The Seven Churches of The Revelation

"Stories in the Stones"

[click here to read!]




Jets and Cartwheels

A Wonder Women Day Trip

On a Rooftop In Morocco

High Spirits Haunted Tour
of Houston

Internet Romance



Bruce Springsteen
Ozzy Ozbourne
Lenny Kravitz
Roy Clark
Marilyn Manson
Amy Grant



She's Come Undone
The Hand I Fan With
Only Twice I've Wished For Heaven


The International Educator

February 2003

DoDDS Happenings

On a DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependent School) school grounds at a US Air Force base in Turkey, students take a break from their work to turn cartwheels as low-flying jets roar above.

Of jets and cartwheels

by Karen Strawn

There's a scene in the movie Pearl Harbor where American children are playing in a field while Japanese planes fly low overhead on their way to Pearl Harbor. It is a surreal scene that predicts without preparing for the historical tragedy that results.

I teach second grade on a US military base in Turkey. Everyday between 9:30-10am I take my students outside for break because I know this is when the US Air Force pilots do their work. Seeing the jets flying low overhead and hearing the deafening sound of the engines, I take pause from teaching in the classroom.

As I watch my students turn cartwheels and play "red rover" against the backdrop of one of America's closest Air Force bases to Iraq, I can't help but feel the eternal conflict between good and evil move right through me. The children are innocent and trusting against an enemy unknown, untouchable and inevitable. And I wonder, "Will they be okay?" My job is to focus on teaching and learning and to maintain a sense of normalcy for military families in a setting where mom wears chemical warfare gear to work and dad gets his eyebrows plucked for enhanced gas mask grounding.

The school provides stability for children in the midst of an unstable and threatening political environment where war is likely and change is unavoidable. I feel like I'm in the eye of a tornado - the calm before a storm. I'm not paralyzed with fear but becoming strong in courage. And I will need this courage to stand strong before my students and answer big questions from tiny voices, "Miss Strawn, will I see you again?" My morning break with jets and cartwheels is a surreal scene predicting without preparing for the historical tragedy that will result.





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