Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who Learned You To Spoke The English?

I wouldn't be surprised if I found out that David, the only native English speaker in his class, is the worst student in English. It's true that he has a hard time formulating complete sentences all in English, but that's no reason for him to perform worse than other students with zero English exposure in his class.

It's also true that he's expected to learn this kind of English.

They are not taught "Do you have. . . ?" at all, or even "I have. . .". Ever. In our house we don't say "Have you got. . .?" very often. Call us crazy.

Still, this is no excuse for this:

At first I just read the last line. "Yes, I haven't"? Come on David!! I laughed a little over it and asked what he was thinking. He explained that they were asking if he had a pet and he doesn't have one! (And yes, I regularly laugh at my children's homework, in case you're wondering.)

Then I looked at the other ones and ran into the color one. Sheesh. I've got a bad cold and that one made me laugh so hard I coughed for three minutes. I also realize that it's probably not actually all that funny.

I wonder if he thought he'd get extra credit for writing it in orange.

Did you notice I wrote "I'VE GOT a bad cold?" I didn't even do it on purpose. Maybe I'm wrong about that one. . .

Sunday, September 27, 2009


We have only been to the temple three times since we moved to Poland nine years ago (besides once or twice during visits in the states). I find this to be sort of sad, but considering what it means to "go to the temple" in Poland:
Drive or ride about 12 hours each way to Freiberg, Germany; stay for 4 nights in the temple"hotel", taking its underground tunnel to the temple at 7am every morning and going through session after session -- four per day (including an evening session) -- for four or five days in a row.

and what our life has been like in those nine years:

over two full years of pregnancy, 2+ years of nursing infants, years of kids in school and lots of "life"

I think three is an okay number. Actually, let's put it this way, we maybe attended fifty or so sessions, over the course of nine years, at a temple that's 12 hours away. That sounds a little better. :)

Our last visit was three years ago. That time we became temple workers. This meant spending hours learning exactly what that entails, what to say and do (in both Polish and English) attending super early prayer meetings, and getting to know the temple presidency and temple missionaries rather well.

Unfortunately, when we first arrived at the temple and before we were asked to be temple workers I realized that my back was wrong as it sometimes is for weeks at a time. This would make the whole week difficult. I determined to try to attend a session or two each day, if I was able and rest the rest of the time. Then we got the calling. I explained my dilemma and, after our meeting with the temple counselor and his wife (the pres. was out of town this week), he and Greg gave me a blessing that I would be able to work. So I did.

Okay, that was a very long lead in to my point:

I had the chance to rub shoulders with some wonderful missionary couples. I know that being in the temple is an uplifting experience in general, but spending so much time (and there's quite a bit of standing around time for temple workers) with those people was really and truly wonderful .

Those mature women were such an enormous pleasure to talk to. They were smart. They were fun. They were warm. They were wise. They were extremely sympathetic, seeming to be intensely interested in every minute detail of my back issues, family, hobbies and everything I might possibly enjoy talking about. I came away feeling like I was an interesting and good person (who isn't interesting while talking about their back problems, really?) And not like I had hogged the conversation, either, somehow.

I came away from nearly every conversation thinking, "I wish I could, I HOPE I will be like that one day. I would just give anything to be like that. To make people feel like that, just by being who I am."

Currently, though, I am NOT like that (at all). I am starting to realize that it's not exactly the time for me to be like that. I need to be much better about being less oblivious of others and their needs, but it's also okay that I focus mostly on my family right now. So I'm sort of okay about it.

But then I worry that I am just too selfish in general. I am not the kind of warm and caring person I'd like to be by nature. I'm too tied up in me. BUT. . .

I am starting to realize that the experiences I'm having now that require me to be tied up more in myself and my family than I'd sometimes like to be are the very experiences that might make me that more mature woman that I want to be some day.

I've been thinking about this more than usual in recent weeks.

I really hope and believe that these last few months are part of that training. Other women have the same experiences I've been having. I think, I HOPE I will be more understanding and sympathetic to them as I learn to untie myself from me over the years.

I know the reward for what I'm going through these months is the baby that will be mine forever. That is enough. But it doesn't stop me from hoping that I'll also be rewarded by getting a little closer to becoming who I want to be, too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama's Big Blunder

Barack's Big Blunder would sound slightly better but I don't appreciate people calling authority figures by their first name, and Obama's still got the "b" in there, so I'm good.

One of the 30 posts I have written in my brain in the past few months was a sentimental, patriotic one about the anniversary of the fall of communism and how much I love Poland for it's bravery and awesomeness. I'm more sad than ever that I never wrote that post after today.

Today is the anniversary of the day the Red army marched into Poland, high fiving the German's on their way out of the country. This is not a happy anniversary. They've been showing footage of the hundreds of tanks rolling in on this day seventy years ago, and the Russian and German soldiers tearing apart Polish flags, all marking the beginning of decades of oppression and poverty and lots of other bad stuff (losing my vocabulary, here).

Today, on this very anniversary, Barack Obama announced that there will be no missle defense sheild built in Poland. Not that this is a huge surprise in itself, but today? All over European news they're talking about how this is basically a bow to the Russians, or a gift to them. Just what they deserve, really.

I'm sure he said some conciliatory stuff during the announcement, too, but come on. Poland has stood by America through thick and thin. They had the third highest number of troops in Iraq after the US and England. They have been super forgiving of the country that basically ignored their plight during WWII for years while millions of people died and their country was trashed.

I've not been too interested in Obama's mistakes up until now but this one I definitely have an opinion about. I gladly admit that Bush wasn't the best when it comes to foreign policy, but today is being declared a major low in US foreign policy. Under who?

Who's the dim wit that decided this would be announced today? The idiocy.
I know I've been virtually absent from the blogging/emailing/Internet world, but I still think in blog posts and read blogs sporadically. All the posts I have lined up in my brain are just waiting for me to feel like doing anything, at which point I will post them.