Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Birds

The muse stirs not.  I have fallen off the wagon. 

But, it has been two weeks since my last post and I have a humorous little anecdote to relay, so I'm using it to get goin'.

I was attacked by crows today.  Is was my own fault.  I knew they were in attack mode.  I have watched the crows over the months of my daily lunch walks to the konbini, and they definitely go through these combative phases.  I saw them attack a jogger on my way to 7/11, so I knew it was one of those days.  But on my way back through the park I was on autopilot, taking my usual route, which goes straight through crow territory.  These are big crows.  The first time I was swooped upon, I blew it off and kept walking.  I was quickly swooped upon again, so I went in the other direction, now running a little, and the third time the crow came down at me I could feel his claws on my head, I squeaked out a scream, and I was full out running.  If you had seen me from a distance, you would've laughed, and you would've been right to laugh.

At this point I had a moment to regroup.  I regained my senses and was ready to whoop some crow ass.  It was time to show that crow who's human and who's a dirty bird.  I took my purse from around my neck and shoulder and held it, nay, wielded it, ready for the crow.  But he didn't come.

Looking back, it was probably smart that I didn't re-enter the battlefield, but part of me would've liked to see who came out of the fight on top.  And what a story I would have!... "I once whopped crow ass with my purse.  He never looked at me the same, out of those beady little eyes." 

Oh, well.  Maybe next time.  When the crows are feeling bellicose, I'll be ready.

From Japan,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Good Day

I'm having a rare moment where it feels like everything is wonderful.  I'm sitting at my desk, but I feel just as good as if I were snuggled up warm in the most comfortable bed on a sleepy morning, soft light filtering through the windows, with nowhere to go but back to sleep with a tiny peaceful smile on my face. 

I've got a flower basket full of reasons to feel so peaceful and grateful... sometimes being grateful takes effort.  Sometimes I have to make a point to sit down and write ten things I'm grateful for.  Today it's not like that.  It's just in my heart, warming me from the inside out. 

I remember saying in the not very distant past that I felt stuck in fast forward.  I felt like everything was a rush and that there was never time enough...

Not now.  Things feel calm and peaceful.  It feels like there is enough time.

I went to Knox this morning.  He was so excited to see me.  When I asked for a big hug, he about bowled me over.  It was wonderful.  We drove his "car" (a chair flipped on its back) and played tag and Frisbee.  He wanted to hold "Mommy's hand!" on the way to the car, and he hugged, kissed, and snoozled me before Peter had to drag him away to get in the car.  He blew me kisses and waved as they pulled away to go to school.  The joy I experience in my child makes me feel like I could float away, and the pride of being a parent can't be matched.  Knox is beautiful.

I really enjoy being in class.  I pull out my most fun and positive energy for the students, and they respond to it.  In the very beginning, I realized that some kinds of atmosphere, assignments, and interaction caused the students to resist, slack, and ignore class.  I give the students everything I can to make them be engaged in class.  Today, that meant making them get up.  First of all, I made the boys move.  There are about 17 girls and 8 boys.  The boys were all sitting together and feeding off of each other's low, too-cool-for-school energy.  I chose a scattering of girls through out the room and made them each change desks with a boy.  After each round in each game, I gave the students 10 seconds to find a new desk, and no student could sit in the same desk as they were, and I told the boys, "Don't even try to sit together."  It worked wonders for the atmosphere and energy of the class, and we had a really good day.  My partner teacher, responding to a series of comments I made the week before on what we could do to get this class motivated, walked out of the class with me and said, "It worked!" 

I just feel good today.  Things are working.  Time is cooperating. 

My mom is coming!  I'm really excited for her to come and just ride up the hill to my apartment with me and see the things I see each day.  She is going to just die when she sees Knox.  Talking on the phone and looking at pictures just can't prepare a grandmother to see her grandson after 2 years!  And I'm going to get to see Japan through new eyes.  I can't wait to see her face when it's 90 degrees and women ride by on bikes while wearing sweaters.  It's going to be hilarious.  She'll get to spend time with Knox playing and swimming... It's gonna be awesome.

That's all for today.  It's a good day.

From Japan,