September 23, 1998
Some students go to a museum of art or a symphony to “get cultured.” But, in a much different way, I have already been cultured and continue to experience the affects of what my culture is in nearly everything I think, say, and do.
An individualized work ethic and desire for purpose in the things I do has been ingrained into me. I gathered a purpose-oriented mind-set from the individualized learning and studying I did at the Christian school I attended and the farm where I was raised. With this mind-set, I get many things accomplished, but sometimes I wonder if I am not merely doing “things” for the sake of doing them. While I enjoy people and working with them very much, if I’m not doing something or going somewhere with a purpose I feel uncomfortable and out of my “cultural zone.” Continue reading
School has been an issue which the Amish have come into conflict not with each other but with state and local governments.
In Elmer Schwieder and Dorothy Schwieder’s book A Peculiar People: Iowa’s Old Order Amish, the Schwieders document the conflicts between state officials and Amish families over the compulsory education issue. The 1960’s began a series of fines, jail terms, and court cases. In Iowa’s Buchanan County the school superintendent, J. J. Jorgensen, filed complaints against the Amish school leaders for sending their children to unapproved schools.
After a series of fines and the October 28, 1963 judgment of District Judge George Heath that the Amish are not exempt from such school requirements, the conflict rose to a rapid climax. It was the fall of 1965 when the Amish defendants refused to pay the $24 fines and it became obvious the soon Amish land would have to be confiscated and sold which would eventually ruin the area economy. Continue reading