Saturday, March 21, 2009

Falling off and Getting Back on the Train

Let's see...

Spring Break 2009.

I finished three books that I've been working on for some time:
the God who is there, by Francis Schaeffer
The Pearl, by Steinbeck
The Knowledge of the Holy, by Tozer

the God who is there boggled my mind like I expected. Actually, I would say it is life-changing. It's a book about finding common-ground, and respecting our fellow man because EVERYONE is made in the image of God; therefore, they are lovely.

The Pearl--people say this book depresses them. I didn't shed a tear.

The Knowledge of the Holy is unfathomably quotable. It's a book about the attributes of God. Tozer's big message seems to be that God doesn't have to account for Himself, but when we seek to understand Him...our beliefs will undoubtedly change us.

I painted a room with "One Coat" paint. I put on five coats. It still isn't sufficient. I had a "crazy lady" showdown with the Wal-Mart paint dude discussing the fact that since the CAN was different than the last time I purchased the paint (which covered horrifically ugly wallpaper in ONE coat), perhaps this paint WAS DIFFERENT. Don't go to Wal-Mart with an agenda in paint clothes, zero makeup, and a bad attitude. This type of psychotic array will undoubtedly prove fruitless. (I should have read Schaeffer's book before I pained that room.) Put that in your back pocket.

I went on a diet. It lasted three days and I enjoyed thinking about food the ENTIRE time. (I wonder if other people think about food that much? WOW. It was painful.) Today, I decided to get out and start exercising. I keep trying to get that train rolling. If I plan on running (or "completing") a marathon this fall, it's time to shed those ten pounds I'm lugging around and get back on the training train. (I prefer that to the "no carb" train).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today in my Rhetoric class, I motioned for each member of my class to draw a slip of paper from my basket. On each paper, I had written a single word or utterance. Words like, "oopsie-daisy," "because," and "ummm...." Lastly, I drew my word from the basket. It was: "DUH..." Wow. Class, can you say "Providential Irony?"

So I explained to the kids that they could ONLY say THEIR word the entire class period. (I explained it by saying "DUH.") Luckily, they were smart enough to get my point.

This was, of course, in reaction to a conversation the previous day (the best teaching opportunities). In Rhetoric, we are constantly discussing the subtle nuances, connotations, tones, and implications of words. One kid was tired of it, and sarcastically implied that we should simplify language. Not having read 1984, and unfamiliar with Newspeak, he was unable to grasp the implications of his desire. I HOPE I convinced him otherwise after today.

On the other hand, everyone seemed to have a good time working on their "figures of speech" exercise uttering their little words.

Even without the full English vocabulary at my disposal, I was able to say "BE QUIET" saying "DUH." I was able to answer questions with "DUH," and I was able to even offer some encouragement.

Sometimes, I find just the right words to express how I am feeling. On other days, like today, I just want to say "duh" and hope someone is there to whom I can express myself. It doesn't need to be eloquent; it simply needs to be expressed. I hope we are listening to the not-so-eloquent communication directed our way.

I'll take a real-life friend to whom I can say "duh" and know she is there over a friend who needs my rhetorical skills any day. (Wait...maybe that kid was right...."duh.")

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Carpe Diem

It's 11:26pm, and I should be writing a Rhetoric quarter exam. There are a stack of essays begging for my attention. Animal Farm and Sherlock Holmes tests peer at me from inside the "to grade" folder.

Instead, I sit on my laptop searching for the catharsis found in writing. I'm wondering if I can take a sick day tomorrow for "mental health" purposes. My husband sits with me tonight (he's on his laptop purchasing cars; I'm on mine thinking about books), and he tells me that it would not be appropriate to drop out of life right now.

My Little Mr. Man is reading--finally reading, and actually reading quite well. I credit his teacher for that. She has believed in him. She has challenged him. She has pushed him.

I think about Pretty. She has grown SO much as a student this year. In her spare time, she likes to diagram sentences, work on her division facts, practice cursive writing, and highlight her Bible. I thank her teacher for that. This teacher has been diligent, inspiring, and has kept the standard high.

Big Sis, with the help of friends, has become quite a debater this year. The last debate tournament gave her medals in Cross-Examination, Standard Oratory, Humorous Duet, and Dramatic Duet. I wonder if she could have achieved those things without a teacher to inspire her? A team of teachers have worked alongside her to make this a reality.

Big Bub-- my little (big) man-- His grammar is the second highest in the class, he -amazingly- writes paragraphs with topic sentences, a coherent middle, and a conclusion. Big Bub tells me things about Messianic OT scripture that I barely understand. His grasp of history amazes me. I thank his teachers for that. They have inspired him.

I think about tomorrow. I wonder if I'm making a difference, and then I realize the difference that teachers have made in the lives of my children. I think I'll get up and face the day after all. I think I'll stand on a table tomorrow and yell, "Carpe Diem!"