Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Days

Yesterday was a great day. I found out the night before that I got the job I wanted. I had interviewed at two different schools and one was clearly my first choice. The not so good school had the following qualities:
-Someone got car jacked in the parking lot two days before I visited
-There were posters of local child sex offenders displayed in the halls
-It is located in an area where an unidentified man has been breaking into people's homes and laying in bed with women, fondeling them and himself and then running away when they wake up. Eek!
-Also the teachers seemed worn out and tired.
-I would have had to teach 5th grade all subjects.

I got an email from the principal of the school I want that says they want me and that they will contact me to fill out all the paperwork next week. YAY! No more job interviews! I didn't mind them as much as the average person since I am devoid of emotions but they were a time inconvienence. It is also great to know where I will be next year. This school is only two years old and no teacher has taught more than six years so everyone is still young and fresh and passionate about what they do. I will also have my ideal position- 4th grade- Language Arts. So, I am pretty pumped! I am antsy to sign the papers so it feels official.

Yesterday I got to go to the beach with Neha, Thama and Katie H. It was great to be back there even though it doesn't compare to Maui. I really like Galveston even though it gets a bad rap. The waves were messy and choppy but I was still able to teach Katie to surf. It's always cool to see someone stand up for the first time. I am also getting excited about moving in with Katie for the Fall. We are hoping to find a house in the Heights with wood floors, a porch and A backyard with room for a trampoline. We'll never want to leave the house.

I also just realized that I leave for YoungLife camp in a week. June has snuck up on me big time. I am excited about going but I need to get used to the idea that it is about to happen.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Enticing Offers

I have been super sick this week. It's not as bad as when I had Dengue fever but it is still no fun. Some people say Christians should never be sick and use the phrase, "We are healed by His stripes" to justify this belief. But they are misusing it. That phrase is refering to our sins being healed not our physical healing. I am definitely sick. I spent the last two days in bed and I have used two full boxes of Kleenex. I missed one day of work and had to reschedule a teaching job interview. Things are beginning to look up, though. Today I felt well enough to go to the interview and go back to work.

My teaching interview went pretty well but I am not sure if I want to teach at this particular school. The teachers and principal seem nice but the area is a bit shady. It didn't feel that shady until I found out that some woman almost got car jacked in the parking lot two days ago. They also had fliers with the faces of local registered sex offenders posted where the kids get picked up. I am glad they're aware, but it's kind of scary. I am still in the interview process at another school that I think may be a better/less likely to be assaulted fit. We'll see though. The next interview at that school is on Monday. I just want to know where I will be. I hate waiting.

Tonight I worked until 10pm at Soundwaves. It's been a long time since I worked at night at Soundwaves. It's always an amusing experience since we are located in Montrose- the weirdest and gayest part of Houston. I helped a big older black guy look for some cds. He told me, "I like your hair." To which I said, "Thanks, sometimes it turns into a 'fro." Then he said, "I think I'd like that too." Red flag. He kept refering to me by name, which he cleverly discovered on my nametag. He asked if I liked to go out. I told him that I am super busy, always working. He asked if I had any time to have fun. I told him no. He asked me if I was married and I told him, "Pretty much." (Does Jesus count?) Then he asked if I had any friends who liked to go out. (Maybe ones who also have frizzy hair, perhaps?) I told him that they are pretty much all married.

I read a book once by a lady who was clearly not a Christian, who went on dates with anyone who asked her for a year. She lived in New York City and ended up going on over 100 dates and slept with an alarming number of them. If I had been playing her game, I would have had to say yes to the random guy tonight. Thank goodness I wasn't. It's not that I didn't want to go out with him because he was black. Sometimes I actually prefer black people to white people and I would definitely go out with a suitable black guy. No, the reason I wasn't interested had more to do with the fact that he looked 40 and that he worked as a truck driver. So, I am not a racist but maybe an occupationist. Is that bad? I have recently determined that my kind of guy loves Jesus, is sporty, and is the kind of guy who would work at a summer camp, be a Younglife leader, serve with YWAM or be a teacher. Truck driver is simply not on the list.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Who needs emotions, right?

I recently realized that I have inadvertantly turned my emotions off. This is not something that I normally can do or try to do. I have several friends (mostly guys) who seem to be able to consistently turn their emotions on and off. One tried to tell me that this is a good and easier way to live. I don't agree. It seems to me that most people who practice this coping mechanism come to a point where the emotions have to come out whether the person wants to or not. Sometimes this can take years, but it will come out. And when emotions come out like that, it's usually very painful and hard-worse than if you let them out naturally.

I usually like to handle my emotions in my time and not stuff them away. That's why I am surprised that I have turned mine off. I have been thinking and praying about it and I guess I don't want to deal with the fears and stress that come with my little brother going back to Iraq in about a week. He is one of my favorite people and probably the person I love most in this world. I have loved and tried to protect him since the day he was born. I know he feels called to go back and I want to support him but in order to fully do that, I can't think about the reality of him going back to a place where people are actively trying to end his life. That's why I think my emotions are off. I think the solution is to spend a lot more time praying and talking with the Lord. For now, though the emotionlessness has had some benefits.

I haven't been nervous about things that I would normally be nervous about like job interviews. This comes in handy because confidence makes a good impression. I have a visit to a potential elementary school tomorrow. I really want this job but I feel no stress or worry. Those of you who pray, though, please pray that it all goes well.

This weekend I went to College Station for my friend, Lee's graduation from college. He's 31 and has been out of high school for thirteen years so it was a pretty big deal. His mom died four years ago and had really wanted him to finish college. If I wasn't such an emotionless droid, I know I would have cried when I saw that Lee had written on the top of his graduation cap, "I did it Mom!" Because it was such a big deal, most of our friends came from all over Texas, Lousiana and Mississippi. It was so fun to have everyone together again. We usually only get together as a group at weddings. It was nice to have more time to hang out. I also got to see Lee's family, who I really enjoy. His nephew Jonah is super friendly. He's four years old now and even though I hadn't seen him since he was a toddler, we were instantly friends. He asked me if I had a boyfriend. I told him no. Then he asked if that was because my mom wouldn't let me. I told him no and asked who he thought should be my boyfriend. To this, he smiled and pointed to himself. Unfortunately I think the age difference is just too much but it was a nice offer. I got to see my friends, Erin and Zach's baby, Joe. He looks like such a mix of both of them. I like it when that happens.

This week, my schedule is super weird. I have school visits on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and then I work at night until after 10pm. Then I have a day off and then Friday night I work. It's very different than my usual 10-4 weekday schedule. I am glad for the day off, though. I am hoping to go to the beach finally (not the same as Maui, though) and spend some extra time with the Lord. I am glad for the break.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Old Friends and Job Fairs

Last night I got to hang out with some of my childhood friends, Leena and Neha Patel. We all grew up together on the same street and had an incredibly fun childhood. My parents have since moved but their parents still live on our old street- Quiet Spring or the "QS." My parents' new house has never fully felt like home. Being in the Patels' where I had spent so much of my childhood was like coming home. It felt so good. We had such a good time laughing, catching up and remembering our past adventures. We watched an incredible video of Neha's eighth birthday. I was ten, Andrew was eight and Jocelyn was eight. We were such funny little kids. Eleven year old Leena seranades her sister with a crude violin solo of "Happy Birthday." I eagerly keep asking when we will open the presents, Andrew shoves Jocelyn from behind and Jocelyn accidentally says her name is Jocelyn Hightower. Priceless memories! I am not a fan of the suburbs for my current stage of life but I think I may end up there when I have kids. It is just so fun to have all your friends living on the same street.

Today I raced home from work, got fancy and headed to a job fair. It was for student teachers but I can't attend the big city-wide one because of YoungLife camp. They let me in, thankfully. I had only been to one job fair before and I only went to have an excused absence from student teaching. I knew I wasn't going to be a teacher. This time was different. I actually wanted to get a job. It was a lot like one of those speed dating things I've seen on tv. You had to sell yourself in about five minutes and hope for the best. I talked to one principal, whose school I wouldn't want to work at. She seemed worn out and said that 100 out of 500 students from her school left last year to attend other schools. HISD lets students apply to go to other schools. Bad sign that 1/5 of the school left.

One school seemed really cool. The school is only two years old and no teachers have taught for more than six years. There are definitely some benefits to having older teachers around but I like the idea of working with people who are close to me in age and open to do things in new and creative ways. The school sent several teachers on the hiring committee as well as the principal. One of them was a super cute male fourth grade teacher. He seemed really nice and wasn't wearing a wedding ring. This is not the only reason I liked the school but it didn't hurt. We seemed to be on the same page with our educational ideas and he secured me a visit to the school. I go on Tuesday morning. I don't want to get my hopes up but it seems like a cool school. I am also going to visit another school on Tues and talked to a couple other principals about getting together later. It feels good to make progress. Please keep praying for my job.

The Weekend in a Nutshell

This weekend, I went on a little road trip. Big surprise, huh? I seem to be going on a lot of those. I gotta make the most of the mainland, right? I went to San Antonio to spend a final weekend with my brother before he goes to Iraq. He was about to go to Colorado for two weeks and then he leaves for Iraq around May 18th.

I had dinner with Andrew, Shella and Shella's parents. We ate at Cracker Barrel. I think this is one of the few restaurants that serves "American food." It is very fattening and very good. In the morning we had breakfast with the same crowd and then headed to Schiltterbahn. For those of you unfortunate souls who are unfamiliar with the place, it is the world's best waterpark as deemed by the travel channel. It is on the river and has tons of rides. We had a fun crowd: Andrew's old roommate, Eric, Andrew's friend- Veazey and his lady friend, our lifelong friend, Jocelyn and her husband as well as me and Shella. It was like four couples with me and Eric as a random one. Eric's a little too short and too engaged for me, unfortunately. We had a good time strutting around in our bathing suits and riding water slides.

Then we all had some good BBQ at Rudy's. I said good-bye to Andrew. It was the last time I will see him until he gets back from Iraq in January. It's super sad but I basically pretended it wasn't a big deal. At least I will get to talk to him a couple times before he deploys. I am sure I will have some form of emotional breakdown right after he leaves.

On Sunday, we had a Young Life car wash to raise money for camp. A lot of our kids come from lower income families and don't have enough money for camp so we provide opportunities for them to earn money. There were at least 20 kids there. This was a good sign since we often have no idea how many kids are planning to come until the day before.

I am super excited about camp. Before camp we are taking the kids white-water rafting. Most of our kids are black. And some stereotypes about black people prove true in real life. Most black people don't like to swim or get wet. There are practical reasons for this like for girls getting their hair wet will ruin their expensive weaves and many don't know how to swim. Therefore, the idea of them white-water rafting is simply hilarious! I can't wait!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Busy Busy

It's crazy to me how I have already filled up my weekly schedule and I've only been out of Hawaii for a little over a month. This week I have worked over 30 hours, went to the Astros game, went to YoungLife club and went to the gym multiple times. Yesterday was crazy as I had to be at work at 7am. It was a bit like death as I don't like to wake up in the sixes. Then I was at work until 6:30pm. I went home for literally five minutes before I headed across town to our last YoungLife club. Then I didn't get home from YoungLife until 11pm. I didn't know how I was going to make it towards the end of my shift at work but once I got to hang out with the Young Life kids, I didn't feel so worn out. I don't know how someone could just work retail without doing something to give back. It is hard to feel like you're making a difference when selling cds and surfboards.

Every YoungLife club gets better for me because I get to know the kids' names better. I wish I was one of those people who can just remember names immediately. I remember there was a YoungLife leader in high school named Elisa, who I barely knew. She remembered my name after one short meeting and remembered it years later. That meant a lot to me. I want to be like that.

It's too bad that this was the last club. We are having a car wash on Sunday to raise money for the kids to go to camp. Camp will be the best chance to get to know kids and it is stinkin' fun! Unfortunately it is at the same time as the gulf coast teacher job fair. I am anxious about getting a job and I know I could get one if I went. But I really feel called to YoungLife and I think I am supposed to go to camp. I have thought about doing YoungLife full-time but I also feel the Lord has called me to teaching. I wish He would just throw a job at me but that probably wouldn't teach me patience. I keep learning or not learning that lesson over and over and over again.

This weekend I was going to drive with my brother and his wife to Colorado but now they aren't leaving until Sunday and I have to work on Monday. Instead I am going to San Antonio to hang out with them. We are hoping to go to Schlitterbahn or Fiesta Texas, weather permitting. It should be good times and I will be able to go to church and the YoungLife car wash on Sunday. I am thinking of wearing a string bikini to the car wash to raise more money. We all have to make sacrifices for the Lord, right? Maybe that's not what He had in mind.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...