Tuesday, March 27, 2012

School Days

Since I'm not actually at school today, I decided to spend my time thinking endless thoughts about it. Ha.




In case you've been hiding under a rock or something, I'm a teacher, currently working as an aide in a multiple disabilities classroom, and I love what I do. My day-to-day is rarely glamorous, and I usually end up with yogurt, markers, paint, or drool on my hands and clothes (or some combination thereof).


But I love it.


I realized during my second lesson of my first practicum (my second time ever teaching a whole class of students) that teaching is absolutely what I am meant to do.




Of course, this can be a particular struggle, especially because teaching jobs are a scarcity and I itch on a daily basis to have my own classroom and my own students. I adore these children, and having a job that is simultaneously challenging, hilarious, stressful, and immensely gratifying is one of the greatest privileges in the world.


Especially when you get to finger paint.



And who doesn't love getting to read children's books and actually be excited about them? Everything from Dr. Seuss to Pete the Cat to Tale of Depereaux to Junie B. Jones.


Pete the Cat, I love my white shoes. 


Truffula trees, from the Lorax. 


We can't technically do Easter, but we can do bunnies. 


**Note: Yes, I'm doing it; I'm using my blog as a way to catalog (and later portfolio-orize) my school projects. With the exception of the rainbow, photo #1, all of these crafts were adapted or designed for our class by me. And yes, I drew the Seuss fish and the bunny. Be proud, mama.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sister Stuff

Last weekend my sister and her BFF (my pseudo-sister) came to visit me! It was totally awesome. They're getting and grown up and are super fun to be around.


Not that they haven't always been super fun to be around. But now they're like, peers.


Which is awesome.


Anyway, because my life is insane we didn't have a ton of time to spend chilling, so we decided to make the most of what time we did have and cram it full of excitement.


And Chick-fil-A.



Heaven. 


Our most exciting event was a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 



I go to the art museum probably around once a year, and it's always worth it. I'm usually enticed by whatever exhibit they have on display (this time it was van Gogh) and I always forget that you have to buy a special ticket for admission to the extra-cool exhibits. 


Which I never do. 


It's still fun, I like seeing the regular exhibits anyway. And I'm cheap, so I'd probably be so annoyed about spending the extra dough (for van Gogh...haa) and wouldn't even really enjoy all the cool art. 


"Your art...was the prettiest art...of all the art." 


Who can win my love forever and guess the origin of the quote?! 


Ahem. 


I did bring my iPod touch, which means I'm about to grace you with some low-quality photos!! Let me hear it, people! 

Little tiny boy armor. 

Jess and Meg wish their boyfriends looked like this. (Not.)


"If I was a knight I'd totally have a huge feather like that!" 



Buddhist crap. 
I jest, this is the lovely, life-size Japanese garden and house. It's very zen and peaceful and beautiful. 

Ommmmm. 

A painting of New Hope from the American art exhibit. 

This is for my daddy. So many beautiful grandfather clocks!

I also decided that I really like Monet and I want something like this to hang in my kitchen one day.

We were a little baffled by the Contemporary Art sculptures. 

Clearly. 


It was really fun. The girls were super easygoing (read: apathetic) about a lot of things, but we can generally agree on what kinds of art we like to look at, so we had no problems. 


Now the question is, when will they move in together somewhere here on the East coast so we can all hang out like this on a regular basis!? 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bittersweet isn't strong enough.

On the morning of March 6th, a friend of ours died in a car accident. His name is Noah. His wife, Rachel, and their sons used to live in Flourtown, and they moved out towards Lancaster a few months ago. Noah and Rachel are warm, loving people who engulf you with friendship, food and plenty of jokes. Noah and Chad worked together at PBU for a stint as night-shift security guys, and Liz used to feed them dinner before their shift. We connected with them gradually, mostly through Chad and Liz, but have really come to appreciate their friendship and generosity. They are the sort of people who will invite you for dinner at the last minute, and then serve the most delicious (and slightly exotic, to my simple palate--Gruyere fondue, real German sausage with goat cheese, or grilled tuna steaks, anyone?) food in a totally relaxed and down-to-earth atmosphere.

Noah was one of the most gentle, genuine, hilarious people I have ever met. His humor was understated and extremely witty, and chances are any exchanges with him would ultimately result in uproarious laughter. Nothing was out of bounds except anyone's feelings--he never made fun of anyone else, and instead often mocked himself.

He was also a wonderful listener. I didn't get many chances to have one-on-one, serious discussions with Noah--he was far too popular with Dan and Chad for me. However, one night I distinctly remember talking with him about the concept of children's Bibles--you know, those cute little storybook Bibles--and how uncomfortable they make me (another post for another day), and Noah listened, asked good questions, and then, only when I was done, gave me his opinion. It was refreshing to experience such a conversation, where my friend didn't try to argue with me, or convince me of anything, or interrupt; he just listened.

Noah was also one of the most intelligent people I've ever known. His intelligence was as understated as his humor; he had experienced a vast array of jobs, schooling, and adventures. He read good books and talked to smart people. His remarks were always well-formed, articulate, and showed a depth of thought that was truly unique.

I can't imagine what Rachel and their three sons must be going through. Noah was a one-in-a-million man, and his presence will be sorely missed. Dan's and my world has been upside down since Tuesday afternoon, and there is only a vague end in sight. I'm blessed enough that this is the first real loss I've experienced, and every time I remember, it's the same punch in my gut. Ceaseless prayers and the knowledge that Noah is now experiencing all the fullness of our glorious God are small comforts, but that is what I must cling to now. Rachel and the boys are surrounded by friends and family, and moreover, they are surrounded by the love of Christ.