Something, someone

28 10 2011

The passage below from this article stood out to me tonight as I prepared for tomorrow’s continued conferences. Something on my mind recently about someone. But in good time.

Do you know why people loved college so much? Or high school? Or their childhood? Because it was back in the days when you didn’t have to bear the burden of your life on your shoulders. People could direct you and lead you, and you would just be faithful with what was handed to you.

Good news: this is the life of a Christian. My Father is working everything out. He will provide for me. Today, I have everything I need for life and godliness. Today, nothing good has been withheld from me. Today, He is ordaining every detail of my day for my good. Today, I don’t need to be anxious about anything because He will take care of me.

I do believe I have a great deal of satisfaction from being single. Alone, but not lonely. Because if it is God’s will, it will happen. Until then, peace.

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My teachers

20 10 2011

Maybe it’s because I realised the other day that I now have six solid years of teaching on my CV, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the teachers I have had the [dis]pleasure of having been taught by.

All told, I have perhaps had more teachers than 14 people have digits to count with (that took ages to calculate, just so you know – Maths is not my strong suit in any sense whatsoever), but the ones I remember are those who ran to extremes.

  • Mrs. Shepherd was my P.1 teacher, and she was really nice. She gave me a plaster when I stupidly ran my finger along a piece of sugar paper and didn’t even laugh at me.
  • Mrs. Green had the worst finger- and toenails. She constantly gnawed at her fingers, and all of her nails were yellow and cracked. We dreaded being touched by her, but she loved to lick her fingers before distributing the next worksheet. That was P.5.
  • Mr. Widger taught me Music from P.4 I think until I graduated from primary school, and he was mean.
  • Mr. Wright told us on the first day of Year 7 that he, too, was new to the school, and we would “learn the ropes” together. Clive, James, Katie, and I took that to heart and learnt where the best place to sneak cigarettes without being caught would be, and came close to being busted in no small way when some construction workers came onto the roof. We dodged them by finding various hiding places which, in hindsight, should have offered no refuge at all, but which was sufficient that day. Mr. Wright had knees that cracked a lot, and he wore shorts more often than not.
  • Mrs. Holland, our English teacher, read Conrad the Factory-Made Boy with us in class, and taught us to spell ‘library’ by imagining a brassiere in the middle of the library, guarded by Mrs. Ho, the librarian.
  • Mrs. Ho, although not a teacher per se, watched over the library with a hawk-like pair of eyes, spotting the trouble-makers, myself included, and whisper-shouting a SHHHHH that chilled to the core. As I grew older, she and I became friends, recommending to each other the best books and I took to spending more time in the library than anywhere else during my free periods as it was the one place I could go to escape from things outside. Whatever that meant, at times. She recommended Life is Beautiful (1997) to me, and I cried unheeded until she came in with a box of tissues and an understanding smile, and we spent many an afternoon discussing films that she recommended or had heard about.
  • Drama was perhaps the only subject I ever loved for the sake of the subject, rather than the teachers, who I never ‘clicked’ with, or responded to.
  • Mrs. Byrnes was my form tutor for several years, and her love for us was clear in the way she spoke to us about History, Psychology, and through her showing us the infamous Buns of Steel aerobics video during form period one day. She was the only one who ever called me Van, and I didn’t mind so much. Her hugs were legendary in my mind; they felt like the most comforting thing in those days when I was so consumed by depression.
  • Mr. Campbell stood by me, and gave his time and energy to the text I needed for my A-Level English exam. His humour carried me through quite a lot of desperation that year.
  • Drs. Ford, Richards, Slethaug, and Stanley were some of my American Studies and English professors, and they taught me more than just ‘book’ knowledge, for which I will be forever grateful. They taught me to be a decent scholar, but more than that, to have integrity and passion for what I do.
Ahh, teachers.