Tuesday, October 24, 2006

weekend trip

here are some pics from this weekend- we went back to the lakehouse in north carolina with rocky and carolyn. the colors aren't quite as bright as in michigan, but very beautiful nonetheless- especially in the mountains. we rode motorcycles through the smokies to gatlinburg (hence the warm clothing!)- we had a great time! the first picture is off the deck of the house we stayed at, and the others are on the road. in the one of us on the rocks, there is a stream flowing through the rocks- it was gorgeous.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


i just wanted to add another update to yesterday's post, for i have felt badly about the way i portrayed my students.

in her defense, pbf said some of the most intelligent things in class yesterday- there were some things in our lesson that none of the students knew of, but she used context to correctly guess what the term meant. she is delightful and fun.

and, apf has one of the top grades in my class and is a bright student.

yesterday wasn't a banner day, but hey, everyone has their moments...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

all in a day's work

me: "since we're studying the middle east, we're going to learn about islam today."

pretty blonde freshman: "why do we have to learn about her? and who is she anyway?"

(me staring dumbfoundedly at pbf)

(pbf sees look on my face)

pbf: "j/k mrs. fisher, j/k! ['just kidding' for those of you out of the 15-year-old lingo] but... for real... where is that place?"

(realizing i have more work to do than i thought)

me: "try again. not a girl, not a place..."

pbf: "COUNTRY! it's a country!"

(other students start putting their heads in their hands, shaking them in disbelief)

me: "nope. a country is a place."

pbf: "building?"

finally another student says, "[pbf], it's a religion."

pbf: "oooohhhhhhhh....... that's right...."

me: "so can anyone tell me what people who follow this religion are called?"

one student answers, "muslims."

me: "that's right."

another pretty freshman: "i thought they were arabs."

me: "no. that's their ethnicity, if they're from the middle-eastern region."

apf: "oh. so don't they speak muslim?"

me: "no. muslim is an adherant of islam."

apf: "so what do they speak?"

me: "well, if they're arab, they would speak arabic. if they're american, they would speak english."

apf: "so what do arabs speak?"

me: "arabic."

apf: "i thought that's what muslims spoke."

this led into a conversation about how, as one student pointed out to another, we don't speak american; we speak english (apparently new information). i used the example of how people from mexico- mexicans- don't speak mexican; they speak spanish. this led into a conversation about the differences between spaniard, mexican, hispanic, and latino.

apf: "so what do latinos speak?"

me: "spanish."

apf: "so who speaks latin?"

me: "no one. latin is a dead language."

apf: "WHAT???? how can a language be dead? and why are they called latinos if they don't speak latin?"

i quickly answered the question and moved on to the lesson on islam. about half-way through, the notes containted some text unknown to the students.

pbf: "what are those squiggly lines?"

another student: "that's arabic."

pbf: "ooohhhhh...... so that's what muslims speak?"

update: pbf just came into my classroom to ask me a question about her grade. just to prove what she had learned, she said, "islam is a country... NO... i mean... religion." she sighed proudly. "good job," i said. "and what are the people who follow islam called?" "arabs." "no." "oh...uh....muusssllliiiiims?" what a feeling of accomplishment.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

guest speaker

we had a great day in geography today. there is a student here at grace whose parents are from nigeria- his mother came in and spoke to the class today. i found it quite intruiging. she talked about religion, food, tribes, and culture. she spoke of how the entire continent used to be pagan and animistic, worshiping carved images. she went on to tell us about how grateful the african christians are for the missionaries who first brought the gospel to their land. she talked about how, because of disease and climate, many of them got sick and some even died. "but," she said, "when you love God, you must continue the work of God." it was encouraging to hear such passion.

she then went on to speak of the community of believers, and how the christians in africa worship the same God the christians in america do. they may do things differently, she pointed out, but they are all the same within. this also relates to her view of the missionaries-that the commitment of those who first brought the gospel to africa over a century ago has opened doors for her belief in Christ now. our christian community not only transcends space, but also time... i wonder if david livingstone or robert moffat had any idea the impact they would make on the world...

Monday, October 09, 2006

some pics

last week i looked through carolyn and rocky's wedding pictures. they were taken at the farm of the people we rent from and jon lived with before we met. this gave me ideas... so, saturday night i drug jon and his brother ben over to tromp around the farm with me, and ben took some magnificent pictures... here are just a few...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

southern beauty

we had a wonderful weekend. carolyn, a good friend and teacher at grace, has a beautiful house on a lake in the mountains of north carolina. i didn't actually take the picture above; i dare say that where we were at was even more beautiful. we drove up late friday night and came back sunday morning- i think even being there was so relaxing it felt like a 4-day weekend. it was fantastic. we have been really fortunate to meet carolyn and her husband rocky. we have "clicked" from the beginning, and they have made the transition much easier for me. carolyn's parents and grandfather we also there; i felt totally at home and relaxed the whole time. it actually reminded me of being at my grandparents' a little- what a warm feeling!