Archive for March, 2013

Easter Story

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jesus. Now, you might know somebody named Jesus, but this Jesus was pronounced Jeez-us, not Hey-seuss like the ones you know. Jesus was a good guy. In fact, he was so good that planned to do something that would benefit all of the children of the world. He was going to give them candy! Jesus was very passionate about this plan.

The only problem with Jesus’s plan was that he lived in a place called the Roman Empire. It was hard not to in those days. The problem with the Romans was that they didn’t like anybody else getting attention. Jesus walked all over the place telling people about his plan and the Romans got mad about the attention he was getting. They decided to kill him so that his plan could not be carried out. Luckily for Jesus’s plan, if not for Jesus himself, somebody warned him about what was going to happen. Jesus had dinner with his friends and then went to a garden. He had a backup plan!

Jesus was very in-tune with nature, which allowed him to communicate with animals. In the garden Jesus found a rabbit named Esther and told her about his plan and what was going to happen to him. He asked Esther to carry out his plan the day after he died so show the Romans that they couldn’t stop him from giving the children candy. Near the end of their discussion there was a noise in the garden and armed guards came in and arrested Jesus while Esther quietly hopped away to safety.

Jesus was killed on a Friday. Thinking that they had prevented Jesus from carrying out his plan, the Romans considered it a good Friday. On Friday night, however, Esther hopped around the countryside, delivering candy to all of the children. Even though the children were sad about Jesus dying, they were very excited to receive this candy, which Esther placed in baskets outside of their houses. Watching from Heaven, Jesus was thrilled to see the children’s excitement. There was just one problem: The children didn’t know that the candy was actually from Jesus! Jesus was mad!

Whenever you get angry about something it is a good idea to wait a day to cool off before deciding what to do. On Sunday morning Jesus was still angry and decided that something needed to be done. He went from heaven back to his body on Earth and had some angels open the tomb where his body had been placed. Jesus set out to find Esther. Along the way he ran into his friend Mary Magdalene and told her to spread the news about his new plan.

Jesus found Esther in the garden and talked to him about how upset he felt when the children received the candy without knowing it had come from him. Jesus asked Esther to give the children eggs in addition to candy. The three parts of an egg, he explained, represented the three parts of his personality: the hard exterior represented the way he felt when dealing with people like the Romans; the white part represented his love for all of humankind; and the yellow center represented the fact that spending too much time with Jesus gave people high cholesterol.

Esther agreed, but asked if there was a way that she could carry on this tradition for more than a few years, since she didn’t want people to forget about Jesus after a few years. Jesus agreed, and told Esther that as long as she gave children candy and eggs once a year, she could live on Earth forever.

Every year since, Esther has hopped around the world delivering candy and eggs to celebrate Jesus’s death and rebirth. Unfortunately, a small group of kids started mispronouncing Esther’s name after the third or fourth year and Esther was too nice to correct them. This explains why the holiday is now called Easter.

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if everybody was a little bit more like Mister Rogers.

Cracked makes the case that he was the greatest American, which led me to this 1998 article in Esquire.

His acceptance speech upon receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the daytime Emmys sums him up pretty well:


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Since March Madness is officially upon us, it must be time to talk about basketball. Kate Fagan at ESPN has a nice article discussing Baylor’s Brittney Griner and the role of gender in sports. Griner is a 6’8″ player who is able to do things that most female basketball players cannot do (see some highlights here). If Griner were a male, Fagan argues, her accomplishments would be celebrated. As a woman, her accomplishments are simultaneously celebrated and questioned. Fagan writes that no matter Griner’s achievements, “the naysayers hop on message boards and social media to deliver a variety of insults, questioning her fierce on-court demeanor, her talent in comparison to male players, even her genetic makeup.”

Fagan compares Griner to Shaquille O’Neal, who was also physically dominant as a college player. She writes:

But whereas Shaq was hailed for being big, bold, different, Griner is sometimes viewed in a harsher light, with skepticism bordering on suspicion. When people called Shaq a freak of nature, it was a compliment; when directed at Griner, the term often carries a cruel edge, punctuated with the refrain of “She’s a dude!”

Such wary appraisals are not unique to Griner, of course. This is what Joe Fan does to any female athlete who doesn’t fit neatly into one of two boxes: the cool, tough-talking guy’s gal (see: Ronda Rousey, Lindsey Vonn) or the unattainable beauty (see: Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova).

Fagan also quotes Nicole LaVoi, a professor at the University of Minnesota, who adds:

“People can’t just say, ‘Wow, Brittney Griner is a great athlete.’ We need to have a caveat: ‘She plays like a guy, she looks like a guy, she must be a guy.’ These qualifiers marginalize what Brittney has done and serve to keep the current pecking order in place, whereby men’s sports are more valued, more culturally relevant — the norm.”

The entire article is interesting and could be used to spark a classroom discussion.

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And it makes me feel so gay.

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