16 things you may or may not wish to know

1. I can cook! It’s rather surprising to find out I’m actually a pretty good cook once I get started. I’ve done the most cooking so far, I’d say, and the results have been quite nice. 🙂

2. Apparently the north doesn’t believe in AC for their schools, or at least not this part of the north. So this week two days school closed 1.5 hours early because of the heat. That was rawther amusing to me. I decided if they can laugh at us southerners for closing school for an inch of snow, I certainly have the right to laugh at closing school for the heat. It really did get quite muggy in the classrooms with all those sweaty little bodies and high humidity, so I certainly didn’t complain about closing early.

3. It is very easy to draw maps of this place, since all the roads (almost) are straight and in 1 mile squares. Also, they are numbered by how far they are from the county line, north and east, and then your address is how many meters or something you are from the corner of the road. So if you know someone’s address, you can pretty much find their house.

4. Even this far in the north, people know about zipper peas and okra. I think Lois Ulrich is somewhat to blame, since she’s from Florida, so she naturally plants some southern delicacies.

5. This church is extremely hospitable, as I think I’ve mentioned, and also very helpful, as I suspected. For school cleaning, lots of people showed up and diligently scrubbed walls and lockers and grates and things. It’s neat.

6. Tricia drives an automatic TDI, which is the oddest thing. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden in an automatic diesel, and it feels so wrong to hear it sound like a tractor, and to not shift manually.

7. I just stood up to move to a different location in Mika’s, and dropped my almost full glass of iced coffee and spilled it way across the floor and down my skirt. Wow. just wow. And of course, there are lots of people here. How embarrassing. I just laughed and laughed, because what else could I do?! I guess there’s a first time for everything.

8. Tomorrow some of the youth group is going to Saint Louis for the day. I’m so excited, especially since you all are at youth retreat, and I’m really bummed to miss that, except for the mandatory softball game. That, not so much. So the plan is to get up ridiculously early, and go first to The Arch, and then some people are going to a Cardinals’ baseball game and the rest of us are going to the zoo, unless something else strikes our fancy more. I love cities! and I love socializing! and I love Saturdays!!

9. This was quite the week at school. My school kids are so interesting, but they wear me out! I’m already tired of keeping them in at recess, but from the looks of it I’ll be doing it plenty. I intend to be a very strict teacher, but hopefully to not be like Wanda who can’t take a joke. The other day after school I took a big drink of my water, and lo…. some dear child had put a nice big squirt of hand sanitizer into it. In case you wondered, that really is not a tasty way to get drunk. I was glad the kids had already exited the room, so they couldn’t see my reaction. It amuses me so much! Really, it is a pretty good prank. I am ignoring it, in hopes that the lack of reaction discourages more of the same though, since I prefer my water without 90% alcohol.(Update: apparently this was accidental. Still pretty funny though.)

10. Ryan and Josh continue to say such interesting things. The other day Ryan came out of the gym and said in an exasperated voice, “The gym is polluted!” “With what?” asked Tricia. “With people!” he exclaimed as he made his escape. Also this week (I think, time is hard to keep track of) Josh was gazing at Kari, his cousin, and when I tried to turn his attention to me, he said in a dreamy voice, “I can’t take my eyes off of this beautiful girl!” Ryan keeps popping up with big and surprising words, kind of like I imagine Brandon will do in a few years.

11. Next weekend the youth group is going camping by a lake or something. I really want to go, at least for part of it, but we’ll see how school is going at that point. I still have to see what kind of social life I can maintain while still doing a good job at school. I did kind of come here to teach, so I need to do an excellent job.

12. This weekend both of the previous teachers will be here, so we are hosting company, and I can ask Des my questions about school. So it promises to be a busy time. I am so glad Monday is a holiday, partly so Destiny won’t have as much time to possibly sit in my classroom, which makes me deeply nervous.

13. Considering how comfortable my housemates and I are with each other already, I have no idea how we’ll be at the end of the year! I hope we still like each other! We do now, which is good. 🙂

14. On Wednesday night the youth activity was book labeling at Choice Books. Apparently they treat it more as a ministry here than we do at home. It was kind of fun to fly through the stacks of labeling and impress people. HA. When I was getting my plate of food afterward, someone asked what drink I wanted, and it was Allen Penney’s voice! I was so startled. It turned out to be a guy named Luke, and not Allen, disappointingly. However, Luke was nice too, as I discovered in my conversation with him. He is a young kid who sometimes comes to church here with his sister. I had talked to his sister before, but hadn’t happened to hear his astonishing voice. 🙂

15. On Sunday evening I went with Tricia to a birthday party/family gathering for a bunch of North Linn people that Norma, our neighbor, had invited us to. The North Linn church is a split from this one, or vice versa, many many years ago. They have somehow developed their own very interesting culture, complete with odd accents, and weird customs, which I guess is the result of years of being ingrown. It felt slightly like going to the Old Colony Mennonite church in Mexico, actually. The song they sang for their prayer was so intriguing. It started fast, and LOUD, then suddenly, bang, it was waaaay slower. Then everybody got quiet at the same spot too, at the end. It was an experience.

16. Well, that’s all you get this time. Ciao.

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