Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Eventually, you just have to give up the worry. That doesn't mean that you don't give out extra snacks on Fridays, so that the little kids will have a little more food over the weekend, or that you don't hit up Goodwill and clearance sales for spare gloves and coats. It means that you realize that worrying won't solve any problems. There's prayer, and referrals to food banks. There are mandated reports over suspected cases of abuse and neglect (no, not every time---kids can be boisterous and fall and wreck their clothing and get plenty of bumps and bruises. It's only when it happens day after day and week after week. It's only when their excuses don't make any sense, and there's a new boyfriend at home, or their mother runs out food stamps way too early in the month for it really to have been spent on food and not traded for alcohol or drugs).
If you just keep worrying, you'll go crazy, and everyone knows that a crazy teacher is no good for the kids. Sometimes it's just time to remember that you're doing all you can, and pray for the rest of it. Send some prayers this way.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
This has caused me to relentlessly acquire new languages. I worked at a language academy for awhile. They taught English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Chinese. Teachers could sit in on group classes for free. I learned a little French and Italian there. I picked up a bit more from fellow travelers.
I also studied books out of the library once I returned home, and borrowed language tapes. However, the most effective source I found was LiveMocha.
This website offers free Rosetta Stone style classes, with the advantage of an online language community. There are native speakers of nine different languages available to correct your accent as you participate in optional online chats. You can start out in the beginner's class, or the more advanced class if you have a background in the language. Right now, they have classes in Italian, French, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, English, German, Hindi, Icelandic, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Take the chance to fulfill one of your lifelong dreams of learning another language! I'm trying three different courses right now (French, Italian, and Mandarin). What will you try?
1) Visit Hawaii
2) Adopt a child
3) Find beach glass from a lightning storm
4) Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
5) Run a half-marathon
6) Go paragliding
7) Seen the Mona Lisa in France
8) Ride in a gondola in Venice
9) See the Sistine Chapel
10) Travel to Spain
11) Visit Alaska
12) Go snorkeling
13) Visit the Great Wall of China
14) Get a Master's degree in Elementary Education
15) Work in a library
16) Donate blood four times a year
17) Visit the Palestinian Territories and Israel
18) See the Changing of the Guards in London
19) Visit the Lincoln Memorial
20) Go to Washington, D.C.
21) Publish a book
22) Sit on a jury
23) Donate an organ
24) Learn to knit
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
On a completely unrelated note, my college just overcharged me by $7,000. This has got to be a joke, but I'm not laughing. Somehow the part-time credit load did not compute. I met with three different people at the beginning of the semester to explain how I was only taking six credits, and completing the others elsewhere. They cut my scholarship in half. I can understand this (maybe). Yet I have to ask: do they have liability insurance, in case they give an overworked student a heart attack? I can deal with one $6,500 bill a semester, but two? I wish for once they would undercharge me.
It's time to have some fun with the Financial Aid Office!