Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gravity Won--and it Slipped from our Grasp

Well our high hopes were ultimately dashed by an artist type.

We hosted the area tournament today; the top two teams would go to state. My team played well--the best they ever have, and managed to win the first two games, one easily; one not so easily. The third round showed great promise, as they managed to take an early lead over the top-seeded team, but they slowed in the third quarter and lost. Since we had already won over the runner-up team, we weren't extremely worried about them...I guess we should have been. The excelled at history and art and current events; we excelled at math, science, and sports. Unfortunately, there was a sixty second round called: famous artists and their works. They took it, and got nine out of ten correct, which gave them a nearly impossible lead, if not numerically, at least psychologically. So the other team won. We felt a little deflated. No state tournament this year.

On the bright side, I was proud of my team! They played well; they kept a good attitude; and they were good hosts. Several of them helped me set the rooms up, fix food for the hospitality room, keep time and score, and clean up after it was all over. In perspective, of the thirty teams in our area, we were ranked third. Thanks, Team! I appreciate you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Exodus Museum--Once Again.

Once again I’m reviewing and remembering as the junior high Bible classes take down their Exodus museum. All the murals and the monuments, the maps and the models turn into portable bundles, some to treasure and store away, others to cram into the dumpster behind the gym. That time in the wilderness will soon be forgotten as we move into the anarchy of the Judges and the turbulent times of Saul and Samuel. There, on the wall, was the golden calf, commandments broken at his feet. Next to the door were Amalekites in Lego, tiny robes bound around them with little rubber bands for braces. Moses stood between Hur and Aaron as they held his little plastic hands to the sky. The three signs were given to Moses, the quail fluttered on their mobile, and the waters of Rephidim gushed from their paper mache rock. Plagues tormented in abundance—frogs, darkness, a blood-cursed Nile, dying cattle, locust, hail and fire and boils—and little clay houses stood helpless in Goshen under the assailing mural scowl of Pharaoh, while the Passover meal sat quietly on the table, ready to eat in an instant and give strength for the journey. There was a model of the tabernacle and its golden furniture; the Ten Commandments, caligraphed on paper mache; and a mural of Korah falling into an awesome crack in the earth. The walls of the Red Sea closed in around us, while fish and sea creatures loomed under an occasional spray of mischievous water. The burning bush fluttered in the wind of fire. Signs everywhere proclaimed the stations and a salt map showed the way to travel. Fun, yes, but also learning. We sampled unleaven bread from the Passover meal and a token “sugar cookie” manna. Nobody danced around the golden calf, and we didn’t grind it into powder for the class to drink, but we do remember the story. And in the process we also learned that plaster works better than paper mache. Ah yes, reviewing and remembering….like so many Israelites did for years of celebrating Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. Like them I have to smile and say, “God has been good to us.”

I managed to capture about half the students and projects for the video. Here are a few highlights...if I can get it to post.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The 200th Post

I've been blogging just over a year, and today I noticed that this would be the 200th post.
Well, since this is a milestone, I should have something dramatic to say.
Something witty.
Something apropos.

Well, this is the only thing that comes to my mind: "I can't believe I have actually written this much stuff--silly and serious; well-thought out and spontaneous; lyrical and stilted; meaningful and trivial; for a broad audience and for a narrow one (sometimes only for myself and it would have better been left in my mind and not on the internet blackboard for the world to read).

I tried to archive the whole blog, so I wouldn't lose it in a crash, and it proved difficult.
Just imagine if all the conversations we had were archived like their entirety, no corrections or "I thought better's".
What a silly mess for God to sort through...that's what I say.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, Oh Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer!"

This Little Girl is Growing

On December 3, I wrote about this baby girl, born prematurely to a couple of my former students. She weighed just over two pounds, but was breathing on her own. Now, after 40 days, she is doing well, and almost ready to go home. What a precious gift--the life God gave us! Her auntie--one of my seniors--posted this picture on her blog.