Thoughts From The Mind of A Princess

My faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave; My faith is like shifting I stand on grace. -Caedmon's Call Shifting Sand Isaiah 26:8, James 1:4, James, 1:22-27

Monday, December 26, 2005

Jesus Is the Reason for the Season


This weekend I sang and played the flute during our Christmas Eve service at church. Often times when I am involved in a service, I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything that's going on; where I am supposed to be, how much time is left, the quality of the music being presented, etc... Even though it was Christmas, I found myself caught up in everything during this service as well. But something struck me at the very end of the service; God tugged at my heart and said "Pay attention!" So I did:

Chan, our senior pastor, had just finished presenting the Christmas story (Luke 2) and reminded us that Jesus really is the reason for the season, even though that line has become somewhat cliche over the past few years. The worship team then got up on stage as Chan prayed, and I led the congregation in Silent Night. Afterwards, another one of our pastors got up to give a benediction, a dismissal prayer. He said that Jesus is the reason for the Old Testament. He is the reason for the New Testament. He is the very reason we celebrate Christmas each year. He is the reason for our joy, and to worship Him is the reason we are here today. But we are the reason He came.

I don't know what it was about that statement, but it brought tears to my eyes both services. I guess it reminded me of my purpose in life. My purpose is not to be an amazing teacher or a straight-A grad student. It is not to be an accomplished employee, a good daughter, or a talented flute player. My purpose is not to be a fabulous singer, a great friend, or an amazing girlfriend. My purpose is to love Christ and learn how to worship Him with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. If I cannot do that, nothing else is worth it.

I think that statement has helped spell out my New Year's resolution.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Rant on Etiquette

I go to the movies quite frequently. Whether it's with Phil or friends, I am usually there about 3 or 4 times a month. We travel between three particular theatres, depending on our tasks for the day and/or cost. In the past two weeks, Phil and I have been to the movies three times, including last night, and plan on going twice next week due to the new Christmas releases. Something that has been really bothering me lately has been the lack of etiquette possessed and displayed by movie-goers. It has become quite bothersome!

For example, last week, on an impulse after standing in line after line at Universal Studios, we decided to go see King Kong. I didn't really want to see this, but you can only see a film such as this one on the big screen once. We paid our money (which wasn't too much considering the location thanks to our theme park annual passes), and rushed to get a good seat. As soon as we sat down, I noticed the loud talking towards the back of the theater. We normally try to sit in the middle of the theater but due to our spontaneity, we walked in just as the previews began, so we sat a little lower than we normally do. Anyway, I noticed the loud talking. I figured it would stop once the movie began, but I was wrong. There was a large group of teenagers sitting in the back talking with normal volume. When the movie got louder, so did their talking! Who pays all that money to talk through a movie?!?! Then, a baby began crying. I'm not talking about a little toddler, I mean a baby maybe a month or two older than a newborn! Who the heck takes a teeny-tiny baby to a movie that is known for it's action sequences??!! Phil was even getting frustrated at the crying. Someone finally got up and asked for a manager's assistance with the baby, but no one said anything to the talkers.

Example #2: Last night, Phil and I visited another theme park theater to see The Chronicles of Narnia. Again, I movie I didn't want to see but we were tired of sitting at home and I had a free ticket to use up. First, we stood in line right next to three of my students. Then, another one of my students helped us at the ticket window. Neither of those have to do with etiquette so I'll move on. Anyway... we got into the theater just as the previews began. Lots of kids and families in this theater but what can you expect from a Disney movie based on a popular children's book? We sit pretty high up in the theater, with enough empty seats in between us and the family to our left and the duo of girls to our right. I've got my buttered popcorn, and my diet Coke--I'm all set. Just as the lights begin to dim, signaling the start of the movie (the movie, not the previews), a huge family of about 11 people comes walking in determined to sit together. They begin crawling over everyone, and finally realized there is no way they can all sit together. So, they split up. The grandparents, the mom, and the youngest of the boys sit right behind us. Let me remind you that the movie has already begun. We've got the duo of girls next to us who have obviously read the books because they are guessing the next thing that is going to happen, and the happy out-of-towners right behind us!! Young child has to cry about going to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so (in a 2 1/2 hour movie), and grandparents who obviously cannot hear well because they keep yelling comments back and forth to each other. I almost lost it when grandpa's cell phone went off and HE ANSWERED IT!!! Keep in mind, they entered the theater as the movie began so they missed the comical reminders to silence your cell phone.

AAAAHHH!! I know I sound a bit mean, I don't hate little kids or the elderly, but I really enjoy going to the movies. I try my best not to interrupt the people around me, and respect the fact that they shelled out just as much money on overpriced popcorn as I did. I guess I expect the etiquette in return. Oh well! It's not going to stop me from going to the movies, but it won't stop me from complaining either! ;-)

P.S. I was actually impressed with King Kong, and Narnia wasn't that bad either (any movie that gets kids reading makes me happy!!). I personally cannot wait to see Memoirs of A Geisha and The Producers. Looks like I'll be spending more time in the theaters this winter break.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Look at these hotties!!

A friend sent me a link to create these cartoons called Avatar's. The one on the left is Phil and the one on the right is me. What do you think? Try it out:

School's Out for Winter!!

WOOHOO!! As of 11:50 yesterday morning, I do not have to deal with students until January 3rd!! Grad school is out until January 9th!! It's been a decent school year so far. Let's see what 2006 has in store...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Evil and Horrible Ms. Herrick

I have a reputation with students for being the crazy teacher that is demanding. Most of my students say that I expect a lot out of them, but my class is fun at the same time (because I enjoy my subject area). I have a reputation with colleagues for being the peppy, loud-mouthed, young English teacher who looks like one of the students and has a good FCAT rating. Well, today I did something really evil and horrible and feel terrible about it.

My 6th period class is a reading class for the 11th and 12th grade students who have taken the FCAT at least once and failed. They took their retakes in October and just received their scores back last week. More than half of my students passed. Hallelujah!! Of those who failed, I expected about half of them to pass, so I've been feeling really bad for them, and they've been feeling bad for themselves.

Today, towards the beginning of class, one of the kids was complaining about how he didn't pass the FCAT and that the test is crap, blah, blah, blah. For the most part I agreed with him, but on the inside I was pondering the reasons why he didn't pass. He is one of the ones I am confused about because he is really smart (and a little lazy), and has been working diligently all semester long. Later on in class, he was goofing off or talking, I don't even remember. I stopped my lesson, and stood there silently waiting for him to finish. Finally he realized, stopped, and made some smart-alec comment. I got frustrated and responded with, "And you wonder why you didn't pass the FCAT--you sit there and goof off and ignore what I am trying to teach you." I immediately saw the hurt on his face and heard the defensiveness in his voice. He came back with some comment, but I can't remember--it was probably something I deserved. He shut down for the rest of class.

I have been thinking about this incident since school ended today. I feel really horrible. I am supposed to help these kids, not hurt them. I wouldn't be surprised if I lost all the trust from these students I've been working hard all semester to gain. My plan is to apologize to this student before he comes to class tomorrow, and to apologize to the class for demeaning one of their peers in front of them. That still doesn't erase what I did.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Grad School Finals

ONLY ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL THE SEMESTER ENDS!!! Begin praying!! I'll keep you posted on the success (I hope) of my first semester of grad school.