An admission

31 05 2008

I am exhausted and on such a night as this it’s hard to find my joy.

It’s different tonight. It was different today. I don’t know why. Maybe there is no reason.

Excitement but…

30 05 2008

Work today was hard, because the lesson that was supposed to be observed didn’t happen until quite a bit later than I had thought, and the students were trying to be good for me, and stayed silent. Totally silent. Even though we’ve been working on speaking out in class, participating in discussions, and brainstorming out loud for a whole year. They reverted to the “silence = obedience” philosophy. And I was sad, because it took some coaxing to get a reaction out of them. I saw their eyes dance with laughter, but they kept it all in because they wanted to show the best of their teacher, see how obedient we are

My heart ached because I have to farewell them soon. I was talking with a colleague about leaving, because she’s leaving at the end of next week, having found an administrative job, and we shared about how we feel on the threshold of this new stage in life. It’s an amazing, but terrifying thing.

Tomorrow morning I go to the new place to check out one of the courses I’ll be teaching next year. I am at once excited and frantic about it. There’s a lot to do this weekend, but I’ll feel much more relaxed on Sunday.

And why not? It’s God’s day. I’m grinning broadly in case you didn’t figure it out.

Moses the Bichon Frise

29 05 2008

We’re dogsitting the dog I love again. The dog must be the happiest dog to ever have been born, spinning around and chasing our Pekingese all through the living room, under the coffee table and beneath my legs, endlessly until one or the other tires, and they roll over each other, wrestling instead. How could God have planned that we’d find such comfort in our pets? Because there’s no way He didn’t, because when I’m sad, it’s the dog that tilts its head in sympathy and care. And it’s another way I know Him.


28 05 2008

This morning, I was talking with a student about the earthquake in Sichuan province in China, which is so close to us. There was a news story recently about a teacher who, upon feeling the first tremors of the earthquake, ran out of the school and was the first person to appear on the playground of the school. When her students exited the school, they asked her, “Why didn’t you come back for us?”

Since the story came to light, she has written an explanation on the Internet, saying that she is human too, and why are people judging her on the basis of her vocation. I would be devastated if my students had cause to ask the same question of me.

But I wonder what I would do in that situation. I would like to think that I would unquestioningly sacrifice my life for these students under my care, but the truth is that when the moment actually arrives, I don’t know what I would do. Instinct kicks in, one would think.

What would my instinct be?

And I was reading on a blog this afternoon that we are, at one time or another, someone’s ‘doorknob.’ It really made me think. I wonder whose doorknob I am, and whether I will know enough to open the door.

Questions, questions. Mercy is when God does not give us the things we fully deserve. Grace…

Something by Christopher Idle:

“His justice is full and complete, his mercy to us has no end; the clouds are a path for his feet, he comes on the wings of the wind”



27 05 2008

I stuck my foot in where I shouldn’t have, and I’m sorry.


Tax returns

26 05 2008

Hong Kong has one of the lowest taxes in the world, but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily welcomed.

Filling in tax returns are a joy the first time, because you suddenly feel really grown up, and mature. Every time after that, they are just painful.

Heh. The human condition.

Update: 4 hours later, I’m still working on the tax return. Oh my good grief.

Today, I saw

25 05 2008

The movie was good. It was really, really good. Thought-free, action-packed, super-visual fun for just under two hours. Go Indy!!!

It’s been a long day otherwise. Emotions up and down, and up, and joy.

Monday again tomorrow. Hate it sometimes.

The events of the day

24 05 2008

The funeral was very emotional, and even though I didn’t know him that well, I wept for his life, and all that he had done as a teacher for so many years. What a damn waste.

But being at Solid Rock, surrounded by the youth, and love, and God’s truth, helped a lot.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is playing on television right now, and we’re watching the new one tomorrow after church, so it will all get better. I will be fine by the time Monday comes. I will be fine.

Non-uniform day

23 05 2008

We were raising funds for the victims of the earthquakes in Sichuan province in China, and I wore my TWLOHA t-shirt with the words, “LOVE IS THE MOVEMENT” in huge letters on the front. In lessons throughout the day, I was able to tell some students about self-harm and depression, and there was an outpouring of understanding, and sharing of experience. It was an amazing time, and I appreciated every second of it.

But my heart hurts for those who have experienced the depths of despair, either first- or second-hand. These conversations, this kind of sharing, this trust… This is why I am a teacher. This is why I love teenagers.

This is what it looks like:

And it was good because we weren’t just talking about teenagers, but about the need to love, and spread love, and be love around the world.

Lacking inspiration tonight

22 05 2008

I feel obligated to post something… anything… and I don’t feel like searching for the lyrics of another song, or posting another video, or looking for another witty anecdote. Tonight, it’s just me.

I heard some news from a friend tonight, and I’m really happy for her. Perhaps it’s that life is truly quite difficult, and sometimes it’s hard to keep your head up, metaphorically speaking. But at other times, the fear and the anxiety crowd in on you, and it’s hard to keep your eyes focused ahead, as opposed to darting this way and that. My attention wavers very easily, and I’m distracted by the breeze that gently lifts the curtains, and the sound of the occasional car outside my window. The sound of the keys as I type these words out beat out a regular rhythm, which I am unfamiliar with, and the cicadas outside remind me every minute that it’s s-s-s-s-s-summer.

But as I’m surfing the vast space of the Internet that both connects and alienates, I come across an article about fasting for 40 days, and recall my own mental processes when I did it last year, and this year, for Lent. In the past, I have ‘done’ fasts, always with prayer and deep thought, but I’m starting to think about why I did them. They were for praying, and I found that I focused much better on what or who I was praying for, but what I have realised as well is that partly it was also for self-control and pride… it was much easier to sustain the fasting when I knew people knew about it.

It’s getting me thinking hard about what I’m doing with my life right now, and what I need to be doing.