came across an obscure tip that makes a lot of sense.  It recommends that during the summer before you start school (read: now) that you should get a passport.  You probably won't have time to deal with it once law school starts, yet there's always the small chance that the firm you're interning for will ask you to fly with them to London or some other place for a few days.  It would suck to be the loser who had to say, "Uh, I don't have a passport."

Note:  This is probably more relevant to the individuals who will be attending T1 schools, but it doesn't hurt for everybody to get one, just in case.

48
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Anybody else get this weird letter?
« on: June 27, 2005, 11:30:51 PM »
I can't find it- I suck.

I did see that Rutgers has a waitlist- what the hell's going on?

49
General Off-Topic Board / Anybody else get this weird letter?
« on: June 27, 2005, 11:21:05 PM »
I left town for a few days and found the following in my mailbox.  I found it quite curious- someone might have already posted on the matter, but I'm too lazy to check.

Here are the salient points of the letter:

"You have been selected as one of a few individuals Rutgers School of Law-Camden would like to admit in the Fall of 2005.  The Law School is currently engaged in an extensive study to establish that individuals with your LSAT become some of our most successful graduates."

Note:  My LSAT is 162, which although not pathetic, is way below Rutger's top 25%

"To encourage you to participate in this Academic Excellence Scholarship program, we are waiving both the application fee and the $300 deposit fee.  Should you be accepted, you will also be awarded an $8,000 Academic Excellence Scholarship...This program is limited to approximately twenty students."

I'm not going to do it, but why would they send it so late- it was dated June 21.  Are they having trouble filling seats or do they honestly believe that someone with a lower LSAT score might make- somehow- a better student?

50
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Just Read Turow's One L
« on: June 23, 2005, 01:25:16 AM »
Are you sure you're not confusing One L with Law SchooL Confidential?  I read both, and I don't remember anything about highlighters in One L.  LSC goes on and on about their intricate multi-chromatic highlighting scheme. 

I'm glad I read One L because I think it painted such an absolutely worst case picture that the actual law school experience will seem like a pleasant surprise :)

It's in there- he mentions toward the beginning that he ran to the office supply store and picked up a bunch of them. One of his friends started calling him the "Rainbow Kid".

From page 40 of One L

"Early in that first week I hit on my most bizarre scheme for making things clearer.  In one of the student handbooks I had read that there were those who took class notes in different colored inks.  The idea had stayed with me because I found it so extreme.  Yet by the second day of classes I recognized that my notes looked as if they had been sprayed on the page.  So tI marched to Harvard Square and bought a number of expensive pens, each a different shade.  I did my briefs in black, took class notes in blue.  Specific legal rules were inscribed in red and what I couldn't understand was written down in green.  I kept the pens, two in each color, in the pockets of my knapsack, where they showed like the arrows in a quiver.  Nazzario at once began to call me the "Rainbow Kid."

True, they're not highlighters, but it's practically the same thing.

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