Table of contents for Journal Project
I teach Rhetoric 2 to sophomores at Logos School here in Moscow, Idaho, and every year around this time, I assign the (now famous) Journal Project. The Journal Project consists of 30 days of journal entries on the same topic. The students are given one day off each week, so we complete the Journal Project over the course of five weeks (writing six days each week). Only this year my students asked me to do the Journal Project with them. So here we go… My topic is my family.
My girls are fierce. That’s the only kind we make. When I hear my daughter on the playground unloading into one of the poor neighborhood boys who has happened unknowingly into the six foot perimeter of the slide she is on, well, it just brings a certain warmth to my heart. Then my wife nudges me and reminds me that in our culture a little girl screaming at the top of her lungs is little over the top and unladylike. I concede the point and make my way to the slide to assure her that the kid in question is not a terrorist or likely to do anything harmful, sinful, or outright dangerous. She quiets down, but only reluctantly and with a look on her face that indicates she is highly suspicious and doubtful. She thinks I’m rather too idealistic about strangers.
I think there is something holy about being fierce. Holiness is a certain kind of ferocity. Now I grant that my daughters don’t have the timing down. They need coaching and direction, and for the record, I really don’t encourage them to go around shrieking at people who give them bad vibes. Nor am I trying to claim that they are especially holy. But when God came down on Sinai it was a pretty terrifying experience. When the Spirit-glory filled the tabernacle and later the temple, no one could go near it. It was loud and blaring and threatening. I like that about my girls. They are not easily won or easily convinced. Their first instinct is to guard their space.
I have a picture of one of my daughters at around one years old crouching in the goalie net on a floor hockey court. She’s sucking on a pacifier, but her eyes say she’ll tear the big boy in front of her limb from limb. I love that picture. There’s a certain peacefulness in her stance, a certain firmness in her cheeks, chewing the pacifier like a mouth guard. I want my girls to be fierce. I want them to be determined, driven, unrelenting, intimidating.
I didn’t know this when the first one arrived. She came home from the hospital and let me in on it. She announced that she was here now, and by the way, watch out. And I was immediately in love.