Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Canadian capers

It's been too long since I updated this bad boy. I have been super busy with the end of the semester and a ridiculous amount of traveling.

I am currently at Amy's house in Toronto. I really love being here. It feels very comfortable and home-like. I really enjoy Amy's family and friends. I seem to fit in pretty well with these Canadians.

There is snow here, which is intriguing. Wayne(from Georgia) and I tried to make snow angels but apparently the snow was too old and hard. Tonight there is supposed to be snow so I have high hopes for tomorrow. I am bummed to leave tomorrow.

Today we had a shower for Amy. It was good times. It was not a lingerie shower but I brought lingerie. That's just how I roll. I also got her a Friends trivia game. She hates Friends. We can't help but hate the show after someone at YWAM got a DVD box set and it was on constantly at the house we lived in. I gave it to her anonymously. My goal was for her to have to fake that she liked it and I was hoping that some of the ladies would get excited. All my hopes and dreams were realized. It was awesome.

I need to go back to being social. I will tell more next time I write. PS- Matt and Bethany's wedding was fabulous!

Friday, December 14, 2007

D- Fence

Every since the day I first laid eyes on this wonderful pun at a UT football game, I have wanted to create one- the d- fence. I have finally done it. I cut a large D and a mini fence out of foam board. I feel so much more complete. I was super excited about breaking out the d-fence for the high school girls' basketball game I attended tonight. Many of my favorite YoungLife girls play on the team. Unfortunately I FORGOT THE D-FENCE!!!!!! How could I do that?!!! Our girls ended up losing by 30 points. I think you are probably coming to the same conclusion that I have come to regarding the loss- would not have happened if I had remembered the D-Fence. I clearly let them down. The worst part was when the crowd started chanting "Defense. That was difficult to hear knowing what amazing visual pun I could have contributed to the encouragement.

The girls play once more before I leave for Colorado. I would like to pretend that the whole reason I will attend the game is to support my girls but I think we all know it is because I can debut the D-FENCE!!! I will tell you how it goes. I am predicting a landslide victory.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What not to say to someone with cancer

Recently I was with Sarah when she was basically accosted by a random lady. She was a well-meaning friend of a friend. The moment she saw Sarah, she said, "You're Sarah! I've been praying for you!" That is a pretty awkward way to meet someone. It is great that people who have never met Sarah are praying for her. I know that she appreciates it too but it can still be awkward when they loudly announce to on at first meeting.

The woman, who had the best intentions, trapped Sarah in conversation and pumped her full of cheesy Biblical slogans. I fully believe in what the Bible says but it can come off a little weird when a perfect stranger tells you that your difficult situation will be good in the long run. While I believe that good will come out of this, it is hard to focus on that when there is still so much unknown concerning Sarah's future.

So, for those of you who have been praying for Sarah without ever meeting her, I sincerely appreciate it. Please keep it up. I admit that sometimes it hurts too much for me to pray for her like I should. But, if you do get lucky and get to meet Sarah, don't greet her by saying that you have been praying for her even if it is true. Don't look at her with sad eyes that say, "You are the girl with cancer." Treat her like a regular person. That's all she wants.

Sad stuff

I don't know if you have been following the news. In case you haven't, here is the deal:

A young guy went into a YWAM training center in Denver and shot four people, killing two of them. Then he went to a church and killed two teenage girls before he was killed by the church security guard.

YWAM is a funny organization because even though there are over 10,000 people working with YWAM at any given moment, we all feel like a family. You can meet a fellow YWAMer for the first time and talk for hours with no pauses or awkwardness. I am no longer on staff with YWAM but I will always be part of the family. And this tragedy hurts. These young adults were doing exactly what I was doing a year ago and now they are dead. I never met them but I know I would have liked them. It hurts that someone ended their lives.

It should probably make me scared of further YWAM involvement but it really makes me want to drop everything and join it again. I believe so much in how God uses this organization. I am thankful that their lives were not in vain and I pray for their families. It is all too easy to put myself in their place. So many of the people I love are YWAMers as well.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pizza Olympics

Tonight was Young Life and as usual, it lifted my spirits. Those kids are so funny. We did this activity called the pizza olympics. At the beginning of club, three kids call three different pizza places. The first pizza man to get there, gets a cheesy gold plastic medal. It is really funnny but ours did work out too well. Only one pizz guy showed up. He seemed a bit mentally challenged and was definitely confused. When he arrived, we played the Olympic theme song very loud and screamed and yelled for him. That part went well, but the other two pizza guys didn't show up. We kept singing song after song, trying to stall before the big Jesus talk. Finally we had to just go for it. The kids all had fun even if it wasn't very smooth.

During the Jesus talk, my fellow Young Life leader friend, Bethany and I were trying to figure out what was going on with two of the girls. They were sitting awfully close. We thought they might be lesbians. Slowly our suspicions were confirmed as they continued to behave in a way that I never would with a female friend. They were pretty much sitting on each other and there was clearly nuzzling going on. If that was not enough, one started to lovingly smell the other's hair. Oh well, I am glad that the are coming to Young Life. We seem to have a decent number of lesbians. Maybe it is because we have a lot of sporty kids.

I really miss my old boss, Tom. I guess it is not too surprising to find a good boss when you work in a Christian environment. He was just incredible. He was humble yet commanding. He always pointed out people's strengths but wasn't afraid to confront when necessary. I am learning that a good boss can really make or break a job experience. I have moments every day when I just ache to go back to Maui and work with YWAM. It was just amazing. But alas, I know this is where I am supposed to be right now. I am really hoping that I am supposed to be in Maui over Spring Break. I am praying and saving so it can work out.

Afterwards, a bunch of the guys and girls started fake fighting in the parking lot. I guess it must have been a bit too convincing. The cops showed up just as we were starting to leave and told us to get on our way. Little did he know that Young Life is actually a really good influence on these kids. I got out of there before I could explain. He didn't seem in the mood to talk.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tales of a Third Grade Teacher

I am absolutely exhausted right now, which is sad since it is about 8pm. I stayed up later than I should have last night on this scientific research website. It sounds boring but it isn't. The site tests your reaction time to a series of pictures and uses that to compute how you feel about issues. I had heard about one about race but I ended up taking some about religion, homosexuality and girls and boy stereotypes for science and math. In each case I was moderately biased in one direction. I didn't fully agree with the girls sucking at science assessment since I really don't think they suck. Anyway, if you want to check it out, go to-https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/research/

Today was a much better day at school. I have been praying a lot more for school stuff and I think it is working. Teaching seems to be full of highs and lows. Some of my kids have very difficult home lives and it hurts my heart. One boy today said he couldn't do his Science project because his electricity got turned off. Several of my kids have brothers, mothers or fathers in jail. I pray that they will rise out of their working class poverty and bad parenting and become successful. I try very hard to make them feel special.

I think I have mentioned before that there is one kid that I know has a crush on me. It's pretty cute to have a third-grader crushing on you- especially a short, chubby one with glasses. Today this particular kid gave me a hug and said, "Miss Hightower, you're my best friend." This was flattering but turned slightly awkward when he wouldn't let go. Luckily in third grade, they are all short enough to hug below the extremely awkward boob area. I finally pried the kid off of me. Now, if only I was that irresistable to men my own age....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Laughing at the nudes

Look, I am a blogging machine! Life felt easy in Maui and it feels hard here. I am still having problems with my principal that I will not foolishly elaborate on this public and anonymous forum. As can be expected, conflict at work makes life way more stressful.

Thankfully Christmas is coming soon. I am definitely looking forward to it. It is bound to be amazing! My brother will be home from Iraq and I am getting Nintendo Wii. Now if only Santa could bring a funny, sporty Christian man and a cure for cancer....

On Thursday I took my class on a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. The field trip only lasted an hour, which was far too short to see much of the museum. It definitely piqued my interest and I would like to go back soon. The kids were broken up into smaller groups and distributed among the docents- fancy word for volunteer guides. I strategically formed a group with some of the kids whom I was afraid would make trouble. Our guide, Blaine (who was curiously an older white man and not a gay black man as my In Living Color experience would dictate), showed us a good time and the kids behaved well. The funniest part to me was the way the kids responded to the nudes. I had joked to another teacher before we left that I was going to wrangle the kids and keep them away from the nudes. Well, the nudes were unavoidable and the kids acted exactly as I had anticipated. They turned red. They giggled and they pointed. It was pretty funny. I told them to act mature but that's pretty difficult to do when you are eight and looking at naked people.

One kid asked me why anyone would want to paint or sculpt naked people. I didn't quite know how to respond. I told him that some people think naked people are beautiful. The kid just looked at me like I was crazy.

This whole incident reminded me of visiting an art gallery in New York. My friend, Lucy's dad was part of an art exhibit along with a few other artists. We went to see his show. We walked around pretending to be part of the snooty art community. One of the other patrons looked very familiar but I couldn't figure out why. Soon, I realized that the woman was the model for a life-like nude painting hanging in that very gallery. I am sure I turned red and I think I giggled. How can I expect my third graders to keep their composure when I couldn't? How could that woman walk around a room full of strangers who knew exactly what she looked like naked? Eek! What a weirdo!
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