Monday, April 25, 2011


"Sir, you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English.
My ex-employer the late Mr. Ashok's ex-wife, Pinky Madam, taught me one of these things;  and at 11:32am. today, which was about ten minutes ago, when the lady on All India Radio announced, "Premier Jiambo is coming to Bangalore next week," I said that thing at once.

In fact, each time when great men like you visit our country, I say it."

-The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga, Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize

This, then, is an update from recent blogposts about events of the past two weeks, for all of you who have cared, asked, wondered, and prayed.  I will, if you will forgive, remain true to the "bullet points" used in the PowerPoint World of the American Education System. 

I have learned:

  • Treat people well, every person. In the work place, on the street, and in your own family, find a wayplace to reward:  a hug, a tear, a card, a prayer. Take a chance and hug someone who may not know how to immediately deal with it.
  • No matter what happens to YOU. Never compromise your beliefs. E.V.E.R.  Never, ever.
  •  Love the people that led you to the place where you are and rely on them to support you in the darkness and brightness of Change. 
  • Surprise yourself with dignity. 
  • When someone says, "What can I do to help?"  Take it.  It will be the best "Thank you." you've ever said.
So many people from work have contacted us.  Longtime heroes.  Worried for me and my Tom.  All of you. People we've met only in the past year or so.  Friends from the recent past, with whom Tom and I have shared disimilar grief.  Old school roomies from college.  My brother and sister who know everything will work out okay, because that is what we Miller's do best: Overcome.

Tom and I are doing okay.  Treating each other well and working through this.  Thank you for your ongoing thoughts and prayers.

"Not the least of my problems is that I can hardly even imagine what kind of an experience a geniune, self-authenticating religious experience would be.  Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt?  If there were no room for doubt,
there would be no room for me." 
-Frederick Buechner

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Too Much Power, Too Little Knowledge

"Effective close of business April 15, 2011, your services as a KBE/KDE Division Director are no longer needed by the Kentucky Department of Education."
-Education Letterhead
Steven L. Beshear, Governor
Terry Holiday, Ph. D., Commissioner of Education

"To my grandson, Michael J. Miller, who is a good teacher, an outstanding actor, and an excellent dancer.  He can go to the top if given the chance.  My hope and prayer for Michael is that the Movie industry or television systems or both will find him and give him a chance to show his talents to the world."
-Autographed Copy
Douglas F. Miller, Rain in the Lyle Hollow, his first published work
Superintendent of Estill County Schools for eighteen years
Community Leader of America Award, 1968
Integrity Award from Eastern Kentucky University
Special Recognition from the Crippled Children's Association for fifteen years of continuous service

As I transition from my now former position as a leader in public education at the state level for decades, I think I'll choose my late Grandfather's wisdom and choose to carry with me in a very weather-tight tote. And the overwhelming support of parents, students, family members and colleagues I have had the priviledge to serve with and alongside along the way.

Kentucky was, and will again be, a great place to teach and learn alongside our most precious resource:  the children.... of coal miners, immigrant workers, suburban soccer dads, NextGen families, homeless cramped victims of the American dream who want nothing less but the same opportunities that should be the birthright of every human being in a free society:  the will and support to question, learn, and explore the secrets of the future we adults preparing for their future cannot yet know.

"The trouble was the familiar one: too much power, too little knowledge.  The fault was mine."
-Wendell Berry, Damages