My Complete Personal Memory Ethnograph

Mary Lee Glassburn Cultural Diversity PME 5

A Class Act
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 1962; I was five years old and in kindergarten. The classroom was large. Actually, it was two rooms of which half of the center wall had been removed to make one big room. My teacher, Mrs. Goodrich, was a tall, slender woman with short dark hair. I liked her. In my eyes she treated everyone fairly.
There were these two students; Susan and Cynthia, who took a dislike of me from the very beginning. They made it clear to me that they came from wealthy families and I did not.
Hi. My name is Cynthia. My friend Susan and I are in Mrs. Goodrich’s kindergarten class. We like it because we get to play with each other every day. There is one person here we really don’t like. Her name is Mary Lee. We really don’t know much about her, but she is way different from us. She doesn’t wear nice clothes or shoes like we do. Really, her clothes look used, and so far she has only worn one pair of shoes all year!
I was wearing faded clothing. I wore an orange and yellow jumper that had been previously worn by my older sisters. It was well used, had a few stains, but it was clean and one of the few things available for me to wear. My shoes were canvas and at one time had been white but were now a dingy gray and beginning to show wear. I was embarrassed by my attire because Susan and Cynthia always wore new clothes and nice shoes. They also made it a point to criticize my clothing almost daily. I felt as if I was “less than” or the “other” in their eyes. I already was aware at the young age of five that there were definite differences in social class.
Somewhere in the middle of the school year, Susan and Cynthia were playing with the wooden blocks on the floor. I was not anywhere near them. As a matter of fact, I was on the other side of the room, playing by myself. The blocks were my favorite things to play with; but today they had got to them first.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of blocks falling. As I looked in the direction of the noise, I heard Susan and Cynthia screaming and crying to Mrs. Goodrich. They said I had run over and knocked down their blocks.
We just don’t want her anywhere near us. So, this morning on the way to school we thought of a plan to get her in trouble. We decided to build a tall tower out of the wooden blocks she was always playing with.
Then we would knock it down and tell our teacher that Mary Lee had run over and wrecked our building. During playtime we implemented our plan. We built it and violently knocked it down. Then, we started screaming and crying so hard that Mrs. G came running over to see what was wrong! Of course we told her that Mary Lee had done it because she wanted to play with the blocks. Mrs. G punished her by not allowing her to play outside at recess.
Out on the playground, Susan and I laughed and laughed. We knew Mary Lee would
never come near us again!
I remember feeling overwhelming sadness when my teacher didn’t believe me when I told her I didn’t do it. It was devastating because I knew I had done nothing wrong. To the girls it seemed it was some sort of a victory as they had accomplished what they had set out to do.
I knew they were playing out the borderland of class. I became aware of class issues well before kindergarten. I already knew I was the “other”. I remember watching “Leave it to Beaver” and thinking the Cleavers were the perfect, normal family. Ward had a career, while June (who always looked immaculate), took care of the home and the children. All issues were resolved peacefully and calmly by the end of the show. I dreamed of living like the Cleavers. My family was just the opposite: my mom was a single parent who worked nights with four kids who somehow took care of each other.

Everyone in my kindergarten class came from “normal” two parent households, except me. I was different. This was only reinforced by the behavior and accusations of my schoolmates and perhaps by my own behavior and feelings of inferiority.
The popular toy of the day, “Barbie”, embodied the ideal image: perfect hair, complexion, body, clothes, and shoes. She represented everything I wanted to be. Then there was Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady. In 1962 she conducted a television tour of the White House. I saw Mrs. Kennedy as a symbol of elegance. She was perfect. Just like Barbie, Susan, Cynthia, and my teacher. In my five-year-old mind, I believed I could never attain normal or perfect.
In the late 1950’s and throughout the decade of the 1960’s, race and civil rights were at the forefront of contemporary issues. Although these things were not explicitly an issue for me in kindergarten, I firmly believe it was at that time when I began to identify with the struggles of the Black community. I too felt segregated and judged by my appearance. Because of my borderland of class, I made a conscious decision to try to always treat others the way I desperately wanted to be treated.
I see how the influences that shaped the opinions and actions of my classmates and me at such an early age, were first learned in our family of origin. I have since learned that no person or object is perfect, and I understand the girls were acting out of their own prejudices and pre-formed opinions. Fortunately, I have moved beyond the pain they caused me so many years ago.

Kindergarten Woes part 2

This is part 2 of a 5 part assignment. In this writing we are to write about the same episode in part 1. This time from someone else's perspective who was involved in the situation. Obviously we can't know what that person may have been thinking so we have to see ourselves as that person and speculate how they may have perceived or experinced the same incident. So, here it is!

Personal Memory Ethnography Project Part 2

Hi. My name is Cynthia. I am 5 years old and in Mrs. Goodrich’s kindergarten class. I like it because every day I get to play with my best friend, Susan.
However, there is one person here who we really don’t like. Her name is Mary Lee. We don’t know much about her; but she is way different than us. She doesn’t have nice clothes or shoes like we do. Really; her clothes look used; and so far, she has only worn one pair of shoes all year! She smells. Like cigarettes. I think her parents must smoke.
Anyway, we just don’t want her anywhere near us. So, this morning, on the way to school, we thought of a plan to get her in trouble. We decided to build a tall tower out of the wooden blocks that she was always playing with. Then we would knock it down and tell our teacher that Mary Lee had ran over and wrecked our building. During play time we implemented our plan. We built it and violently knocked it over. Then; we started screaming and crying so hard that Mrs. Goodrich came running over to see what was wrong! Of course, we told her that Mary Lee had done it because she wanted to play with the blocks. Mrs. Goodrich punished her by not allowing her to play outside at recess.
Out on the playground; Susan and I laughed and laughed. We knew she would never come near us again!

Personal Memory Ethnography Project

I am taking a class called Cultural Diversity. One of my first assignments is to write a short paper about an "incident" from my own past experience through which I learned about "difference". This is the first part in a five part assignment. Thought I would post it.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Except; it wasn’t. I was five years old and in kindergarten. The classroom was large. Actually, it was two rooms which half of the center wall had removed to make one big room. My teacher; Mrs. Goodrich, was a tall, slender woman with short dark hair. I liked her. In my eyes, she treated everyone fairly. It was somewhere in the middle of the school year when “the incident” took place. There were two students; Susan and Cynthia who took a dislike of me from the very beginning. They make it clear to me that they came from wealthy families and they knew that I did not. I already was aware at the young age of five that there were definite differences in “class”. But that wasn’t “the incident” that bothered me. The following scenario is what affected me. Susan and Cynthia were playing with wooden blocks on the floor. I was not anywhere near them. As a matter of fact; I was on the other side of the room playing by myself. Suddenly, I heard what sounded like something crashing to the ground. As I looked in the direction of the noise; I heard Susan and Cynthia screaming and crying to Mrs. Goodrich. They said I had run over and knocked down their blocks. Mrs. Goodrich angrily asked me why I had done such a mean thing. I told her I didn’t do it. However; the teacher believed them and my punishment was no outside recess for that day. I think this incident has stuck with me for so long because I believe it was my first recognition of inequality coming from an adult I respected.

More on Passion

Last week, Arizona lost two TV news helicopter pilots and their photographers in a tragic accident. Then, later that same day a Phoenix Police Officer was killed in the line of duty. The community came together to honor these men. There were memorials set up at the crash site, at the TV stations and at the location where the Police Officer lost his life. The families of the pilots and photographers generously gave the money from the memorial bank accounts to the widow and sons of the slain Officer. The memorial services were televised and I watched all or part of all of them. I just finished watching the last one. They all said the same thing about these guys...they died doing what they loved doing. They were passionate about their work, their families and their friends. They lived each day to the fullest. I am writing this because in my previous post I wrote about passion etc...The death of these five guys got me to thinking about how I/we live life. It inspired me to be the best I can be in whatever God has for me to do. To dive head-first into life. Whether it be at work, school, church, at home or with friends and family. I don't know if this will look different outwardly; but I know it has made an impact internally. Lets all discover our passion and live it!!

Gifts, Callings and Passions

Gifts, Callings and Passions
The other night, I attended a "small group" meeting. It is more like dinner and fellowship rather than a meeting. We (actually "they;" three guys with alot to say) were talking about our "passion." You know, the thing or things that motivate you, especially in your walk with God. Or... the giftings in your life. Well, all that talk got me to thinking about different people I know and what I think their gifts are. Some are Christians and some are not. I am not going to name names here; I am just going to describe their gifts as I see them. I work with someone who is a great encourager/exhorter...I emailed her this morning and told her that...she was encouraged! I know a couple of different people who excel in the area of knows it; while the other doesn't. How about the prophetic?! I know many people who are gifted in that area but few walk in it. I wonder why. I know someone who excels in the gift of service. She faithfully labors in service to the Lord. She also walks in mercy. My former neighbor is a very creative, artistic person. She uses that gift constantly! As for myself, I really can't pinpoint a certain gift (although I do know that I have one or two). I know that when I spend time with people who are walking in their gift....the annointing for that particular gift seems to land on me; I don't know why; but it does. Except that mercy thing!! Anyway, that is all I have to say for now.

The Attributes of God
An essay by Mary Lee Glassburn

It was a Sunday afternoon at Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant. I was eating a delicious shredded beef Chimichanga with rice and beans. It was accompanied by a nice cold glass of iced tea. The conversation turned to “the attributes of God” and an essay that the worship team was assigned to write. I said; “you have to write an essay? I want to write one!” Donna of course said I HAD to because I am a member of the team. OK I’ll write one I said. How long is it supposed to be and when is it due? The crowd said it is due on Thursday and should be one thousand words (I think they were kidding about the one thousand words…but just in case, Kathy; my friend, you are getting at least that many words!). So I went home and pondered God’s attributes. defines an attribute as: a quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something. A quality that is a particular part of a person or thing. Well, He has so many. Let me just name a few.
He is infinite
He is omnipotent
He is good
He is just
He is holy
He is omnipresent
He is merciful
He is wise
He is faithful
He is righteous
He is full of grace
He is our comforter
He is our intercessor
I could go on and on; reaching that one thousand word goal in no time; then I remembered something Donna said at lunch. She said to make it personal. So…..the attribute of God which I chose to write about is God’s love.
Why? Well, for one thing, it encompasses all that He is! Look at the above list. If it weren’t for love; none of it would be possible. Remember; “God so loved the world that he gave His only son”. I know what you are probably thinking…..this sounds pretty generic; and it does. Until… the; make it personal is added. It was an incredibly long time before I realized in my heart that God loved ME so much that He would send Jesus to the cross for Me. I knew it in my head; but until that truth traveled to my heart; it was just words on a page. Let me tell you how this transformation came about. Here is where it gets personal. It was 1998; I had been saved for twenty two years. I volunteered to accompany the youth to the “Desperation” event in Colorado Springs. The very first night; they, (the organizers) staged a mock crucifixion of Jesus. It was the most “real” thing I had ever seen. It brought me to tears…I mean real tears…the kind that you need more than one tissue for! By the time they (and I) were finished, I knew in my heart and not just my head that I was loved by God! I think I really became a Christian that night in 1998; even though I had been saved for many years. That is pretty personal I think! Anyway, let me continue with my essay. I believe one of the most amazing things about God’s love is that it is extended to us even when we don’t deserve it. His love is unconditional. Ours (mine) is not. We as humans tend to express our love when people perform according to our expectations. And then withhold our fondness when people or circumstances displease us. We shower friendliness on children like Bethany and Daniel; and tend to avoid argumentative, ill-mannered little kids (no names here) as if they have the plague! Fortunately God is not like that. Love is the way He is. God’s love is not an emotion….but it is an action. Jesus’ entire life was love in action! God sent Jesus to commit the ultimate sacrifice-death on the cross for the sins of others (an act of love). I have often wondered if I could/would sacrifice myself for someone else. I would definitely do that for Bethany and Daniel. But; it is doubtful I would take a bullet (so to speak) for a stranger. Alas; my love is conditional; but then I already knew that!
Anyway; when I see the cross I think about the love that God has for me! There are two songs; both of which you know quite well, which say it better than I can.

The first one is from the old song The Love of God:

“Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, tho’ stretched from sky to sky.”


Amazing Love by Chris Tomlim
I like the whole song, but the chorus is particularly meaningful to me.
“Amazing love,
How can it be?
That You, my King would die for me?
Amazing love,
I know it’s true.
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.”

Oh…I also like:
“Jesus loves me
This I know
For the bible
Tells me so!”

Okay, let me toss in a few scriptures which speak of God’s love. How about:

John 16:27 “for the Father Himself loves you.”

John 17:24 “for You loved me before the foundation of the world.”

Jeremiah 31:3 “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you”.

Don’t forget 1 Corinthians 13 (the whole chapter) but especially the 13th verse: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

God has many attributes; far more than are listed in this paper. I chose to write about the attribute of God’s love for two reasons. First, because it truly is amazing to me. And, secondly because Donna said to make it personal and Gods’ love is personal to me!

Did you know that coffee is mentioned in the bible?

Field Trips

I was perusing the internet today and came across an article entitlied: More People Taking Field Trips of Faith. I was immediatly intrigued! I loved going on field trips when I was in school. They got you out of the classroom and put you somewhere altogether least for a little while. People are going to places like Medjugorje, Bosnia. The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Mecca, in Saudia Arabia and Santiago de Compostela in northeast Spain. That is what seems to be happening now. People across the globe are taking spiritual pilgrimages; or "field trips"; looking for something they haven't been able to find at home. Peace. 150 million people are searching for peace. Some; according to the article; are looking for a miracle, while others are just seeking to deepen their faith. Whatever the reason; these "pilgrims" (sounds like John Wayne) are traveling in record numbers. A quote from Todd M. Johnson; director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity; "perhaps the most important reason is that people are increasingly interested in experiencing their faith through more than just reading or singing." So, that got me to thinking...what can I(we) do as a body of believers; to help the churched and the not-yet-churched to experience their faith?. I don't have an answer to this...I am just throwing it out into cyberspace! I do know that there is way more to Christianity that reading the Bible and praise and worship. How about serving in your local church, your community and those in your sphere of influence. How about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; you know; vertical christianity! Ask today's youth what they would like to see in their church...and go with it! When that happens, I believe revival will pour out. Then people won't need to travel thousands of miles to find what they are seeking. It will be found in their local church, their communities, schools and place of employment. I can hardly wait!! Until that time comes, I will go on my own annual camping trip!

New Words To Old Songs

Sung to the tune of "Where Have All The Flowers Gone"
With apologies to Peter, Paul & Mary

Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone?
Gone for coffee everyone.
Oh, when will they ever reach out?
Oh, when will they ever reach out?

Where have all theBaby Boomer Christians gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Baby Boomer Christians gone?
Gone to recliners everyone.
Oh, when will they ever rise up?
Oh, when will they ever rise up?

Where will the BBCS walk alongside the youth, long time passing?
Where will the BBCS walk alongside the youth, long time ago?
Where will the BBCS walk alongside the youth?
Gone to walk with everyone.
Oh, when will they mentor them?
Oh, when will they mentor them?

Where have all the prodigals gone, long time passing?
Where have all the prodigals gone, long time ago?
Where have all the prodigals gone?
Gone; and disillusioned, everyone.
Oh, when will they return?
Oh, when will they return?

And now, with apologies to Bob Dylan....

The answer my friend is inside of you;
The answer is inside of you.
Yes the answer is inside of you.

Which One Are You?

The other day I was thinking about how different different people are. I can hear you thinking..well duh...thats a no brainer. I know. But you see; I was thinking about a friend of mine who is a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Part of her job is to hold skincare/glamour classes. Well, I'm not much on make -up/skin care products but somehow she convinced me to host one of these events. Now I hear you laughing! Anyway, I noticed that there are three types of women who attend. The experts, the novices and "I just came along for the ride" group. So, in these classes, skin types are analyzed and the products which best suit the needs of the individual are placed before each participant.. Everyone gets to apply the product. After the skin care session; the group moves on to the glamour segment where she aids the women in choosing and applying cosmetics. I'm laughing just thinking about this! Ok, lets move on to the real subject of this essay...the three types of people. The experts, of course, are the ones who use skin care products and make-up daily and have done so for some time. They know exactly what to do and how to do it. These women can hardly wait for the less experienced ones to finish so they can go on to the next step. The experts can usually be found perusing through the cheek color, eye shadow, and lipstick samples to find their colors. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the novices. These ladies are those who rarely, if ever, use make-up or skin care products. They usually need help choosing colors and applying eye shadow and mascara. The novices ask lots of questions of the consultant and spend time watching the experts apply their make-up. Because these women are unaccustomed to the process, they tend to be much slower and unsure of their actions. Last but not least, are those who came to get out of the house. Most of the time they aren't interested in trying the products and will readily admit they just came to visit with their friends. I remember one lady who came with her friend was 85 years old and legally blind!! She was able to participate in the skin care portion of the class but declined to try on make-up as she didn't want to go home "looking like a clown." She did, however, purchase some bright red lipstick because she could see it to put it on! So...which type are you? One of the experts who know their stuff, a novice making your debut, or, one of the visitors who make the class entertaining? Me? I am a visitor! Oh, by the way, I only hosted one class...that was enough for me!

Something We Will Never See In The Media

Sunday, May 06, 2007, 1:00:49 PM Caleb Gage
“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” - Tertullian
This quote from Tertullian has been proven true yet again. My last post was a letter from a Church in Turkey about three men who were martyred. (If you haven’t read that post yet please do so now) This post is what happened just recently at their funerals…
“On Wednesday April 18, 2007, the fledgling Christian community in this nation of 70 million Muslims, suffered a devastating blow, when three of its finest, were brutally murdered for their faith. One German and two other Turkish brothers were found in the print shop, in south central Turkey, where they published and sold Bibles. They had been tortured, stabbed repeatedly, and bound with their throats slit. Sadly, it was at the hands of five trusted young me, who had claimed to be seekers of our Lord. The murder was skillfully pre-meditated and ruthlessly carried out. Needless to say, as members of the Body, we have been deeply grieved by this terrible tragedy. Yet, what appeared to be a victory for the enemy has since resulted in the most open declaration of the gospel this nation has seen since the Apostle Paul! Therefore, we rejoice that not one drop of blood shed by these dear sains has fallen to the ground in vain.
“Last Saturday, approximately 500 believers gathered in a demonstration of solidarity, to honour the lives of these colleagues. Despite the heavy police and media coverage in a country that is 99.9% Muslim, each of us had determined that it was worth the risk and exposure, to stand together for our Lord. After all, it seemed a small sacrifice, compared to the loss experienced by the wives, children and fiance’ of the deceased.
What we witness has forever changed our lives. As the body was carried into the courtyard, high upon the shoulders of our Turkish brothers, spontaneous applause burst forth! I leaned over to my national friend and queried, “Is this normal for funerals in your culture?” “No,” he asserted, “it’s because he’s a martyr!” As the casket continued its journey toward the front, eternally beautiful worship music erupted - somewhat reminiscent of Gregorian chant. Then everyone joined together in the singing of Turkish praise songs. However, what followed nearly took our breath away! Approximately ten Turkish leaders proclaimed openly the gospel in front of television cameras, newspaper reporters, police officials, the Deputy Governor of Izmir and several other improtant officials. Fearlessly, yet with gentle strength each shared his faith in Christ, and his forgiveness of those who had committed the heinous murders! Additionally, they shared that Christ had won the victory, and at this very hour the martyrs were standing before the very throne of God! Several mentioned that the lives of these men were perhaps the seeds that must be planted in order for the harvest to come forth. One pastor passionately exclaimed, “We will spread this message, God’s Word, because we are children of the Word! You may kill us all, but we will spread this message, because we love you and because Jesus loves you! We forgive the attackers, because we too, have been forgiven.” Powerful applause, “Amens” and “Hallelujahs” erupted from among the scores of nationalities represented there! It was asesome!
However, what happened next…can only be explained by the supernatural love and strength that God alone can give. Spontaneously, in an unplanned moment– Necati’s wife asked if she could speak. “Amid her tears she spoke of her forgiveness of the very men who had tortured and killed her precious husband, and the father of her children! In an emotion filled voice, she asserted: “I know my Necati was praying for the, even while he was being tortured.” She also spoke of the wonderful love they shared as a family and their joy in serving the Lord together. Lastly, she stated, ” I loved my husband very, very much—but, I love my Jesus even more. And that is how I can face tomorrow.” Again thunderous applause burts forth! We were spell bound!
In the closing moments of this incredible service, one of the pastors shouted “Afferin Necati!!! Afferin Tilman!!! Afferin Ugur!!!—Which translated —”Well done, Necati!! Weee don, Tilman!! Well done Ugur!! We are certain the Lord echoed those same sentimentsm as he received those precious men into his heavenly kingdom!!! Then, as Necati’s body was lovingly ushered onward to it final resting place, applause and praise resonated throughout the garden! As we looked up, we noticed that the media stood utterly dumbfounded! We were quite certain they had never witnessed anything like this before. Yet, as believers were knew we had been in the very presence of the Lord! It seemed as if we had observed church history in the very making. Most importantly, we believe that the precious blood of these saints was not shed in vain, but will be used to further God’s kingdom in a manner that has not occurred since the time of the apostles! So let it be written—so let it be done!!!”
Now if that isn’t encouraging then I don’t know what is! The Kingdom of God spreads and stands firm no matter what the enemy does! The blood of the martyrs is definately not in vain! Amen!

Facing Facts

Last week a tragedy occurred. One of my co-workers committed suicide. Fortunatley for all of us it didn't happen at work. But still it was very impacting. Counselors were brought in. We all questioned ourselves...what could we have done...why didn't we see this coming...what could be so bad in a person's life that would cause them to kill themselves? It was a very quiet, introspective week. I, having experienced the affects of a family member who committed suicide, felt immediate empathy for his family. I know what they are feeling. I know they blame themselves. I know with time they will heal. My prayer is for healing to come quickly. I wrote an essay a number of years ago regarding my brothers death. Actually; it was for a class I took. Anyway; I am putting it on my blog in its original state. Maybe it will help someone in their own recovery.

Many families experience grief and heartache. My family is no exception. One of the tragedies that we have seen was the suicide of a brother. We grew up with a stepfather who was an alcoholic and was also abusive, both physically and verbally. My half brother John began to take on those characteristics. Fearing that he was becoming like his father, John took his own life. The impact of his suicide is still with us today.
It has been ten years since my brother killed himself. Most of the family has yet to come to terms with that fact. My mother, for example, still maintains the belief that he had gone camping and took a wrong turn(he drove off a cliff on Mount Lemon). She refuses to acknowledge the note he had left which stated his intentions. For her, it is easier to deny the truth rather than face reality.
Soon after his death, John's sister(my half sister) distanced herself from the rest of the family both emotionally and physically. She blamed the family for his suicide and then moved halfway across the United States. She now lives somewhere in Kansas, is married and has a child. Her goal, according to my mother, is to live happily ever after.
For me, it took several years to accept the fact that John was dead. I thought I had seen him several times at the grocery store, the Post Office, and on the street. We had a special relationship. He was my little brother and although we had different fathers we were very much alike. I went through a lot of pain and anger because of his actions. In the last year I have been able to face the facts, deal with that pain and anger and forgive him. It really has been a time of healing for me.
Nearly everyone experiences problems or loses in life. Some people can deal with this better than others. Suicide was my brother's way of escaping. Even though it has been several years since his death, most of the family continues to feel the after-affects.

The Begining

So I have started writing a blog. But really I haven't started writing yet. I just set up the account. I was inspired to do so when I read "The Bumbling Genius'" posts. They are very should read them! Anyway, I will start posting for real after finals are over. Come back just might read something interesting(hopefully).