Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Pair of Pants

There are parts of my job that are hard to see and hear. When a parents tells their child to hit back instead of using their words or telling a teacher, when I see a parent scream and threaten to hit their child for losing their jacket, and to see a child wear the same clothes 3-4 times a week.
One of my students wears the same outfit several times a week. It's hard for me to know if he doesn't have a lot of clothes or if he just really likes the outfit and wants to wear it a lot. As it has been getting colder I have noticed that he never wears pants. It doesn't seem to bother him to much because he is pretty energetic and always moving around. But it bothered me. So I asked him if he owned a pair of pants. He told me that his mother told him to ask Santa Claus for a pair of pants for Christmas. I guess that meant no. After the Winter Break I was sad to see him still in shorts. I thought for sure he would have recieved some pants for Christmas, as maybe he had just grown out of his other pants. I didn't want to ask him about it. I prayed that God would provide this little boy a pair of pants. I almost wanted to buy a pair for him myself but I didn't know how that would be recieved. So I just continued to pray. Last week I saw him in a pair of track pants. I was overjoyed and I asked him where he got them. He told me that his auntie had given him the pants and some shirts as well. He was overjoyed that the clothes were similar to one of his friends. "Tom has clothes like this," He said to me. Lord thank you for providing this boy a pair of pants.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Theatre Around the World: Greek Theatre

I am starting a new series with my students called, Theatre Around the World. Instead of playing theatre games I am going to teach them about different types of theatre throughout history and around the world. Where to start: where else but with Ancient Greek Theatre. I teach this theatre class to a group of kindergartners and a group fo 1st through 5th graders so you have to keep in mind, I have to keep it very simplified. I just tried to hit on some key points of Greek Theatre. Theatre was for and about the Greek gods. It started off as a chorus of people chanting and then Thespis introduced the idea of the actor where we get word "thespians" from. Since I went to Athens on Europe trip, I showed them some pictures of the Theater of Dionysus.
I was able to find online a very simplified kid friendly play about "The Odyssey." (Not technically a Greek play, but its a Greek mythology and great story to act out.) The lesson went better and they were more engaged that I had expected them to be. They really had fun with the play and the older kids read the lines and acted it out very well.

I am looking forward to my future lesson on Shakespeare, Commedia De'll Arte, Chinese Opera, and Japaneses Bunkraku puppet theatre.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hollywood Sign and Echo Mountain Hikes

I tried to get some hiking in before my life gets really busy and exhausting again. I hiked up to the Hollywood sign and up to the hotel ruins on Echo Mountain. Both good hikes. The Hollywood sign is not as nature-y as I prefer but has a nice view of the city. I went on both of these hikes by myself, which was nice. They gave me a chance to be with God is nature.

I had a particularly good hike up Echo Mountain today with God. God was able to speak a lot of good things to me through the experience. The trail was not too crowded so there were times where I could stop and be completely alone and listen to the sound of silence. Its very refreshing to listen to the sounds of nature after living in the city.
Recently I have been reading Henri Nouwen's Life of the Beloved. (I will probably do another blog post on the book). I was reflecting on what is means to be the Beloved. Over the past few months I have been trying to actively pursue and experience God's love for me in a deeper way. I have a hard time recognizing when I experience God's love. I have been trying to be more aware of it. I try to check in with myself when I feel happy or doing something that I enjoy and ask myself, "Do I feel loved by God right now?" There were definitely times on the hike when I was waiting in the silence that I could say, "Yes" to that question. More than that, I could feel secure and safe in God's love, I feeling that is not always common place for me. Praise the Lord.
There was a moment when I was looking up at the sky when I saw an eagle soaring (it may not have been an eagle, but it was an eagle in my mind so the type of bird it really was is irrelevant) when I thought, "Whether or not I ever become a theatre teacher or get married doesn't really matter. My job is what I do, my relationship status is who is around me, those things are not who I am. I am Beloved and I will always be that." That was a significant realization for me given how I have been feeling recently. I have been a little anxious about how to continue to pursue my career as a theatre teacher. But even if that never happens, it does not change who I am. Also, in the past few months, a lot of the shame that I have felt about being single has really been broken. Yes, I still want to be a relationship and get married, but I lot of that shame and pain about not having those things has been lifted. I feel more free from the burden of the world's timeline for marriage and a family is. Praise the Lord, because that can only be him answering that prayer for me.

This post ended up being less about the hikes, but praise God for the way be speaks and brings peace though nature. Here are some pictures from the hikes.

Hollywood Sign Hike

View of Downtown
Behind the sign

In front of the sign

Echo Mountain Hike

The hotel ruins

Echo Phone
Playing with the echo phone

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Hopes and Wishes

I do not make New Years Resolutions that I can not keep but rather hopes of things that would happen in the upcoming year. Most of these things are less about what I can do, and more needing God to do them anyway. They are more prayers of what I would like to see happen (although I acknowledge that I do play apart as well.)

In no particular order

-Have a full time job involving children
-Being connected with people who can vision for and guide me to next steps to take in becoming a theatre teacher
-Dating (maybe a relationship this year ;)
-Have more patience, energy, and excitement with my students
- To be a more creative and engaging teacher
- Have better rhythms of spending time with God and maintaining spiritual disciples in the midst of working two jobs.
- Watch less TV, pray more.

That's all for now.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Review

At the beginning of the year I set some things that I would hope would happen in this past year. Not resolutions, but hopes for the year. Here is how those things went.

-Have a stable job(s) doing something I love with kids-Success! I have 2 stable jobs both working with kids. Hooray!!!

-Aprendo mas espanol- Fail. If anything, I think my Spanish has gotten worse.

-Get to know my neighbors- Eh, not great progress here. Maybe I know them a little better but not what I was hoping for.

-Visit my nephew several times-I think this was a success. I saw him several times throughout the year.

-Date- I went one one date a few months ago! I call that a success. Hopefully there will be more dating this next year.

-Get to know more people at the church I attend/get involved-Success. I feel very connected to the small group. I volunteer in the nursery, I lead Sunday morning prayer, and I joined the intercessors prayer team.

-Make fasting more of a routine in my life- Complete fail. I don't think I fasted at all, maybe once after our church's fasting season.

-Continue to learn how to cook more-I would call this a success. Not that I am a great cook, but I have widened my range of what I can cook.

-See more plays- Complete fail. I haven't seen any plays :(

-Learn more of how to care for the poor in LA- Ongoing learning process. Its hard to gauge success and failure in this.

I will probably make another list of hopes for this coming year in a future post.