At the start of this year, I had a goal of getting into an Early College program so I can graduate high school early and have a head start on college. I didn’t have many options when looking for such a program in Arizona, especially since we live in a city that is like an island. I narrowed it down to two programs, the Move On When Ready program and a local community college’s First Step program.
The Move On When Ready program focuses on you graduating from high school when you’re ready. After your sophomore year in high school, you can take a test to see if you can graduate from high school. If you pass, you receive the Grand Canyon Diploma that says you have met the requirement for high school. The First Step program is where a high school student can take classes for the summer semester, and still attend high school. In the end, I decided I would do the First Step program. Mostly because going to school always seemed like a fantasy, rather than a reality. I really wanted to get the school experience and find out what my friends say I miss not going to school.
So I started to gather as much information that I could about the program, then I told my parents and they were fine with the idea. The process of getting started wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be overall. I filled out the First Step form, then went to the campus to take my placement test. The placement test was what I was worried about mostly. Even though you cannot fail the placement test, I thought I might get a low enough score that I would not be able to join. I cannot speak of what was on the test, but I did do well. I then met with an advisor and he told me all about college and what classes I should take. So now I’m taking three classes for the summer to start my college adventure in late May.
Most people, including me, have wondered who the pharaoh of Exodus was, but the book does not mention the Pharaoh whose heart was always hardened. Throughout this post, I want to give more insight on this subject.
In the book of Exodus, God sends Moses to free the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt, and the Israelites had to endure 40 years of wandering in the wilderness before they could enter the Promised Land. First, when was the book of Exodus written? Some people think that the book of Exodus was written in 1446 B.C, while others believe that it was written around the year 1260 BC.
The reason that some people believe that the book of Exodus was written in 1260 B.C, is because they argue that in Exodus 1:11 Israel was working on a city called Rameses, and this points to the Exodus occurring during the reign of Rameses II. This could be true because Rameses II built a temple that was carved out of a hill. He became king of Egypt in 1394 BC and ruled for 66 years. He built the city of Pi-Rameses in the swamplands of the Delta. This city became the new capital of Egypt. In Kush, he built two rock cut temples of Abu Simbel. During his reign he had a problem with the Hittites, this state threatened Egypt’s Asian interests. So a battle took place in 1389 BC in Syria. He could possibly be one of the pharaohs that existed at the time of Moses, but the only evidence I found was the city he built.
There is evidence that Thutmose III (1485-1431) was ruling during the time of Moses because his mummy is the only one to predict plagues that spread through the Egyptian and Hittite empires. Plus his first born son, Amenemhet, died before he could take over for his father. Some people think Amenemhet died because of the tenth plague. So his second son, Amenhotep II, took over the throne. It is also said that his stepmother Hatshepsut was the one that found Moses in the river and that Thutmose II, her husband, was the Pharaoh when Moses fled to Midian for killing an Egyptian.
There is no way of knowing for sure of who was ruling during that time because of limited information, plus we do not know for sure whether the dates for Pharaohs are correct. But I hope this helped you get a better understanding of what pharaohs were around during the time of Moses.
Today it has been one year since my father-in-law (FIL) made his transition to eternity. My wife wanted to spend the day at the city zoo because that was one of the places he would meet her and the kids during the day for outings. I took the day off of work, gave the kids the day off of school (reason, 32,499 to homeschool), and dedicated this as a memorial day for his life, especially because it has been a year after his passing.
Make Your Own Family Holidays and Memorial Days
Monday, my main hustle gave us the day off to honor President’s Day. I decided to work and take today off instead. First, History.com describes Presidents day as, “Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.” Personally, I’ve never been a fan of celebrating someone who would have me working on the plantation as a slave if they were alive today, and my family does not celebrate many of this nation’s holidays because they really are not for us. It is said that Mr. Washington “owned” over 300 “slaves” at the time of his death. After he died, I’m sure he had a good reason before the Creator of Man how he could own something that he did not create, and whether or not he treated them justly as human beings. Therefore, we ignored this day (notice that as with most “holidays” as well, honoring the person isn’t the primary reason, but monetary gain to the nation), and decided to give a day to someone who really meant something in our lives.
I would like to encourage all of the Furious Fathers to consider doing the same. First, consider some significant days in your life or the anniversary dates of impactful moments and people in your life. Maybe it’s the birth/death of your parents or friends that are no longer with us. Maybe it’s the anniversary of a significant family event or for some men, just taking their kid’s birthdays off would be a great start. Whatever you can find, I encourage you to give it a try. This is a great time for the family to come together in the evening for a meal, and reflect on why the day is special, handing down memories and lessons from the one honored or from an event, all with the intention of helping shape your family’s present and future.
Seven Lessons from My Father-In-Law
On that note, allow me to share with you seven lessons that I learned from my father-in-law, as I reflected on our relationship today.
If the Good Lord woke you up, it’s a good day – In the final years of his life, as I think he began to see that he did not have the energy and ability to do what he once did, I would ask my FIL how he was doing and his response was always, “The Good Lord woke me up this morning, so that makes it a good day.” How we love to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” or immediately allow ourselves to get swept up in the cares of a day and thinking life is so miserable, never just being thankful that if our eyes opened, the day is good. That certainly doesn’t mean that we smile with joy when bad things happen or life does not seem to be waiting like a towel when we get out the morning shower to not dry us off, but add more water, the last thing we need. That just means that if you have the mental ability to know that it is another day (and not all people have this ability), it is off to a good start. This is truly a glass-half-full mindset. My FIL had an apartment in one of the more swanky cities in the area, known for being liberal, having a small downtown to party in, and trendy restaurants, but he lived on the 11th floor and could see above the city’s tree line and would not move from that location. He had his view to see the sun come up in the east, and the ability to go sit on the corner and people watch, and he had seen that town change so much in all the years he lived and worked in the same area. He found contentment in the “little” things we often take for granted, the real treasures that make each day a good day.
You are never too old to change – When my FIL first heard about this so-called Black guy dating his daughter, he put down an edict that still has ramifications to this day. He said I was not allowed to come over to his house. I guess he felt superior as a hard-working so-called White man that the thought of his daughter being interested in someone Black after having her born and raised away from Black people, and the fact that this guy was working a dead-end job and already had a child, didn’t help as well. Needless-to-say, the latter two I’d have a problem with if my daughters were dating someone in the demographic. But over the years, I guess as he saw I was still in his daughter’s life after many years and was not afraid of him in any way, he seemed to change. Now this change wasn’t (at least outwardly) the usual go-along-to-get-along because my FIL never seemed much like that, but one that seemed genuine after his ideology was challenged and what seemed like some introspection on his part. Obviously, the fact that I am blogging about him right now says much, and after a few meetings, we quickly become quite close. I think he respected me and knew I respected him, even if we disagree with each other’s position on a topic, more we also discovered that we had so much in common and, as most father’s learned, his daughter may have married a man just like him despite being completely opposite in skin color. In the last decade of his life, my FIL and I grew pretty close, and at family events, we talked constantly. When he stopped attending those, I pretty much did as well! Our relationship was then built outside his immediate family, and sometimes he would call and we would talk for minutes (cause y’all know ole dudes don’t stay on the phone for hours) and when he came the kid’s games and over for holidays, we would talk more than he would talk to my wife…even about race! Perhaps it was having grandchildren. Perhaps it was God. I’m not sure what is was, but this guy seemed to do a complete 180 and it has taught me that some leopards do change their spots, even at an old age.
Attend EveryGame – One reason our relationship strengthened so much was because of the amount of time we spent together. This was not a planned meet-up, but because he always wanted to be at my kids’ ball games to support them. He was at the baseball games and basketball games, even the dance recitals which no man wants to sit through! I can’t recall a time he left early or arrived late, he was just always there. During that time, I heard many stories, and I loved the sports stories the most, as he was alive to see Willie Mays (and my FIL was a serious baseball fan) and Ted Williams. When he said Ted Williams was his favorite player, but Willie Mays was the best player to play the game, that statement had weight to me. When he criticized today’s players and spoke of problems in the game, I knew it was with the knowledge that would match any ESPN analyst with Google right at their fingertips to do research. He would often tell me that he knew the starting line-up of the 1957 Detroit Tigers, but not what he did last week. A feeling I now know very well, as I can name the starting line-up of the 1983 California Angels but struggle to nearly everything else in my life as well. When he attended, he just wanted them to know he was there and he never criticized their game, just that they were playing hard. After every game, regardless of the outcome, they came over for their high-five and “good game!” I don’t think they will realize the effort it takes to have that kind of attendance record until they have to make the effort to go watch their kids and grandkids play, no matter you feel or “meaningless” the game.
Always Be Teaching and Learning – Whether it be a game, family gathering or phone conversation, my FIL was always learning something and teaching. Looking back, like many men of his generation that did not complete his high school education, he never made it to high school. So I think he made it a priority to always be learning something new to cover up any lack of knowledge people might perceive that he had when speaking to him. He seemed to know quite a bit about nearly anything and if he knew I was into a particular topic, we would see each other the next time and he had some info for me. He was always teaching some lesson or sharing how some event from the past will visit us again in the future. But he could be in this position because he was always learning. For his birthday, he loved to get a gift certificate to the bookstore. He gave me boxes and boxes of books that he picked up from the Salvation Army for $1.00 or less, and the topics consisted of sports, philosophy, religion, reference material and on and on. He seemed so proud that we were homeschooling the children and even more proud of what we were teaching them and the people they were becoming. No one on either side of my family was as much of a champion for my kid’s education than he was, and he was so optimistic at their future because they were out of the system.
“Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later” – Dave Ramsey said it, but my FIL truly lived it. If you would have met my FIL and heard of his shopping habits, you’d think he was an elder man that was barely getting by. Quite the contrary. Where did he shop? The Salvation Army or any second-hand store that had deals. He’d bring bags over all the time with nothing but the free stuff he received from the drugstore with coupons. Some items had expired, some we still have, and some we gave away, but he viewed it as, “Hey, it’s free, so I figured someone could use it.” He drove around so long in a plain white rental-car-looking Ford Focus. He put approximately 2,000 miles a year on the odometer. Now, it wasn’t that he didn’t like or couldn’t afford a more flashy car, as he always wanted to have an Audi R8 and lamented often how he had to get rid of that ’67 Camaro with a stick because my wife’s baby seat was on the floor next to my MIL and he couldn’t drive it without hitting her seat. But he kept saying, “I cannot see paying that much money for a car I’d never drive. I can take the bus if I really need to go downtown, and the car I have takes me anywhere else I need to go just fine.” He loved to chat about the press cars I’d bring home and would give me car mags he bought from the store with good articles. But if it did not make fiscal AND practical sense, there was no purpose in him parting with his cash. So he kept that flip-phone till the end.
Being alone for a man is not something to fear but embrace – My in-laws divorced shortly after my FIL retired. Many men I know at my age cannot stand to be alone, let alone a man that had been married for three decades. But he seemed to take pride in being a bachelor, with his “pad”, frugal life, and discovering new dishes that he could make and eat in his crock pot. Sometimes as men, I think that we avoid and fear of being alone after many years of marriage, so we jump right back into another relationship for more security. However, I think he was an excellent example of how to be content with one’s own thoughts, failures, and dreams. Dr. Robert Glover of No More Mr. Nice Guy says that we as men need to know that no matter what, we will be okay and we can handle it. It is a lesson I’m still learning.
We all have to die someday – In a few weeks, it will also be one year marking the time my FIL and I were to meet again. I saw him in January of 2016 when visiting the old neighborhood and I honestly thought that due to the short notice, he would not meet with me. My FIL took each day as it came, so if he wasn’t in the mood to chat and chill, it’s a no go. Surprise visits were even worse, as he has always been an early to bed and early to rise guy. But turned out, not only did my short notice not matter, he really wanted to see me. It was like he knew it was the last time we would see each other. When kicked it in his place for quite a while and even though I knew the doctor’s opinion was that his months may be numbered, his spirit and zest said otherwise. When I asked him how he was doing, he said that, “You know, this is tough, but hey, we all have to die someday.” I then asked about his relationship with God and he said he was at peace with his Maker, knew where he was going and was ready to go. During his battle with cancer, knowing that we had to die someday seemed to make him appreciate just one more day so much more. He said, “That Good Lord has given me a lot of years and a great life, great kids, great grandkids, a job I enjoyed, you know, what do I have to complain about?” I left his place saying that I would be back in March when I had to return to speak at an event. He said to definitely come back by and see him, but I didn’t know if he would make that meeting myself. I left his presence with tears in my eyes and basically saying to him how much I appreciated all of the things you get to read about right now. As a man who admitted to making many mistakes in his life, and some that he paid the price for till the end, I wanted him to know that our finish after a horrendous start is something I will never forget and truly shows God’s grace to the two of us. Ever humbly accepted and agreed, and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing, because it’s my kids show that it is working. But I told him that he played a huge part of that as well, and it was one of the few times the old guy got speechless. I think we both parted ways unsure if that meeting, just less than two months away, would ever take place. I left having nothing unsaid to him, as who knows, I could have died instead. He at least seemed to be relieved at our honest exchange. All hearts were clear because we all have to die someday.
I don’t know.
Now I wonder, what DO I have to complain about?
That’s why we honor my FIL today and it’s good to think about the wisdom he passed down to me.
Other meaningless holidays come and go, but tomorrow, I’ll wake up thinking, “Thank you Good Lord for waking me up, and giving me a good day.”
Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you are not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe.
First of all, let me thank one of our followers on Facebook over in the U.K. for the recommendation to review When We Ruled by Robin Walker. I certainly hope to hear more from them as they have some great insight on homeschooling in another country!
Now, how many textbooks have you had during your school career that really changed your life? Let me tell you, When We Ruled has the power to not only change your kid’s life, but your life as well as the reader and teacher. As a college graduate, I know more about Greek Mythology, European History, non-African languages, overall more about so many other groups than my own! If knowledge was an identity test, I honestly could not call myself an African-American. But Robin Walker’s work is definitely upping my knowledge game.
So far, this book is a true textbook with over 700-pages of not just text, but photos, maps, and notes as well. When I found out that he also put together a When We RuledStudy Guide and Reading Plan, that put the icing on the cake and makes it a must have in the curriculum of a homeschooled child. Dare I say any homeschooled child, regardless of ethnicity? If science has admitted that all life originated from Africa, then why would this work be excluded? Sadly, because it is about Africa (and not fitting into the usual narrative of spear-chucking and half-naked people) and has a so-called Black author, I’m sure it would be dismissed by many and that is a sad shame.
As you can see below, the study guide assigns a certain number of pages each day along with Test Yourself Questions, to bring out the main points of each chapter. I love how Walker uses study techniques like re-reading a chapter, having students study the picture and the caption, and will even ask a question forcing the reader to understand how certain positions stand or get refuted in modern history.
Now this is just part one of a series of posts we plan to do on When We Ruled. I have discovered quite a few different ways to apply the historical lessons from this book into bible and science as well. Therefore, the knowledge gets applied and reinforced, you know, the same way it is in traditional school when you learn that the Greeks and the Romans perfected language, knowledge, teaching, philosophy, medicine, fitness, the heavenly bodies, the days of the week, religion, and the list goes on and on!
But Robin Walker forces us to ask, “was what I learned in school correct?”
And that brings me to my last point. I have read some that question the history that Robin Walker outlines. Of course, I think all things should be tested and if false, rejected regardless of the source. However, much of the criticism that I have read thus far are similar to other arguments that I have heard made about African history which basically say, “there is no way African people could have been that smart”.
In The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered, Salim Faraji speaks of the scholarly work done in the early 1900’s that debunked the narrative about Africa and the people and the racism they faced as other scholars would not accept their views (so much for the Ivory Tower being so liberal right?) William Leo Hansberry was the first academician in the United States to teach courses on African history in the 1920s, but was told by one of his mentors that, “I do not believe that Negroes founded these great civilizations. You are a brilliant student Hansberry, but you are a product of our civilization”. (The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered, pg. 25)
My point? All of our lives we have been taught to never question what the Dominant Society tells us about ourselves, no matter how racist their worldview, but we will doubt knowledge from those who have no ax to grind. Or put another way, why do we always think someone else’s ice is colder?
If you are interested in any of the books mentioned in this article, click on any of the images below.
But a man who deserves to be right up there with them in my opinion (as he is one of my never-met-mentors) can be heard below on the Edge of Sports with Dave Zirin.
While this is one of Dr. Edward’s shorter interviews on the Edge of Sports, the fire is just as fierce and one I recommend having the kids sit down and listen to if you are wondering:
“What do I tell them about this country after the election?”
“How should we look at today and tomorrow?”
“Does it really matter if you vote or not?”
This is a terrific homeschool lesson for kids 10 and up who can have a bit of an understanding and really know who Colin Kaepernick is and the controversy and conversation surrounding his stance on standing for the so-called National Anthem. Dr. Edwards even gives his opinion on whether he thinks Kap was correct by not voting and stating his position publicly.
If you use this lesson for History, Sociology, Psychology, Civics or anything else, definitely let us know we would love to hear the kind of questions the kids asked and where the conversation went.
In many homes, there was lamenting, shock, and awe. But may I encourage us all to take this opportunity to gather the family together and come up with a strategy on how to navigate over the next four to eight years. Neely Fuller gives nine areas of activity that make a perfect starting point for the discussion. A family strategy in these areas will go a long way towards making your family “politic proof”. Mental freedom isn’t given by the White House, but in Our House.
Frances Cress Welsing passed away Jan. 2016, but she lived just long enough to understand what was going down. Which is why I’m baffled as to why some are shocked. She understood how real race-baiting goes down.
Evangelicals are now talking prayer and unity. But please know, that if you research the so-called evangelical church in America, one group, and it wasn’t the “black-side”, was more than happy with the divide. This is why as a group the majority was in support of (as they point out with abortion, silence, is support) Jim Crow segregation, the KKK, segregated churches, institutional racism, sexism, etc..
Sadly, it would have made my heart glad to see evangelicals not support either candidate and I would have had respect for that decision. But I have to wonder, since we like to say, “lesser of two evils”, if the decision was between the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet, which do you choose? After Tuesday, all of the Left Behind Pre-Trib loving folks seemed to just “take the mark”, letting an evil system (logically, how can you have evil choices but a good system?) dictate their choices, something I’m sure they claim they’d never do.
The Colin Kaepernick protest sparked all kinds of discussions in my household over the past week and as it should, spilled right on over into our homeschool lessons. Colin’s decision to not stand during the National Anthem, the comments by anonymous NFL owners, and the reaction by the public and the media, had us breaking it down to a few questions:
Are you ready to launch the school year when the “light” drops?
A new school year is about to begin, so what subjects have you chosen for your kids to use this year? Allow me to share with you some of our plans as we’ve heated up the tires, staged, and I think we are ready to go!
We are undergoing another year of “life-study” this year. Last year, we made a cross-country move in the first half of the school year and it was a nightmare. September – November featured flying across the U.S. to find a home, pack, move, unpack, and all the related stress and financial cost. Of course, the “money-making” job never slowed its difficulties, so it was quite a trying time. Getting schoolwork together was extra hard and this year, as we search to move somewhere permanent, looks to be very similar. The only good part is that moving across town is a piece of cake compared to thousands of miles!
That said, I am very excited about the classes I have lined up for three of the kids this school year. I’ll share some of my plans with you (so feel special) and please let me know if you have questions on why I may have chosen some topics over others if you want to know more. While life may be busy, I feel like this is such a pivotal year for all of the kids and have some books that will give them knowledge and wisdom for a lifetime.