Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Blessing

So I can't say that I was planning on writing a blog on Christmas Eve wishing you all a happy holiday season, but I came across this blessing by chance (and I'm guessing that it's fairly well known), but I liked it so much that I decided to share it. Enjoy and know that it comes from my deepest and warmest wishes for each of you not only now when holiday greetings are so abundant, but always throughout the year. Maybe you should come back to this post in the middle of July when you need a mid-year pick-me-up blessing. :-)

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, And rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What a gip...

So it's supposed to snow here. (Or as the weather man said last night..."I've only talked about blizzard-like conditions once before. This may be the second time...") It's really supposed to snow here. From every brightly colored map and NEWS FLASH weather update, we're in the heaviest part of it's-really-supposed-to-snow-here.

Because I was frantically warned last night at 11:00 (whoo hoo! I stayed up late on a Friday night! But It's a Wonderful Life was on, and I couldn't turn that one down. I think that that was the first time that I actually teared up while watching it.) that snow was IMMINENT and COMING and MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PROVISIONS RIGHT NOW by the aforementioned weather man, I begrudgingly grabbed Ben and also begrudgingly went to the store. My master plan was to go this morning before the snow came. But with life as we know it ready to end much earlier than I had expected it, I thought that drastic measures must be taken. Less than $30 and approximately one hour later, I felt safer and ready for bed (but by midnight, I was definitely hungry again) since I knew that I could wake up this morning with one dozen eggs and milk in the refrigerator. If nothing else, breakfast would happen in the morning.

And then it didn't snow...kind of. It has a little throughout the day, but seriously, we have yet to receive even one inch of accumulation let alone the 10-17 inches (when have I ever seen 17 inches all at one time here?) that were being called for. BUT IT'S STILL the weather man says. What it means is that I spent alllll day (basically) at home and tomorrow is going to be another alllll day at home and maybe Monday and seriously, I could have spread my out of the house time out a little bit if I had known that I wasn't going to be snowed in by 10 am and I'm feeling gipped.

At least the birds can still get to their food. All is well. Enjoy your snow.

"Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation." --Kim Hubbard (apparantly this should be ammended to say that nine out of ten people would have trouble thinking of something to write in their blog, too...)

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Week in Review...miscues and miscalculations

It started off well with "finishing" my last rough draft of each of my final papers for grad school, semester 1. And all of a sudden, it seems that I have so much extra time, and I am still not getting my newspaper read everyday. I don't know how I have no time even when I have extra time.

Monday--no class! Instead, I had to call my professor to conference on my paper (thankfully he didn't make me drive to campus just to chat for 20 minutes). After 20 minutes of fruitlessly calling him, I contact him via email and find out that, go figure, I was calling the wrong number. I guess sometimes it really does pay to be a little embarrased about being dense by asking the dumb questions.

Tuesday--my worst driving-to-class nightmare. All is splendid until about three miles after I got on 69. The traffic stopped. Really truly stopped...and didn't move while I frantically called Ben so that he could fix my traffic problem 30 miles away. Go Ben. He did. This is why I guess I pay exorbitant cell phone bills. Somehow I got turned around. Somehow I found my way through the dark countryside (Matthews, IN?). Somehow, I only arrived about 10 minutes late to class and beat the other two guys who got stuck in the same miles long traffic jam. I think my professor was quite amused that he received three emails about the same problem from three spouses. The whole time I was trying to get there, of all things I was worried about, I kept thinking 1)I have NEVER been late to a class before since my bus broke down in 6th grade and my teacher didn't even notice that I wasn't there on time that morning, and 2)I have to get to class because we're reading Incle and Yarico (a play) tonight, and I'm Yarico! They need Yarico!

Wednesday--Ben beat me at Scrabble. I've been told that I have to include this. He also started the game going first and using all 7 letters. Of course I lost!! I think that should automatically mean that we start over again because that's just not fair to spot himself 84 points. BUT, I beat Ben in the daily crossword puzzle for probably the first time ever. Not that the crossword puzzle victory negates the thorough beating in word mastery that he gave me. It's hard being an English-y person and then being married to a Science-y person (of all things) who is almost always better than you at...words.

Thursday--I beat Ben in the daily crossword puzzle again and Scrabble. He's still reeling from the sheer prowess of my skills, I'm sure.

Friday--I love being woken up by the sound of a cat heaving. Why am I the only lucky one? Why does Ben sleep through this fantastic gift from the cat? I mean, he obviously loves Ben so much he chose (truly!) to leave his early morning gift in Ben's slipper...and Ben sleeps through it. Not only is it just disgusting to have to wake up to the sound of retching, but it's also highly annoying when I just lost sleep cleaning up the mess while Ben sleeps through it. Fortunately for him, it wasn't in his slipper (or bed) this time. Unfortunately for me, I still had to clean it up. How can a day go well when it has such an inauspicious start?

By the students really didn't appreciate my exampe of satire this week. How could they possibly not enjoy Swift's "A Modest Proposal". I mean, eating children isn't really a problem if it solves the problem of poverty and hunger...ha. ;-) Happy birthday Jonathan Swift.

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." Happy birthday Mark Twain!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


"The most wasted of days is one without laughter."
e e cummings

(and I partly chose this quote because it was by e e cummings, who, I believe, never chose to have his name written like this, but everyone does...)

And it wasn't even payday...

Some days just deserve a comment. And, some days just don't have the grace to be payday. Fortunately, these days aren't the norm. It began innocuously enough...

It was Friday and I had everything planned for the day, so I was able to get there a little later and life was still okay. 7:30 quickly came and I was in the hallway doing my super exciting hallway duty (which usually isn't bad if I have another teacher to talk to...or the various students who believe that it is their special duty to come and hang out right in front of my room every morning). The special-ness of the day began when I noticed that a (should have been locked) computer lab down the hallway that has had a history of vandalism had one of freshmen coming out of it for no apparant reason. Somehow it had been left unlocked and for some reason students figure this out when it is unlocked. Is it some wierd high school thing that an unlocked computer lab signals fun for teenagers? Being the dutiful teacher that I am, I go to investigate and lock it, when I notice that someone has indeed "vandalized" the lab...if you would call it that. Who thinks that it is fun to take a handful of blank computer paper and spread it all over a computer lab? How bizarre (or bazar as one of my students tried to spell it).

Then came minute before the bell for lunch. And then came the fire alarm. 45 minutes later (45!) we were finally allowed back in the building with any hopes of actual teaching shot for the rest of the day judging on how wired some of the students were. The good news is that it was just a faulty (or tampered with?) sprinkler head. The bad news is that I stood outside for 45 minutes with whining kids...granted, 40 degrees is chilly to stand outside in for so long. One can't help but hope that that teaches the kids who are still wearing shorts to school a lesson.

Oh I forgot the fight...thankfully it wasn't in my hallway, which is odd since it involved 2 freshmen and my room is in the freshmen hallway. There is no doubt that the freshmen like to congregate in large packs directly opposite each other in this hallway. Directly opposite each other! You can barely fit through these packs one person at a time usually! Why doesn't one of the large masses of freshmen humanity just shift down the hallway even five feet? Problem solved! There's roughly only a one in seven chance that I have my classroom in that hallway. I've always been relatively unlucky.

Another fight...almost.

I subbed pro bono for the yearbook teacher during his yearbook class which is just a crazy amount of wierdness and socializing. Those fifteen kids must have enough energy built up by the end of the day that they just explode (like a blueberry when you squeeze it) and just splatter everyone around them with their teenager-ness and unfocused energy. Blessings should abound on the teacher who has done this for sixteen years.

Did you know that you can cause some painfully serious damage with a bread knife? I hath proved that it be so. Of course this happens when Ben is out on an errand (good timing again) and I'm home alone trying to staunch the incredible (to me who values every drop of my own blood and prefers to keep it collected in the vessel that is my body rather than spreading the wealth all across my kitchen) amount of blood oozing from the deep enough gash. So I have decided that paper towels are never where I need them to be, but what am I to do except hide them when I have a cat who eats paper products (most of you know by now that she has an especial fondness/sweet tooth for toilet paper)? So after a minute of running my thumb under cold water...coldness!...and the flow of blood not abating, I decided that serious times called for some serious action. I was going to have to brave making a mess to get that paper towel (at the top of the pantry because again, where else am I supposed to put it!?!). After last night, I'm even more convinced that I don't like where the paper towels are. So I've never bled enough at a time to just ooze blood onto my other hand trying to catch it all. Wooziness sets in. Just seeing my blood dripping into my other hand and then see it running down my other hand...wooziness. I get the paper towel. I get to the bathroom for bandaids, and I can't get the bandaids open with one hand. And Ben's on an errand that by this point is taking forever. After two tries, I finally work one bandaid free and get it tightly stuck to my thumb. Wooziness remains as I view the bloody paper towel and dried blood on my other hand.

The saving grace of last night? I (along with Ben's mom) beat Ben (and his dad) at euchre. They like to brag about their euchre prowess; we like to win with ours. :-)

Some days just exemplify why I consume large quantities of chocolate.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Idea of the Elect

So here's the wrinkle that I added to my brain last night in class. This one is rather religous-philosophical for those of you who are so minded...

The idea of the elect:
-Calvanist thought
-some are automatically saved (these are the Elect or chosen) & then some are automatically not saved whether they accept Christ are not ("I pity the poor fool...")
-tension between knowing if you're one of the Elect or one of the Damned (i.e. you really don't know if you're "chosen" until you're dead, so there's some tension about finding out if you're truly chosen or not)
-relating to the biblical stories of Jacob & Esau
-form of predestination that presupposes that you still lead a moral and upright if you're one of the Elect, you still have to be a good person (moral & upright) and accept Christ & Christian teachings

Ah the kicker: What if you think that you're one of the Elect because good things ("Providence") keeps happening to you, but in actuality, you're not and just living your life to help make the life of one of the Elect better??

It makes for an interesting take on Robinson Crusoe.

In honor of my professor making a joke about whether or not J. D. Salinger is alive (or not) since he's a recluse, and how are we really supposed to know if a recluse is alive or not since...he's a recluse:

"I am a kind of paranoic in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy."
J. D. Salinger (1919-?)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Forgotten Quote

And I forgot my quote, so here it is...

Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it.
Christopher Morley

This makes me feel better that other people make mistakes too. :-)


So how come I am reading far less for fun books (book candy even) now then when I was in college? One would think that I might have at least as much time now as when I was a rather busy student. Oh wait...I'm a rather busy student again. Like I was telling my neighbor this afternoon, I'm reading a ton (and enjoying it of course), but it's just not the same as me getting to chose what I want to read. To put this in perspective, I have read about 200 pages in a John Grisham book and it has taken me over 2 weeks now...and I'm a pretty decent reader. This is also the first book that I have chosen to read for fun since the middle of August. I have so much problem getting the newspaper read every day! But then again, I'm having lots of problems focusing. As I'm writing this, I keep thinking to myself, "You should be reading the newspaper while you have the chance..." yet I just spent several minutes (wow, it's been around 30 now) looking up a random friend from years ago who I haven't thought about in ages just so I could think of something to do while I listened to a good song on the radio.

I have decided that I have taught myself how to not focus, or better said, how to focus only for a short amount of time because my days are constantly spent moving quickly from one activity to another. I never have the luxury of sitting down for an hour just to read for fun, so my mind doesn't need that skill to focus for that long. The problem is that I do need to do sometimes mind (and butt) numbing acitivities like homework that require my attention for more than 20 minutes. Yet I'm distracted by something as simple as my cat yawning. I have no solution, but I'm worried how absolutely distracted I am all the time. Solutions? Help? Suggestions? I'm learning quickly that being an adult student is vastly different than being a "typical" college student...and I'm only 2 years removed from college. I guess that things change. Darn.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And so it begins...

After weeks of germinating, my blog has been born. You may expect pithiness, you may expect humor, you may expect some smiles, but I don't because I don't know what to expect.

How does one "blog" and what is it? My life is all about the questions to explore and break down content, and this seems most natural to me. In fact, I believe it was even posed to me before I began this--"What is your intention? What do you expect to get out of it?" I don't know.

Read if you want. Comment if you like. Ignore at your leisure. I will be here in some capacity. I am here with big fuzzy blankets, sparkling grape juice and purring cats. I keep telling my students that I am big on visuals; I'm sure that I will try to convey some of them or at least put them out here in a capacity that they are more visual to myself through my blogging.

Welcome. And in the spirit of my chalkboard at school, I will endeavor to leave with a quote, an addiction that I enjoy.

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends." Walt Whitman

Thank you for being what I don't deserve. :-)