Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

May 21, 2013

WHOLE FAMILY: I guess if someone has to be last, why not me?

Summer two years ago, I sat in a dense microbiology course as I angled for admission to nursing school. My grade in the class could make me or break me, and I was nervous. Relatively new to the sciences, I studied hard for the first test — nursing a 3-month-old baby while juggling note cards (or juggling a 3-month-old baby while nursing note cards, I don’t remember).

Before showing us our completed tests, the professor wrote the overall class grades on the board: Highest, 95; lowest, 65. Average, somewhere in the middle. When she passed out our tests, I was mortified to see “65” on mine. Not only was that an essentially failing grade, but it also was the lowest in the class.

Bottom-of-the-pile, back-of-the-line, lowest-on-the-list LAST.

I worked really hard not to cry. Failed at that too.

In recent months I’ve again been a winner at finishing last. Not academically, where I do decently, but at the CrossFit gym where I enjoy learning new ways to make my body strong.

Likely no one even notices that my times for completing a given workout are lowest-on-the-list last, and I get a lot of praise for just finishing and encouragement to persevere. When I commented recently on my slowest-of-everybody time, the trainer said, “Yeah, but you’re faster than the guy sitting home on the couch.” Much appreciated perspective, and she has a wealth of it.

But finishing last makes me think about myself, about my children and how to teach and train them, about how comparison and competition can be useful and harmful. About how the drive to finish NOT lowest on the list can motivate and devastate. About the question, “Is there a place for ‘healthy’ competition?”

Raising our children, my husband and I have largely avoided most compare-and-compete activities for them. They’re not in an academic setting where they can be best or worst in the class. They’re not in sports where the goal is to “kill” or “annihilate” opponents.

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Life
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  • Briefly GOSHENCripe reunion set for Aug. 16Anyone with an ancestor who was a Cripe is invited to attend the Cripe reunion Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Goshen Church of the Brethren, 1200 Berkey Ave. in Goshen.At 10 a.m., speaker Jerry Cripe will giv

    July 28, 2014

  • stephanie price column sig WHOLE FAMILY: Adapting a pledge I can truly honor “I solemnly pledge myself … in the presence of this assembly to practice my profession faithfully. I will safeguard my clients and the public when health care and safety are at stake. I vow to adhere to the legal and ethical principles of the profess

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  • THE NATURALIZED MID-AMERICAN: Master wood craftsman shows the inner beauty of trees I am still surprised by the beauty I see in these lengths of wood, and suppose I always will be. They are testament to the carefully-wrought, intricate, and deep craft of creation. They are testament to Don’s generous craftsmanship, too — for which I am very grateful — which was an expression of the joyful Craft that created him. He and those beautiful boards were cut from the same living tree.

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  • Briefly ELKHART‘Dog Daze of Summer’ Aug. 2The Pillars of Elkhart will host the fourth annual Dog Daze of SummerAug. 2 from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Civic Plaza in downtown Elkhart. Dog Daze will feature two local bands, High Gravity and MR Z Band. Hot Dog vendors

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  • GN140726 Queen Kaahumanu GLOBAL FAITHS: Hawaiians' conversion to Christianity helped women A recent trip to Hawaii to visit family drew my attention again to Hawaiian religion. Original Hawaiians are Polynesians who came to Hawaii from Tahiti, Samoa, Easter Island and other Pacific islands between 500 and 1300 A.D. These Hawaiians were polytheists who worshiped and built shrines to various nature deities. But on the big island of Hawaii they came to revere especially Pele, the fierce and violent goddess of volcanoes.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briefly SYRACUSEThe Book of Job presentation Aug. 1The public is invited to experience the Book of Job at a one-man dramatization by the Rev. Dave Marty Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the auditorium of the Oakwood Resort Event Center, 702 E. L

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  • THE PLAIN SIDE: A hunter finds his delight in God's nature with deer There, in the grass, lies a 12-point buck that the neighbor hit with his van. You quickly estimate the deer at 170 or better. No way. You ask a few tight-lipped questions and yes, the driver affirms the direction the deer was going. He points a still

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