Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pie Charts and Tally Marks

Dear Diary,

It's all I can do to not raise my hand.

The second grade teacher asks a question about the picture chart.  "How many more pepperoni pizzas were made than cheese?"  The kids aren't getting it.  They raise their hands to answer but just can't quite figure it out. 

Ooooh. Pick me! Pick me! I know the answer! I think to myself. 

I love this math. It is so much fun!  I would love to be able to show the class how smart I am.

But this is not a flashback to my childhood.
This is now.
I am an adult.
An aide, sitting in a second grade classroom, watching a lesson about charts and graphs unfold on the overhead screen in front of me and 25+ eight-year-olds. 

And I want to raise my hand.

Silly, I know.

Thanks to my employment, I now spend a lot of time in first and second grade.

We are
counting coins
charting and tallying
telling time
watching plants grow from seeds
spelling homonyms
reading stories
subtracting three digit numbers
learning not to cut in line. 

Through all this activity I am realizing:

All I ever really need to know I learned by second grade. 

Have I ever used sine and cosine in my "real" life?  Nope.  But three digit subtraction sure comes in handy with my checkbook (and so does counting coins).  And it is always good to know which witch to write, right?

So, just in case the teacher gets tired of hearing wrong answers, and one day I hear,
"Mrs. LJ, what is the noun in that sentence?"

I'll be ready.
'Cuz I've already been through second grade, and I'll know.

Precociously yours,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WWJLT? What Would Jesus Listen To?

Dear Diary,

As I was driving to work this morning, totally disappointed with the talk radio choices I had, I flipped to my preferred FM station; the one I turn to before choosing any other: K-LOVE.

As I started be-bopping to the tune -- an unfamiliar one -- I wondered....

Does God have a musical preference?

We earth-beings have made music since the drum was invented.  We earth-beings have MANY different musical tastes, each refined through our cultural and generational differences.

I think all Christian music is an offering to God, a form of worshipping The Creator.  With this in mind, I had to chuckle to myself in the car this morning.  I wondered what musical offering God likes the best.  What gets his toes tappin' and puts a smile on his face?

(Some would argue hymns sung in German and accompanied by an organ.)

Most would say the best music for God is whatever their own preference is.

So I chuckled in my car this morning 'cuz I imagined Jesus doin' the Saturday Night Live head-bob-thing to this song by Citizen Way.  Or sitting behind a drum kit, sticks poised, ready to tap out the beat.  I can only imagine he enjoys the songs K-LOVE has to offer just as much as he enjoys the Red Hymnal of a Lutheran church service.

He never tells us in any Gospel what music to listen to. (Blessed are the classical music makers?)
Nor is the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt listen to Elvis. To Elvis alone, thou shalt listen.

So he must not have a preference. 

As long as it is from my heart to his, I am assured "Nothing ever can separate us!" 
Not even my taste in music.

Always tasteful,

Friday, April 5, 2013

Missing the Prize

Dear Diary,

Flashback to childhood in the '70s, where joys came from simple and next-to-free activities:

Coloring books
roller skates
macrame belts
listening to grooved, black, vinyl discs on a turntable while studying the album cover and reading every word on the jacket.

And ranking near the absolute joy of
                                Saturday morning cartoons
the prize in the cereal box

I was suddenly reminded of these trinkets this morning while eating my cereal.  The box I used had a picture of those rubber wrist bracelets -- the kind Armstrong made popular.  Except these said BREAKFAST ROCKS or something.

I thought, wow, it's been a long time since I've had to dig for a prize out of a cereal box.  On closer inspection I discovered these bracelets weren't in the box, they were a mail-in promotion:  collect a couple of labels with codes, go to the website and register, and then you are eligible to receive this latex-free bangle (probably after you send in your $4.99 for shipping and handling).

When did cereal prize retrieval get so complicated?
Why did it get so complicated?

I had only one sibling, and yet I gained some valuable life skills negotiating or sneaking my way to that one prize in the box!  And there was no post office nor allowance money involved.

The same goes for Cracker Jacks.  At least it still has a prize, even if it is just a joke about a banana or an elephant.  Or my favorite: a tattoo of a flower or some random object.

So, just as I mourn my kids' lack of Saturday morning Warner Bros. knowledge (and Schoolhouse Rock Jingles), I also silently bereave their lack of useless prizes from a box of Sugar Pops.

Perhaps I shouldn't get so upset. 
They are bagel eaters anyway.

Nostalgically yours,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Excuse Me, Do I Know You...?

Dear Diary,

It can be disappointing to have such a common face.

In the grocery checkout line I hear, "Excuse me, but you look familiar to me. Is your name Angel?"

or at the library, "Do I know you from somewhere?"

or even at church, "Hey, how is the realty business these days?" 
("Uh, nope. That's not me, that's so-and-so.")

I feel like I get this more than the average person.  I look like this person's sister or a PTL member from some other kid's grade school.  I even had a look-alike back in college.  And though I would never have thought I could be confused with someone named Angel, it's cool that someone else actually did!

At least the strangers who approach with the "haven't we met before?" query are mostly women, much to my husband's relief.

At this stage of life, I am fine with my face.  (In other words, I have finally come to accept it!) And I guess I should take comfort knowing that I'm not alone -- that there are others out there endowed with a similar visage.

So why am I feeling disappointed by the constant countenance confusion?
Perhaps because it creates a mini identity crisis every time it happens.  It gives me the impression that I am not as unique as I was brought up to believe.  I mean, didn't God break the mold after he created me?  That's a rhetorical question.

Or perhaps it's because I never run into anyone from my past who actually is from my past! 

I never run into the "Hey, weren't our girls in ballet class together ten years ago?" person. 
Or the "didn't we live on the same block in grade school?" childhood playmate. 

Oh well.
Contrary to what my older brother has always told me,

I always knew it wasn't easy being me. 

Uniquely yours,