Sunday, April 10, 2011

So helpless..

So I teach Human Geography to freshman and I'm still learning a lot as the year progresses...last semester if they asked the capital of this or that country or needed clarification on where something is my response was always, "look it up" (works like a charm:)). Now I actually DO know where most of the things are and can help them as needs be, but my focus in learning has shifted to other areas.

I love reading and I think the students will benefit from a book report. So I started investigating good Geography books at their reading level and made a little list for them to choose from. I've read most of the books on their list (things like 3 Cups of Tea, Kite Runner, 1,000 Splendid Sons, Poisonwood Bible, etc.) but there were a few that came with high recommendations that I've never read...hence my current quest. I read all of Left Behind, a book about a woman who survives the Rwandan genocide in a bathroom, on Friday night and I'm about to finish A Long Way Gone, about a boy soldier and his experiences in Sierra Leone. I've also started to put a dent in three other similar books, while reading And Still We Rise, a book about kids from inner-cities that still pursue higher education.

These books are phenomenally captivating and interesting but yet I read them feeling so...helpless. I feel like I fit the description of the Americans that are described in Hotel Rwanda as seeing footage of the genocide, saying "that's horrible" and go on eating their dinner. What can I do?? We watch current events in my class about the destruction in Japan and that awful state of the people in Haiti still, yet I don't offer any solutions to the problems and we go on with whatever it is we're doing.

I feel like I have 200 students at my disposal and could have them help in some way, but I don't know how. I HATE fundraising, with a passion, and don't want to collect money from people in any way. Is there any other way to assist people in need? Sometimes I wish I were a doctor or somebody with a very obvious "skill" so I could easily offer aid to those who need it. I also don't think that the best way to help struggling nations is to go visit them and patch things up for them. Again, I have no idea how to help the less fortunate in a way that seems appropriate. Does anyone have any good suggestions? There are like a million bijillion NGOs out there that all seem to be doing good in some minor way but again, I can't decide if I agree with the way they do things and instead do nothing.

I'm experiencing some pretty major cognitive dissonance because of this.....hmmm...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A post?

So, I figured it out. I don't blog because I don't take pictures! I can't even find my camera right now. What good is a post without a picture? No good. My thoughts exactly. I'll try to figure something out.

Life in the King home has been great. We had a fun little surprise party for Justin last night. Everyone met up at Sammy's, then we went to Comedy Sportz, and then we played games at our apartment! Justin thought I was taking him on a fun date, just the two of us, since we've started a new tradition where one of us is in charge of the date planning each week (last week he did a great job taking me to Costco (woot woot!) and then to a movie and yummy dessert). So, I was in charge on Saturday night and he was not suspicious at all. We walked towards Sammy's and he started to guess what we might be doing that evening. He guessed that we were going to Comedy Sportz, and I finally conceded that to him, trying not to be overly secretive. Well, when we walked up to Sammy's, we saw Robby and Heather and Alex in the distance, and Justin said, "I think that's Robby." I said, "No way!" and as we got closer, Justin excitedly proclaimed, "What a coincidence! Are you guys just leaving?" They smiled and Justin turned to me. "Are they here for me?" Yes, yes they were. Then Nick and Adam and Brett and Ashley and Pete and Carly and Anna and Allison all came too, and we had a lovely little dinner (sorry for the cramped conditions in Sammy's). Then we went to Comedy Sportz, which did not disappoint.



As if that weren't fun enough...then Holly and Andrew and Carolyn and Brian joined us all for games. (Thank you Holly for the delicious Costco cake, which I ate for breakfast this morning! And thanks to Allison, for getting us this very fun game for Christmas!).


All in all, Justin was surprised and super-happy. Nothing beats seeing your husband super-happy! Happy Birthday, best friend!

*I think I'll use pictures like these every time. Did that not make the reading experience more enjoyable?