Standing Out

Praying Mantis (standing out) 1.1 Midlo Backyard Sept 16, 2018 copy

Standing out in one’s field may be a career advantage, but standing out for a praying mantis may not be as advantageous. [North Texas setting, Sept 16, 2018.]

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The Existential Gap in Texas K-12 Public Education

Existential Gap in Texas Public SchoolsIn Texas’s K-12 Public Education System, there is an Existential Gap (EG) in its formal curricula. The biggest of life’s questions are not addressed and generally not acknowledged.

I do not suggest that life’s biggest questions be addressed or acknowledged in Texas’s schools. However, I do suggest that there are consequences in not formally addressing or acknowledging the big questions of life.

First, what are some of life’s biggest questions? This list is in no particular order and it is far from definitive. Despite its shortcomings, it does provide an understanding to what is being discussed.

  • Does God exist?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • What is the meaning or purpose to life, my life?
  • Is there life after death?

Another question relates to what the Texas Education Agency (TEA) supports as stated in its strategic plan:

The TEA works to improve the outcomes for all public school students in the state by providing leadership, guidance, and support to schools systems working toward the vision that every child in Texas is an independent thinker and graduates prepared for success in college, a career, or the military, and as an engaged, productive citizen.

All of that which TEA supports in the above statement is important, very important, but, is there more to life than success in college, a career, or the military? Is there more to life than being an independent thinker and an engaged, productive citizen? To bring the two questions into one:

  • “Is there more to life than that which TEA provides leadership, guidance, and support?”

The answer is yes.

When life’s biggest questions are not addressed or acknowledged, then the unintended consequences are that they are supplanted by all that a public education can formerly offer: education and government. A point to make the case: Is there more than that, that is education and government, in TEA’s strategic plan?

This article is not a complaint leveled at TEA or any of the good people who work in Texas’s school systems. This article is instructional. What is not taught – life’s biggest questions – matters and has consequences.


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Beauty In The World

Monarch 13.1 Midlo Backyard Oct 14, 2018.jpg

Beauty in the world: A monarch butterfly enjoying nectar from a milkweed in a North Texas setting (Oct 14, 2018).

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Beauty In The World

Mamatus Clouds 1.2 May 14, 2018 Near Ft. Stockton, TX copy

In southern Texas, rain is a big deal. On May 14, 2018, near Ft. Stockton, TX, locally isolated rain was a possibility.

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Beauty In The Universe: The Milky Way

Milky Way 2.2.1 (postcard) Big Bend National Park May 16, 2018 copy

I am blessed to live in Texas where there are many places that one can still see with the naked eye, and in this case photograph, the Milky Way. I still need to travel several hours to see it, but viewing this heavenly wonder can be done.

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Beauty In The World: Spider

Spider 1.1 Midlo Backyard June 26, 2018

In our backyard, is the beginning of a butterfly garden. Of course, more than just butterflies and moths inhabit and/or visit the area. It’s a blessing to be able to spend a little time each morning to observe the wonders in the garden and take a photograph or two. Today (June 26, 2018), I saw for the first time this spider on a butterfly bush busy at knitting a web.

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A Rainbow In The Desert

Rainbow 2.5 Big Bend National Park May 14, 2018 copy 2

Earlier this summer (2018), I was in the parking lot of the Chisos Mountains Lodge (Big Bend National Park, Texas) taking photographs of a rare sight: a rainbow in the desert.

A few other people were in the parking lot, too, but none looking at this special weather event.

Parking lots are important, and seeing what I saw makes me no better of a person than anyone else. Yet it does suggest a question, “Are you looking for a rainbow in the desert?”

It’s worth it; they do exist.

Best wishes as you search for your rainbow in the desert.



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