Shared Quote… “The mold in which a key is made would be a strange thing, if you had never seen a key: and the key itself a strange thing if you had never seen a lock. Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions.
Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it — made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.” – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Active shooter drill. We had an active shooter drill during my Excel/Access class today. It’s in a computer lab so we had to turn off all of the monitors in addition to flipping the lights, drawing the blinds, and locking the door. This made for a dark room (which was kind of the point) and I had to code something, so we were using my cell phone as a flashlight because an actual flashlight would have been too bright.
A message also flashes onto all of the screens in the event of an active shooter (in addition to sirens going off and an automated message playing over the loudspeakers) so it’s inconceivable that someone wouldn’t know unless they were both blind and deaf.
Shelter-in-place drill.My school does a shelter-in-place drill quarterly and today’s happened to be an active shooter drill specifically because of the school shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day. They take these drills very seriously and it paid off during Fall Quarter when they had to lockdown campus for a manhunt.
I find them unnerving (and today was only the second time I’ve been on campus for one), but they’re necessary these days given the fact that our government is in the pocket of the NRA and will not pass commonsense gun control legislation. (Gun control does not equal taking all of people’s guns away, contrary to what some on the rightmost fringe of the political spectrum might think.) Each instructor also has a very clear plan for what needs to happen in each classroom where they teach, and my Practical Accounting instructor admitted to spending her commute coming up with plans for these situations.
Must print this out to hand to people. My instructor jokes about all of us standing in the back of the room shotgunning our coffee before class. I need to print this (and a few other coffee memes) out for her.
Lent. My Lenten discipline was going to be Morning Prayer every day, but it will end up being one of the Daily Offices daily because it’s been that kind of week. I think I cumulatively spent 20 hours on my Payroll Project #1 between last Saturday night and Monday when I figured out how things had gotten so screwed up. (My instructor calculated everything one way and then gave us instructions to do the opposite. Then on Monday, she was sick so she didn’t have office hours… and we had to take a quiz on the bloody thing that night. Let’s just say that my spreadsheet and email telling her that she was wrong got forwarded around almost the entire class and I had to talk a couple people off the figurative ledge.) The Payroll issue meant that my Excel final got put on the back burner because it wasn’t due until Tuesday night, and I had one thing on it that kept stymying me so much that I had to just forfeit that point and submit it. (It turns out that I was doing it right, but misinterpreted something. My instructor laughed at me when I told her about it because it was 1 flipping point out of a possible 110.) Excel being turned in on Tuesday meant that Access didn’t get started until yesterday and submitted tonight 3 hours ahead of the deadline. (I try to be at least 24 hours ahead in case something happens.)
So yeah… one of the Daily Offices every day. Yesterday, it was Compline and it will probably be Compline again tonight because I have some legal paperwork to do as well. Ay-yi-yi!
At least my Payroll Project #2 balanced last night!
Ash Wednesday. Because we share facilities and our priest with the Spanish-speaking congregation, the two congregations worship together on occasions like Ash Wednesday. We had bilingual Ash Wednesday worship last night and it was heavenly. The bulletin was English on the left and Spanish on the right, with Helen (our priest) switching off languages between paragraphs or readings or parts of the liturgy. My ashes got imposed with Spanish words while others had English spoken over them, and Helen preached in both languages. (I understood surprisingly much of the Spanish.)
I told one of my instructors that I feel like I’m en pointe on one foot while holding sticks on which plates are spinning… and I’m trying to keep them from crashing. She laughed. Somehow, I’ve made it through my week.
Lenten devotional update. I’ve got the sucker compiled and edited. My priest suggested helpfully that we make this a “print your own devotional” deal because it would have cost far more to print a copy for everyone than we have in our budget at the moment. (Those who do not have Internet access will get a printed copy, but those are also our shut-ins.)
Now to just get the web version up! (It’s a lot of cut and paste.) If anyone wants the PDF, contact me.
Payroll project. We’re done with book work in my Payroll class so now we have a project for the rest of the quarter where we actually DO payroll. It’s a fictitious manufacturing company and the employees are all named after people from The Office. I’m looking forward to working on it this weekend.
Access is starting. We’re working on our Excel final projects right now so we started working on Access in class. The first chapter is database structure and building databases from scratch so I am pretty jazzed. Now to just power through my final projects for Excel so I can have some database fun.
I am hoping… my bloodwork doesn’t come out too horribly.
I am learning… how to make surveys in SurveyMonkey and Google Forms.
In my kitchen… plotting it currently. If Dad isn’t making anything special, I’ll probably put together a salad at Haggen or something.
In the school room… Daniel goes back tomorrow! He’s been asking about it *EVERY* day of Christmas vacation so he’ll be happy.
Shared Quote… “Creating fantasy is real work, important work. It’s a hard, cold world we live in, and sometimes we need to escape. Sometimes we need that more than food or water or a roof over our heads.” — G.A. McKevett
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have told you about the last week of Winter Quarter when Daniel’s ADHD meds appeared to have just crapped out. I spent three nights dealing with him hitting me, screaming, and spitting before I could get a doctor’s appointment on that Friday and we almost ended up having to take him to the ER on that Wednesday night because he was so out of control. It turns out that he had an ear infection in his right ear and the same drippy throat he gave me and he wasn’t sleeping because he was so uncomfortable. (Funny story: when his incredibly awesome pediatrician moved to examine her, he said, “no touch!” very sternly. Yeah, no. When you are preventing Mommy from sleeping and getting homework done, you lose your right to not be examined.) Some antibiotics and Dimetapp got him back to almost normal.
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have commented on Mike Pence and the Billy Graham rule and M@tt W@lsh’s stupid assertions on the subject by doing a 7 Quick Takes post of 7 reasonable occasions when men and women should be allowed to meet alone.
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have told you how much I adore the first Sunday of Lent in the Episcopal church because it’s the Sunday we sing the Great Litany and my choir here in Washington spreads out in a U-shape around the congregation and passes each petition from person to person. It’s liturgy geek nirvana!
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would tell you about how much in love I am with Audrey Assad and how her song “I Shall Not Want” has been in my head and leading me to pray.
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have shared our Palm Sunday anthem with you so you could get it stuck in your heads too!
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have told you about doing Confession with my priest on March 28th and why I do it as an Episcopalian. Lots of tears on my part (it had been 4 years since I had done it) but it was worth it and very healing. She also did Anointing for the Sick on me because of all the scars on my arms. (Can we just say that it had been a bad weekend and leave it at that?)
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have told you about Maundy Thursday at my church and the quick Eucharist service and stripping of the altar before heading to the fellowship hall for pizza and a finger food potluck interspersed with foot-washing. There were so few of us that Helen (my priest) invited us up into the chancel area for the Eucharistic prayer. My congregation was joined by the Spanish-speaking congregation so it was a bilingual Eucharist and the Communion hymn was “We’ll Know They Are Christians By Their Love” which *TOTALLY* is appropriate when you have the two congregations mixing and Communion being given in two languages. It was one of those moments that is a glimpse of heaven and filled me with joy at being Christian and experiencing it.
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have told you about Helen convincing the kiddos in the Spanish congregation to let her wash their feet and how touching it was to see her sitting on the floor with one of the two year olds and his very somber face while she stuck his feet in a Rubbermaid container of water and chattered at him in Spanish. When she was washing the feet of one of the little girls, I almost offered her the nail polish in my purse that I keep for pedicures but I didn’t know if her parents would have been OK with her getting her fingers or toes painted. Meanwhile, Helen’s oldest son washed my feet and gave me one of the best footrubs I’ve had.
If I had not given my blog up for Lent, I would have told how much I loved my Lenten discipline of reading only religious books and reading instead of surfing Facebook while I am out and about. I finished Father Tim’s Church Survival Guide by Fr. Tim Schenck and Seven Last Words: An Invitation to a Deeper Friendship with Jesus by James Martin, S.J. before picking up Spiritual Sobriety by Elizabeth Esther.
Unless you live under a rock or don’t attend a liturgical church, you probably know that Lent starts next week for the Western Church. (Those in the East have another month to go.) As I’ve now been at this for 20 years, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Lenten disciplines. Also… if you want a shot at picking mine for me, go here before Friday and enter by leaving me a comment.
Crocheting a square every day. For fiber junkies like me, crocheting or knitting a square a day toward a blanket to be put together after Easter is a good way to be mindful of the season and also get some creativity in. Bonus points if you can pray while doing it.
Dietary changes. I’ve given up meat, chocolate, and Coke before. It sounds really pathetic in comparison to the fasting guidelines that Eastern Christians have but it’s been an exercise in mindfulness to me as I’m forced to think about Jesus every time I get a craving for whatever it is.
Prayer. Two years ago, Beth Anne challenged me to find a church to pray in twice a week and Kelly challenged me last year to pick someone to pray for daily including 5 “enemies”. Both stretched me and improved my prayer life.