28 November, 2012

Good things come in twos?

This week I met my friend Joy for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Urbana, MD.  We had a delicious meal and then were brought fortune cookies.  Usually the "fortunes" I get are something like, "Your kind face refresh others," or "Peace begins with a smile."

Understandably, I approach each fortune cookie experience with decidedly low expectations.  I'm really just here for the cookie.

You will appreciate my astonishment, therefore, upon opening my cookie and finding two slips of paper, each one bearing an actual fortune:

"You will pass a difficult test that will make you happier."

"When winter comes heaven will rain success on you."

I'm quite partial to the second one, especially if "success" takes the form of all my student loan debt instantly disappearing.  I just have to hold my breath 'til Dec. 21st to find out!

In other, entirely unrelated news, here is a shameless plug.  I'm trying to get rid of quite a few books that have been taking up space in my apartment or my parents' attic.  Proceeds are going into my travel fund for a visit to my sister in Sweden.  If you or any reading buffs you know might be interested in perusing my listings at Half.com, follow this link:

15 November, 2012

We Just Live Life

"Good afternoon, gentlemen," I said yesterday to my group of 7th grade boys.

Various underwhelmed mumbled responses.

Attempting to boost the enthusiasm in the room, I channeled my inner hype girl and said, "It's WEDNESDAY!  We're half-way through the week!!"

Blank stares.

"Oh.  We just live life!" one of the boys responded.

I suppose there was actually a period when time neither blitzed past me, nor did it seem to drag.  I just lived life.  I woke up, ate my cereal, did my chores, did my schoolwork, and then it was TV time.  Then dad came home from work and we ate dinner.  Then my siblings and I and the other kids on the cul de sac played outside 'til it was dark.  Then maybe we took a bath, or listened to dad read a story, or watched Jeopardy while folding laundry.  Then we went to bed with not very much at all to worry us.  And the next day, pretty much the same thing happened all over again.  We just lived life.

Teaching children who have not yet grown the tumor of Urgency that plagues so many of us adults is nostalgia-inducing, refreshing, challenging...

14 November, 2012

Dear Mr. McFeeley

Dear Mr. McFeeley,

This summer Maurice Sendak died.

That wasn't your fault, of course, but all the subsequent conversations about books that defined my generation's childhood got me thinking.  To be perfectly honest, "Where the Wild Things Are" wasn't a favorite that I read over and over; I don't think we even owned a copy.  But I got to thinking about the pop cultural artifacts that were a significant part of my early years, and that of course led me to "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."