Wednesday, January 31, 2007

what lawyers do - according to a 2nd grader

today i was reading a biography about abraham lincoln, to prepare my 2nd grade class of immigrant kids for the american holiday of president's day. i read that he became a lawyer. i asked the students if they knew what a lawyer was. one girl raised her hand and i said, ok, what does a lawyer do? she replied that they make a lot of money and they talk a lot! i laughed my head off and told her that was true. in that case, all the chatty girls in my class decided they could become lawyers and get paid for talking! i asked my student who told her that about lawyers and she said her mom. all the kids have experienced the pains of trying to get a green card or citizenship.

Friday, January 26, 2007


we had a u2charist at my church last week. it was to promote the episcopal church's dedication to the millenium development goals. it was a eucharist with both recorded and live playing of u2 songs in the place of hymns - the processional, offertory, etc. imagine karaoke, in church, and you're stone cold sober. it was a fund raiser for a charity in tanzania that sends girls to school. it costs $50 to send a girl to school for a year and provides her uniform, breakfast, and lunch.
the u2charist was a lot of fun! i did some karaoke in japan stone cold sober - although not in a church - so i'm ok with that idea.
it was one of the better episcopal services that i've been to in a while. we are known as god's frozen people and that's no joke. the traditional service is beautiful and austere but has very little joy to it. this was a joyful but serious-minded service.

on another note entirely - everyone must leave this blog at once and read ask sister mary martha. it's a blog by a "catholic nun" but i believe it's written by a fabulous gay man with incredible knowledge of the catholic church - perhaps a priest is writing it. every time i read it i laugh my head off.

Monday, January 01, 2007

happy new year

last night i went to a meditation at a yoga center here in nyc - jivamukti. every new year's eve they have a silent meditation from 9 pm till midnight, then chanting from midnight on. i have been going for 6 years now. i bring my diary from the year that is ending and read through it all the way, remembering happy moments, wincing at the "growth opportunities" that presented themselves to me throughout the year. then i write one last entry, then meditate until midnight. the main room becomes absolutely packed with people - there are maybe 200 to 250 (?) of us by the time it gets to midnight. i resolved to spend 2007 asking God for her will and trying to live that out. i had a slightly ecstatic experience while meditating - there's some really good energy going on in a room of 250 meditating new yorkers!
i'm hoping to go to zimbabwe this summer to visit the convent i'm interested in for a couple of weeks. things seem to be unsettled there now so i'm not sure how easy it will be to travel there this year but i'm working towards putting the money aside for the trip.
i found a fabulous fake nun blog (i think it's written by a gay man with a wicked sense of humour). it's called ask sister mary martha and it is about an 8th grade math teacher nun who lives with two other sisters in her dwindling order. every entry i read has me howling with laughter. it reminds me of sr. frances.
alas, school vacation ends for me tomorrow. i could use another week. i've so enjoyed my time off, going to spiritual meetings, meditations, the gym, seeing old friends - it's been so relaxing. but, i'm looking forward to seeing the kids and i'm much easier on them these days.
i brought the class pet (two hamsters, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln) home for the vacation. i have a golden retriever, Music. watching her watch that hamster cage reminds me of when my great-aunt Becky, the matriarch of the family, was alive. she would sit in front of the t.v. in her house coat with a beer and a ciggie-boo and watch her programs (soap operas). music is so transfixed on those hamsters it's like she's saying to me, "gotta go, my show is on." i've been putting the cage up high so she can't reach it (she's almost as tall as me when she stands on her hind legs!).
happy and healthy new year to you all.