Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's moments like these that make me love my job.

My freshman art class has been working on a project for the last week and a half. They're doing scratch art, which is a meticulous, painstaking thing. In the class is a girl who struggles with school, having petit mal seizures and learning disabilities. She had taken her work home on Friday, to finish over the weekend, and forgot to bring it in on Monday. I told her to be sure to remember to bring it today, as it's one of the best ones and would be up in the display case.

You should have seen her face. 'Really?' I can't describe her look, but it gave me one of the best moments I've ever had teaching.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Finally figured out the title problem.

I haven't had a place to enter titles for my posts, so far. It wasn't really difficult to add, so I'm glad I didn't wait a year to try.

Speaking of trying, I've begun the Pimsleur Eastern Arabic program. Tonight, I went through the first lesson twice. My throat is dry, but after having only done the first lesson, I'm thinking this Pimsleur knew what he was doing.

Why Arabic? Well, this world is full of languages, and I plan to have a visible slice of that pie chart available to me. Is that written confusingly enough? (You can see, perhaps, why I'm anxious to branch out.) Truly, I hope to learn enough of them to be able to speak well enough to not starve, should I be dropped in any of many countries. A few days ago I received an offer of free Arabic lessons from an Egyptian woman I know. For free. (I plan to bake for her.) I hope that this can begin in the next week or so, but to get me on the fast(er) track, my honey loaned me his set of Arabic tapes to practice.

You think I'll never be dropped in a foreign country, needing to know any of an assortment of languages? I never thought I'd be cooking northern Indian in eastern Wyoming, conversing about archeology, meditations and visions and camping, and flying Arabic tapes back to Illinois. The world is full of surprises.

Overall, I really like that. I'm glad it wasn't up to me to plan my life.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yes. Yes, it was.

This last Christmas I was blessed to be able to go be with my sweetie. I flew out on the 25th and returned Jan. 1st. The downside was that I'd had knee surgery the week before, but it went well. Just made things a bit awkward.

Plans were arranged for me to have help getting to my connecting flights. One of the stop-overs was in Minneapolis. There's a bit of a long distance to cover and my time was short. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

To get to my sweetie's involves so much hassle in the air that it's almost as quick for me to drive. (Literally. 1,100 miles away and I only save about 4 hours by flying.) On one of the connecting flights, things were running a bit late. I'd gotten a nice easily-accessible seat with plenty of leg space, but it was across from the door, so very busy. By this time I've been on the road since 2 am or so (I flew out of Chicago and being on the road to Midway on Christmas at 2 in the morning is a surreal experience), I've got a bit of Darvocet in my system and a little baggie with Christmas cookies from my mom. As I said, surreal.

Although this was the first flight that day for that plane and it's obviously icy and freezing, apparently it had been decided to wait until take-off time to do anything about dealing with it. Thus, we were late getting on and people were already grumbling a bit. No one wants to be late on Christmas, and several of the people were heading out to warmer climes.

As I'm sitting, watching and listening, praying that we take off in time so I won't be stranded in Minneapolis, a little boy goes by me. You'd think this would be a nice thing. It wasn't. I felt like Scrooge. He's dressed in camoflauge, which already makes me cringe. I get increasingly annoyed at him, as he's loud, demandingly loud. His mother comes on a bit later (don't ask me) and she's a bit brassy herself. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, after all. She's of the school which teaches that complaining in a loud, whiny voice will make the plane take off sooner. She is, of course, not the only student of that school. I close my eyes and try to think of my final destination.

I sit back, trying to relax after the hassles, and then two kids begin whining, one off and on, the other pretty continuously. I'm a pretty easy-going person, but this wasn't fussing because he felt bad or anything like that. He wanted this. And now! I was trying to ignore it, so all I caught was that he wanted some specific type of juice. His whining progressed to crying and screaming, and I wadded up kleenex to plug my ears. I had looked back and seen the dad, acting like there was nothing going on. I hadn't seen the mom.

Have I mentioned that we still hadn't taken off yet?

Finally, we do. After landing, the first ones up and off the plane (They were going to the Caribbean, after all!) are the members of the noisy family. I realize that the annoying dad is married to the shrill mother, and the screaming boy was the one who had made the fuss to begin with. I smiled a bit at that, relieved that at least it was all contained within one family.

I hobbled off of the plane in crutches, with my bag and purse and coat in my arms. No, it wasn't graceful. Waiting impatiently for the 'pre-arranged' help to arrive to transport me to the next leg of the journey, I relax a bit when I see the golf cart heading towards me, only to groan as I see the family from hell heading towards it. *sigh*

As the driver gets off to help them with their luggage (not me, the one on the crutches), the wife starts in on her husband, having only just noticed that their son stinks and needs a pull-ups change. This was obviously the husband's fault. Actually, she was making such a big deal about having 'just' noticed it that I think she'd known for a while and hadn't wanted to mess with it. This led to an even nicer atmosphere. Merry Christmas!

They get on and I get my stuff on, and the tirade begins again. There's no way they'll make their flight, blah blah blah blah. On and on and on. In trying to describe it, I know I'm failing miserably, but I hope you get the picture. Then the mother begins complaining about the flight. Blah blah this and blah blah that. Suddenly she stops, suddenly notices they're not the only passengers and recognizes me, leans forward and says, "You were on that flight, too, weren't you?!" I nod and she blares out, 'Was that not the flight from HELL?!'

Yes. Yes, it was.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


A new place,
same me.
Life moves on,
and so do blogs.

I'll still write in my other one,
but this is for fresher topics.
It feels like a new notebook on the first day of school. :)