Monday, April 30, 2007
i wish i'd taken more photos of the trip. i have a few flower shots that i'll hopefully get around to blogging before the day is out.
right now i'm dealing with lesson preparation and grading and cleaning up the mess the sub allowed to happen while i was gone. getting a sub sure can be a shot in the dark. this one was didn't turn out so well, but at least i wasn't here to witness the mayhem in person. and at least the lesson i left wasn't totally crucial or necessary for other lessons. it was only a prep sort of thing for our end of level tests that begin this week. hmmm, i better track down my set of tests sooner than later.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
ever have those days when things don't go so well? i had one of those nights. middle of the night. earlier in the evening i'd changed my bedroom light bulb and as i was climbing off my bed i hit my big toe on the bed frame. it ached like the dickens! so in the middle of the night - around 12:30 i woke up with my big toe knuckle throbbing. i was sure i'd need to go the emergency room. i couldn't walk on it. i had my bags packed to hit the gym this morning and i was worried that i wouldn't be able to do anything there since my toe was in such pain. i have a yoga class scheduled this evening and i imagined i'd lose my balance every few seconds because of the pain in my toe. i was convinced i needed surgery and i'd have to get a sub for a prolonged period of time and i just couldn't prepare so many sub plans. really - my mind went racing with all the problems that were going to ensue from this unhappy big toe. i went back to bed, carefully placing my toe so that there wasn't any extra pressure on it. then i woke up around 3, hot and suffocating. i found i'd been dreaming about all my blogger friends - not you guys who read this, but all the people whose blogs i read that don't know who i am - many are your friends. anyway, i did enjoy that bit of the night. when my alarm was due to go off - around 4:45 i woke up one last time. only to find my throat had closed itself off with all sorts of painful swollen-ness. again, the thoughts of the gym, teaching, yoga, went through my head as being impossible since i had this aching throat.
well, i'm here. teaching. i went to the gym and lifted weights. i'm not dead. my head doesn't hurt that much. i can breathe and walk. i think the toe still hurts a bit more than normal and i know the throat isn't happy, but life goes on. no long term sub in my future.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I also wanted to complain about snow. I'm not wearing the best shoes for hiking through a parking lot full of snow. I'm hoping it stops and manages to melt in the next hour.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
anyway, while i was there i observed a very interesting fellow lifting weights. well, his appearanc was interesting. he was wearing a blue and black flannel shirt - long sleeved, like for hunting or camping. he had on long black cargo style pants and what appeared to be birkenstocks, or sandals of a similar nature. he had a black floppy hat on his head. as i watched him he went over to the scale to weigh himself. he shed everything but the shirt and pants. i noticed that he did leave on a little hat that must have been underneath the floppy hat. it kind of looked like a jewish yamukah (sp joseph?) but it had ridges like the kind catholic priests wear. anyway, it was little and on the crown of his head and black. oh, he also had shoulder length hair and with the floppy hat removed i could see he was missing quite a bit on top. wait, now that i think about it, he looked a lot like a guy i saw there months ago in a tie dyed t-shirt, shorts, knee length socks, and yamukah. (i know i must be spelling that wrong.) anyway, the really odd thing - why i'm blogging about him - is that this morning (my usual gym time) i saw him again! he was dressed identically to last night. this morning he was busy searching for some coins he must have dropped.
yep, everyone exercises. we all have bodies. they must be used.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
to begin with, here i am holding julia, wearing the apron my mom embroidered for my sister, after eating a delicious meal of spaghetti squash that i actually cooked. the sister had to run off to choir practice so i stood in as "mom" for the night. the brother in law was impressed with my skills so he took a photo to document the moment.
i think you can guess where this was taken.
this one is by the wwii memorial - she's a bit cold. she never took her hands out of her pockets except to eat string cheese.
here she is with my sister watching ducks in the water at the wwii memorial.
the whole gang posing on a ramp of the wwii memorial. julia (the youngest) is hidden inside the stroller.
...to dye easter eggs. okay so she's no uncle sam but she does live in d.c. she's totally photogenic. which reminds me... when we were hanging out last week she'd often parrot whatever i said. hearing her say "totally" or "stinkin'" cracked me up!
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Speaking of last night, we attended a passover dinner at the local baptist chruch. It was conducted by a christian jew. His humor and excessive use of yiddish warmed my funny bone. The message of christ's life and atonement warmed my spirit. The symbolism is pretty powerful. Collins goes to law school with this guy isaac whose parents were missionary types. His grandarents actually lived as missionaries in china during the revolution - I bet they knew pearl buck - my favorite author ever! we were isaac and his wife's guests to this event. They are probably risa and collins' closest friends. They're super cool. After eating and before the final ceremony parts a woman had a full on epileptic seizure (sp?). An ambulance came and they wheeled her out - she was seizing for a good 20 minutes. I've never seen such a thing before. Oh I learnd a cool new jewish word: dayenu - I think that's how to spell it. It means it would have been sufficient. It's repeated and sung when they tell the story of the great things god did to save and redeem the israelites. God kept giving so after each thing god does you say that word. It was a powerful and uplifting program. I wish i'd taken a photo. Oh - I nearly forgot - the chef of our dinner was none other than the chief chef at the white house. Pretty cool, eh? Word is she's the first woman and she's philippina and has had her position for about two months.
Friday, April 6, 2007
Outside the jelly shop was a huge pile of manure (i think). It was steaming. It was appropriate since there were so many horses for the buggy rides. One car in the parking lot had a perfect licence plate. Perfect!
I forgot to mention in an older post about the soda we had to go with our lunch. Watermelon and coconut flavored soda! I recommend the first, not the latter!
Thursday, April 5, 2007
I was surprised to find a neglected memorial for residents of dc that fought in the world war. You know - THE one. Apparently it was dedicated on armistice day with a live band playing the NEW national anthem conducted by none other than john philip sousa himself!
I was also surprised to see jfk has his own hockey field. Odd. Really.
After our adventures I took a nap on the couch. I was surprised to wake up to the sensation of my niece stuffing a raisin in my mouth. I wonder if I had been snoring or something!
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
One of the most valuable lessons I learned in college is to never take a two hour class on a summer afternoon. I missed a good deal of my Sub-Saharan African geography class due to heavy eyelids. I quickly discovered that if I gave in to the eyelids around 1:30 they'd be open again before 2:00, allowing me to at least learn something. What I learned has never left me.
I considered myself a world traveler, sensitive to international issues and aware of challenges faced by third-world countries; after all, I spent my high school years in Mexico City. As a junior, I wrote a paper about the Masai, but all I retained is that they are cattle herders. I grew up singing along to "We Are the World," and when my little brother pushed out his belly we called him an Ethiopian. In that BYU class in the summer of '93, though, my stomach dropped and my heart broke when I was introduced to the unique and serious conditions of so many people in Africa. The years of history classes I took educated me in the principles of imperialism and Western exploitation, but never had I seen the perspective of the people who were exploited. It wasn't until I faced the challenge of filling 12 pages comparing two African countries that I began to see how naïve I was. My glimpse of the complexities of just those two countries left me baffled about what it meant to be an African.
Now I teach world literature to 15 year-olds living in the aptly named city of Bountiful, Utah. The pieces we read are as new to me as they are to them. Beginning with the oldest known epic hero, Gilgamesh, we've discovered major epic heroes from all over, including Mali's Sundiata. For each piece, we ask, "How are they like us?” and “What can we learn from them?" Our goal is to recognize that no matter the time or place, all literature comes from the souls of human beings who have the same values, fears, desires, and struggles, whether Mesopotamian, African, or Utahan.
While the realities of geography prevent people from experiencing many other cultures, reading the world’s stories is the most accessible approach to understanding others. Hearing, seeing and interacting, though, enables one to share in those stories and become one with them. Ever since waking up in Sub-Saharan African geography class, I've craved the opportunity to become one of their storytellers.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
p.s. I don't think the girl next to me likes me very much. I made the mistake of sneaking a bite of my cabbage I brought for lunch. She and her sister made faces at each other. I think it may have smelled funny.