11 December 2007

the sound of silence

so, my friend, paul who's currently in american samoa, told me that Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility was going to smite me for not blogging. my goodness, i've been studying and writing all this time. seriously. but all this silence is starting to get to me. maybe that's why i like living in the big city or even enjoyed (aspects of) teaching high school.

this morning, i had to get up a little early so i would be awake to take an exam, and as i'm studying and my flatmate is studying, it's just too darn quiet! maybe i'm more spanish than i thought (i can see you shaking your heads because you're saying 'no, he was always a little off.') it was explained to me by my former flatmate that the spanish seem to have a pathological fear of silence. like 2 seconds of quiet on a phone conversation is cause for panic, so just imagine hours of it.

then again, there's always the ticking of the keyboard.

26 November 2007

Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility

i grew up listening to a prairie home companion by garrison keillor on national public radio, and he has said that in lake woebegone, everyone was lutheran, whether you really were or not, and the central church was the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility.

to parallel that, i´ve been living here in (e)spain for almost four months, and i´ve come to realize that everyone´s catholic here, whether you really are or not. everyone from the señoras that wear the black overcoats and carry their little grocery carts that look like carryon luggage to the señores who meet in the bar as big as a bedroom to share a beer and a laugh to the young hipsters and businessmen that stop to look at the shoe stores every 5 meters. it´s especially evident when there are local and national festivals dedicated to saints. for example nov 9 here in madrid was a holiday recognized by the local government as the day of the Virgen de la Almudena, the patron saint of madrid, and they televised the mass in the plaza mayor and the subsequent procession of the clergy and (statue of) the virgen to the cathedral as in the manner of the thanksgiving day macy´s parade, replete with live helicopter footage as well as interviews with little girls along the route.

it´s also in the language, when to say that something is over the top, it´s la hostia (the eucharistic host); it´s perfectly normal to name your daughter maría josé or maría jesús and your son josé maría or jesús maría.

in spain, there´s a patron saint for everything, so i´m going to borrow from the luterans of nothern minnesota and take Nuestra Señora de la Perpetua Responsabilidad as the patron saint of students, particularly grad students, as she whispers to us when our papers are due, reminds us to turn off the television to study or to get off facebook and use the computer como Dios manda (as God commands) and write that 10 page paper.

so, that´s the news from madrid, where are the women wear heels that way too high, all the men wear pants that are too tight, and all the children are in strollers until they´re 7 years old.

16 November 2007

Baby J Volume 2

my niece, Baby J Volume 2 (read dos), is going to be born next friday, 23 nov 2007! her older sister, dad and mum (especially) are very excited to meet her, as well as her extended family! i want her to know that she is very loved and that we and our church families around the world have been praying for her since we found out she was coming into our lives. i'm even planning a b-day party for her here in madrid to celebrate!

she's currently called Baby J Volume 2 because her mum and dad want her name to be special and especially for her. this nickname comes from her parents. of course, the initial J comes from her last name, and the Volume 2 is because her older sister was born last year; until she was born, we called her Humanita (literally, little human girl).

please join me in praying for a safe last week of pregnancy for my sis-in-law, a safe delivery of Baby J Volume 2 (by c-section at 7am CST) next friday, and for a smooth transition into the family.

crazy uncle paulo

09 November 2007

triumphs addendum

Phil 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

i've been reflecting on my past post, and i think i gave the impression that i was having these triumphs because of sheer human determination. that's not the impression i want to give at all, and i recognize that all the strength i have, any triumph i have is because God sustains me and has given me the ability to overcome any obstacle. he is the one who permits bad things to happen to us, but is the source of every good gift and eagerly blesses his children.

Job 12:10: In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

30 October 2007


every time i do something, i see it as a triumph. i get up in the morning with no pain: triumph. i walk well: triumph. i run three miles a day five days a week: triumph. i run with pain: triumph. i ran five miles on sunday: triumph. i have never run five miles even before i got ill, so imagine the triumph i felt sunday afternoon!

tomorrow is four years since i started the major symptoms, and today i´m walking with a crutch. i don´t have pain, really, but weak function, and it´s discouraging because it has been four years since i got ill, and it´s a reminder that i´m not on the road to recovery, rather on the road of management. as i was running yesterday, i was thinking about this concept of triumphs. i don´t see my need to use a crutch today as a setback. what i would be set back from? rather, it´s another step in my managing my disorder.

i´m training for the madrid marathon in april. yes, that´s right. a marathon. how on earth, you might say, are you going to run a marathon when you have to lift your legs out of bed on any given morning? well, i´ll tell you. last thursday i was limping pretty bad, when my flatmate, who is my trainer, saw me changing to go running with him. he asked me how i was going to run when i could hardly walk. i told him, i don´t know, but we´ll see. it turns out that i limped to the park, ran the 3 miles like usual, then limped back. the same on sunday. so there. i´m not training to win the marathon; i´m pretty much planning on being the last one to cross the finish line.

but i´ll cross it.

25 October 2007

the flight, the elephant and the sweet tea

last night i had a dream i which i traveled to the united states (after four years of being here in spain), mediated a marriage reconciliation, helped deliver a baby elephant and secure the next generation, wrestled with a leopard, and got the secret to good sweet tea, which, according to a dear lady who shares my birthday, is pot liquor from collards. who knew? alas, we don´t really have collards here in spain.

i woke up tired, as you can imagine, from having such a busy night.

at least i got the secret to good sweet tea.

18 October 2007

running the race

so, what´s that verse about training to run the race so as you´re not flailing your arms and what not? well, i´m running and training, and i keep thinking about that verse as i do my miles (or kilometers, as i´m counting). it´s going well, and the weather has cooperated so far. no running in bitter cold nor blustery wind nor rain. though i´d probably just suck it up, knowing my newfound determind nature to do physical activity. oh, that and the absolute gratefulness to the Lord to be able to do it!! can i get a ´wha wha´for Jesus?

ok, sorry that was corny, but hey, it´s culturally relavant. and i like being culturally relavant.

i´m currently reading a book with my community group called irrestible revoultion by shane claiborne, and it´s got my upset, raring to go, and ready to talk. but what is it about this particular book that´s got me so riled up? more to share later.

but now, to run.

15 October 2007

football vs fútbol


this, dear european friends and neighbors, comes from a friend of mine studying in charleston, sc. though i am a natural-born american, i would probably go anyhow just to see why in the world american football is so popular in the united states, or at least for u.s. americans. well, maybe i´d have to put on my espanish accent, ju know, so as not to raise any of the suspishons. becos, ju know, my english no so gudth.

gracias, josh.

10 October 2007

i know a man with a wooden leg named smith

oh yeah, what´s the name of his other leg?

that´s how i felt this morning when i took me about 2 1/2 hours to get out of bed. i had every intention to get up, do 2 loads of laundry, transpose notes and start writing thesis prospectus, read for my sintaxis class, go running, shower, cook for community group this afternoon, go to class. all that was transferred 2 1/2 hours later when i woke up, had to drag my legs out of bed, started cooking without running nor going to the gym, and then i had to rest. so i watched a bit of la ruleta de la suerte, which i much rather prefer to wheel of fortune. then i showered, studied and went to class. not the day i had planned, but it´s not over yet. we´ll see how the rest of the evening pans out. i´ve still got to get home, grab the meal i made and make it to community group to heat up.

this morning reminded me that despite the physical strength i´ve had in order to work out and run, i´m still reliant on God´s strength for all things. without him guiding me, it´s like what paul said about doing great things without love--it doesn´t mean anything.

01 October 2007

soy inmigrante pt 2

this past weekend, i was a guide for students from georgia visiting madrid before starting the semester term in salamanca, the same university i studied at during the summer of 2002. it was great to show them the madrid i know and love, but to also experience the history of madrid for the first time through their eyes. i had a lot of fun showing them around to places i´ve almost taken for granted. so, i took my camera along and got some touristy shots just like they did. it´s ok, i´m with them. i´m their guide. that sort of thing. ;) i took some pictures of monuments on top of the palace, and looking at them on the screen after i downloaded them, it was so striking how blue the sky was. no, friends, that was not photoshop; the sky was actually that blue! there´s nothing like a spanish sky. of course, today it´s cloudy and rainy, as it´s turned autumn here, but still, i had a great glimpse of it on friday!

so, the reason for the immigrant title of this post is the confirmation by my students that i am, indeed, an immigrant--almost more spanish than georgian. it makes sense. my english is awful (i´m constantly catching myself translating from spanish to english), i eat late, i drink coffee three to four times a day, i walk everywhere, i can spot an ´immigrant´from 50 paces, walk fast on the sidewalk, and fight my way on and off the metro. these are things that were quite strange to these georgia students. but to me, it´s just a way of life. i think with my own flat, i´ve finally settled into a routine and a new way of life. yes, i know, there´s so much i have yet to learn and so much that has been a combination of instinct and previous knowledge. but, i´m feeling more at home here.

13 September 2007

soy inmigrante

hi, i´m an immigrant. i didn´t realize this until last night. or maybe it was this morning on the metro on the way to class. i have an american passport, yes, but for as much as i try to adapt to spanish life by the way i dress, the way i speak, the way i listen to my mp3 player on the metro, the more i realize that i am different. i´m in a foreign country. i like it, and i relate in many ways to it, but there are just some things that are easier by being a citizen or at least a long-term resident.

isnt´t that my case as a christian, though? aren´t i supposed to be set apart by the way i think, act, speak from those in the world?

sí, soy inmigrante.

05 September 2007

the rain in spain

i made it safe & sound to madrid last monday morning (3 sept), despite some rough turbulence in the north atlantic. that was not fun! but, sunny & rather cool here in madrid is a great change from the georgia heat--and just when i was getting used to it, too. it´s a funny feeling to be back here in madrid for an extended time. i don´t feel the culture shock i felt 4 years ago. it feels like coming home. maybe i never really let go of madrid. it's been a welcoming experience getting reacuainted with the city, though i think my english may have suffered a bit. ;)

it's been a week, and we're still looking for a flat. not too much: 3 bedroom, within 30 minutes walking distance from downtown, relatively close to a metro stop, and for under 1500 euros a month. honestly, it shouldn't be that hard to track one down. we've called and called and if they're not already rented (which has been the majority of the cases) they're too far away or too small or too dirty. but, here's to trying. the air1.com verse of the day for today is "And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you" Psalm 39:7. pretty fitting for today. my two roomies & i have been staying with two other guys in their apartment for the past week, and though there's room, and they don't mind having us there--besides it's a whole lot cheaper than having to pay a hostal each night--we're ready to have our own home, sweet home.

in other news, classes started yesterday. i'm taking three: morfosintaxis of the spanish language, theory of teaching spanish as a second language, and cultural image of spain. it's a good schedule, too. monday and wednesday i have one class at 3:40, and tuesday and thursday i have class at 9:30 and 11. no class on friday, so my weekend starts at 12:21 on thursday afternoon. isn't that great? but, of course, there's still work to be done and cultural things to experience, so it's not a free pass.

i hope things are going well on your side of the atlantic or wherever you may be.

saludos de españa.

30 August 2007

praise God from whom all blessings flow

i know it's been about a month since my last post, but the end of the term right after the play (my last post) really hit my hard with research and papers. i mean hard! this was probably my hardest summer, of course, i'm not in the master's program anymore.

in the past week two weeks since the end of the term, i've been on some serious R&R. i went to boston one of my future roomies in order to pick up my passport w/student visa from the spanish consulate. once i got it, i looked at it about 3 times just to make it was there & for real, and i've been very protective of it since i got home. i had a blast in boston, aside from the consulate! nate showed me his hometown--the local's guide to boston. that's what i like most about going to a new city: doing what the locals do rather than follow a tourist guide because i feel like i actually get to know the city as a whole. of course, when i went to boston in mid-july for the consulate, i was only there for a couple of hours, so i didn't get to do any sightseeing. other than sightseeing, we did a lot of sleeping in boston, too. that first night, i was so tired, i was in bed by 11. this may seem trivial, but considering the fact that due to studying i hadn't really gone to bed before 1, i was really glad to be out of the dorm and in bed before midnight.

in the past week and a half, i've been back home for some vacation, and for the first two days, i pretty much slept all day. in addition, i've been getting together with friends, catching up from over the summer, and gearing up to leaving the country. and when i say leaving the country, i mean moving to spain. as many of you know, i'm moving to madrid to continue studying for my doctorate. it's been a wild ride since four years ago when i first went to madrid, got really ill, came back, and started my life all over again. since i've gotten back to augusta two weeks ago, it's funny because a lot of people have been saying how healthy & strong i look. the good news is it's true; they're not just being nice. (though we are in the south.) i started running again over the summer, and i am feeling stronger everyday.

this next week is going to be a great adventure, and to look back at the past four years, the adventure is continuing, not beginning again. it's all been one great adventure, so i can't really mark a new starting point.

praise God from whom all blessings flow. praise him all creatures here below. praise him above the heavenly hosts. praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. amen.

03 August 2007


tonight is the u.s. premiere of the play muy leal (very loyal) written and directed by one of the professors here, pepo delgado costa, and i must say, it's a great pleasure working with him. i've worked with him on three plays now, and this is the most demanding role i've had to date, anywhere. one of the things that makes it so demanding is that i'm playing pepo, so i have to be faithful to the character as he's watching my every move, but try to meld it with my own style. i've acted more here at middlebury in spanish than i have in augusta in english. funny how that happens, isn't it? when we did dress rehearsal yesterday, it was kind of odd because i was the least dressed up--a short sleeve button shirt untucked, khakis & chuck taylors. well, that's what pepo wears. i felt comofortable up there, probably because my wardrobe is from my own closet.

the play is about a playwright wanting to commemorate the tricentennial (1702-2002) of the english attack on the city of arecibo, puerto rico, in which a handful of peasants at the command of capitan antonio de los reyes correa defeated admiral whetstone and his men. peponcio, the playwright, is trying to explain his idea to the director of the teatro oliver, doña olmo, but both the director and her secretary, zoraida, are trying to iron out the details with peponcio, and after the scenes in the office with the three of them, the following scene is the actors' portrayal of peponcio's idea.

it's an amazing play and the cast is terrific! we've put together a whole play, with all that that entails, in 3 1/2 weeks! in comparison, a play on broadway takes at least 6 weeks from first reading to dress rehearsal. so, take that, broadway!

the best part is that my mom, who grew up three towns away from arecibo, knows all about the village of capitan correa, as arecibo is known locally. even though i had told my family i was in a play, when i told her that it specifically took place in arecibo, she was so excited! i hope to get a dvd before i leave; i really want to see everything calmly...and with popcorn.


29 July 2007


the very thing that separated me from most of my friends in ga was that i spoke spanish. here in middlebury, however, that is now longer something different; rather, it's a common thing. i must, then, choose something else, something different that distinguishes me from others. is it the fact that i act? i sing? i dance? do i study harder than others? are my photos better than others'? i find that in a place where i seem to have lived so little in comparison to others, it's those times that i have to struggle to find my place.

due in part to finding my place of distinction, and due in part to listening to primarily salsa music, i've decided that i, too, want a name worthy of a salsa singer the likes of hector lavoe, marc anthony, celia cruz or even the great tito puente.

i've opted for chuchi rodriguez. that and my acting and singing and studying hard and taking good pics.

hasta luego,

23 July 2007


the appointment with the spanish conuslate went well. i arrived 30 mins early & they accepted my passport and papers. i'm supposed to return after august 14th to pick it up! after leaving middlebury at 4:30, i arrived in boston at 9 with about an hour's worth of morning traffic. but the winding country mountain roads at dawn were really pretty. i can't imagine what it would be like up here in the winter on those roads. since this was my second time at the consulate, i was afraid that there was a small chance i wouldn't have everything needed, but i did. of course i found this out after about 45 loooong minutes of waiting after the man at the window initially took my papers. those were probably the longest 45 minutes of my life. and i got back to the paking meter 3 blocks away from the consulate with 2 minutes to spare! God blessed me with a good trip, a successful appointment, and a beautiful afternoon to travel in. it all happened in a blur that when i got back to middlebury, it was like a dream. now, looking back at it a week later, i can hardly believe i did all that the way i did. but it's done & there's work to do here now.

14 July 2007

hard work

it's hard work being a doctor.

well, ok, i'm not a doctor yet, and not even the kind that really has to do a lot of stuff like operate or set someone's bones or even prescribe the right cholesterol medicine that doesn't conflict with their high blood pressure and anemia medicines and cause liver damage, stroke, blindness, death or even sexual difficulties. but still, i've got plenty to read, have to write a mini-thesis this summer about my dissertation topic, memorize lines for the play i'm in, participate in choir practice, coordinate fiestas for the hall. i tell you, it's hard work. but very rewarding when it all comes together well. i know it's taken me a little while to get here, but i'm glad for the journey. God's taken me on an amazing journey & i still want to peek around the corner to see what's coming up next.

but for now, it's dinner time. enjoy it with someone.

05 July 2007

so, this afternoon...

a transformer blew somewhere near the town of middlebury & the central vermont power service cut the power for the entire town of middlebury, the college, and one or two neighboring towns. so, were there we were, without lights, without electricity, and how were we going to eat dinner? by candlelight, of course! it was eery, but still, the middlebury spirit shone through & it was almost as if nothing had happened. it was kind of like camping for a while--we all gathered around and shared jokes and laughs, food and drinks. it was a great night before classes start tomorrow.

03 July 2007

and we're back

wow-it's amazing how much has happened in the past month since my last post! let's see:
-i'm no longer a high school teacher
-one entire week was sponsered by netflix
-i saw my paternal grandfather, whom i haven't seen in about 5 years
-i moved out (initially) of my townhouse

within the past week:
-my bro, sis-in-law & niece, with their 'wonderdog' visited last week
-went to a wedding of good friends
-finished getting necessary papers for my student visa application
-had dinner at blue sky kitchen, yum
-i finished moving things out of my townhouse & got the deposit back (!)

this week:
-i flew to boston
-presented my passport and application for the student visa & was told i didn't have all the info despite following their instructions on the website (i'll have to go back)
-moved into my dorm room at middlebury college
-met with the director of the program about my course of study
-am getting to know old friends & making new ones

thanks to all who supported me over the past 4 years to help me get to where i am now. i followed God & he's led me back here to the mountains of vermont (of all places) to study spanish. what a ride it's been.

and don't worry, i'll blog more. ;)


23 May 2007


it's the last week of the school year--exams, grades, graduation. a time for endings and beginnings. and butterflies. you know, those little things that you get in your stomach when you know something really big is about to happen, but you're not quite sure how you're going to react or what's going to happen and you can't quite remember how on earth you got into this situation to begin with.

well, the countdown to middlebury has unofficially begun, and now i have to arrange for visa applications, filling out forms, registering, and financial aid to get ready to go to spain. apparently, having to prepare for moving to another country means having a lot of butterflies, whereas going to vermont produces very few. i mean, hey, if you can go to another country, another state should be a breeze!

i just got two e-mails from the college--1) fill out certain 'pre-departure forms' and 2) the miami consulate may or may not process my visa application, so i may have to go somewhere else. yikes! it's just a hassle that i don't want to deal with.

pressing on.

17 May 2007


so the countdown to my last working day is in 2 weeks--that's one more day of this week, five days of exams next week & three days of post-planning the week of memorial day. thankfully i have memorial day off. then, i have to pack up my stuff, clean my house & move things to get ready to go to vermont in july. it's becoming more and more of a reality that i'm leaving for the summer, though the big move in september hasn't hit yet. i guess one thing at a time. a week later, i've just gotten used to the fact that i no longer have class at asu on tues & thurs nights. yup, the exam's over, the grades are in, and i'm not a professor anymore...at least for the time being.

i went to visit some family in florida over the weekend--my grandparents, aunt & family. i haven't seen so many brown people since i went to honduras last summer. ;) it was great to see them and even better to eat such gooooood food! :D yeah, we all know how paulo likes goooood food. i got some good pics, which i'll post on my flickr site (when i have a minute). another good thing about visiting family on both sides now is that i've taken my place amongst the tribe. though i'm the oldest grandson/cousin on both sides, i haven't been seen as a kid in several years. one good thing about visiting my cousins in florida is that since they're younger, they now know me and have more memories of me. i'm trying to establish bonds that will still be there after the older generations have passed.

i'm looking towards the future, but keeping track of my steps.

03 May 2007

choose an identity

i really must applaud blogger for their superhero skills. when you go to leave a comment on someone's blog, you must 'choose an identity', like you're suiting up with the x-men or joining the justice league or something. i guess i still have superheroes & saturday morning cartoons on the brain since i saw thundercats season one on dvd. sweet stuff.

'come with me if you want to live.' (thanks to the casper movie that came out, like, 10 years ago)

30 April 2007


so, i caught myself saying a phrase i NEVER thought i'd hear come out of my mouth: look how young! no, not while looking in the mirror. each time i come onto campus for class--yes, to teach these young faces--i've found myself aging ever so much more. i mean, i'm not, you know, old or anything--barely in the mid-20's. so what's the problem here? i guess it's because i have responsibility for those younger than me. or maybe it's this whole doctorate thing; i have to act mature because i'm going to be a doctor. well, one of the reasons i'm looking forward to going back to school is so i won't have so much responsibility! i'll be able to stay up all hours of the night. i'll be able to take naps or strolls in the parks in the afternoon or catch a coffee with some friends mid-morning. maybe that's what attracts me to academia. though it's hard work, there's time to enjoy life, too.

i guess i've gotten so caught up in being mature, i've forgotten what it's like to be young! help me stay young, my friends!

24 April 2007

walking tall

i feel extra tall when i can't really my legs. i feel elongated, or almost like i'm floating. and i don't really know how i get from one step to the other. with my legs covered, it's curious that i have an intellectual knowledge of being upright, but i need the visual or tactile proof that i am. i'm conscious about the way i walk--it can be anything from a limp to throwing a leg in front to waddling to something off a runway. but all in all, they're my legs; it's my walk. life goes on, as must i.

12 April 2007

thundercats! ho-o-o!

some friends lent me the thundercats season 1 dvd!! i am all about reliving of the childhood! ;) of course, i'm barely out of my own, but still, it's nice to have a bit of randomness childhood-ness. i'm not going to say silliness because the thundercats tackle elements like justice, friendship, and good vs. evil. and, mummra is actually pretty scary. i can't believe i didn't have nightmares as a kid. but anyways, school's back in session from spring break, and it was wonderful doing a whole lot of nothing besides waking up late, watching movies, and enjoying the sunshine. ah, just 6 more weeks of school, and it's summertime!

as an update to my last post, i've been off of one medication for about 3 weeks now or so, and i've had little nerve pain, but a bit more noticeable joint pain. interesting how that works out. but, i've been functioning well. my body tends to do better anyhow in the warmer months. even though it's still several months away, i wonder how my body will respond to moving to spain and being in school again. well, i guess after working 50 hour weeks, just having a couple classes a day will be a breeze! ;)

27 March 2007

my leg hurts

i don't what it is, but my leg has been hurting more over the past five days or so. sunday evening, i could hardly stand on it. sometimes, i don't like the fact that i appear so different, and then there are other times when i proudly display it. i think i'm somewhere in between right now. at least i can manage a limp all right. and i'm used to pain by now.

someone on campus intereviewed me about my experiences studying abroad and during the course of that, i mentioned that i became ill and moved back to the states. a few days later, she sent me an e-mail asking if i could expand on my illness. i tell ya, it took me a solid week to respond because when i started writing, it reminded me of how ill and compromised i really was. i forget about that most days. it was kind of scary to dig up those things and to think of what i went through at such a young age.

but, aside from the lows, i can see how God sustained me and has brought me through according to his glorious plan to be where he wants me to be. it's been an amazing journey, which is something i try to focus on more than my weakness. :)

22 March 2007

swimming in the swamp

my grandmother used to tell us of the swamps that were by her house, and one day in particular she told us that her grandmother told her that one day, some kids were playing at the edge of the swamp. their ball entered just beyond the entrance of the swamp, and they looked at each other wondering if they dared go in or not. one boy, the oldest, went in after it, and soon after that he started shouting and screaming for the others to help him. when they did rush in, they found him laughing next to a cyprus tree, his feet dangling in the water enjoying the coolness. when the other boys saw how their leader was all right, they all jumped in, but after a few minutes, they felt very sluggish and their feet kept getting caught in vines and branches. soon every one of them got too tired to fight any more and they all drowned. years later, the village people said that you could hear some of their voices at night, crying out for help.

well, even though i made that all up, i know it's been a month since i last blogged--that's right, just before my b-day, which was spectacular!! it's great to have a week-long b-day, no? i've just been swamped after that. it's crazy! but in a week, i start my spring break, and i'm really looking forward to that! but for now, i must away to class. i'll post again soon.

20 February 2007

happy pre-day

it's the annual birthday review! in the past year, i've:
-started a blog
-reconnected with friends via facebook
-took a summer off and got paid for it!
-went to honduras & had a great time
-started my second year of teaching
-started going to a new church
-moved out on my own
-have had to use my crutches less & less

as you see, there are a lot of new starts, and i'm glad for that. it's kind of weird to look back at my life and see how i've changed since college. i saw my undergrad id the other day as i was cleaning, and it took me back to all the hopes & dreams, the wide-eyed innocence and that hot friday when i locked my keys in my car the day of freshmen orientation. :)

a lot has happened in the years since that august friday, and sometimes i try to hide those changes so much that it hurts. i mean really hurts. but all in all, i rest in the fact that i'm not doing life alone & that God is in control. i just look for the times when i can be used as his instrument.

in other news, and a happy pre-day gift is that shaun came back to school today looking rested and relieved!! thanks to all who prayed for him (and me) this past week. please keep praying for us both as the school year draws to a close. 12 more weeks!

i'm looking forward to chocolate cake over the next four days! happy b-day to me!

14 February 2007

if i were a doctor

i feel like i just killed a patient. one of my students has recently been talking with me about his life and how he's trying to get things together for the beginning of his senior year this fall. he's told me he's had a lot of stress in his life, but what 16 year old guy doesn't? school, girls, family. but still, his seemed a little more than anyone else's.

he was in my classroom talking almost for an hour nonstop, and i felt like i was connecting with him, trying to mentor him. on monday afternoon, he was in the assistant principal's office just talking about his day when he had a psychotic episode, and it was bad. they had to call the ambulance, and he was taken to the hospital, but only after a couple of hours of trying to stabilize his blood pressure.

i pray he didn't take any drugs and that he doesn't have any mental illness. i don't know when i'll see shaun again, but i don't think it'll be any time soon. i feel like i lost one, like my patient died on the table, and i don't know why it was him or why now or why i feel so sad for him.

10 February 2007


i finished my french exam in an hour, had the phone interview (i got to call canada; how fun!), and am awaiting official paper accepting me into the program. now i have to do my taxes, apply for financial aid, and get ready for my birthday. i tell you, during the month of january as we've been talking about 'simplify', it seems my life has only gotten more hectic. when will the madness stop?! but, i did do well on my exam, so i'm happy.

besides, there's a professor liger in the office next to mine on campus, so that makes me smile. though it is a shared office...and no, not with professor tigon.

please, grow up.

07 February 2007

well, i'm trying

i finished up my essays for the french exam and when i go to take it, i'm about 10 questions in when internet explorer just shuts down for no reason! now i have to wait and have the exam reset so i can take it again just as spots are filling up for the program! well, i'm frustrated, but more confident because the first few questions i answered were things i had just taught my students last week. :) so that's a good feeling.

just tell that to the pit in my stomach.

31 January 2007

continuously continuing to continue

'who among you, if your son asks for bread would give him a scone?' this spiritually enlightening question brought to you by my brother who views english pastry worthy of insertion into the holy scriptures.

i'm working on two essays in preparation to take the entrance exam for the french school at middlebury college. it's a bit rough--not the actual essay-writing process, but the fact that this half determines my fate for next year. yes, i haven't written an essay in two years, but surely it's like riding a bike. and i've enjoyed getting back into it, actually, the nerd that i am. but i just have so much else to do for my jobs including making lesson plans and quizzes, then grading them, plus meetings and extra classes all balanced around my relationship with God and the church.

i promise, i'm trying to simplify! it's just that i feel like (my cousin) vinny waiting to see what else i need to put on top of my pile.

who knew i could reference brittish pastry, education, and a movie allusion all in one post? they gotta let me in for that!

24 January 2007


why does it seem that choices have to be so final? it seems to me that every choice i make has an eternal consequence: if i don't go grocery shopping today, i won't have milk for my cereal tomorrow; if i choose to live here, then i must live in said place for the rest of my life; if i have a routine, then i must stick to that routine because that's what grown-ups do--they stick to routines, they make choices, and they live with the results of those choices for the REST of their lives.

i've got the gypsy spirit moving again, and i feel restless because i'm planning on another big move. it's kind of hard to believe that i've been here, settled, for three years now already. with so many others around me settling down into the newness of life--marriage, jobs, kids--i feel left out at times because i have none of those things. in fact, i'm about to leave everything behind and chase a dream. and it's that choice that has me feeling like i'm leaving everything behind forever, and i may have lost my chance at those things.

i read things about people my age traveling around the world or writing books or going on roadtrips, and that appeals to me so much, but i know there's a choice to be made, which involves the big green: $$$. what's the tradeoff between being where i am and being content wherever i am, knowing i have to live with that choice?

11 January 2007

i tell ya

if you want good birth control, be a teacher. i say that half in jest because i only have these kids one hour a day. what would i do if i had to LIVE with them? this makes me wonder what i was like as a teenager and going through all the drama that is high school. how much drama did i have? then i think about how much drama i have in my life now--what do i have to study tonight in preparation for tomorrow, what am i going to do this weekend and with whom? hmm, maybe it's not so different.

i blew up at a class today because i was frustrated that my bright students--they really are great--weren't paying attention; instead they were talking about something else that wasn't about the lesson. at times like these, i wonder if i get upset truly because they are not paying attention to the lesson or if they're not paying attention to ME.

i realize that education can make someone egocentric. but just think about it: 25-30 people are supposed to sit at my feet and hang on my every word in order to gain knowledge that will deepen their understanding of the world around them which contributes to their being better citizens, which will, therefore, cause them to work for the good of all mankind. it all starts with ME!

i tell ya, i'm tired. and 'ugly betty' is about to come on.