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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Philadelphia's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 20th, 2007
9:45 pm
Stuff to do
put templates into the 2008 YB/Templates folder (done! yey!)

weekly plans (Done)

call parents

email out request for field trip day

input short story test; notebook quiz 2???

get additional book forms (done), fill out


type (done), print (done) & post standards (done!)

call for and pick up table

order speakers for computer, iriver?

supervise selection of senior portraits (student coming in today!)

input ads and photos; call to arrange printing

grade & input make-up work (DONE)
Thursday, December 28th, 2006
8:59 am
Medicalish rambling within.Collapse )

Current Mood: stressed
Sunday, October 8th, 2006
10:50 am
Parallel lives
I feel stifled. I have two groups of acquaintances: those who share my faith, and those who share my hobbies. It feels like I should add "and never the twain shall meet." (Tangent: Even though I am an English teacher, I still had to check the spelling of "acquaintance.")

The Christians I know are all very nice people, but tend to be pretty mundane. I haven't met ANY who're remotely around my age, nor any who seem imaginative enough to want to devote several hours (or more) a week to a creative adventure. It just doesn't matter to them. Likewise, my net-friends who know me through my MUXen are not particularly interested in discussing Christian history, theology or current issues.

To make matters worse, there are very, very few people around here who are in my age group. That is to say, I can't think of ANY, locally. Several of my co-workers are only a few years older than me - but they have kids, and that really puts you in a whole different life stage.

I don't have people to 'hang' with. And I'm not sure where they are... or even if there ARE any more. Right now, the only person who truly understands me on both faith and imagination is my husband. Truly, this is good, but... I need some buddies. It's harder for me, cuz I'm a girl, and RPGs and theological reflection both seem to be male-dominated hobbies.

I'm great at meeting new people - but I have trouble finding the RIGHT people. It's awkward - kind of like dating. (Which I never liked either, by the way.) Finding friends is as uncomfortable as finding a new church home. Things seem so contrived and artificial and then I feel awkward and guilty if it doesn't work out.

Current Mood: disappointed
Sunday, September 17th, 2006
9:26 am
Holy Smokes! (or not)
I was in seventh grade the first time anyone offered me a cigarette. Her name was Jaime, and we might've been friends if we'd seen each other more often. The city she lived in was about a 45 minute drive away - rather a lot when you can't actually drive. Her grandparents, however, lived on the outskirts of my town, and they went to the same church I did, so when she visited them for the weekend, I saw her at church.

As it was, we were sort of ... associates. We'd amble through the fields and woods behind her grandparents' farmhouse, and talk. (There wasn't much else to do.) I knew she smoked; she regularly had a pack of cigarettes with her. I'm fairly sure she knew I didn't, because I never had any. One day, she offered me one of hers. I said, "okay," mostly because I'd (a) never tried it and wondered what it was like, and (b) we were a couple hundred yards from the house; there was no way I'd get caught and get in trouble.

I couldn't even get the stupid thing to light at first. She had to explain that you had to take a pull from the cigarette WHILE you were lighting it, or it wouldn't catch. I still think that's dumb. I mean, it's paper wrapped around a bunch of dried leaves. It ought to burn pretty darn easily.

And so that day, when we wandered around and talked, we both smoked. When I thought about it, I couldn't figure out what the big deal was about smoking. Why did people do it, now that we knew how awful it was for your health? It wasn't particularly interesting or enjoyable. I could've had just as much fun making a blade-of-grass whistle between my thumbs. So, the next time she offered a smoke, I said "no thanks." I knew smoking could be addictive, and I figured I didn't want to get addicted to something so pointless.

By the time I was in college, I knew lots of people who smoked. Nobody offered me a cigarette. I guess they figure that everyone's had the offer and made decisions and whatnot. Anyway, so one time, I saw this guy blow the smoke out THROUGH HIS NOSE. He looked like a dragon. And dragons are cool. It was sooo neato! I just couldn't help staring. (It didn't hurt that the guy was cute.)

So finally I said, "How do you DO that?!"

He kind of grinned, and said, "It's easy. You just breathe out through your nose."

He gave me a cigarette from his pack, and I tried it. Lit the cig (knew how to do that now!) ... took a pull ... breathed out through my nose.

Nothing happened. Well, nothing but air. I frowned, and he was now grinning at ME. He managed not to laugh when he explained that you actually had to take the pull and then breathe in AGAIN to get the smoke into your lungs.

So THAT was what Clinton meant by "I didn't inhale." Aha.

I tried again. This time, I breathed out first, making sure I mostly-emptied my lungs. And then I took a drag from the cigarette, and then breathed in again. Wow. Things definitely felt different. The smoke burned going down my throat, kind of the way the first sip of a carbonated beverage does. And when I breathed out through my nose, SMOKE CAME OUT! Wow! I happydanced.

THAT made people laugh at me. But I didn't care. I had a NEW TOY. Look at me! I am a DRAGON. Rar. It was fun. That one cigarette made my entire evening.

On the other hand, it wasn't enough to get me to buy my own. I hate the way the smoke coats your teeth. I hate the way the smell clings to your hair and clothes - it's the one thing I really don't like about going dancing. I feel so gross when I get back, like there's a layer of dirt on me. (Which I guess describes it pretty well.) But worst of all - and I think this doesn't bother most people, which is weird - I can't stand the taste of the paper. Smoke or no smoke, the cigarette itself just TASTES bad.

So anyway, on Friday and Saturday nights when we got together, I'd bum a smoke off of someone... I made sure to avoid asking the same person very often, but pretty much everyone else smoked, so that was fairly easy.

I never felt like I wanted more than one. It'd last me awhile, I'd do the cool-fun nose thing... sometimes do puffs and go "look, I'm a train!" It was fun, and silly. But there were games to play and movies to see, so one was plenty. Sometimes I'd have one on Friday, and one on Saturday.

Since I graduated, I've moved... I don't know very many smokers at all, and the only one I do know well would accuse me of being a mooch if I asked for ONE. ;p Plus, well, I have a husband now, and I want him to think well of me. He doesn't smoke, and doesn't find it particularly alluring... so I don't smoke. Kind of like... I think onions are gross, so he avoids eating them.

Getting kisses is way better than getting smokes!
Sunday, August 27th, 2006
9:07 am
The Tyrrany of Choice
Something to think about...

In other news, MMMMmmm, I love bacon. DARNIT.
Thursday, July 13th, 2006
5:47 pm
Today just has NOT been a good day. And I don't even really know why. I'm just frustrated and dismal. I have the "I don't want to BE HERE" feeling that I get when I'm heading in to work and already tired. Only I'm not heading in to work, I'm at home. And I just had a nap. What the fuck?

I just can't find anything that pleases me right now. Blogsurfing is tedious, RP is pointless, the books I got from the library just aren't holding my attention, I certainly don't feel like doing chores, I hate the bible study that I'm suffering through this summer... Bleaugh! I'm going to StepMania a bit, I guess, but I really don't feel good about that either. But it's at least good for me. While food might cheer me up for a little, I'm not going to go that route.

What's the POINT, anyway?

Current Mood: discontent
Tuesday, July 11th, 2006
4:47 pm
My day
Not like it matters, but here's my day:

Get up around 6 or 6:30. Get to school anywhere from 6:45-7:30. Try to get some yearbook crap done, make photocopies of any worksheets for the day. Teach until 12:30. Depending on how hot the non-air-conditioned room is, I may or may not do more yearbook stuff. Around 1 or 1:30 I'll go home and fix something easy for lunch and play D&D (MUX-based) and/or StepMania (it's free! woot!) and then take a nap. Then around 5 or 6 it's back to the school to ATTEMPT to get more yearbook stuff done. This doesn't always work out. ;p

Today I'm leaving early because it is UNGODLY hot in here, even now. Plus there isn't a lot I can do; I should be able to get what's left done tomorrow morning, early. When it's cooler. Usually I'll be around til tenish or so.

When I'm not stressed about files formatted the wrong way, it's quite fun. ;p
Sunday, July 9th, 2006
8:43 am
Monday, June 19th, 2006
9:09 pm
Not sure it's neglect
So I was going through my papers and I came across a list of questions from one of our recent(ish) Bible studies. One of the questions was about prayer life. And I realized that one of the reasons - possibly the main one - that I don't have a consistent prayer life has to do with my relationship with my father.

It's not a bad relationship by any stretch of the imagination. But we're not exactly chatty. I called him up for Father's Day, and we talked for a little while. But not long. I tend to call when I have something I need or something I particularly want to tell him. But it's not like I call every day, or that we talk for ages. It's kind of the same in return. I could probably count on both hands (if I even needed both) the number of times he's called me since we've moved. We love each other deeply, but we're just not... chatty.

With my mom, on the other hand, it's precisely the opposite. We can talk for hours on end, easily. We only hang up when there's something else we have to do or someone else who needs the phone.

It's not that I think God doesn't care, or that he has "something better to do" than listen to me, or that he doesn't have the power to act in my life. It's that I figure he knows more about my life than even I do, and that he's got things under control. Hopefully. ;)

Current Mood: contemplative
2:17 pm
Sunday, June 18th, 2006
11:03 pm
Well, tomorrow starts week three of school. We'll be doing drama notes, reviewing sentence structure, finishing memorizing the helping verbs list, and hopefully (?) starting prepositions. I need to keep my focus with this, but it's hard.

I'm also about ready to say we should start church-shopping. Maybe it's just because I'm MSing, but I just don't feel a fit in the church we're at. In this morning's sermon, the pastor asked something like, "are you connected with other believers?" and I was thinking... no. I'm not. And it isn't as though I haven't tried; we're part of a small group Bible study and we've gotten together with some of the group members a couple of times just to hang out, but somehow I've never gotten past the 'first-date' feeling.

It's also possible that it's not the church, it's the culture. I am SUCH a Yankee. And I'm proud of it! But I'm used to a far more tongue-in-cheek, joyfully familiar mood - almost to the point of scandalous irreverence. In the half-year or more that we've been with this group, I've yet to hear anyone say that they disagreed with the perspective in the pastor's message. Moreover, they all seem so inspired every week. "That just REALLY spoke to me!" And I am continually baffled.

Not that the sermons are bad (though I won't get into my rant against 'worship music') but ... well, the pastor goes through a single book of the Bible a section at a time. Quite often, this means a LOT of overlap. It was REALLY hard for me to pay attention today, because he just pointed out stuff from the scripture. Hello? Literate individual here. And even better - it was a review of the whole book, so it was material he'd gone over before.

I just don't get it. Everyone else in this church seems to get so excited about reading the Bible, and I just... don't. I'm not passionate about it. I love my faith, I love God, I trust in his promises. I love being able to live out his plan for my life - THAT, yes, I am passionate about. When you KNOW, without the slightest doubt, that you are where you're meant to be, doing what God intends for you to do? Oo, s'nice!

And don't get me wrong. Reading the Bible usually isn't a chore for me. I just don't get as jazzed about it as everyone else seems to.

And I'm not sure what to do.

Current Mood: pensive
Saturday, June 17th, 2006
9:40 am
New PC!
First line from the background (all I've got so far, actually):

The defining moment of _____'s life was when he discovered how very easy it was to kill someone who didn't believe you'd really do it.

Hee hee. I'm playing an EVIL PERSON! Wuhu! I'm pretty psyched about him, cuz he's Evil Evil and not in an obvious way. I'm sort of going for a Godfather angle for him - he's powerhungry, but with a purpose. He wants to be the one calling the shots. He wants to avoid being in the position where someone can refuse to do what he asks. Heh heh heh...
Friday, June 16th, 2006
12:54 pm
More School Stuff
First: She likes the book! Hee hee and WUHU! :D I predict she'll have it finished over the weekend. I just hope she doesn't forget to do her homework.

Turns out our publisher's rep can't come by today. She'll be away next week. This means I have to finish the yearbook ALL BY MYSELF. Which totally sucks. I get SO nervous about sending in pages. There are always, ALWAYS mistakes I've missed. It's hard for me to find the balance between "screw it, just send it in however" and "it has to be just right!!"

Had the second quiz today. All the grades, except one, are up from last week. Most of the students are now passing the course! (four out of six are passing; last week it was ONE out of six.) One of the other two is at a 67 (passing is 70). The other did next to none of his homework and has a 55. He is convinced he won't pass. I told him that his grade wouldn't come up to passing in a week, but that if he DID HIS HOMEWORK and studied for his tests, he would definitely pass and if he worked hard he could get as high as a B.

Four weeks left. Did I mention I'm nervous?

Current Mood: rushed
Wednesday, June 14th, 2006
4:29 pm
Stupid Emotional Tricks and Rat Fink Novelists
Also? What the FUCK is up with Philip Pullman and killing off characters in an arbitrary/hokey/pointlessly melodramatic way? You know, I can DEAL with killing off characters simply to get an emotional response from the audience - in a game with a storyteller I trust. And I forget what lame-o "apocalyptic adventure" story I was reading... it was the one with the Australian protagonist and was seriously pro-Aussie... wish I could get a list of the books I've checked out of the library in the past few months... ANYWAY, it had death of one of the supporting characters that WAS totally reasonable according to plot and characterization. Much better done. (Except that it turned out she wasn't REALLY dead, which made it totally lame-o after all!)

Pullman's? Feel like Cedric Diggory. Only I didn't care at ALL about Cedric. The "big reveal" came and I was still reading to the end of the book, waiting to see which "important character" would get the knife. I mean, in fairness, I should've been ready for it, because the Sally Whatsername books were written before the Amber Spyglass stuff, when he was a less polished writer.

Read some Agatha Christie, dammit. The woman wrote deaths and close shaves like nobody's business!

Other books I recently read that were better: Listening for Lions, by Gloria Whelan. I actually picked it up because the cover art reminded me of Tony DiTerlizzi (sp?) and I wanted to Google the artist. And then it turned out to be good! Whatcha know? The Art of the Interview, by Lawrence Grobel, which I think I want to get and have for a reference book in journalism class. Magic Can Be Murder, by Vivian Vande Velde, which I liked SO much that I picked up Dragon's Bait, which I liked EVEN BETTER. They better buy more of her books. Camel Club, by David Baldacci.

Others I have out: Critical Choices that Change Lives, by Daniel Castro. Eh, thought it would be stronger on the anecdotes about interesting people, but it's kind of self-help schlocky. Returning. Why I Am a Christian, a group of essays, somewhat apologeticky. Merciless on the jargon. I much prefer my theology book, thank you. ;p Returning. Talk, Laura Van Wormer. Somewhat interesting premise, suspensish thriller. Didn't see the ending coming, but didn't particularly hold my interest, either. Returning. The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner. Pretty good. I had to read it as fantasy, because I don't know enough about Greek geography to figure out where they were. It didn't help that the "break the street rat out of jail so he can steal something for you" starter made me think of Disney's Aladdin. Cool ending. Oh, and character death is handled in a NON-LAME-O manner! ;p Returning soon; might read through it again before I do. Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss. Don't laugh, but I use it in my poetry unit. Hey, it's about the clearest, most consistent example of iambic tetrameter there is. Shadow in the North, Philip Pullman. Dammit, Phil! The Ruby in the Smoke was good enough that I thought the sequel wouldn't suck! Oh - AND the little cliffhanger from the first book isn't resolved - isn't even DEALT with - in the second. WTF?! Definitely returning. Gr.

Out, but unread: The Cat Who Wished to Be a Man, Lloyd Alexander. I generally like his stuff, although it often feels a little ... hm. "This Is A Story For Young People." Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco. Big and rather daunting. Stiffed, Susan Faludi. I own and like Backlash, so when I saw this near another book I had gone to get, I checked it out as well. Weapons of Mass Distraction, Matthew Fraser. About the allure of American culture and how it affects international relations. Ditto the previous. Why Gender Matters, Leonard Sax. This is the book I went for. Well-researched and just... fascinating. I've read it before and am looking to going back through it. Magellania, Jules Verne. I've had this out for about a week, maybe a week and a half, and I haven't cracked it except to read the flyleaf. It sounds great. I don't know why I can't seem to muddle up interest in it! The Twentieth Wife, Indu Sundaresan. Female underdog in the Sultan's court. Sounded intriguing, and I was already toting five other books... why not add one more? ;D
1:35 pm
So, a little disgruntled. Things went really well at school today. But now that means I'm all wound up and 'cited and won't be able to take a nap before Bible study tonight. It doesn't help that we'll be using a Beth Moore book. I always feel like I'm being talked down to. BLEAUGH.

I hate that. It's one of the few things I don't like about the church we're going to. I just - I don't feel challenged. That hit me last night at the Riverbend concert thingy. FFH had music that was more my style. Great harmonies, fun boppy tunes. But the lyrics (what I could make out) just seemed simplistic and weak. Audio Adrenaline was better lyrically, and the lead singer really made a powerful call about what it truly means - or what it OUGHT to mean - to be a Christian. I couldn't help thinking, "yeah, all of us are raising our hands saying, 'we'll go wherever you send us and do what you need to have done' but how many of us here will take any sort of action toward that?

And that reminds me. I wanna email that guy about the Micah Challenge. There are few things that stir me as passionately as the fact that THOUSANDS of people DIE EVERY DAY because they don't have enough money for food or basic medical services. Stuff that we take COMPLETELY for granted - like clean, drinkable water. Hell, the water in our TOILETS is probably better than what people drink in third-world countries.

I don't know. Sometimes I get really down on myself. I completely SUCK at seeing ministry opportunities around me. And I know they're there! Every day! I'm not talking about the "Brother, do you know JAY-sus?" stuff - I'm not real big on confrontational evangelism - but about keeping my focus on living for God and demonstrating real Christianity. It's just sooo easy to get sucked into the little things.

I was mean today. IT WAS FUN!! :D I have one student who's doing particularly well in summer school. She's finished the novel we're reading and got caught up with all of her work for the day when we had 20 minutes of work-time left before I dismissed them. We were in the library, so I went over and got Under the Jolly Roger (by L.A. Meyer) off the shelf and told her to read it for the rest of the period and let me know what she thought. Right before it was time to head out, I told her that if she liked the book, she could check it out. She said, "Well, I like it, but I won't read it if I don't have to." That caught me off guard, and in the moment while I was sorting it out, she asked, "Do I have to?"

I thought for a moment more, and then said, "Yes!" She blinked, and asked, "Are you serious?" I grinned at her, and said, "Yes!" I told her she wouldn't have to do a full report or anything, but she'd need to tell me a bit about the characters and their motivations and what happened in the story and stuff. So anyway, when I had the class go back to the room for dismissal, she checked the book out. I held the door for her, and as we headed down the hall toward the room, she said, "I'm never going to forgive you for this."

But she was smiling as she said it.

Current Mood: discontent
Tuesday, June 13th, 2006
7:18 am
So, anyway, we had salmon and salad and mashed potatoes last night. It was quite good! And I am SO lucky to have a husband who runs a game just for me. I'm really looking forward to getting to play again. All I can say is, he better not hold out on me. Imonna be pissed if it gets put off.

Also: what is it with men and pointless bickering? I swear, some people's children.

And while I can see the case for complementarianism, I think it really applies more to gifts of the spirit. Complementarianism in regard to gender belongs in marriage alone, and really should be on a case-by-case basis. Igh. I wish I could find quotes easily.

Hurray for google! From Tim Challies' blog, quoting Ligon Duncan: "If you can get Paul’s statement “I do not permit a woman to teach” to say “I do permit a woman to teach” you can make people believe anything." However, I don't think egalitarians want to change Paul's statement, but rather to say, "Well, Paul, you may not permit a woman to teach, but we do." Nor is it that Paul's decision was wrong, but that he lived and taught in a different culture.

I believe in biological differences between men and women (I have eyes that work) but I don't believe in saying there are differences where, scripturally, the case is weak at best. I wonder how the complementarians reconcile "we're not saying that women aren't as good as men," which they all claim, and women are "the weaker partner." How do they think 1 Peter 3 (about the most incendiary text out there) should be applied?
Monday, June 5th, 2006
12:04 pm
So. I have made it through my first day of summer school. In a word? BRUTAL. Whew. Four and a half hours of teaching, virtually nonstop. Add nerves into the mix and now my legs are soup.

I'm going home. More later, mebbe.
Thursday, June 1st, 2006
9:27 am
So! I have emerged. It's only taken me the week-and-a-half since school was out to recover. Of course, a good bit of the first week was taken up with post-planning (cleaning up the room and getting my stuff ready to be moved to the room I'll be in next year). And the yearbook STILL isn't done. I got a little queasy feeling in my tummy as I typed that... guilt, maybe. Sometimes I feel like I should be off doing Something Productive instead of here, futzing around.

Fuck it. ;p

In another half-week (I think?) I will be teaching summer school. I'm gonna futz while I futzin' can! :D

blah. It's been months since I posted, and, I dunno. Why post? There is sooooooo much chatter out on the net. Why add to it? I really don't know. I mean, sometimes I feel like, "well, you know, you have a livejournal and you never USE it!" so I think I post out of some lame sense of obligation. You know. Like the dress you don't REALLY like, but it's not so ugly or ill-fitting that it should be thrown out, so instead of wearing the dress that you DO really like as much as you want to, sometimes you wear the not-as-nice dress, merely to justify keeping it, because it would be WASTEFUL to get rid of it.

So. Why do YOU post? (or blog, or whateveryoucallit.)
Saturday, February 18th, 2006
6:52 am
Ow, ow, ow.
I still hurt. I went and worked out with a friend from school, and... OW. I was fine that day, was fine the next day, but yesterday I started aching. I guess I cant ell which areas of my body are weenie. Yeah, my arms. I have like ZERO upper-body strength.

And I've been sleeping poorly the last few days. Maybe it's my body's way of punishing my brain. "Look, YOU made the decision to put us through misery, we're gonna return the favor," or something.

My haul from the library this week ended up being pretty anemic. Firegold was particularly lame. I dunno, maybe if I'd read the entire thing the whole way through it would've been better. I gave it like four chapters before I decided that I didn't care, and started flipping ahead to see if I would care later. I didn't. Plus the ending was weak and confusing. Maybe it's supposed to be part of a series. It won some kind of award, I think. Then again, some critical groups seem to believe that Good Books are supposed to be hard to understand. Which is crap.

We're starting Treasure Island on Tuesday (Monday is off for President's Day). I think I'll read one chapter to them in class and then have them read two at home each night. That'll get us through the book in 11 days, if at the end I read two chapters and have them finish up, so then on day 12 - Wednesday the 8th of March - I can have them start reviewing. Quizzes throughout, of course.

They've also researched a real pirate's life. So I need to have them start outlining and organizing. And for Tuesday they should have their mini-dictionary words defined. I got VERY LITTLE whining on that; either these are a MUCH higher caliber of student than I had last semester, or I've been working them so hard that they're used to it. ;D

Perhaps instead of doing the proverbs project I'll have them make a picture book of the novel; the group must summarize each chapter and draw a picture that goes along with it. Since they're doing three chapters a day, that's three summaries and three drawings each day. We also need to talk about characters and motivations and such. And the Elements of Plot - woooo.

Honestly, the more I read about that, the more trouble I have with it! The textbook describes things in such broad strokes - but I'm finding that it's hard to define THE CRISIS in a novel. Or whatever. You know? Where does the exposition end and the Official Plot begin? A good writer is subtle enough that it's hard to pick out the precise point. And what I'm reading on my own sometimes goes AGAINST what the textbook says, anyway.

I need to go get the books and put them around. I need to write receipts for yearbooks. I need to grade papers!!! Ugh.
Monday, February 13th, 2006
7:24 am
When my husband's phone alarm went off at 6:00, I did NOT want to get up. Grooooooan! So while he got a shower, I grumped around under the covers, postponing the inevitable. Then, finally, MY phone started insisting that I get up. It didn't seem fair; I hadn't already wasted half an hour! Wasn't possible!

I hadn't. Some moron was CALLING me at six-fifteen. Had a moment of worry (must be mom - what's happened?!) but it was a local number that wasn't on my list. GRAR! Morons! Six fifteen is NOT the time to dial a wrong frickin' number!! GRRR! So I ignored the call and headed back to bed. And then there was the little deedle-iddle-ding! that said whoever it was had left a message.

There is only ONE possible reason that someone other than family would leave me a message at six-fifteen in the morning.

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