10 09 2011

Camp this year at the school I work at was many things, and ‘boring’ was not one of them. From the ‘night service activity’ that turned out to be a carnival complete with popcorn, cotton candy, Kung Fu Panda 2, to the roasting of marshmallows by bonfire for s’mores, to the water fight and capture the flag game organised by the Student Council, and the requisite camp talks and cabin messes, this was a thoroughly enjoyable, and thoroughly exciting 2.5 days and 2 nights.

The house system of 6 colours was kicked off, and the enthusiasm and friendly competition was a wonderful thing to witness, a far cry from the aggressive chanting and in-fighting that went on when I was in school myself.

During the Talent Show, a group of boys from the senior year danced to a Korean pop song, and I was asked to sit in front to witness it. It was glorious, and one of the many, many reasons why I love this group of students:

The boys also serenaded the girls, a long-time tradition at the school:

After the serenade by the boys, it is customary for the girls to sing a ‘response’ at breakfast the following morning. These senior girls did theirs shortly after the allotted time for breakfast so they could have a lie-in. I can’t find a video of the girls’ response, but will post one when I do.

One of my favourite photos from the whole camp experience was taken on the morning of the first day:

The image of the group of students I am advisor to, except for one who is the Student Council representative of the ‘tribe’, is shown here giving each other massages. True community? I think so.

A little reassurance

26 04 2011

When I got home after signing the lease, I told him what it looked like and how it’s around 10 steps to make it to the house itself. When he heard that, he jokingly said, “I suppose you don’t want me to come to visit you then,” and I felt very upset. One day last week, when we were finally alone, I held his hand as I told him how unhappy that little joke had made me, as I was always going to want his company, and he squeezed my hand. The quick squeeze he gave me was full of reassurance for me, and my heart calmed for the first time in a week.

Added to that the fact that I seem to have approval from everyone about this move, together with the offers of furniture and appliances, and I’m feeling very, very blessed.

I know that it’s always easier to praise God in the good times, but I have been shown something about Him I hadn’t been witness to, or expectant of, for a while now, and I am again in awe of His goodness.


The one that got away…

12 02 2011

I once uncovered, in a beat-up briefcase that belonged to my father when he first came out to Hong Kong with his friend to make a name for himself, a small photo of him, mid-laugh, wearing his tennis clothes (when all I had known of him for as long as I could remember was his love for golfing). After some begging, I was able to keep it for myself, and I would put it into my back pocket to have it with me all the time. Then, one day, I reached into my pocket and discovered it gone.

The guilt and regret that consumed me then still echoes in my heart today, even as I’m writing this post. I am again astonished by my stupidity and lack of foresight: how could I not have known that it would be lost? Why didn’t I keep it more safely? In my wallet, for example? What an idiot.

I have photos of my father, yes, but they’re not the tennis one. They’re not the small one from the attic. They’re not the begged-for one. And they are most certainly not the mid-laugh one. This is the one thing I will always regret losing, beyond anything else I have ever loved, and lost. This will be the worst ever.

Counselling: session 1

1 04 2010

On the bus on my way back home, reflecting on the counselling session I just finished.

The counsellor was sympathetic but not afraid to berate too when the time was right. She gave me room to speak and vent but also shared of her own life lessons, when appropriate.

Welcome advice. Being able to talk about problems with and not being afraid of judgement and prior knowledge etc was a releasing, wonderful thing. At the same time, I guess one doesn’t go to counselling unless one is interested in going. That sounds like a flip statement, but it’s also very real: it would certainly have been a very different situation if I were being required to go. As it was, being there and being fully cognisant of issues I have helped the conversation.

It was humbling and beautiful to observe the work of a counsellor tonight. That I could be a part of this work too, eventually, is a significant, almost foreign thought. Next session in two weeks.

How He Loves – David Crowder Band

4 07 2009

This is breaking my heart: “How He Loves” by David Crowder Band

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way…

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

What I did just now

5 06 2009

I came home with a cold, and promptly put on the 14th disc of Friends. To which I fell asleep. I feel like a million dollars. NOT.

And to top it all off, I was supposed to go out tonight. I’m sad.

But I’ve just been thinking a lot about what I observed on the weekend. It hurt my heart to see such a change in the way the youth sitting beside me were treated. He actually snapped at them, after she did. I just couldn’t understand it… and then I realised that he really has changed a lot over this year. How did this even happen? It hurt me, and I want to see something change.

On the up side, the new committee I’m on, which met yesterday for what turned out to be a 3 hour meeting, is something that is exciting me. We’re going to try and bring back a bit of what made this a good, loving school again. And this is something that is really exciting me.

A lazy Sunday

10 08 2008

Came home not long ago after yum cha with my parents, and it was nice. Busy, and we ordered too much food, but nice. Right now I’m watching Brokeback Mountain (2005) for the first time, and I’m marvelling at its sumptuous views. It’s breathtaking, and tender. What’s spoken is but a fraction of what is unspoken, and that is powerful. But it’s in what cannot be spoken that I am moved. The scene where Ennis’ wife is told that he’s going up to the mountains for a couple of days with Jack, and she’s broken… it’s a wrenching scene.

I was thinking this morning which I would hate more – to be mute, deaf, or blind. I decided the last would be the worst for me, and I continued reading Love In The Time Of Cholera and nearly wept at the indecisions in the novel, the spoken vows and unspoken affections.

Partly I’m procrastinating because there’s still quite a lot to prepare for before term starts on Wednesday. I’m terrified and excited all at once. But the good thing is how much time we’ll be given over the course of the next two days to do stuff in our classrooms. I also found out that one of my friends from church will have her work station in my classroom.

So, do I feel ready yet?