In the four-plus years I have written this blog, I have struggled at times with topics. I try to make the thoughts devotional in nature and tied together but at times, there are just a few seemingly disjointed things I want to say. This was one of those nights, even though I thought the ideas made sense. This is from May 28, 2006.
This is the last Sunday of the month, the weekend I am assigned to preach for our Chinese speaking part of the Westbury Church Of Christ. Being the last Sunday, the Chinese share a potluck fellowship meal. Growing up, this would have meant macaroni and cheese, baked beans, casseroles, etc. Today, the menu included rice, noodles with vegetables, and a meat dish wrapped in corn husks. Different culture but the ladies still bring out their finest. In honor of this hallowed tradition, my entry will be of the potluck variety, a smattering of various odds and ends which hopefully will satisfy your reading appetite for the start of the Memorial Day weekend.I intentionally stay away from anything political in my writings. However, last week a judge in Nebraska, my native home, gave a sex offender ten years probation instead of what normally would be a ten year prison sentence. Why? The judge reasoned that at only 5'1", the convicted rapist would be in great danger in jail. A spokesman for a group advocating rights for people of small stature in agreeing with the punishment was quoted as saying, "It's good to see somebody looking out for someone who is a short person." Ironically, the height of the twelve year old female victim was not listed in the story.
Two weeks ago, I asked on our school e-mail if anyone had weight plates they would let me use to make my workout at home more efficient. Our Westbury Christian School nurse, Kay Brownback, had three fifty pound plates sitting on her front porch, left over from her grandson's long-completed science project. She hauled them in and I transferred the plates to my car. One of the three was carried upstairs to Apartment 3329 and cleaned. The other two, or one hundred pounds, or the equivalent of an extra passenger, have been riding on my backseat floorboards for ten-plus days. So much for fuel efficiency!
I walked through our school building yesterday afternoon. A deserted school is forlorn to me, almost mournful. I had the same feeling as a kid when my dad was the director of Nebraska Youth Camp and we always were the last to leave, which I detested. The best time to say good-bye is before anyone else. Some of our kids I will never see again. Some of our teachers I might never see again. The nature of education is that people move on. The relocating of two colleagues will affect me tremendously. April Cusic was kindergarten teacher supreme, possessing the patience I only dream of. For the past two years, she has also been my middle school girls' basketball assistant coach and human GPS system on road trips, as well as modeling Christ for my players. April is, after training, going to Brazil as part of a mission team. Kevin Duncan has been on the other side of my partitioned classroom for a four year span. Without a doubt, he is the most creative teacher I know, making even world geography exciting. In August, Kevin will move to Costa Rica where he will instruct in an international school, paving the way for his doctorate by learning Spanish. Good teachers can be replaced but as people, April and Kevin are irreplaceable. I felt a great loss when I peeked into their empty classrooms on Saturday.
At graduation, a senior presented Foley's gift cards in the amount of $50.00 to several teachers as a show of appreciation. So, tomorrow morning, Sam Ruiz and I will make a trip to the Foleys' in the First Colony Town Center in Sugar Land, Texas. I don't think Sam's wife Julie is accompanying us. I asked Sam tonight what he was going to buy- he thinks shoes. I'm leaning towards two dress shirts or one dress shirt and one pair of Dockers....the Foley's ad says they're having a sale. Since those of you who know me know I tend to be slightly fashion deficient, feel free to weigh in on your preferences. You have approximately eleven hours and fifteen minutes to make your best case. (PS, Beverly: anything pink or black is not an option.) I will make break the suspense in my tomorrow's post!Applicable quote of the day:
"Creativity is using the best resources you have to make something positive happen. This isn't just about the arts. It's about business, medicine, leadership, housekeeping, world politics, or a Sunday potluck dinner."
Janet Carija Brandt
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org