Monday, April 27

weekend in L.A.

I spent the weekend in L.A., courtesy of a frequent flier ticket from a very generous friend, with Colin. The story of Colin and me is a surprise, a blessing, an unexpected turn of events. It's fun and it feels so normal in a beautiful way. A little time on the beach, some good food (Korean barbecue is perhaps at it's best in L.A.), a nap on the grass, a walk to a redwood forest...just spending time together. A great weekend.

Sunday, April 19

coming into focus

This is the backyard of my Mimi's house after a rain. That's a pool in the background, but it hasn't been filled in years.

I've been back in the States almost two years now. It's been time to refocus on what's right in front, as well as stay hopeful for the future. The long term picture is fuzzy and still seems far off. There are a lot of cracks in the plan: slow going language learning, struggling for hope in what many times seems a hopeless situation, waiting, not knowing. But, the rain is a reminder of hope. The cracks can be filled so the pool can hold water again. The picture of a reservoir of playful refreshment that a pool brings to a neighborhood is one to hang on to.

Saturday, April 18

more school stories

Our school district issued macbooks to all the teachers who applied for one, so I type you this post from a shiny little white mac. I love it. I hope my clunky Dell doesn't get jealous, because I'll have to go back to that if (when) I stop working in Austin.

Things overheard in my classroom this week:

"I'm intelligent."
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know, but I know it's good!"

"I don't want a fancy engagement ring. I want a simple engagement ring and a really fancy wedding ring. I don't know why people do it the other way around."
(I interrupt this story and ask if they, as 5th graders, aren't a little too young to talk about what kind of engagement rings they want. She answers that no, they're not too young and that they also talk about how many kids they want to have and other things that I probably don't want to know.)

"Thank you for teaching us this!"
(This almost knocked me off my rocker. I was teaching a small group how to turn an improper fraction into a mixed number and one of the kids said this. I kinda laughed and he looked at me seriously, saying "No, really. I've been wanting to know this!" Amazing. A highlight of my week.)

"God is speaking!"
(In my fourth grade class, I turned on the overhead, which I don't use very often, so the lens was facing toward the ceiling instead of toward the wall. So, I guess he said this because it was projecting the light on the ceiling. I laughed and he liked that I found him funny. The next day, I was giving him a mini lecture on his behavior and he told me he wished God spoke more often. I told him I wished he did, too.)

"Miss, you're a good singer! You should try out for American Idol with that song!"
(I taught them a song to help them remember the order of operations - you know, parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add and subtract from left to right. They thought it was pretty great. One girl even came up to the front to be my backup dancer.)