Life Right Now {#13}

Twenty friends and a sloppy joes dinner and watching Knight and Day and playing ultimate frisbee in the dark with glow sticks is a very enjoyable Saturday night.

~Natalia

Status: Enrolled

4 hours
11 calls to the admissions office
and
7 classes later

I am enrolled at Moody Bible Institute
for
Fall 2011.

~Natalia

Curriculum Excitement

Something happened to me this afternoon that has never happened before. I was sitting in my computer place at the table, which happens to be right next to my eating place at the table. I was flipping back and forth between Facebook and my google reader page, and paused to read a blog post or two. I firmly believe that reading and taking in really good writing is essential before one can produce any good writing, and sometimes, an exceptional blog post, written by one of the thirty+ bloggers that I follow, is all I need to inspire me to new writing feats.

So I was reading a Pioneer Woman guest blogger post, written by a woman who homeschools her handful of small offspring. The woman mentioned a book that she based much of her curriculum decisions on in the early years of planning, and even provided a link to the book on Amazon.

I clicked on the link, feeling a strange sense of excitement as the page loaded. An image of the book finally appeared on the screen in front of me, and I eagerly clicked on the “Look Inside” tab, and once again waited impatiently for the brief sample of the book’s opening pages to load.

After I had read the three available pages, I closed the “Look Inside” tab, but kept Amazon open. This is so strange, I thought. The idea of choosing math workbooks, or finding just the right way to teach a child to read, has never been remotely exciting to me.
Was I homeschooled? Yes. Am I bound and determined to homeschool any future progeny that I may produce? No. But I will definitely consider it very seriously. But sitting in my seat, sipping water and munching Cheerios, simply reading an introductory portion of a book about curriculum planning made me surprisingly excited.

I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised at this sudden interest in curriculum selection. The organization and planning involved in choosing a curriculum appeals to the small amount of “type A” personality in me. The unrestricted ability to choose what I teach and impart to whatever young minds I find around is both overwhelming and full of responsibility. I like the endless possibilities; way to combine and tailor what I want to fit the needs of whoever I find myself teaching.

And I’ve had a taste of curriculum planning this summer, as I guide two small princesses through studies on math, orangutans, giraffes, Bible memorization, kangaroos, crafts and projects, reading, and much more. Our summer program, known simply as “Camp”, has been a great success and if my excitement over a curriculum-planning guide on Amazon is any indication, I believe I can look forward to many years of picking and choosing, planning and teaching in the future.

And that is rather exciting.

~Natalia

Halfway Interacting

“It’s really pleasant to listen to [Kakuro Ozu] talking, even if you don’t care about what he’s saying, because he is truly talking to you, he is addressing himself to you. This is the first time I have met someone who cares about me when he is talking: he’s not looking for approval or disagreement, he looks at me as if to..say, ‘Who are you? Do you want to talk to me? How nice to be here with you!’ This is what I meant by saying he is polite- this attitude that gives the other person the impression of really being there.”
~Paloma in The Elegance of the Hedgehog

As I tiptoe precariously along the line between looking introspectively to see how I can improve and grow, and looking outward to see how I can serve God and those around me, many things are slowly becoming apparent to me about who I am and how who I am affects those around me.

At the beginning of the summer, when I chose to dedicate myself more than ever before to purposefully cultivating friendships with those around me, I knew in my heart that 1) it would not be all sunshine and daisies, as real people tend to lead real lives with real issues, and 2) I had a feeling that I wouldn’t escape the summer without some realizations about myself. In fact, I hoped that I would learn more about myself.

And I have. And I am.

When I took a step back and began to study myself and how I look at those around me; how I see you and talk to you, I noticed a recurring flaw. Deep inside me, I believe that communication; talking and moving and looking and seeing and living with other people, is responding. I do this, you respond this way, I respond back, and we’ll move on from there. I have a part and you have a part, but if you’re not going to do your part, I might not do mine, either.

Because I don’t want to go to all the work of investing in someone else, if I’m not sure they’re going to put in their part of the interaction.

The main argument to maintaining this rather half-hearted manner of living with others is that it’s so very easy. I can wait and watch, test the waters and check the temperature, before I step out and do anything, and then I can recede again and wait for the response.

But what about you? What about the person on the other side of the table, the other end of the conversation? Do they feel the love of Christ when I’m passive? Do they have warm fuzzies when I avoid their eye in passing in the hallway? I think not. Hastily glazing over relationships and waiting to reach out until whoknowswhat happens does not point anyone to Christ, and it doesn’t deepen any relationships.

I want to treat those around me as Kakuro does. I want my actions and words to say, “How nice it is to be here with you!”. I want to step out, look you in the eye, and see you. And Kakuro’s not the only one who treats people with such respect and love; Jesus does, too.

~Natalia

We’re Back…


(Stevy in white cap in lane 6)

from a wonderful, swimmy week in Iowa City!

~Natalia

Life Right Now {#12}


We’re off to Iowa to cheer Stevy on at Sectionals. See you next week!

~Natalia

I Remembered

This afternoon I remembered how the kids at Casa Hogar recite the times tables before each meal. I remembered standing in the kitchen, dishing out bowls of soup and listening to the beat of their recitation, voices lilting up and down as they reeled off the numbers.

I remembered, and I missed them.

~ Natalia

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