Friday, July 31, 2009

sesame street for adults

some people might be helped along by watching avenue q.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

i don't know if it's this simple, but

Jay Smooth has some advice for talking to someone about racist comments if you need any help in this arena.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

oh, wendy

i don't like arne duncan and you do, but hey, you're still pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"People think the blues is sad....

..They hear people moaning and such. That's not the blues. That's just somebody singing slow...The blues is about truth-telling."

-Alberta Hunter

Monday, July 27, 2009

"You look like a skinny Jesus with glasses." - Frankford summer school student ,

to one of my corps members, who is white, tall, and bearded. I guess he does look like those awful pictures of Jesus I once saw in my 1st grade Sunday school classroom, even with the glasses.

I've had a different picture of Jesus for a of my favorites these days is the one Ben Harper sings about on There Will Be a Light...

Picture Of Jesus

It hangs above my altar
Like they hung him from a cross
I keep one in my wallet
For the times I feel lost
In a wooden frame with splinters
Where my family kneels to pray
And if you listen close
You'll hear the words he used to say

I've got a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers rest
We've got a picture of Jesus
And with him we shall be forever blessed

Now it has been spoken
He would come again
But would we recognize
This king among men
There was a man in our time
His words shine bright like the sun
He tried to lift the masses
And was crucified by gun

He was a picture of Jesus
With him so many prayers rest
He is a picture of Jesus
In his arms so many prayers
So many prayers
So many prayers rest
With him we shall be forever blessed

Some days have no beginning
And some days have no end
Some roads are straight and narrow
And some roads only bend
So let us say a prayer
For every living thing
Walking towards a light
From the cross of a king
We long to be a picture of Jesus
Of Jesus
In his arms
In his arms so many prayers rest
I long to be a picture of Jesus
With him we shall be forever blessed
With him we shall be forever blessed

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"You know those stupid who would you eat with if you could pick anyone in the world questions?"

I would skip Jesus and Hillary and go straight to her."

- Mr. O, if he got to pick, would choose to eat dinner with our Managing Director of Institute, which is a fancy Teach for America label for the person in charge. She is pretty amazing, it is true. And Mr. O is pretty much in love with her.

For some reason this seemed a much funnier line after drinking on Friday night. I mean, I did write it down in my quotebook, so it had to have been from an early point in the evening.

Monday, July 20, 2009

i heart tavis smiley

"My role on television is one of helping people to re-examine the assumptions that they hold..."

from this interview he did with Jim Wallis. Wallis is kind of awkward, but Smiley isn't.

"There is a difference between optimism and hope...hope is the evidence of things not seen.."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"I'd like to take a tide pen shower right now." - Al

The driver who drives to school in the morning has only been driving for a year. Seriously. He grew up in New York City and didn't get a license until a year ago.

He is a big fan of pumping furiously on the brakes at the last second and stopping in the middle of the intersection, then backing up almost into the bumper of the car behind us.

After one such furious stopping incident on the way to school, at 6:50 a.m., Al spilled coffee all over herself. All over her lovely new pencil skirt. Mr. O, who is one of my favorite people in the world, was sitting between her and I and his first response was, "Do you need a Tide pen? I have one in my bag."

He reached into the back of the van, drew out a Tide pen, and offered it to Al, who looked like she might cry.

She looked at it.

Mr. O then proceeded to uncap said Tide pen and start scrubbing furiously all over Al's lap.

This didn't appear to be working out too well, so he offered to switch clothes: "Al, if it's really too awful, you can have my pants and I'll wear your skirt in the office all day."

At which point, the car erupted with furious laughter and even Al smiled.

I heart Mr. O.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

i heart pandora

it is one more beautiful thing getting me through institute...current fav stations are sam cooke, regina spektor, crazy love, pink martini, otis redding, and the weepies.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

i hate action plans OR scheduling is a pain in the ass OR wow, some people do this 24/7

when I am done with this summer, I will go back to using my little notebook calendar and that will be enough for me.

i do not think people were made to live booked solid from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. with no time to breathe.


this is my typical day in philly:

5:30-45 ish: wake up and stumble into some kind of professional outfit.
6:15: leave to walk 15 minutes to the dining hall to pick up lunch
6:40: either hop in the school van or trek over to the bus.
Get to school at 7 or 7:30 depending on the mode of transportation
8-12: Observe corps members' teaching. Walk kids to class who are hanging out in the hallway. Finish prepping sessions. Talk to summer mentor teachers. Run around the school, basically.
12-12:30 debrief one of the observation or make a ton of announcements or roll up a crapload of data...
12:30-4:20: Review lesson plans, enter rubric ratings, plan a session, find something a c.m. needs, lead a session, send an e-mail reminder about something, maybe eat the sandwich I was supposed to eat at lunch, participate in a session, help cms write lesson plans
4:20-5...take bus or van back to temple
5-7:debriefs from observations, sometimes at dinner
7-10, or 11, or 12, or 1....planning sessions, office hours for lesson planning, reviewing lesson plans, School Team Meeting, CMA meeting, etc...

I haven't actually been blogging live, I've been spending about an hour on Sat afternoon making weekly posts.

Sigh. 2 more weeks.

It's good work, but wow, I'm glad I'm not doing this forever.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

and we are so fragile / our cracking bones make noise...."

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

You fasten my seatbelt because it is the law.
In your two ton death trap I finally saw.
A piece of love in your face that bathed me in regret.
Then you drove me to places I'll never forget.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls-
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

- Ingrid Michaelson,
Boys and Girls

Every day this summer I am reminded of how frail we are. And at the same time, how that fragility makes us stronger.

I think it is a good reminder.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

without silence, words lose their meaning

...without listening, speaking no longer heals, without distance closeness cannot cure.

- Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Oh sure, let me hide in the bedroom like a hooker. Perfect." - Veronica Mars

- Season Two, Episode 4

I heart Veronica. She is making me laugh through Institute.

Monday, July 13, 2009

i think henri nouwen is my new theological crush

I was going with Moltmann for a while, but wow, listen:

"As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their "right" place."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Commercial break: Did you know the Fremont Bridge has a resident artist?" - k8

"I heard about it on NPR. In Dallas.

She is going to create audio art when people wait for the bridge to go up and down over the canal...I love America."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"let's take a walk on the bridge / Right over this mess...Everybody needs a little forgiveness" - Patty Griffin

We are swimming with the snakes
At the bottom of the well
So silent and peaceful in the darkness where we fell
But we are not snakes and what's more
We never will be
And if we stay swimming here forever we will
Never be free
I heard them ringing the bells
In heaven and hell
They got a secret
They're getting ready to tell
Its falling from the sky
Calling from the graves
Open your eyes, I think we are saved
Open your eyes, I think we are saved
Lets take a walk on the bridge
Right over this mess
Don't need to tell me a thing, baby
We've already confessed
And I raised my voice to the air
And we were blessed
Everybody needs a little forgiveness
Everybody needs a little forgiveness

I heard a story last night about forgiveness.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about it - I know both parties, and I know the kind of hurts involved, I've seen the damage done and I'll be honest, thought things would never change instead of living inside the hope I claim to hold onto...So here's some thoughts on that.

A while ago, and by a while I mean a couple years, one of my good friends, Spring, had a break in a relationship with another friend. By break, I mean, Spring spoke her truth and the friend did not listen and understand, but instead essentially told her she was wrong for thinking that way. She sat in judgment on Spring's beliefs, in a way that deeply wounded Spring and tore apart the relationship.

This was not a fun place to be.

I remember Spring calling me right after, crying and angry. I remember being mad for her, and wishing that other friend would have handled life differently. I remember thinking they were an idiot, which isn't exactly the mature position to take. I remember getting really defensive of Spring, because we happen to be much in agreement about life, and I probably was getting defensive, too.

But also I was sad, because it makes me sad when people do not see each other as the beautiful creations we are intended to be. I am not always good at this, let's be honest, but I have been finding that life is so much better when we treat each other as sacredly as possible.

Anyway, this stuff lingered around, heavy and uncomfortable. Spring decided she would be in relationship, but still speak her truth, and that might mean she didn't feel as invested in the relationship as she once was, and the relationship would change. It is hard to love people when you feel they don't see you, all of you.

About a year ago, the friend called when Spring was having a hard time. They had a conversation, somewhat stilted, and hard, and Spring was glad, but wasn't really made right.

Last week, that friend called Spring, and said she was sorry, and she wanted to be reconciled, for real. Not in a superficial, easy way, but in a deeper way of understanding each other.

And Spring was thankful, and even rejoiced. That word is so effing biblical, but you know, it's a good word, and I don't know if there's another good word for it. Rejoicing is such a good thing - to fill with joy, to be delighted. And we should be delighted when people want to reconcile with us, when we are in a place where we can move forward towards reconciliation ourselves, and not hold resentment or anger in our hearts.

The other thing is , and this is important, they are in a better place now because of that move toward reconciliation - Neither of them have changed their fundamental beliefs that inspired the breach in the first place. But the difference is, because of love for each other, both parties are able and willing to still be in relationship, to love and work it out regardless of personal ideology and approach.

That is what is truly beautiful here.

It reminds me of what Henri Nouwen says about love and forgiveness, I think in The Road to Daybreak:

"Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour, unceasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family."


What I am coming to understand about love is the piece about the work of it, how it is not easy all the time, how so much of it is about forgiveness, the kind that keeps no record of wrongs. The kind of forgiveness that every single one of us desperately longs for, the kind that makes me want to cry, the kind that as Peter says, comes from deeply loving, which covers over a multitude of sins.*

That's the kind of love I'm interested in these days.

*1 Peter 4:8

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"By any chance, do either of you have a long metal pole?" - C.J.

C.J. asked me this last week upon our arrival at school and I said, No, I don't happen to have anything metal, and I actually said it out loud before realizing how ridiculous that sounded....Turns out the projector needed to present a session to about 90 corps members was locked in a closet....the only person who knew the combination had lost the piece of paper on which said combination was written....said person was freaking out and about to have a nervous breakdown....I went back to helping get ready for the session and turned around 10 minutes later to see C.J. breaking into the closet with what else but a long metal pole. He is resourceful.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"If I'm gonna be unhappy and work hard, it might as well be doing something I give a shit about." - H.E.

I love my corps members. They are awesome. Today is their first day of teaching EVER and they are nervous.

They will be fantastic.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

we the people

it's Independence day weekend and the muppets are the best. especially the penguin.

I'm in philadelphia this year for july 4th. And on Friday, someone said, "Happy 4th! It's the birthplace of your country!" And I wanted to say it wasn't really, that there have been people here far longer than the 1776 convention in philly, but decided i would restrain myself. i am learning that you can't fight everything.

Also, Eliacin as usual has good thoughts.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

less is more

i think it would be a good challenge to try this in august, the 10 ingredient shopping list. although asparagus isn't in season in august....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

i heart books

all genres.

i'd read the back of a cereal box if I had to, but thankfully there are these amazing things called books.

i'm jealous of all of you who actually have time right now to read laid back books. enjoy them for me.

in august, here's my starter list of books I want to read, in no particular order, just some I'm waiting for... I am leaning towards starting with the ones I don't have to think as much about while reading, but i'm also looking forward to the ones I get to think about too....


Brave New World
, Huxley.

Brave New World Revisited, Huxley.

Border Songs,
Jim Lynch

, Jean Korelitz

MUST FINISH History of Love, Krauss..This book is so beautifully written, I couldn't bear to finish it before I left Seattle, I'm saving it for when I get back.

A Place of Greater Safety
, Hilary Mantel

Without a Soul to Move
, William Dewey

, Tim Winton

Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth
, Xiaolu Guo

and I want to re-read Allende's House of Spirits....

YA Lit

North of Beautiful
, Justina Chen Headley

Project Sweet Life
, Brent Hartinger

Hate That Cat
, Sharon Creech


Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

(I know, lousy title, but Nancy Pearl says it's better than the title!), Gilman

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
, Rosenthal.

, Patel.

The Children in Room E4
, Susan Eaton.

Black Feminist Thought
, Patricia Hill Collins.

Golden Spruce
, John Valiant.

Truck: A Love Story
, Michael Perry.

A Future for Africa, Katongole


Face, Alexie

Year of Common Things, Norris.