le (gros) mot du jour

What could be better, more interesting, and more useful than simply the word of the day? The bad word of the day, of course. We cannot deny that, though we need not necessarily use bad words ourselves, it is important and valuable to know the bad words, so that we are able to recognize and understand what is being said in the world around us. Foreign language courses seem to avoid such things, but at what cost? Firstly, the individual is likely to be quite lost when interacting with a native environment. Secondly, loads of potential interest is lost without them. Because most teens and adults are quite interested in the bad words, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. And thirdly, such words and expressions share loads about the culture tied to the language.

I am very much not a bad word person. And yet two of my favorite words in Japanese are manko and oshiri. It’s probably because they are such silly yet useful words that I enjoy them so much. They are fun to know, more than useful. Which makes them even more fun to know, I suppose.

So, yeah… the (bad) word of the day sounds like a kind of amazing idea to me… so long as the students can handle it, that is…

Post-a-day 2021

Perspective

I can actually quite well argue any side of a matter. I’ve known that about myself for a long time now. The use of this skill today, however, surprised me a bit. I was not in agreement about something, and had spoken up about it in private, but had not yet received a response. I did not want to undermine what this person had done, so, when a student came to me, upset in just the same way I was (but worse, because he was receiving the brunt of the blow), I had to hold my tongue a moment and reconsider. What stands before me here? Imagining nothing outside of this room will change, how can I encourage and empower this student here and now and going forward, and without laying anger or blame or frustrations elsewhere?

And then I did just that. I saw a beauty to this new perspective I was offering to him, and was completely impressed by and enrolled in the idea myself.

And no, I wasn’t BS-ing anything here. I was approaching it genuinely.

Which has me wonder if it wouldn’t be a beautiful practice to reevaluate situations and opinions more often in my daily life. Because I never would have found such a deep, powerful perspective had I not been presented with the sudden need to help this student while not disregarding the right of the other person in the situation.

So, I think I’ll be looking into that going forward…

P.S. The kid, I now know, as I’ve had a response to my earlier e-mail, very likely will not be having to serve the punishment he was assigned. It likely only will apply to those for whom it was truly applicable (Aka almost all the other students from that class), after a few further discussions with certain students to confirm.

Post-a-day 2021

Following

Bro, I don’t quite understand where God is directing me right now, but I am certainly following the calls and encouragements full-heartedly. There is now a very high chance that I will be helping with this martial arts thing at school, now, in the mornings… because, you know, I wasn’t busy enough already. 😛 My words and thoughts, by the way, and I believe them as both true and ironic. Haha

Anyway, must sleep ASAP, as it’s already after 9pm!

Post-a-day 2021

Works (of art and of grace)

I went to a different Mass than expected this weekend, but it was the one toward which I had had a sort of tug earlier this week. I had planned to attend a different Mass, and had this one as a back-up plan, and the back-up almost didn’t even happen – ate crappy food, and felt horrible all afternoon today, like I was about to pass out from exhaustion or hurl from the food at any given moment. But, despite feeling crappy in my belly, I knew I wanted to go to Mass this weekend – something about it just felt right, despite my body’s feeling so wrong today.

So, I sucked it up, and made the Mass happen. And, you know what, I not only saw someone who made me smile, but, after seeing that person, this absolutely gorgeous guy I’d met a couple years ago came walking in, and he sat the row behind me. (Eek!)

I felt like a high school girl, I swear. Lots of letting go of eekiness alongside all the emotions I experience throughout a beautiful Mass… silly, but also fun. I didn’t get to talk to him or anything, but we acknowledge each other’s presence both when he arrived and during the peace offerings. I told my mom that it was both exciting and slightly upsetting, because, yes, he was there, but he was there only at a distance, in a way. She said it was like a museum: Enjoy and admire the beautiful art, but you can’t touch it and you can’t take it home with you. Very true, Mom. Very true.

What I will say about his presence at Mass, though, is that it felt like encouragement, like a small reward, for my being there, that it was, indeed, the right place for me to be. Like God said, ‘See? Good things show up when you go where you are called.’

And that part felt very good and loving and encouraging. For it all, I am grateful. And, of course, I am very open to seeing him more regularly, God and Universe. 😉

For now, though, I thank you both. You hold my life and my heart with such grace and tenderness, and I am grateful. Please, help me to continue to step forward into what is next for me in this life, that I might be the love and creativity that I am here to be, to my full ability. Thank you, God and Universe.

Amen

Post-a-day 2021

Happy Blue Bell and ice cream!

In the Spring of 2015, Blue Bell closed production and recalled all of its products from stores. The Southern staple remained entirely absent for the following few months, and many were concerned about the possible permanent shutdown of the Texas company. It had been around for just over 100 years (founded 1907, I believe), and was a prominent fixture in the lives of moth Southerners. We felt a personal hit by the closure – even those of us who rarely even ate the ice cream anymore – and we all felt the risk of losing a whole piece of ourselves, should the company shut down permanently.

However, on August 31, the first phase of redistribution began, and Houston was graced once again with those beautiful tubs of ice cream on its grocery shelves. Once things calmed a bit, and it was again an accessible commodity – though the ice cream sandwiches took another few years to return to grocers (April of 2019!!) -, a friend of mine decided to throw a party. She especially was beside herself with joy at the return of Blue Bell. So, we all gathered somewhat spontaneously at her house one Saturday evening to revel in the delights of ice cream.

Of course, ice cream doesn’t exactly make for the greatest of meals. However, such forethought is not exactly one of this particular friend’s fortés. Therefore, amidst the indulgences of ice cream and happy conversations, it was determined that pizza would be the easiest solution, mid-party. So, we ordered some pizzas to go with our Blue Bell. Thus began our yearly celebrations of what we unintentionally called for years “Blue Bell and Ice Cream”, but technically had named “Blue Bell and Pizza”. (Now I remember what we named it, and know that we accidentally said it wrong for years without noticing. However, I prefer our Freudian initial naming, and so still use it most of the time.)

Alas, tonight was our yearly celebration, and so I, once again, had my yearly serving of Blue Bell Cookies ‘N’ Cream, and had some fancy schmancy pizza that was gluten-free yet delicious. (Naturally, I feel terrible compared to how I typically feel on any given day. However, it’s only once a year, so I don’t mind it too much. Especially when it means I get to dive into my historical regional identity for a bit, and also reminisce on some great parts of my childhood.)

So, Happy Blue Bell and Ice Cream, folks! Seven years strong, and we finally have real ice cream sandwiches again! (Seriously, if I’d gotten a box of those, I’d have eaten almost the whole thing myself. And I only say almost, because I know my mom would have demanded at least a couple for herself. Those things are spectacular, and slightly addicting. No joke, either.)

Post-a-day 2021

Giving up

Today, I had to give up being better than others. Instead, I had to acknowledge what was truly best for me and for my students. I need not be the one to put forth the effort regarding certain things in class, especially when it is specifically someone’s job to handle such things. I am paid to teach and asked to teach. When something else is preventing me from doing my job, it becomes my job to let the person know whose job it is to handle the problem.

And so, I did that today. I cried a bunch in that meeting, but I feel good about the whole situation now. I trust the person into whose hands I set the situation, and his words and approach and plans eased me, despite my initial aversion to reaching out for the support. And his casual comment about having been nearly three decades in the military somehow both surprised me and did not – “No wonder you are so calm,” I replied. His calm, calming, yet ruling demeanor makes sense with such context.

I have a high level of confidence that things will be much, much better going forward, and that I, much more so than up to this point, will be able to do my job and teach this one particular class. At last, we can begin to breathe and to have some fun.

Post-a-day 2021

Big sigh

Have you ever done something when you’re having loads of free time, and totally loved it, but then, tried it again, but without the free time, and been none-too-excited about it?

We just started up karate classes again after a month break. I have since started school, right? Now, more than ever, I am exhausted in the late evenings, getting into bed as early as possible, sometimes even at 6:40pm. Yet karate class is assisting the juniors at 6pm, and attending my own class at 7pm. If I attend the other classes throughout the week, they go even later. But I need loads of hours to move forward in my official training and belt levels (which I want to do).

So, I guess I need to sit down in the next few days, and figure out how many hours of what I need, and how quickly (or slowly) I can and want to make them all happen. Otherwise, without the specifics and the goals set up, I might get a little too tired to do any of it, especially with school happening right now. I do love this all. But I need to be rested enough to be able to enjoy it fully. Otherwise, the teacher and German within me will tear apart the instructors and assistants and other adults mentally, and be annoyed throughout all the classes for a plethora of reasons. I really don’t want to be that way. Alas, I shall make my plan and get some sleep!

Because I want to beast at karate. Seriously.

Post-a-day 2021

Surprise

There were only boys in class today. Boy, was I surprised to discover how much more I liked it… There just really is something about these boys that has me absolutely love working with them. Girls are great on their own, of course. But they tend not to speak up for themselves and their needs when boys are in the class, and it causes problems in learning, unfortunately. And that is frustrating to me as a teacher. But just having boys in class… sometimes, it feels like I was made for that…

What do you think, God and Universe? Is this part of my next step forward in life?

Post-a-day 2021

Tropical Storm

Precautionarily for the expected wind, rain, and flooding, school for today was moved to asynchronous learning yesterday afternoon. So, I sent out e-mails to my classes to let them know their assignments for today, and just checked in every so often to answer the few e-mails I received from them with questions. I did one make-up test at noon – which was fortunate to be digital, as the student had broken a finger, and so struggles to write right now -, but, otherwise, I rested much.

And boy did I need that rest.

The gym was closed for the morning classes, due to the intense rain and wind, so I didn’t even exercise today. (I suppose I exercised my freedom of choice by choosing to be restful.) I only had to be up just before eight to send out those e-mails. Though I woke naturally at four, my body let me use the bathroom quickly and then pass back out. I only awoke to my alarm after seven, telling me to send out e-mails. And then, I went back to sleep for another little bit, and resting in near-unconsciousness with eyes closed for an hour-ish before getting up for real for the day.

I dressed cozily, had some easy, warm food, listened to my current audiobook, and, after that test, went to go through paintings with my dad.

Today was oddly simple, yet very satisfying. I think the work I did was exponentially beneficial, and so was much more impactful than it would seem initially. Thank you, God, for such a blessing today.

Post-a-day 2021

Cyclical Figlical

Anyone else have a sort of cyclical draw to certain foods or beverages? I just noticed that dried figs are quite cyclical for me. When I eat them normally, they are good, regular dried food, sometimes even unnecessary-feeling. But, when I start semi-craving them (just before and during early menstruation), and I bite into them, they always seem to say, ‘Aah… here’s that cozy hug you didn’t even realize that you needed or wanted.’ And I do agree with them.

Post-a-day 2021