Posts

Showing posts from December, 2010

Thanks for the Goodies

The days before Christmas, I feel like Hansel from the Grimm's fairy tale - everywhere there are cookies and cakes and candies. I am glad that the only ovens around are small microwave ovens and no old ladies with warts are hoping I will taste good with gravy.

There is a little loaf of pumpkin bread, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a red ribbon resting just below the computer monitor as I write this. It is the traditional Christmas gift from the Hadley family, and I think that I may have to somehow get Hadley citizenship after Jack graduates in order to continue the tradition. Marie Hadley makes incredible pumpkin bread, and I have to restrain myself and ration it to make it last. What is the saying? Nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven.

I am blessed by the outpouring of love that parents and students express at this time of year. Teaching can be a very thankless job, so any blessings are appreciated. Thank you for the photo Christmas cards, the Starbucks…

Whose Faith Follow

I watched an Israeli movie yesterday afternoon called "For My Father." It was the story of a young Arab man who straps on a bomb and walks into a market in Tel Aviv to blow up himself and kill many Israelis in the process, only the detonator malfunctions. He has the option of having his handlers detonate him by remote control or trying to fix the detonator on his own. He chooses the latter, and ends up having to spend time getting to know the different people he is sacrificing his life to kill. In the process, we also come to discover why he has chosen to become a suicide bomber. What was interesting and moving for me in watching this movie was how this young man, sort of an agnostic Muslim, prayed each time he prepared to blow himself up, and yet lived in such despair all the while believing that somehow his sacrifice would improve the lot of his family. All the people he connected with had such sad lives, and the religious Jews depicted in the film made people's lives …

Snow

The first snowfall of the year of any consequence and the nearness of Christmas have set children's hearts aflutter. Concentration was something they did last night during the play when they had to remember lines of dialogue, song lyrics, and where to stand (or crawl) on the stage. It is amazing what a little frozen precipitation floating down from the sky can do to the brains of people attending (and, if I am to be honest, working in) schools. I wonder if there is the same phenomenon in places like Alaska or Siberia where snow is as commonplace as sun and sand in the Sahara. Are Alaskan and Siberian school children driven to distraction by snowflakes?

I was besieged by sixth, seventh, and eighth graders petitioning me to close the school and send them home, or, barring that, to declare that school be closed tomorrow, no matter what the City and County schools decide to do. The beseeching eyes, the hands clasped in prayerful supplication - I felt like I was back in Southeast Asia w…

I Laughed, I Cried

The GGCA Christmas musical was just brilliant. I laughed. I cried. Literally. The menagerie of children being herded in costume across the stage - especially that camel - had me grinning from ear to ear and laughing along with the proud parents of the pride of lions trailing the shepherds toward Bethlehem. The beautiful songs, so sweetly sung, so full of truth, brought tears to my eyes. The Spirit of God was palpably present in the chapel, and those children ushered in such a powerful anointing... The entire service that followed was blessed by what happened in that play. I am still basking in the glow of the simple joy and beauty of the play. Thank you, Lord.

Tempus fugit

Time flies. It has been eleven days since my last posting, and I feel a little guilty for not writing sooner. That almost sounds like a confessional, doesn't it? "Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned. It has been eleven days since my last blog entry."

Hmmm... What shall my penance be?

How about no needhams candies until I get to Maine next week? Nah. There's no penance in that. There are no needhams around here for me to eat anyway. "What are needhams?" you ask. Needhams are kind of like Mounds bars, only better, because they originated in Portland, Maine and they have a secret ingredient near and dear to a true Mainer's heart - mashed potatoes. Yes, mashed potatoes and flaked coconut and dark chocolate - so, so good! There will probably be some homemade needhams in my parents' refrigerator from a lady in the church...

But I digress.

Penance. I suppose I could abstain from eating molasses donuts for the next week.That would be almost cruel and unusual …

He must have loved me an awful lot...

It's beginning to feel a lot like winter. I just put the storm doors back on my house and got rid of the last autumn leaves that were huddling in nooks and crannies around the yard, up against the fence and the shed, and in between the gas tanks at the rear of my home. I feel remarkably warm now that I am back inside, probably because I am thawing and the blood is rushing back to my extremities. Stacey McCarter was very excited yesterday when she told me that she had seen some snowflakes in White Marsh. She told me that she wanted enough snow to make the family expedition to cut down a Christmas tree picturesque (my word, not hers), but not so much that she could not get to work on Monday. I don't think she is going to get her wish this weekend...

I am looking forward to Christmas, mostly because I will be traveling to Maine to be with my family. We will be celebrating not only our Savior's birthday, but also my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary with a delicious din…