Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our Houses Have Books

Since their lives aren't busy enough with new jobs and schoolwork and planning a wedding, SIR and Little Cuter have added house hunting into the mix.  The reason is obvious - they've outgrown their space.

It's not Thomas-the-Wonder-Granddog's need for a fenced yard in which to romp which is prompting their move.  It's not an overwhelming desire to ride the train into the city every morning that is fueling their passion.  It's not suburban shopping malls or fantastic schools or reducing their monthly outlay while building for their future.... no, the real reason they are moving is because there's no more room in their apartment for their books.

The floor to ceiling shelving has been double stacked for a long time.  On my last visit, the third row was beginning to overflow.  Tomes were stacked hither and yon and I watched Little Cuter's sadly shaking head, slowly turning, side to side, as she offered me volumes to take home and refused my offer to send some of her favorites from Tucson to Chicago.  "My books are three deep - I need a home!"

I didn't take a picture; I didn't want to make her sad.

TBG and I are not much better off.

Climbing the stepstool is still a challenge for me, especially when my hands are full.  Thus, I've beem using the bottom two shelves to store library books and used book store books and class texts and novels I've grabbed to find a specific quote.  I never quite get around to putting them back where they belong.  I am stymied by the ever decreasing amount of space that remains.

We can't move again - oh, dear, we most certainly cannot - even if my library is taking over the place.  I have to be ruthless once again, I suppose.  I left 20 years of books in Marin - public libraries, used book stores, and homes for the aged were the recipients of my largesse.  I vowed that I would be a library patron.  I vowed that I would resell the used books I bought.  I would not retain my hoarding habits.

Obviously, those plans went awry fairly quickly.

Big Cuter has multiple copies of his favorite books.  These three are in the give-away box because there's a fourth copy on the shelf in his room here in Tucson and another one on his shelf back in San Francisco.   At a certain point even he could agree that enough is enough.
I convinced him to spend an hour a night with me going through the boxes I had moved from California to his closet here in the desert.  The Sherman Alexie was mine; all the rest of the books in that box and the 7 others that we went through were his. 

I love a kid who reads and I got two of them.  I wish they came equipped with their own furniture.
An aside - I was supposed to be born on this date 60 years ago.  I love the image of my mother, feeling the contractions on the 27th, urging me to relax and stay put for just 2 more days.  She knew that I was missing the chance to be something special - a leap year baby.  I'm still aggravated at my neo-nate self for missing the opportunity to celebrate my 15th birthday today.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is Ms. Wall Really a Snob?

I helped out at Amphi Middle School last week.  An assistant principal wanted me to record a piece of the school's application to become a No Excuses University, a school consortium based on the tenet that every child has the right to be prepared to attend college.  I talked about GRIN's involvement in Colleges in Classrooms and the public /private partnership which brought pilates to the AMS dance room twice a week and the connection we made with the math department at Cornell, my alma mater.  The administration believes, as Damien Lopez, NEU's founder, puts it, that it is the responsibility of adults in the school to develop exceptional systems that make that dream a reality.

I am honored to shoulder some of that responsibility.  It never occurred to me not to be.... that is, until I heard Rick Santorum tell me that my efforts, my basic beliefs, my core values are mere snobbery.
I just don't get it at all, and maybe that's the point.  Maybe I'm not supposed to get it because he's not talking to me.  Sure, the audience is filled with 60-something white Americans who can afford to have their clothes dry cleaned; I could be said to fall into that demographic.  But I have never heard anyone, in my whole entire life, denigrate the value of education. .... up until this morning, that is.

Then, again, I'm not sure Mr. Santorum has heard of it either.  The Wayback Machine took me to from October 5, 2006 where we find that he is equally committed to ensuring the (sic) every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education. Rick Santorum has supported legislative solutions that provide loans, grants, and tax incentives to make higher education more accessible and affordable.

I'm confused.  Rick Santorum keeps telling me (we have a primary this week, remember) that Mitt Romney is all over every side of every issue.  Can it be (gasp) that he is, too?

But let us continue to parse this clip from an address to a Tea Party affiliate in Michigan.  Liberal college professors?  Is Spiro Agnew waiting in the wings?  True, Candidate Santorum's speech writers don't have the skills of Peggy Noonan or William Safire (conservatives I can read with pleasure), but liberal college professors?  Oral Roberts and Brigham Young have eponymous universities and I hardly think that they are bastions of liberal orthodoxy.

This is my favorite part, along about 42 seconds into the clip.  " I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image."  The camera can't decide whether to focus on his smirk or the booing faces in the crowd. I'm going to ignore the overt obvious frightening racist overtones others might ascribe; I don't know the man and I'm reluctant to call him out without significant proof. 

I am more interested in his point.  Remaking that room full of AARP members into Ivy League educated professors of law?  How many of the children or grandchildren of those mindlessly clapping voters would refuse the opportunity to attend Columbia and Harvard and teach at the University of Chicago's Law School (a law school which boasts Antonin Scalia as a former faculty member, by the way)?  Not many, I'd guess.

But Rick Santorum wants to "create jobs so that people can recreate their children into their images, not his." For the first time that I can recollect, a presidential candidate is not offering my children's children a better future.  He's offering a step backwards, to jobs which require no education, and he's assuming that his audience is okay with that. 

Can it be possible that that is true?  Are we really going back to a time where the value of education is ignored?  Is Kathleen Parker correct?  Is Rick Santorum a good man living in the wrong century?

I don't know what to make of it all, this attack on higher education.  I do know that a future which includes college is an idea being embraced by the faculty and students and parents at Amphi Middle School in Tucson, Arizona.  These working class, immigrant, overwhelmed parents want nothing more than for their children to be presented with a sense of the possibilites which await them. 

I don't think it's a line job in an assembly plant which fuels their enthusiasm, Mr. Santorum.  I think it's college.  And I don't think that Ms. Wall is a snob, either.  I think she wants what's best for her students.... whether they grow up to be liberals or Tea Party conservatives.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hiking Once Again

I spent Sunday on the mountain.  After 14 months of wondering if or when today I did it.
It was the best birthday present Amster and the kids could deliver.
It wasn't a very long hike; a one mile loop at the top of a long steep sandy incline.
My poles and I did just fine, thank you.
We did just fine, indeed.
It was beautiful.
A soft breeze and temperatures in the 70's
(no, I don't know why you aren't living here)
made for a picture perfect afternoon.
The parking lot provided a giant stick that The Littles recognized as bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Winchester rifle.  They annihilated bad guys while Amster and I locked cars and herded them to the restrooms for a prophylactic pee...just in case.
The grasses were rustling and the mountains were hovering and I was glowing.
This really does feed my soul.
I can feel the earth growing and the tectonic plates shifting when I see this.
The flowers were blooming.
The kids were thirsty.
I made it around the entire loop, stopping only to help Miss Texas read the interpretive signs.
We picnicked before the second half of the adventure.
Naturally, there were trees to be climbed,
and cookie eyeballs to be admired
and Dagwood sandwiches to be eaten.
And then it was time to move on, down the path where the trees were beginning to bud and the saguaros were straight and tall.
We were looking for water.
It wasn't in the wash 100' from the cars.
I wasn't planning on two, one mile hikes, but that's what I got.
We had promised the kids that they could get wet.
Reneging was not an option.
Some years this wash is impassable; I've held onto scrub to make my way along the edges.
The summer melt hasn't filled the gullies yet, so Elizibeth and Summer could only slosh their feet.
The boys collected stones and tried to swim in 3" of water.
While Miss Texas trod delicately through the algae.

Mr. 8 accompanied me back to the picnic tables for a rousing game of Connect The Dots (sadly, he trounced me) while the rest of our party continued onward and upward, seeking more thrills.
He and I were content to sit in the shade, sharing the moment.
I didn't interrupt it for a photo.

There's apparently a field of poppies within my abilities off this same trailhead.
I think I'll be exploring it this that I am hiking once again.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I am actually looking forward to watching an NBA game this evening.  I'm not committing to the whole four quarters, which is how I can sit and watch the sun sink behind my house, turning the mountains
and the trees
bright yellow, while the NY Knicks and the Miami heat are battling on ESPN..

The first quarter of an NBA game is lackadaisical at best, which touches on my reluctance to invest more than an hour of my time.  Watching over-paid men give almost-but-not-quite-all to an endeavor makes me nutty. Coupled with officiating that is baffling, at best, the NBA is not at the top of my sports-viewing agenda.

Tobias Moskowitz, University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business professor and author of Scorecasting, reveal(s) the hidden forces that shape how are played, won and lost.  I love it when research proves that my ranting and raving has a factual basis.  According to Moskowitz, and his co-author, L. Jon Wertheim, refs call what they think they see and give an advantage to the home team...perhaps not consciously, but statistically proven none-the-less. 

"I don't believe in the NBA," my winter-time rant, now has factual underpinnings, and I rejoiced. 

But then came a smart Asian kid from Palo Alto and all of a sudden I became entranced with my former hometown heroes.  I grew up with the legendary Knicks.  Walt Frazier's portrait in oils graced our living room, thanks to my younger sister's concurrent obsessions with him and paint brushes.  Earl the Pearl, Dean the Dream, Willis Reed's magnificently huge hands

Reed in white

they were part and parcel of my teen age years.  Real heroes, winners on and off the court, even their orange and royal blue jerseys looked good for a while.  But they lost their lustre and I fell away from the fold.  Until Jeremy Lin arrived, that is.

An economics major from Harvard, younger brother of a NYC dwelling dentist on whose couch he slept after being called up by the Knicks, Lin is the living embodiment of everything good parents tell their children.  Be prepared.  Be ready.  Don't count yourself out.  Just because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean you can't do it now.  Your chance will come if you believe in yourself.

He's broken all kinds of NBA records for the start of a career. He's energized the crowd and his teammates. The Knicks are winning and the fans are orgasmic and the sportscasters just don't know what to make of it.  ESPN's Stephen A. Smith says "He just doesn't look like a basketball player" and I am left wondreing why he wasn't fired on the spot.  NHL groupies are touting the red Wings home game winning streak and wondering what all the fuss is about. And women like me, fair-weather fans at best, are making a bee-line for the television when his games are being broadcast.

He's modest, well-spoken, dedicated and willing to learn.  His teammates adore him and parents can use him as an aceptable role model. This doesn't happen all that often denizens.  Maybe you shoud take a look.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

JannyLou showed up in my driveway at 8am this morning, behind the wheel of her brand new Buick.  It's a 7-passenger vehicle, built for those long road trips they planned to take in the RV they just sold.  The RV was a good idea until things started to break; no one needs to spend vacation time looking for a plumber for your car.  So Fast Eddie sold it last week and, on a roll, traded in the Honda CR-V for the Enclave.  It has that great new car smell, and I can easily enter and exit the second row of seats.  JannyLou is delighted. 

Another family friend, reeling from a year of crises involving his wife, recently filled his garage with a Hummer.  Massive, tires almost as big as I am, this is a monster truck.  In an accident, there's no doubt who will emerge the victor. 

Two men who love their wives.  Two men with some disposable income.  Two men whose wives had faced disease and despair last year. Two men doing what they could to protect their spouses.

I've always maintained that it is easier to be the patient than the caregiver.  It is much less painful for me to experience an event than to watch another suffer.  I never know what to do while I'm standing on the sidelines, pretending to be useful. 

Not-Kathy's father was hospitalized over the weekend; I dropped by the hospital this afternoon to visit.  Ernie, his wife, was fussing and organizing and making sure that things were done correctly prior to his discharge this afternoon.  The monitors beeped and, since she's a nurse and he's a doctor they fiddled and pushed and made the noise stop.  Then she sent me to find a floor nurse to insure that they'd done the right things.  She's willing to protect her man herself, but she's not shy about asking for back-up.

She left him with instructions to get dressed and call her when the resident had figured out whether aspirin or plavix was the right medication.  She'd come right over and take him home, but first she had to get grooceries and take out the dog and pay the guy installing the venetian blinds in the bedroom.  She's got it all under control.  She's not going out and buying him a car.

I began this post with a theme but no conclusion.  I hoped that my 9 fingers would create one themselves as we went along, but it seems it hasn't happened.  Is there something about cocooning those we love within the grandest safety net we can construct?  Is that why the guys went for stuirdy vehicles and Ernie went to the market, each tending to her own area of expertise or responsibility?  I'm not sure.  I only know that the three of them are rattling around in my brain, teasing me , the message just out of reach.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Just slide them into the comments below.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, George Washington... Really

I am stasrting a tradition in The Burrow.  From now until I stop writing, I will celebrate Washington's Birthday on its proper date, and I will explicate the reasons by re-running this post. 
So, welcome to the 2nd Annual George Wasn't Born on President's Day post.  Enjoy!

280 years ago today Mary Ball Washington gave birth to a boy child. He went on to become a surveyor, a land owner, a distiller and, oh yes, the first President of the United States of America. Unlike many of the stories surrounding this man (think cherry trees and coins across the Potomac and standing up in an open boat as it crossed the Delaware) this is an indisputable fact. Mary was not in labor on the third Monday of February. She produced her child on a specific day - the 22nd day of February. His birthday didn't move around with the vagaries of the federal holiday calendar.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln met her second son, Abraham, 202 years ago on February 12. Like Mrs. Washington before her, she was not in labor on an indeterminate day sometime in the middle of the month. It occurred on a certain day,, a day formerly commemorated by school children and mail carriers alike.

Alas and alack, these fine gentlemen have been conflated into Presidents and their birthdays combined into a generic celebration designed primarily to afford employees the opportunity for a 3-day weekend in the middle of the winter. What was wrong with the old system, I wonder? As an elementary schoolkid I looked forward to those random days off in the middle of the month. One day, breaking up the routine. One celebration for each president - pennies examined on the 12th, leadership and lying (not) on the 22nd.

There was no time for a weekend away (not that G'ma and Daddooooo could have afforded to take us anyplace anyhow) and there was no competition between students for who went the furthest and had the most fun. It was an opportunity to go sledding at Bethpage (the Black Course was used for many things in my youth; this was the best of them) or to meet friends at the bowling alley and then walk to Smiles (our precursor to a 5-and-dime) where we cruised the aisles until our parents picked us up. It was grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon on the side, eaten on paper plates and accompanied by the admonition Don't Tell Daddy since the bacon was not exactly kosher and he cared a lot more than did G'ma. There were snow forts to be built, snowball fights to be fought, snow men to be built. The entire neighborhood roamed from front yard to front yard, creating and tumbling and finding warmth and drinks and the occasional bathroom in whichever house we happened to be in front of when the need arose.

And now? Now President's Day is always an event. It's a long weekend for which plans must be made. It has no intrinsic meaning, no relationship to George or Abe or any of their colleagues. Their faces are used to advertise white sales and car sales and furniture sales and The History Channel runs back to back episodes of The Presidents but that's about the size of the historical component. What began as tributes to great men has devolved into spending opportunities for the masses.

Am I bitter? You bet. A day off followed by another one 10 days later.... what better way to combat the winter doldrums than that? A random day, a day to cuddle under the blankets with your sweetie or to do all that laundry that interfered with your weekend plans and so still sits in the basket, mocking you. A day to explore the neighborhood and have lunch in that place you've driven by 100 times before..... a day just to be.

Sometimes, when I was a girl really was better.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slowing Down

I'm slowing down as things are speeding up. I think it's self-preservation.

Traveling at 50 mph in a 45 mph zone this morning, The Schnozz and I were buffeted by the windstorm created as the young man with open windows, a cigarette, and jacked-up-shock-absorbers blew past us. His radio made only a scar on the soundwaves as he sped by, followed by 3 or 4 other people who just had to get to the next red light more quickly than I did.

I used to be one of those people. If an open space appeared in the other lane, I grabbed it. Lately, I seem to have lost the urge to rush. I'm wondering why.

Recovering, lying on Douglas, watching the sun cross the horizon, may have had something to do with slowing my internal clock. The passage of time was marked by the ingestion of pills. I undertook no activities beyond writing Thank You notes. There was no reason to hurry through anything, I really had nothing to do but heal, and there was no timetable for that.

Feeling safe may also play a part. Saturday, in the gym with my trainer, I was faced with a platform raised to 8” by supporting blocks. My task was to step up and then down, first on one side and then by crossing over to the other. The fit, 40-something woman to my right was high-stepping more quickly than I could count the taps of her feet on the steps. I sighed.

There was a time when I, too, had fast feet. Not so much anymore. My psyche hasn't figured out that my body has changed. Looking at the step-ups before me, my feet were leaden on the gym floor. My brain was racing, though. Lifting my right leg up first, hopeful but not convinced that it would support me as I pulled the left one up to meet it, I was conscious of every muscle, every fibre, every tendon and ligament. Tightening my abdominals, engaging my spinae erectus, squeezing glutes and hamstrings and quadriceps..... no wonder it was taking me so long to step up. There was a lot to consider.

Plus, I really really didn't want to fall. Eight inches or eight feet, it's all the same to me

The fact that I was taking the time to consider my actions is a major change for me. Looking before I leapt was never my strong suit. “Mom, watch out!” was a frequent part of family outings. Preparing by thinking before I move is new to me. I'm not sure that the hesitation was a conscious choice; my body really didn't intuit the motions necessary to put my right foot up first. I had to think about it.

And, in thinking about it I'm coming closer to loving myself. I notice that I can get down on the ground without taking 5 minutes to figure out what to do with my legs. I kneel and I don't know how I got there. I recognize that my abdominals are holding my torso up and out of my hip joint and I am grateful to them for their strength and willingness to engage in the work. I just can't figure out how they knew what to do, when. I'm certain my conscious brain never ssent them the message.

I hear my hip crunching and groaning as it moves up and back and out and down, and I marvel at the fact that I'm pulling a 20 pound weight. The speedy woman to my right may have 40 pounds attached to the leg cuff, but I don't mind very much. I am moving through the range of motion my tightness allows, slowly, steadily, carefully. I am thinking about what I am doing, actively engaging musculature in a slow, precise, steady way.

Who am I?

There was a long line at the grocery store and I didn't want to scream. The elderly couple walking in front of me at Wally-World moved over to the side to let me pass, and I declined their kind offer. I was in no particular hurry. What would I do with the time I'd save? I never had those thoughts before. I I was always first in line, in the shortest line, racing to ….....

Those destinations are still out there, I'm sure. I'm just not that anxious to get there these days.

Is it approaching 60? Is it a neurasthetic reaction to GRIN and wedding planning and blogging and getting ready for Tucson's 6 week planting season? Am I slowing down to accommodate my healing? I've looked and looked inside myself for answers, and they are not forthcoming.

Then, I looked at my desk... and there, perhaps, lay the answer: the two tickets which landed in my mailbox – one for racing through a not-really-red-yet-officer light and one for zipping past the speed trap I know-about-but-always-forget?

My guess is that the traffic camera punishments are bleeding over into the rest of my being. There's nothing like a hefty fine to get my attention, it seems.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Interweb Ate My Post

My lovely post about G'ma's birthday has been devoured by the maw of the interweb,

I will recreate it and post it on the morrow.  For now, here's an oldie but goodie on the same topic.

"And you, Senora? A margarita?"

A fairly innocuous question in a Mexican restaurant at dinner time. But when G'ma looks at me and says "Do I want a margarita?" all kinds of hell breaks loose inside my head.

NO - you are on 8 different medications all of which caution against alcohol. I don't want to feel responsible for your impaired functioning if you fall tonight. Falling is not a good thing when you're 86 years old, as you well know.

But half a margarita? With dinner? Once every 6 months? Really, how much damage could that do?

I looked at the margarita glass. It was huge. "I'm driving. Let's share one."

The waitress left, but the question stuck around. Around and around and around. It wasn't quite "Do I like margaritas?" - I could chalk that up to a failing memory and the fact that you're not a big drinker. You could have forgotten if you liked them. It wasn't "Do I care to drink a margarita right now?" - that empty philosophical Hamlet-like passive aggressive piece of you that makes me crazy but which I have learned to ignore. You weren't kidding around; you were really asking me the question. But what did you mean? And why was I still thinking about this?

I've been making lots of decisions for you since you came to live in our town. I chose your apartment. I buy your groceries, choosing your breakfast cereal and toothpaste. I found and hired your "girls", the delightful sisters who keep you safe. I decided on your cable tv package and your renters' insurance coverage and which newspaper you'd have delivered. Your doctors, your surgeries, your therapists - all me.

I check it all out with you, looking for a dispositive answer. Do you have a firm opinion anymore? Or do the questions not interest you? Have you given over that much control of your life to those who can remember what you did yesterday? The questions have different values - breakfast cereal and kyphoplasty certainly fall into different categories of importance. But what about waking up in the morning? If you want to roll over and sleep til 11 should the girls just smile and go back to their telenovelas or do we make the decision that life is to be lived and if you're breathing then you should participate in the world around you so get up and get out of that bed?

Where's the line? Somewhere between the doctor's office and Parilla Suiza, I suppose.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winter in The Garden - February, 2012

Nine-fingered typing is only marginally better than trying to operate a new phs-camera without a right index finger.  Yesterday's post was filled with mis-stricken letters, the responsibility for which rests solely on my four-digit-ed larboard side. Worse, my fingers guide my brain here in The Burrow; when one is stuttering the other follows in lock-step.

Hence, a garden post.  We haven't had one in a while, I know.  I am moving forward on an upward trajectory, even if I do have to hire someone to do the heavy lifting and bending and digging.  I'll admire the results as I tend to that which I can, and I'll be grateful for it each and every day.

Smarmy?  Perhaps.  It's also very very real to me.  The plants speak to me of hopefulness and renewal and some kind of master plan which comforts me in the inevitability of it all.  Plus, I like to laugh at myself and the promises I've made to myself in seasons past.  For example, I remember saying that I was going to give up on color entirely and go with succulents in pots.  

You can see how long that resolution lasted.
The butterfly bush (must remember to ask Rillito for the botanica) is delighting me under my window as I type.

The Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina) retains its winter red.

This Old Man of the Andes is taking a permanent siesta on his neighbor.
This is a testament to the right plant in the right place.  
It's sending baby sprouts east and west.

Look at how juicy the inside is.
Proving that a weed is merely a plant in the wrong place, these natives (not weeds) have formed a natural fence against the deciduous vinca.
The bunnies can't get to these native grasses which are happy to share the irrigation on the mesquite tree.
There's a teeny tiny 3" in diameter nest in the palo verde out in front.
And one with bean sculpture on the neighboring branch.
Think of me when you are shoveling or slipping or bundling up.
I love February in the desert.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Random Thoughts

I saw sleet in Tucson yesterday at lunchtime.  Middle-schoolers wearing shorts were as surprised as I was.
Apparently, there was too little bone for even the smallest of small pins and my finger surgery really didn't solve my problem.  My finger might be straighter, it probably will hurt less, but as to creating a permanently connected joint....... that remains to be seen.

On top of all that bad news, I waited 45 minutes to be seen.  Sometimes the fact that I've been shot turns out to be a good thing; it certainly put this event in perspective.
Today, my Ulysses teacher took a passionate piece of the text and turned it into burnt toast.  Drier than dry, defining the terms but not touching the heat, I listened to him read aloud as my eyes fell on one of my margin notes, a quote from the Cornell professor with whom I studied the text in 2001. "Is this not a great book!?!?" appears beside that same paragraph.

A good teacher makes all the difference.
I received 30 Lessons for Living as a gift from the Dean of the College of Human Ecology last month.  GRIN fits right in with this gerontologist's distillation of the combined wisdom of approximately 1000 experts - the very, very old.  It's fun and funny and totally delightful while dispensing the kind of advice I wish G'ma were still able to dole out. 

I read it just a little bit at a time.  It's like visiting with my mom..... a decade ago.
The USDA has released a new plant hardiness zone map.  I am now in Zone 9b.

It's not even a capital b.  I'm not sure how I feel about living in a subset zone.
My new physical therapist was full of wonderful ideas and, since she agreed with the physiatrist that I will continue to make progress, I loved her a lot..... right up until she told me that I should go dancing.... take tango lessons.... and get TBG to go with me.

He's been a stalwart supporter of my rehabilitation efforts, but this was too much, even for him.

She adopts a whole body approach to the work.  For now, instead of dancing, I'm going to be doing some Phoebe running on Christina's path this week.
Adphoto courtesy of eseyla

Want to see her in action?  Click here for the YouTube video.  No, I will not be uploading one of my own.  I still have some dignity left.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day at Amphi Middle School

They do Valentines Day up right at Amphi Middle School.
GRIN was there to make valentines.
$30 worth of supplies covered tables in the corner of the cafeteria.

And the kids loved it.

The 6th grade girls were the first visitors.
They made cards for favorite teachers.
They made cards for their BFF's
The boys were a harder sell....

but once his friend finished, well...
The grown up girls made them.
The ultra-cool girls made them.
Who I was and why I was there came up a time or two.

It was Nim's first day at AMS.
He arrived from Nepal over the weekend.
His translator has been here a lot longer and was in a hurry to get to lunch.
But Nim held his ground.
Please note Nim and Kathleen fist-bumping over his very first ever in his whole life what in the world is this holiday valentine.
His friend printed the message in English.

Welcome to America, Nim <3

Liz gave us a valentine right back.
It was our pleasure.

We had a great time.
Can't you tell by our smiles?