Monday, February 28, 2011

The Monday from...not Heaven

I woke up with a chip on my shoulder and my hands in fists. I was dizzy and exhausted. The world was reeling. I put on a brave face and tromped into staff worship. Looking at my bespectacled, puffy eyes and dripping hair, the few staff on time for the meeting joked, "Well, hello, look like a cat who didn't want a bath!" So much for my brave face. My head still spun; I couldn't put my finger on the reason why.

Maya & the Unicorn

Patience & Maya
An interaction in Physics lab with the juniors...

Maya: It's my birthday!
Ms. Jessica: Nuh-uh...don't believe it.
M: How did you not know? I mean, how did you know? I
J: I can sense it. Just like I can sense when there are unicorns nearby.
*laughter from Maya, Dorinda, Inah*
Ms. Jessica? You're SO weird.
J: Just so you know - sad day - there are no unicorns nearby.
M: *gasp* *turns toward empty wall* It's ok, Ernie. She didn't know.
J: Just for the record, I'm not the one talking to invisible creatures.

Monday Morning Thoughts...

I tend to take criticism personally.
Not good.

I should take criticism as a challenge, an opportunity to grow, a chance to make change for the better.

It's not fun. It's not pretty. It's quite messy, really. And it generally makes me uncomfortable.
I pretty much despise growth.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jessica's Self-Imposed Rules of Teaching

In no particular order...
  1. LIVE Jesus. Include Him in your lesson plans, your lectures, your presentations. Meditate on Him during class. It's very attractive. (Students notice...I noticed.)
  2. ATTITUDE. Your students reflect yours.
  3. RESPECT. You have to earn it. Best method of action? Give it (but don't give in).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Glass Half-Replete

Debbie Downer.
Gloomy Gus.


And that's how the teams appear; lopsided and unfair. The good, the bad, and the ugly has morphed to The ugly, the uglier, and the downright ghastly. We've developed negative blinders. We're comfortable. We're only doing what's necessary.

We're preserving our sanity, and in the process are losing our humanity.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Journal Entry

This is the stage in the SM experience where everyone bothers you, and the things that send you over the edge will be laughingly small a few months from now. You'd rather hibernate/hermitize than spend time with those too loud, too soft, too opinionated, too wishy washy people.
Judgmental much? Life is pretty good, but it's just real life now. Going through motions, pretending to enjoy others' company, when all you want is someone who thinks and behaves like you do.

I'm not sure if a drastically different culture would be better or worse now...

Text convo with Mom:

Me: "Love you lots!"
Her: "Love you more."

...that's a lot said in six words; a whole lot more in the last three.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update #26: Old Toys

There's been an invasion.

An outsider has infiltrated the Jessica+MAA ranks, and is so widespread, there's no removing it. This outsider once was welcome, even a close ally. But now, it comes unbidden, a malignant, metastasizing adulterant.

Hunker down for the invasion of normalcy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The End of the Story

Have you ever been watching a movie and gotten to an especially tense part where the protagonist is at the end of his/her rope, standing on the edge of an unbelievably high cliff at gunpoint with venomous adders slithering about? Then you realize, It's only 53 minutes into the movie! They can't die yet!

But still, you're nervous.

You're on edge.
You're holding your breath.

You know the end of the story (the adders discover the piece of cheddar in the gun-wielder's pocket, giving the hero just enough time to grasp the skids of the helicopter swooping by, flying to safety). You know that the hero rides/walks/drives into the sunset with his/her one true love; you just don't know what color the sunset will be or the make of the car.

And yet, you fear.

You know there's a happily ever after, yet you get caught up in the moment of distress, and it's all you feel.

Behold, I come quickly, that you may be where I am. There will be no more sorrow nor death.
Joy. Everlasting, eternal, unfathomable joy.

We know the end of the story. So why are we caught up, engrossed, in our troubles?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Journal Entry

Life might be easier if I didn't like my friends and family so much, if I wanted to get away from them.

I didn't become an SM to escape the old.
I didn't become an SM to find adventure.
I didn't become an SM because I love a new scene (because I don't; it stresses me out).

Hmm. I must be crazy.
That's fitting.
I'm crazy for You.

Journal Entry

I am so very blessed.
I have not one, not two, but many wonderful friends.
I have a couple close friends whom I love and am loved by.
I have th coolest family makeup ever.
My schooling is more or less free.
There's a pretty amazing person that loves Jesus and seems to like me too.
I have  ahuge network of people across the world who are willing to and desire to help me out, to make my life better.
I have a bright future, without major struggles.
My volunteer job is a fit for me.
God's gifted me with more creativity than I thought I had.
20 years from now, I may very well be in heaven. Whoa. Weird. Wacky... AMAZING.

God, sustain me for the next four months. Prepare me for the ministry you've got in store. Equip me. Use me. Give me a servantile, willing attitude. Thank you.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I'm still grading the assignments from last week. *hangs head in shame* But I just came across another "How did you see God in this lab?" answer (like Inah's) that blew me away.

For those of you unfamiliar with hydrogen bonding in water, cohesion is the type of force that holds like things together, including water droplets. Surfactants, like soap, disrupt cohesion and weaken those internal bonds, allowing water to make finer droplets and make things "wetter" (this is why we add detergent to laundry, etc.).

Ricky wrote, "God intended the world to stick together, thus He shows us this in pure water, which sticks together. When surfactants (sins) are added to the world, there is less togetherness. He shows us what He wants for us through water."

Wow. Class dismissed. I can't teach you any more than you already know.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's 8:30 and we just finished a 1-hr meeting that could have been summed up in 10 minutes. My ankles are wet from a puddle and my ponytail is drooping from the rain. I'm tired. And I'm supervising a empty computer lab for the next hour, though no one will come.

If I weren't here, I could at least be in the girls' dorm tutoring my regular Physics and Algebra students. But since it's Monday, and only boys can come to the computer lab/library on Monday, I'm stuck here doing nothing. I hate that we get stuck in the "fair" and "how so" rut. It's only fair that the computer lab is open each night for an hour. There must be so many supervisors for so many students. I sat in the yearbook room doing nothing but sitting for two hours simply because the yearbook editor is a boy and the layout designer for the Junior Vespers spread is a girl. Really? Is that the best use of anyone's time?

I often feel as though our faculty is an every man for himself group. "*I* don't need to show up to that meeting." "Sorry, it's my weekend off; learn how to facilitate this activity." I realize that there is a line to be drawn between work and home, but sometimes I feel as though I shouldn't ask for favors, and that I shouldn't give them. I HATE that. I love giving favors. I love helping people. But even more than that, I love to conform. No, I don't like conforming; but I tend to do it anyway. I conform to the non-favoring, non-sacrificing trends. If people around me are giving, I am giving, too. If people around me are hoarding, I stop giving and try to figure out why it's such a taboo topic.

Ok. One boy came. But only to use the phone.

I'm tired. I'm grumpy. And I can't figure out if any of this note really holds true. I hope not.

Valentines Day in Physics Lab

Bernoulli's Principle: In a fluid, velocity is inversely proportional to pressure.

Scene: Two ping-pong balls, suspended by string at the same height, just a centimeter from each other.
Enter: The Breath.

Thoughts on Rain

It started yesterday.

Pit. Pat. Pitter-pat.

I laid on my bed, listening to it splatter onto the corrugated plexi-glass outside my window.

Pit-pit-pitter pat. Splat.

Falling in Love...


I'm not sure which sound I've made yet, but I've fallen and can't – won't – get up.

I do believe that I'm falling in love with my students.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Drop by Drop

I changed the lab format for this semester. Previously. students received a lab handout with instructions and fill in the blank result sections such as "Mass: ________g". This semester, I decided to give them practice for future lab reports. Their lab handout has a checklist of results that must be included in their report, as well as a "Reflections" section that asks questions about the results to get them thinking. I'm praying the thinking part works...

Monday's lab, examining surface tension and the role of surfactants, was my first trial of the new format.  I'm grading the papers now; so far so good. The final question in the Reflections section is: "How do you see God at work, or evidence of a Divine Creator, in this lab?"

This answer from Inah, the sweetest and most beautiful girl I might ever meet, made my day:

"The experiment was like God's blessings. The water droplets are like the blessings God gives us even though we don't always notice them. We should be thankful because when we follow Him, they overflow."

 Inah received an A+.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Update #25: SB XLV

Hmph. I dislike writing when I don't have anything especially intelligent to say. Today is one of those times. But alas, I haven't updated the masses for weeks, and things that have happened are building up and spilling over.