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Article Review: Humanities vs. STEM

A photo by Patrick Tomasso.

Recently, a concerned Cara Putman had shared an article about parents who discouraged their college-age children from selecting  a major within the humanities department. After reading the article about College Students & Humanities , I was also concerned.

Why would parents want to dissuade their children from the voracious love of learning literature, exploring the world of art and music, taking up the pen and writing? Although important, education and teaching are not the end-all thrust of a humanities major.

True, we live in a techno world and thrive on its savvy uses for daily living and business strategy. However, I’m not discrediting STEM courses at all — they are very important to our society and culture, with nearly the entire population online, conversing through social media, and we certainly need skilled engineers to build our buildings and create safe havens for us, scientists to preserve the validity of our universe, math geeks to keep the world organized, LOL, and tech-savvy people to help us when our computers are sick. What I am crediting is that there is still a need for both STEM and the humanities.

But if we don’t encourage today’s students to explore, study, and appreciate the humanities, how will future generations learn how to read, develop critical thinking skills, or pronounce a seventeen-letter word correctly? How will future generations own words and meaning for themselves? How will they fill out job applications accurately? How will they communicate? Surely we can’t have robots do all the work and succumb ourselves to a Wall-E world! 😉

As long as there are people, there shall be words, and there will be those who write them, read them, explain them because, to quote the most literary Book (even according to Richard Dawkins) in the world, the King James Bible, “The words of the Lord are pure,” (Ps. 12:6) and “they shall not return to me void.” (Isa. 55:11). In John 1:1, God was the Word itself; therefore, words have transcended time.

words ray bradbury you don't have to burn books

My favorite word-preserved fiction novel is Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In it, Bradbury preserves the beauty of words, books, and the art of thinking, and this was back in the 1960s. Without an appreciation for words, we die a slow and painful death — the death of leaving empty brains numb in a body shell.

Are most parents’ hopes for their children choosing a STEM major in college as a return on the parents’ investment a decline  on the value of books and writing and free, creative thinking? I may have struck a shaky string here, but I think it’s a topic worth reviewing. I’d love to hear your civil thoughts. 🙂

Photo Cred: & google


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Friday Fiction Book Review: Anchor in the Storm – Sarah Sundin


anchor in the storm book review

Book 2 in the Waves of Freedom series by Sarah Sundin. Once I opened to the first page, I couldn’t put this book down. Such a treasure of humor amid heartache, heroism, and when love comes from a heart that is focused on God. Sarah’s finest novel yet — well, they’re all wonderful — but this one left me with tears in my eyes.

Arch and Lillian fight inner battles with God and letting go of their own failures, until devastating events cause them to realize how important opening up to God really is. I love the depth of characters that adds to the depth of story. Over and over, I found myself nodding my head, saying, “Oh, that’s so true!” Sarah paints a realistic picture of what the heart really feels — and how much God can heal it.

I laughed, I cried, I gripped the edge of my seat with every page. And I can’t wait for the third installment — Quintessa Beaumont and Dan Avery!

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Historical Fiction Author Interview: Marie Sontag

Hello! Thanks for stopping by! I’m pleased to introduce historical fiction author, Marie Sontag, who, in the midst of the unexpected, refused to let her passion die.

Tisha: Hi, Marie! I’m glad you’ve decided to share your heart with us today! What compelled you to write historical fiction centered in WW2 Poland?

when god closes a door

Marie Sontag: “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” A friend had cross-stitched this phrase for me in 1978 when my hopes of teaching ESL in Poland were dashed. The Christian group that I worked with decided not to send me overseas due to health concerns. Having a Polish paternal grandfather, I felt called to touch the lives of those behind the Iron Curtain, knowing that many of them came from the same religious background I had inherited from my parents. Like myself for many years, I knew that many in Poland had “a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge” (Romans 10:2, NASB).

Stas’ in CA, 2008

Fast forward to 1996. Married to a wonderful husband and raising two boys, we opened our home for one year to a sixteen-year-old foreign exchange student from Warsaw, Poland.





Stas Oct 2016
Twenty years later, he still calls us Mom and Dad.Stas’ in CA, 2016

In 2008 we visited Stas’ and his family in Warsaw, and, in addition to visiting sites such as the Royal Castle. We also toured the Warsaw Rising Museum. That’s where I sensed God opening a window.




Tisha: This sounds fascinating! I love that you didn’t give up when your dream drowned, but that you used a disappointment to feed your desire. How did visiting the Warsaw Rising Museum lead to what you would write?

Poland, 2008

Marie:  One of the Rising Museum’s exhibits told how the Polish Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, ages 10-20, fought alongside the Polish Underground during a two-month suicidal effort called “The Rising” in order to drive the Germans from Warsaw. They hoped to show the Allies that they did not want their country turned over to the Communists at the end of WWII. Their hope for freedom did not materialize until 1989.

mail carriers
Mail carriers

I immediately knew I wanted to write the story of those brave scouts so that youth here in the US would know the heights of bravery others their age had reached, inspiring them to dig deep within themselves to find similar causes worthy of such courage. I uncovered research that told of brave ten-year-olds serving as mail couriers carrying illegal Polish newspapers through the occupied streets of Warsaw. I learned of courageous twelve-year-old girls sloshing through fetid sewers to carry ammunition to various parts of the besieged city, and twenty-year-old scout leaders blowing up railroad tracks to prevent German tanks from reaching the eastern front. Using this research, I wove the information into a young adult historical fiction novel titled, Rising Hope.


Tisha: Thanks so much for sharing your passion, Marie! I’ve learned a bit about Poland, too! Readers, if you’re interested, please check out Marie’s website and follow her on social media. Plus, read the thrilling novel, Rising Hope, that was born out of a simple love trip to Poland!

What are some doors that have closed for you? Have you found your open window yet?

Reviews for Hope Rising


Rising Hope tells this story through the eyes of fictional scouts whose lives intersect with historical figures. Reviewers have said, “Rising Hope is a thrilling young adult novel that tells the story of the Polish Scouts’ involvement in the Warsaw Rising against the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1944.” – The Sarmatian Review

Julian Kulski, age ten when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, and twelve when he joined Warsaw’s fight against them, was the son of the Polish mayor of Warsaw in 1939. Now seventy-seven, Kulski states, “Rising Hope is an homage to all Polish teenagers who fought the German evil so bravely during WWII. A must read.” – Kulski, author of The Color of Courage

Rising Hope Book Trailer:


About Marie Sontag

me_2012 copy

Marie Sontag loves to bring history to life through historical fiction. With a BA, MA and PhD in education, she has taught middle school for over 15 years. She has written a middle grade series “Ancient Elements” that takes place in Ancient Mesopotamia, and book 1 of a young adult series, Rising Hope, placing readers alongside Boy Scouts and Girl Guides who helped the Polish Underground fight the Germans during WWII.

Connect with Marie through her website website

and on Facebook:

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With Every Letter: Sundin Book Review

With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale, #1)With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this novel because of the research and plot. But more importantly, the message within the plot left me satisfied and with a truth about self-acceptance that I will always carry with me. Well worth the read — for enjoyment, spiritual encouragement, and historical details. Looking forward to more books from Sarah!
What books have you enjoyed from Sarah and why?

View all my reviews