sometimes i question my decision to be a teacher. like today, when i realised i'd missed out a lesson plan in my assignment, and needed to write it by midnight tonight. all well and good except that it was based on the only shakespeare play i've not read and devoured; romeo and juliet.
i've performed monologues from othello, directed a hypothetical production of as you likeit, won first place in the shakespeare festival for my portrayal of a witch in macbeth, read the tempest three times, played the angry dad in a midsummer night's dream, read (and loved) his entire collection of sonnetsand tutored students through units on the taming of the shrew. but i've somehow missed out on ever reading his most classic and timeless work. which i now need to teach to a year 8 class. awesome.
but the truth is i love teaching. i live for that moment when you realise a kid is mastering something -and loving it- because of you.
this week i'm particularly proud of one of my precious kidzoners. she's an enthusiastic, affectionate trouble maker who has had one of the hardest childhoods i can image. she's in year 6 but reading at year one level. and she decided she wanted a big, speaking role in our upcoming play.
i agreed, making a mental list of all the other kids who would be able to fill in for her when she inevitably gave up/couldn't do it. which sounds awful, but i've learned to be practical. how can a kid who can barely read learn pages and pages of lines in just a few weeks?
well, it turns out, she can. because every spare moment she got, she was chasing after me, waving around her copy of the script and begging me to run lines with her. because she highlighted words she couldn't understand and sounded them out over and over. because she took the words she couldn't remember, and drew tiny pictures above them.
like the word hammerhead. she drew a picture of a hammer and a big dot, and now she can even spell the word.
i can't even explain how proud i am of her, or how happy it makes me to see her loving rehearsal. i especially loved when she told her brother "i've learnt all me lines, and i get to be up on the stage, and genna's proud of me" - and turned to give me a big, glowing smile.
the best part? now that she's mastered her own part, she's helping the other kids too.
i hope i can spend the rest of my life witnessing such miracles.
yesterday my big sister rach rang me sounding super excited. she told me too look up deuteronomy 14:22-30 because she'd just discovered that tithing in the biblical sense was all about putting aside money so you could throw a big party. something they usually don't mention in church ;)
to paraphrase the passage, farmers were commanded to put aside 10% of what they grew in their fields to eat and enjoy in the place where GOD put his name. but if that place is too far away and they had too much to carry, the passage stipulates, then they could sell it for money and use that money to, and i quote, "buy whatever your like" so that the whole household could have a party.
what i love best about this is that the israelites were commanded to share this bounty with widows, orphans, the foreigners, and the levites.
the whole concept is pretty cool, in my opinion.
of course, we are not israelites living under the law, and now we have pastors instead of levites to support, but i still think that throwing a party and sharing food is an awesome way to be generous with our resources.
on monday night i went to a fundraising dinner where the state treasurer spoke about christian engagement with politics. i don't know much about mike -(not nearly as much as i should, as someone who professes an interest in politics) but judging him from his talk, he seems a very wise man.
once upon a time, mike studied theology and hoped to be a minister, because being a church minister seemed (to him) to be the best way to serve GOD. then he realised that GOD requires his people to be stewards of the earth, and everything in it, and he decided that he could do that as a politician too.
mike talked about the movie "what's eating gilbert grape". he talked about how sometimes, christians are like the obese lady, who rarely left her comfortable food-filled home. he talked about the need for christians to engage dynamically with the world - every sector of it.
he described the position of state treasurer as an opportunity to wisely steward this states financial resources.
my first thought was that i'd left something out for her accidentally. like last week when i left my wallet outside on top of the bins (doh!) and she ATE my savings card.
thankfully, we found a handwritten birthday card with the corners chewed off that revealed the whole mystery
the torn beanie and fairy floss (which maddy obviously LOVED, by the way) was meant to be a birthday present for the little girl next door, but the postie delivered the package to the wrong house. bad times.
luckily, we were able to replace everything, right down to the exact same wrapping paper, by examining the tags and remains. everything had been brought from the one shop. (thank GOD!)
her parents thought the whole thing was hilarious, and thanked us over and over for replacing everything.
we rung the post office and told them not to drop off any packages- even ones actually meant for us - ever again!