August 7, 2012

So today was the second day of summer camp. Usually, this would mean I only have 2 or 3 students show up.  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) my students know this will be our last summer camp, so they showed up.   We played a game where they had to figure out who killed me (murder is my favorite camp!) – it is kind of like alibi, but I give them all the information. Just not all at once.  Each student gets one clue, and they have to ask each other to get them all and figure it out. They did a good job, and they did a very good job explaining why they chose the suspect they did. I left pretty happy.  Tomorrow we will play “Clue” –

I saw Ms. Woo, my co-teacher. She was looking very cool and fresh despite the heat. I don’t know how she does that. I must admit I”m a bit jealous.  We talked about the new school. I won’t know where I’ll go until the 13th, so I’m looking at websites for teaching young children, but I really don’t know what I’m looking for. I guess general ideas.  I also don’t know if I’ll have to move or not. I’ve decided that even though I have WAY too much stuff accumulated, I”m going to be happy either way. Either I can stay in my apartment that is being newly organized, and I’ll get to ride my bike to work or I’ll get a new apartment, and I can start fresh. Either way I’m detehrmined to be happy.

I’m very grateful I have a nice place to hang my hat.


Well, it has been a long time

August 5, 2012

I’ve been thinking about this blog for a while. It is like an old friend you haven’t e-mailed or called in a while, and every time you don’t call or write it seems more difficult to get to it.

I am finished with the epic mistake of taking 4 classes at once. I did pretty good on three classes (but I’ve emotionally and intellectually made peace with the fact that I will probably have to re-take the Literacy class. It makes me sad, but I’m still standing.. barely.)

I am also thinking of re-taking linguistics. I really enjoyed the class, but right now I couldn’t tell you what I learned. I think the recommendation of only two classes a semester has some merit.   I’ve never run into my wall, I’ve always been the one who does a bit too much, but then I like being busy so it is a good thing.

With that, I will say that I’m taking two new classes, and a class on rock climbing (even though I’m a little more than a little  fat, and I’m old and out of shape) – and I’m back on my bike, with a new plan for a long term bike ride.

I’ve decided to take it a bit easy this semester, because I’m going to be starting something new. Elementary school. eeek.  The little ones scare me a bit, and I’m just now starting to look at lesson plans and materials for them. I’ve decided to have fun, and to get in touch with my inner child.  (since I’m really a 12 year old in a 46 year old body, it shouldn’t be too hard)

And that is me, and I’m going to try to get back, and be a better blog hostess or whatever we are called.


I think I made a big mistake

June 17, 2012

I’m taking 4 classes for summer. Grad school is harder than it looks, and I shouldn’t have taken so many classes at once.  The hard part? I really enjoy the classes I just feel like my brain is pudding and I can’t seem to take a proper break. Every time I turn around it seems I’ve forgotten to do something so I’m always a bit behind. I still haven’t caught up in Linguistics. I am however making a pretty decent grade in Multi-lingual and Multi-cultural education. I think what the best thing for me to do is the best I can in Linguistics, accept the poor grade and re-do it next semester. Sigh

I will probably NOT be posting regularly.

Where I try to explain why I haven’t written in a while

July 11, 2011

And make even more excuses why I probably won’t write for a while.

Today it rained. Again. It has been bringing me down, and I usually love rain.  Today I finished my dental stuff, so yay, and I went to get my health check (surprisingly painless).

The past couple of weeks I have signed my new contract, gotten things ready for summer camp, did a post-card swap with 4 other schools and I’m patiently waiting for their cards (although I did get two from England so far) , finished 1/2 a sweater,  balled up a ton of yarn a friend gave me when she left, finished dog sitting for another friend, and met a friend of a friend and showed  her around a bit of Seoul.  I have also registered for classes at University of North Dakota’s ELL program, ran into a glitch on ordering the books, and didn’t do much of the homework for the online speed reading course.

Next week I will have to order my books, finish my sweater, re-pot some plants, write the speech for Toast-masters.

It could be worse, but I had hoped July would be a mellow month before school starts, but I don’t think that is going to happen

June 18, 2011

I am not a Christian, despite my name.  I like the message Jesus gave, but then it is a very similar message Buddha, Mohammad, Krishna, and other peaceable sorts have been giving for, well, forever. I am also not anti- Christian, as many people in my family are quite devout and although most just try to live their lives the best they can, and take comfort in their church and community.

One of the reasons I am not a Christian is the concept of hell as preached and written by most churches. I found it horrifyingly un-just, and the result of a fevered imagination from an evil entity. That a loving God would condemn people to an eternity of punishment and torture for finding the argument provided by preachers unconvincing, or being born in the wrong place, just a monstrous proposition.  I remember asking one of the mega-church leaders in my community about this, I asked, if I convert to Christianity, become a Christian, and I go to heaven,  but my friends, family and loved ones don’t, and they go to hell, how is heaven, heaven if I know my friends and loved ones are suffering?  The answer: God will make you forget them.  I was appalled. I turned my back on the church at that time, and so far I haven’t found a new one that has made me feel comfortable.

According to the theology I am most familiar with, Gandhi is in hell, because he wasn’t a Christian, but the spewers of hate and vile misogyny  and homophobia are in heaven. I would choose to spend eternity with Gandhi.

I read Fred Clark at Slacktivist  and I find his theology quite compelling. That is where I heard about Rob Bell’s “Love Wins.”  It is a very easy read. The words are simple, the paragraphs small, and even though I am not a speed reader, I found it quite a quick read. That isn’t to say that I found the thesis simple or uncompelling

Rob Bell believes God loves everyone. The saints and the sinners alike. He makes a case similar to C.S. Lewis, that hell is the absence of God. That the earth can be heaven or hell depending on how we treat each other and how close we follow the words of Jesus. His Christianity is very inclusive, and he makes a case that since God is love, we humans will always have a way to heaven.  An all roads lead to Rome view of spirituality that I agree with.

Rob Bell’s God is not Jonathan Edward’s Angry God, quick to condemn, and quick to pass judgement.  I read somewhere that the final battle between good and evil will be won, not by force of arms but by the forgiveness of Satan and his being embraced by God. I don’t remember where I read it or I would attribute it, but I like it a lot better than the usual sermons on the end of times.

Although Bell makes sure to be clear that rebellion and rejection of God’s love has consequences, the end result is that God wants us to be with him, but he does give us freedom and infinite chances to embrace his redemption. He would have Gandhi in Heaven, and the vile spewers of hate no matter how they identify themselves, given another opportunity to find love.

Although I don’t necessarily believe everything Bell has written, I find his theology of redemption, love and forgiveness quite comforting.


The Adventures of Benjamin Skyhammer A review

June 10, 2011

The Adventures of Benjamin Skyhammer is a delightful little YA adventure, science fiction story.  I had the pleasure and honor of being one of the first readers.  One of the things I loved about this book was Nicole Sheldrake’s ability to build a believable world. As you read along, each country and each place is real, even if quite fantastic.  The story opens with an Indiana Jones-ish relic hunter, but quickly evolves to a magical realm where the world is not safe and nothing is what it seems.

Many science fiction and adventure stories have plausible worlds, but the world here is one I would want to visit again, and again.  World building is not easy, and making  a magical place is even more difficult.  Yet I felt that this world was a real place.

It is an easy read, but not a simple story. There is mystery, and the plot does thicken quite often,  and lots and lots of adventure.  I also liked the characters.  Higgins is of course my favorite, but there were quite a few, some that only showed up briefly, that were memorable and compelling and much more complex than the average young adult novel characters.

I want to go into detail, but then I would probably spoil it for you.

Go to Amazon   or smashwords  or go to the author’s website and read some of her great short stories as well.

Congratulations Nicole, it was a great story.

Well, I WANT to go back to school… honest.

June 7, 2011

I’m applying to graduate school. It is very stressful. VERY.  The school I want is University of North Dakota, because although it is online, it is the same course as if I were on campus. And I think the ELL program is very good. So I sent everything out, only to find out that I need the transcripts to a community college course I forgot about. (It was only one class, and I transferred the credit, oh, a long time ago) So I faxed the community college and asked them to both mail and fax my transcripts to University of North Dakota. Fast forward one week later, and I get an e-mail that my application is still incomplete. I knew that because I’ve developed a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder and have been checking the application every day.  (yes, I know it is 3 am on a Sunday there, but maybe they will have something new!)  So I called the community college, and they said they faxed and mailed the transcripts on Wed. last week.  I am stressed.

So I signed up for a speed reading class from in the hopes that it will help me when I start and keep me from being quite so obsessed.  It is all online, and you do have to pay, and it probably won’t count on my professional portfolio, but if it helps me when I go back to school, that would make it all worth it.  I’ll let everyone know how it turns out.

Meanwhile I’ve gone online and found some cool educational links to occupy my  time as I wait. has what sound like some great courses.  I am really interested in Introduction to Nonviolence and Philosophy for beginners.  But first I will have to finish the Harvard lectures on Justice with Michael Sandel:  and a friend introduced me to  so I should be able to stay busy this summer before I start back to school.

I really hope that I can start grad school in fall, but if I can’t I have a plan B.  I will take the CELTA course, and work on making my application as awesome as possible, and save some more money and maybe even apply to a school in New Zealand or Australia. (except Australia has mutant zombie spiders– I’m not sure I want to share an island with mutant zombie spiders–