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Random News

Can't sleep, so it's time for a random life update:

Family Visit

Dad came to visit over the weekend. He was in town on Friday and Saturday for some MMF Board meetings and we convinced him to stay over until Sunday. He was a good sport and came with us to a cookout on Saturday evening, where we all enjoyed a heap of Texas brisket and the best jalapeno cornbread under the sun. I made way too many brownies.

Praise Band

We had our first performance on Sunday, at the 11am worship service. It went well, judging by the comments we received. I dislike singing into microphones (especially handhelds) in the first place, but it's even worse without a proper monitor. I couldn't hear a thing, except for the pounding of the keyboards. I felt like I was steamrolling over everyone in an effort just to sing loud enough to hear myself. Ugh. Hopefully we can get our set-up straightened out once we start performing in our usual space.

Women's Retreat

In a moment of weakness, I agreed to chair the retreat committee next year. Well, once I put the committee together, that is. What was I thinking?!? No, seriously, this should be a great experience. Fortunately, I have lots of able-bodied and creative people who have offered to help. And some who don't even realize that they're going to be helping. Mwahahahaha. The conference center is already reserved, so right now, my main concern is trying to line up speakers. I had a meeting last week with this year's coordinator, and she got me off to a good start. We reviewed this year's evaluations and began working on a list of things to factor into next year's event. This will be the second annual retreat, so expectations will be high, but I think my team will be able to rise to the challenge. I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday School

Recently, I agreed to teach the 4th-5th Grade Class on the first Sunday of each month. Last month, I observed. This Sunday would have been my first Sunday teaching, but I wound up swapping this week with the 4th Sunday person for November. That's great, because it will give me time to concentrate on the Nicaragua/Hurricane Relief project I'm supposed to be coordinating amongst the youth. It was theoretically scheduled to conclude on Nov. 4th, but due to our late start and some intervening circumstances (like the congregational retreat), I think I'll extend it to Thanksgiving. I have all the materials together, so we should be able to finish presenting them on Sunday.

ESL Tutoring

Speaking of Nicaragua, I have exciting news to report regarding my ESL student. She tested recently for her remaining GED subjects (about 5 months ahead of schedule) and passed everything but her mathematics exam, which she missed by 1 point. One point. She did not want to take the math exam so soon, but the program administrators encouraged her to attempt it on the grounds that she might actually pass and be finished with the whole thing. (She had taken the other exams about two weeks prior.) She has since taken another math practice exam and passed it, so I have my fingers crossed for her when she retests sometime in November.

As further proof of how awesome my student is, at the same time as she has been going to school for her GED in Spanish (and raising two teenagers), she has been taking a Nursing Assistant's class in English through one of the local community colleges. She recently completed that course with the highest grade in her class, and was the only student to pass her practical assessment on the first try. She was the only non-native English-speaker in the class. She sits for her State Licensure Exam tomorrow (Wednesday), so I'm looking forward to hearing about that at our session on Thursday. I am so proud of her.

Guitar Group

Quite unintentionally, I formed a beginning guitar group last weekend at the Fall Festival. It began innocently enough when a friend and I decided to get together to practice guitar sometime. We had talked about our frustrations with learning the guitar after discovering that we were both clarinetists at the Women's Retreat. It so happens that another friend, our church youth director, was standing nearby at the time and wanted in on the action. In her words: "I can play one song on the guitar. I feel like such a failure as a Youth Director!"

So, we all got together at S's house on Thursday night to compare notes and abilities. Strangely, I emerged as the "instructor". Three months ago I would have laughed at that thought, and so would have drmellow! We started with the basics, and by the end of our two-hour session, we could all play and sing one song (not the one L already knew) involving 4 chords. It was decent enough; one of S's daughters sat through the entire lesson and both of them sang along with us as we gave our "concert" at the end!

I've already printed out new (advanced!) music for us for this week involving the same 4 chords (and maybe one extra). We established Thursday nights as our regular meeting time and even named our group: The Plunkettes. Plus, we decided to advertise our group in the church newsletter, in hopes of gaining more members. S asked me on Sunday if there were minimum "requirements" for joining the group. I laughed and told her that there were no minimum requirements, but if somebody came along who knew more than I did, they should be prepared to teach! I think we're going to have a good time.

And Last...

I need to go back to bed. I'm driving my great aunt and uncle, as well as another aunt, to Shatley Springs tomorrow to have lunch in the mountains. Hopefully, I'll be able to stay awake long enough to visit the Cheese Factory in West Jefferson before heading home. Plus, I'd like to have time to carve a jack-o'-lantern before the treaters show up for their sugar fix.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Dinner during the family visit sounded great. It got my mouth to watering.

That's cool about your ESL student.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


The Inimitable Miss M

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