Contributing in the Name Of

In August of 2004, some "genius" decided that I would be a good candidate to teach 2nd grade in Detroit.  He had no idea what he was getting himself into by hiring me…and neither did I.  This guy held a couple of leadership roles at that first school when I was there, but basically, he was my boss.  Our school shut down and we all parted ways…but this school year, my former boss, Paddock (we go by last names at our school) came on as our Vice Principal.  This has been a very cool thing for so many reasons, none of which I will delve into right now.  But this is where I’m headed at the moment…Paddock’s father passed away the other night after battling with lung cancer.  I can see that it’s been a tough thing for him and his family to journey through.  For whom wouldn’t it be?  We were informed today that if we wanted to, we could make contributions to the American Cancer Society, in his name.  It struck a thought with me…

So Mr. Paddock passed away due to lung cancer, and they’d like contributions to something that could potentially help someone like him in the future.

If I passed into eternity, where would I like contributions to be made?  I haven’t come to my conclusion quite yet, but here are a few ponderings.

I love giving to missions (aka people who serve Jesus by serving others…well, that should be all followers of Jesus…but more specifically, those who are depending on others to support them financially and prayerfully).  That’s a definite possibility.

You can’t deny the fact that I love kids and teaching, so it would also make perfect sense if I wanted donations made to the school I work with, or for there to be a one time scholarship made to a current student of mine at the time (or even former student of mine). 

Also in light of my love for teaching and literacy, wouldn’t it be cool for people to donate books in my name to kids in poverty?  It would have to be tagged with my life testimony or something though…

Cancer has reared its ugly face in my family (most recently with my mom’s sister who was just told that she had cervical cancer and only a few months to live), so I could very well like to also give to the American Cancer Society.

What am I most passionate about that needs money?  I’m not ready to answer that question just yet, although to be honest, the book thing made my heart beat a little bit faster.  I don’t know though.  It’s an interesting thing to think about though, huh?

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Searching for What?

I can honestly say that I’m in a searching mode.  This journey that I’m on has me searching on a few
different things…and I think I’m finally okay with that.  Phil and Emily, a couple of great friends of mine, have started a LifeGroup through my church, and we’re going through the book, Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller. 

First of all, this guy’s an absolute riot.  Here, check out the first chapter of this book.  I just did, and I’m in love with his style.  This is how I want to write!  (Although I probably won’t be attending any of those writing seminars like he mentioned in the chapter…go ahead and read it…you know you want to!)

Anywho, from what I gather, the general basis of the book is that knowing God is not formulaic, and he’s about to prove it to me-or rather just give me more solid reasons as to why I already think Book2that’s true.  Either way, I genuinely look forward to feasting on this guy’s words…and trying to pick up a few writing nuances along the way. 

Here’s a paragraph that captured me:

I know there are people who have actually gone from misery to happiness, but
they didn’t do it by walking through three steps; they did it because they had a certain set
of parents and heard a certain song and knew somebody who had a certain experience
and saw some movie then read some book then had something happen to them like a car
wreck or a trip to Seattle, and then they called on God and a week later read something in
a magazine or met a girl in Wichita, and when all this had happened they had an
epiphany, and somebody may have helped them fulfill what this epiphany made them
feel, and several years later they rationalized this mystic experience with three steps, then
they told the three steps to us in a book. And I’m not saying they weren’t trying to be
helpful; I bring this up only because life is complex, and the idea you can break it down,
or fix it in a few steps is rather silly. The truth is there are a million steps, and we don’t
even know what the steps are and, worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or
even able to take them and still worse they are different for you and me and they are
always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth beautiful, the
sooner we will fall in love with God on His terms, who keeps shaking things up, keeps
changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us not to rely
on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras or genies in lamps, but rather in His
guidance, His existence, His mercy and His love.

On the Edge of their Seats!

So my coach, Susan, mentioned this book called Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke to my class, right before Christmas break.  I’d never heard of the book before, but she told my class that I would spend some time over my break to go buy the book so I could read it to them.  (How thoughtful of her!:)  Well, because I tend to like most of the things Susan suggests to me, I decided to do just that, and I purchased this (somewhat) enormous little novel to read to my kids.  It’s deeply rich red cover is kind of inviting anyway.  Of course, after I bought it I realized that she’d already ordered it for my classroom…we just didn’t realize it!  But oh well, one can never have too many books in a classroom…especially a teacher like me!Inkheart

By the way that she talked about the book, I was kind of antsy to get started on it, but I waited until the day we went back to begin reading it.  Everyday, now, I go to open this book and my kids’ little patoots are on the edge of their little seats!  This book is so fantastic that I can literally stop at suspenseful moments and pretend like I’m going to stop reading, every few pages if I wanted to!  And when I do stop…oh the groaning and pleading that happens!  It certainly tickles my funny bone in special ways, and as a teacher, I love that they love it when I read to them.  Reading to kids causes their own hunger for reading to increase dramatically, because they realize just how much fun it can be!  There’s no reason why they can’t steal away into their own little bookworm world on their own, outside of the classroom too! 

I would recommend Inkheart, but with supervision, and censoring if you so desire.  It has some slightly vulgar language during certain parts, but because I’m reading it to my class, I don’t actually say those words.  Plus, I have a couple boys who are reading it in my class, and they’re the ones that pointed the words out to me.  It was a great teachable moment to say, "You know, sometimes we come across things that we know are inappropriate for us to say or express, and we have to decide what we’re going to do with them.  What do you think?  Would you have the right to speak like that in class, just because I let you read a book that says that?…Right…so we have choices to make!  That’s all." 

Oh, and great news!  Next winter, Inkheart the movie will come out!  But if you are a reader, then please, please read the book before then.  While the movie looks good, I can already tell that the book will absolutely be better than the movie.  One more thing…this is the first of a trilogy of good vs. evil fantasy.  (Can’t wait to finish so I can read the next one!)

No Quiero Margaritas

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This is Casey.

Casey_at_margaritas

                                                                               This is Casey after having bad food at Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, on Woodward, yesterday.

Casey missed me, so I took him out for lunch!  I should’ve stuck with my gut to take him to Q’doba…there’s nothing bad there!  But no…I decided a real, sit-down restaurant should do!  So we went there and ordered chicken quesadillas.  Approximately 1.5 minutes later (I figure this must’ve been the amount of time to put the stuff together and nuke it in the microwave) we got our rather disgusting meal…which I stupidly paid for without saying anything.  (Bad Kim!)  So we left and went to Quizno’s and had some decent food…:)

Would I recommend Margarita’s?  Perhaps…but definitely not the quesadillas…and I probably won’t return.

***As Katie pointed out…Casey looks exactly the same in both pictures, even though he’s happy in one picture and disappointed in the other.  It reminds me of that Far Side comic that has several copies of a dog face and under each face it says all different emotions like…happy, angry, sad, disappointed…etc.