Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A little extra cash?

On the employee portal, there is a message from HISD. "Need a little extra cash for your holidays?" This leads to a link where it is explained that insurance is only deducted out of 24 paychecks, and we receive 26. The paycheck for Oct. 31 will not have insurance deducted and therefore will be a boosted amount. I remember the PR man making a big deal about this last year, too. I compared my paycheck from today to my paycheck from two weeks ago. I was a little amused and confused. I am very positive that I pay more than the difference in insurance. I received a $3.38 boost. I'm sure I will notice that "extra cash" when I begin my Christmas shopping. Who would like it to cover their gift?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Powerful testimony!

This is a very powerful testimony from a man born without arms or legs.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Clockwise or Counterclockwise??

This caused a big debate at the Redemption House on Saturday evening. Are you right- brained or left-brained? Several view points were brought to light. Liz and I see only clockwise. Mark sees only counter-clockwise. Darrick and Melanie see both. Mark said I couldn't post this on my blog because it would be exposing my wrongness!

I did it!

Left work at 5:10

Arrived at Apt. Mgr's office at 5:38: left with can of paint

Arrived at my apartment at 5:40
showered/washed hair
dried/styled hair
applied make-up
selected outfit
chose corresponding jewelry and shoes
traded purse to go with night's outfit
wrapped gift
balanced linen tupperware/gift

Pulled out of apartment parking lot at 6:14

I was pretty impressed with myself!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Small Explanation into the Life of a Teacher

This is for all the office workers out there. I know some think a teacher's job is so easy. We leave work at 3:15 and receive 3 'paid' months off every year.

The only days I leave work at 3:15 are the ones when I'm rushing across town to grad school. Most days I leave between 6:00 and 7:45 (when they lock up the building.) Most days I arrive between 6:15 and 7:00am, but we are required to be there by 7:30am. We are also required to sign in and out. A lot of teachers feel that requirement to be a 'slap in the face', because it is a blue collar type of restriction.

We only receive 30 minutes for lunch. This does not allow enough time to leave for lunch, except maybe to race through the McDonald's drive thru. Students leave our classroom at 2:45, but we are not allowed to leave the building until 3:15. If we need to make a doctor's appointment or take a sick child home, then we must sign out and that time comes out of our alloted days off.

We do not have phones in our classrooms. There are times I need to call a parent about a misbehaving student, follow up on a ceiling leak at my apartment, or make any of those other short phone calls that need to be done during a day. When these situations arise, I must use my cell phone. I also have 25 students listening in on the call.

This morning, I walked into the front office. It was just before 7:30 and I need to sign in, check my box for paperwork, and chat with a co-worker about what I missed on-campus while at a training yesterday. Instead, I have a parent waiting for me to arrive so that she can discuss her child's grades with me. She had calculated the average herself and decided I was wrong by six-tenths of a point.

Are you ever in your office waiting for a phone call? Maybe you would like to walk to the copier, get a drink of water or use the restroom, but you can't because you're waiting for a phone call. How do you feel? Trapped? Each day I must be in my room while I have students. If I need to use the restroom, I must wait. If I forgot to make copies, I just do without that activity and must quickly think up a different way to teach the desired lesson. If I need to speak with someone in the office or another teacher, I just hope I remember later or write myself a note that may or may not get covered up by all the papers on my desk.

Yes, I love my job. Yes, I chose my profession. I am simply sharing what my daily life at work is like.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Japanese Bible anyone?

I am tutoring a little girl who has only been in America about a year. We were reading about ladybugs the other day and Mary came up. (Did you know ladybug is short for 'the Beetle of Our Lady?') The little girl I tutor had not heard of Mary (or Joseph or Jesus.) I've begun mentioning them as often as I can, but when we're working on homework and only meet twice a week, that isn't very often. I'd like to give her family a Japanese Bible for Christmas. I've looked on Amazon and have found some, but they're pretty expensive. Some are $70! I've done some research and found out the best translations. Does anyone know a place (or have a friend or family member) where I can find a nice, new Bible that is a Manga-story Bible or a Japanese Living Bible?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Neighborhood Matchmaker

I was chatting with a friendly neighbor the other day. She's a little bit of a busybody, and I found that out before I even signed the lease. She seems nice enough though, so we're talking about menial things. Moving in, getting settled, etc and she was pointing out a few doors and telling me about the people that lived behind them. A man walked past us and she introduces him. He shook my hand but didn't stop to talk. He was just a few feet past me when she says. "He's single. Are you married?" I respond in the negative. She then says, "He's single and handsome. Do you hear me Bubba?" He waved that he did.

I was able to end our conversation smoothly and continue on to the laundry room. He was just a few feet in front of me. I said, "Well that was slightly awkward." He smiled, and I could tell he wasn't uncomfortable. I'm glad, but how did it end up that I live next to the neighborhood matchmaker?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Adult yet?

My mom and aunt are in town this week on vacation. This has been planned since before the move became official, but I'm very glad they are here because they are a huge help to me! Wednesday afternoon they rearranged furniture. We met for dinner then ran separate errands. Wednesday night we hung living room curtains and a few decorative items on the wall. Yesterday they went to Galveston as a part of their original plans. Today they are painting, reorganizing my kitchen and storage closets, shopping for some decorative items, moving a towel rod, and hanging bedroom curtains. Tomorrow we are going to the Museum of Natural Science to see the Lucy Legacy exhibit and attending Dreamgirls at Hobby Center.

I know none of what I have posted so far coincides with my title. This is the amusing part. They're sharing my bed, and I'm sleeping on the couch. I have the alarm clock, as they're on vacation and don't need one. Each morning, I have laid there a few minutes before getting up. Yesterday they called out to me to make sure I got up. Today my aunt came and said, "Don't you need to be getting up? It's 5:40." I explained that I got up at 5:00am yesterday because I needed to get to work early. My alarm was going off at 5:45 this morning. "Oh, sorry." At 6:00, my mom comes, "Alyssa, are you going to get up?"

Seriously, people! I get up every day on my own. Promise!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random: Pprs

I wrote that abbreviation of "papers" on a packing box. A friend of mine carried the box out to the car and said it as written, without any vowel sounds. For the rest of the evening, I heard 'pprs' being spoken throughout all conversations. I know this is probably one of the, 'you need to be there,' moments, but it was amusing to us!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Too Much on My Mind??

I walked up to the front door of my apartment the other day and tried to open it using the keyless entry remote to my car.

It took me a moment to figure out why the door wasn't unlocking.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Praise God for rejuvenation!

I was on vacation last week. I flew to Dallas Tuesday evening and drove to Arkansas with my family Wednesday morning. We usually go the week after Labor Day. This year we went two weeks later. The Lord knew how much I would need a break at that exact time. Last Monday, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was overwhelmed emotionally, physically and mentally and had no reserves left to pull from. Of course, MY reserves were empty. There isn't a whole lot there to begin with. I am human after all. I have a bad habit of leaning on my own understanding way to often. This mindset, of course, creeps into leaning on myself at all times and for all things. The purpose of this vacation was this same this year as the last ten years. Rest, relax, recooperate and rebuild. My mom and I hiked trails and were able to invest in each other one on one with stories, laughter and tears. My dad and I played cards and shared hugs (He's great for "bear" hugs when I'm having a bad day.) We were able to laugh and let go of some stress in our work lives. Angela watched a lot of football. Dad did a lot of fishing. We all got on a boat and enjoyed the out of doors, too. Throughout all of this, the Lord was telling me, "I provide loved ones for you to lean on. I am here for you to lean on. I love you. I created all the beautiful nature around you, and I created YOU. Come to me when you are weary. Come to me before you are weary. I will help you carry the burden."

Sometimes, I feel so stupid. How many times in my life do I need to learn the same lesson? How many times will I be out of energy? How many times will there be nothing left for me to pour out, before I realize I need to go to Him FIRST? I'm not sure. I know I am a work in progress and pray each day that I will learn what He is teaching.

All of this realization didn't make my work any less. I still have some major things going on. I still have some big commitments and deadlines and timelines to work through. However, my mentality has changed. I'm now trying to look at my situation through the Lord's perspective and not looking at the Lord through my situation.