And now for something completely different….

Even we serious bloggers who try to tackle difficult subjects need a bit of a break.

Many of you know that I am a teacher, and some of my followers are teachers too.  I stumbled upon a wonderful blog by a cartoonist/teacher named Matt Gajdoš, AKA Mr. G.  He is wonderfully funny and draws about the cute little moments that are found in every school day.

A few days ago, Matt posted this cute comic about the end of the first day of kindergarten.  I taught kindergarten for 12 years, so it struck home and made me chuckle.  I commented that he should write about the beginning of that first day…which is typically filled with crying kids, crying parents, and repeated requests to go home or eat lunch.  It’s a fun-filled, exhausting, zoo of a day.

Well, Matt took on my challenge!  I was delighted to see this post in my inbox.  Matt tries to capture those first moments in all their chaos and glory!  Thanks so much Mr. G.!  Surf around his site and check out all of the other great comics.

Even if you’re not a teacher, if you have kids you can relate to this.  Welcome to my world, and thanks for joining me along the way.



Broken Girl

© 2010 Matthew West, Sparrow Records

This song was shared with me by a fellow rape survivor.  Matthew West, another amazing Contemporary Christian artist, asked his fans to tell him their stories.  And boy did they.  Matthew was spending 2 months in a cabin in Tennessee writing songs for his new album and read thousands of letters of pain, redemption, strength, fear, faith and hope.  His album and book, “The Story of Your Life” came from that time he spent in the cabin, based on the real-life inspirational stories of his fans.

“Broken Girl” was born of the many, many stories he read of sexual abuse.  This song is very powerful for me.  There is a definite part of me that is still that broken 14 year old girl.  It’s getting smaller, but it’s still there.  While the song has much the same theme as MercyMe’s “You’re Beautiful” that I posted about earlier, I really like the tone of this one.  The driving drumbeat has almost a righteous anger to it.  Anger and power mixed in with God’s unconditional love.  He shares our anger.  There’s a definite strength to it which I find reassuring.  We’re fighters, survivors.  We have a right to be angry.  We have a right to be loved.

You’re Beautiful

Yesterday was a particularly rough day.

I’ve been very misty-eyed this whole week dreading the upcoming Father’s Day…my first without a father.  It seems everywhere I look there are ads for “great gifts to get Dad”, which bring me to tears every time.  Then I got some very disappointing news at work and the whole building was in a foul temper.  There were tears in every corner of the school.   (Teacher tears, not students).  The day went from bad to worse.  For whatever reason, my students’ behaviors were exploding all around me (I teach low-income students with behavior disorders, not an easy task on the best of days.  This was not the best of days).  I ended the day with an altercation with an angry parent. More

Summer, art, and other miscellany

Summer is here!! I teach elementary school, and we had our last day of school last week. The kids have left, the report cards are done, the data has been appropriately entered in many places, I have officially been deemed to be “exceeding proficiency” by my beloved principal. Peace and calm are reigning over my world!!

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately, but the end of the school year is not the best time for any activity that doesn’t involve small children and test scores. But I am free for the next 2 months and have lots to say that I shall be posting soon.

For now, a little hiatus from my usual topics. I found a fun little website called Tagxedo . It’s much like Wordle and makes word clouds out of an existing text, such as a quotation or verse from the Bible, or just from random words you type in. It’s very cool and a fun way to waste creatively spend many hours of summer free time.  I thought I’d try my hand using one of my blog posts, “My Story”.  Here’s the result for your viewing pleasure:

A dove, for the peace I hope all of you find.

For the “miscellany” part of the post, just some thoughts about art.  Obviously, you can see from my above attempt at art, I am no artist in the drawing/painting sense of the word 🙂  I can only type words into a computer program, but the result is still somewhat artistic.  However, I do love to play the piano and enjoy writing.  Some advice to all of you out there who also enjoy creative endeavors such as these.  I learned several years ago not to diminish these aspects of myself.  I switched from calling myself “someone who plays the piano” to calling myself a “classical pianist”.  I stopped saying “I like to write in my spare time”, and began telling people I was a writer.  It has made all the difference in the world.  You wouldn’t think so, but it does.  I love being a pianist, it is a big part of who I am.  Abuse teaches us to diminish ourselves.  It makes us feel smaller.  A simple change of vocabulary can help undo that.

Try it out.  Do you doodle?  Tell yourself you’re an artist!  Do you jot poems in the margins of papers?  Tell yourself you’re a poet!  Do you play an instrument?  You’re a musician!  Own your talent, embrace it, and it will carry you through many things.

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