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Here I be, in China! I've begun teaching, and it's great. There are more kids than I'm ever going to learn the names of, but those who want to get to know the foreign teacher are welcome to - many of them are so sweet and friendly! The other teachers are OK, too - I've already made friends from China, the US, Canada, England, the Philipines.... The city's pretty un-diverse, though - I feel like a celebrity as I walk down the streets. I get stares that would be decidedly un-PC in the states, but here it's just so unusual to see someone with different color skin, and I guess it's not rude. If I'm in a good mood, I'll put on a little show; if I'm cranky, I'll stare back till they snap out of it. Actually get more laughs that way :)

I have successfully completed my TESL/TEFL training in Denver, and will soon have a CELTA certificate in hand. Now to find a job in China! (I hear there are plenty, so I'm not worried, I just don't like job-hunting.)
My parents also just returned from a month-long trip - they were exploring south-east Asia, searching for God's direction on where they are to move in the next few years. Nothing was decided, but they had a great time and met with lots of people. They also celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary!
I've been updating my bookstore, but that's it for the moment. I'd encourage you to check out my review of Looking for God in Harry Potter, by John Granger. Happy shopping! (05/05)
Another school year is entering the home stretch, and I can hardly wait for summer to hit! I've been working as an assistant teacher in a program for at-risk 4- and 5-year-olds as they get ready to enter kindergarten next fall. They can be so precious, so precocious, and so frustrating! I'll now know what to expect when I have kids (or nephews, or neices, or grandkids...) of my own that age, but I hope that's the only major use I'll ever have to make of the experience.
I'll be taking a class in TESL/TEFL this summer, studying how to teach English to people who wish to learn. In the fall, I head to China to use what I've learned!
I've seen all 3 new Star Wars movies at their midnight openings now, and each experience was a memorable time with a friend (Erynne, Jocelyn, and my Dad). This time I enjoyed the effects and costumes, as usual. The writing was cheesy and the acting wooden yet again (was he acutally a better writer when he wrote the first trilogy, or are the old actors just better at making dumb dialog sound good?). The only different thing: the violence. Ugh! I lost track of how many times I covered my eyes. A reviewer said the graphic violence here has a point, and, yes, it is relevant to the plot, but I couldn't help comparing it to "To End All Wars," one of the two R-rated films I've seen in a theater (the other is "The Passion of the Christ"), and when contrasted with the true story of forgiveness and healing in the midst of war, where each act of violence only magnified the power of forgiveness, Lucas' flight of violent fancy simply seemed grotesque.

It's happened. *sigh* I'm moving back in with the folks. There just aren't enough job opportunities available in the Baltimore area - even though I've been living up there, I've been having more interviews down here in Virginia Beach. I hold out hope that I will soon have a full-time (or really well-paying part-time) job, and be able to get my own place. Hey, the mortgage on the house here is in the same neighborhood as the amount I was paying in rent the last six months, and my little studio was the cheapest I could find. Maybe I'll just buy a small house! :) Or maybe not - there is the little matter of a down-payment. Plus property taxes, maintenance, and all that jazz.
I'm looking for work in the communications industry, more specifically, in the media. TV stations, movie crews, anything related to that stuff, it's right up my alley. The market isn't a huge one, but God will lead and provide, and he can use me anywhere (that should be reassuring, I tell myself).
Make sure you take the time to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

Congratulate me! I'm now a college graduate. I got my bachelor degree in Elementary Education, magna cum laude and all that jazz. The job hunt continues. If you're looking for a teacher, I'm still available!
Meanwhile, I'm hanging at home and going through some of the old stuff in my room. I've found some papers I may just type up and post here, starting with the play my second grade reading group wrote back in 1988. It was one of my proudest achievements, and possibly my only starring role as an actress, too! (Well, I was a title character... I didn't really have any more lines than everyone or anything like that.) You can find The Princess and the Dragon on my writing page.
I've also updated my bookmarks with some sites from a PC Magazine article. I even found out that Tripod has a limit of how long a page can be, and had to split the bookmarks onto two pages! There may be a new joke or two on the humor page, but that's it until I get some more of my childhood memories typed/scanned in between job hunting sessions.
Happy birthday, Mom and Dad. You're now 110! ;)

I have added a page of my jots and doodles and updated the humor and scrapbook pages a little.

My third film goes into production tomorrow and I have my pitch ready for the fourth one. It's going to be really cool, IF I get to make it. Only six people get to direct the last project, and everyone else is hired as crew and actors. If I don't get to direct my project, I hope to edit someone else's.
We've now watched Easy Rider, the first R-rated film and not going on my favorites list, and this week, Apocolypse Now, also not likely to get watched again, but admired for its production values and design. Too bad it brings back memories of that horrid high school reading assignment it was based on (Heart of Darkness).
A movie that I chose to see was Russian Ark. It was quite amazing, though a bit slow at times. Still... I doubt there will be many others like it. I also watched Rope, a film with the seams hidded so that most of it looks like one shot. Or like a play. Anyway, they were both good but I won't buy Rope and would only buy Russian Ark for the novelty value (though parts of it were extremely beautiful).
And now the job search begins. Anyone want to hire a teacher fresh from LA? I can sew!
I've updated a couple of things on the Humor page.

February is winding down, it's chilly, rainy, and I've got a cold. So much for the 75 degree sunny LA I met in January. :-S On the bright side, things are going well here. I've got an internship, classes, a cool roommate in a cool apartment, and some friends. My plants even survived the trip out here and are adapting to living outside (though the violet is not liking it). Mr. Ghoti didn't come - I felt it would be cruel to make him travel for a week in his old age - but I'm surviving without him.
I've made my first actual film. We were given a 2:30 film to shoot on, then edit it down to a 30 second clip using Final Cut Pro, which thankfully resembles the Avids I used back at Huntington. It was a little jerky (the film, or the camera? we aren't sure) but came out very well. I even got a big laugh from my class when we screened them.
We watch a movie each week for class; this week it was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That's the last time I watch one of those without the Mystery Science Teater 3000 guys making smart alec remarks to keep me grounded - I get scared too easily. It was interesting, though. We've also seen On the Waterfront, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Double Indemnity, Sullivan's Travels, and Sherlock Jr.. Next week we get into color (and music) with Singin' in the Rain. Goody.
Looking foward to March's transformation from lion to lamb. Have a good one!

A new year has begun! Somehow I can't muster much enthusiasm for a number like 2003, but the group we had here for the evening was great, and the image of us all holding our glasses up and saying "Happy New Year!" is one that will be special. I wish I had a camera, but a 2D photo with my flash would not have done it credit anyway.
The semester of student teaching is over, and I'm getting ready to head to LA for a semester of courses and an internship in the film industry. I don't know yet what in area my internship will be... I was thinking about asking for one with Weta, but those trans-Pacific flights just kill me. :) The great thing is that I'd love to do just about anything involved in the industry. I wish I could try it all!
For an interesting film, check out "Russian Ark," a film made in Russia (duh) all in one shot - that's right, a full-length film in one take, no cuts, fades, whatever. Check out Russian Ark at the Wellspring site, and the trailer at the Apple Trailer site (you'll need QuickTime). Looks very cool.
On one last movie note, I've seen The Two Towers, and I have managed to be elated and disappointed at the same time. I absolutely love Smeagol - they made him in such a way that you can indeed pity him. Either Frodo's not so scared all the time or I'm getting used to his wide-eyed expression. Sam's really good (anyone reading anything perverted into their relationship will be banned from my site). And Jackson got everything done that needed to be done, for the most part. But among the many changes, he took something away from the Ents, the Elves, and Faramir. Just because we don't think like Tolkien's characters, doesn't mean he needed to change them to make them like us. The Ents are supposed to know what's going on in the forest and choose to help by fighting Saruman, Elrond isn't supposed to be a selfish domineering father, and Faramir is supposed to be wiser than his older (and dead) brother, Boromir. At this point, I don't think he deserves Eowyn, never mind having the ability to counsel her when she's almost suicidal. Just like skipping those scenes of Legolas and Gimli bonding in the first movie removed any chance of our expecting the elf to defend the dwarf to Eomer, so this will shortchange one of the happy loose-end-tying endings. He also tries to trick us way too many times. For goodness sake, the fate of the world's at stake, you don't have to fake every character's death two times over for us to be worried and engaged. I feel manipulated, and I know how it's going to end. Are all movies like this???
Anyway, even with all that, it's still amazingly made (may I have a copy of Massive and Grunt?), and he did get some of the priceless moments in there (the body-count competition, for example). I don't like everything he's done with the story, but I suppose if it was going to be made today by a scary-movie maker, it came out pretty well all-told. I can't wait to watch the 4-DVD set I got for Christmas. Then watch TTT again looking for the mistakes listed on The Internet Movie Database.
Happy New Year, everyone. Frodo lives!

It's September and the weather is finally getting bearable. Thank you, Lord!
I've begun student teaching here at Central Elementary. The children are great. I'm working with a third grade class or 22. I'm already teaching math and in charge of various other classroom duties. Soon I'll be responsible for everything.
I'm enjoying life (most of the the time) in my house full of girls. There are 7 of us. It's wild and crazy.
Time to get back to teaching!

So, how's everybody doing this wonderful month of April? Life here at Huntington College is moving right along. They moved spring break back to meet Easter, so we just finished our first week back at school. The April showers are confused and have come instead as April show. Boo. Why couldn't that have happened back in February? Or December? *sigh*
Well, I'm enjoying a lovely Katy Bowser concert at the moment :) Her style is her own... and kinda fun, too. Check her out!
So, the search for a summer job is moving along... the plans to see Europe in August are growing more slowly... and the unit I have to develop for my ed class this semester has yet to begin! I wonder what I should base it on?...
Hey, if anyone out there knows how to combine image maps and mouse-over/roll-over things, let me know... I'm trying to make a new welcome/menu page, but after a two or three or four images that both roll over and map, the page... breaks. Go figure. Send me an e-mail if you know what to do, thanks!
The store is finally updated.
So, that's all the news from Lake Snowtip, where all the women are ed majors, all the men are outnumbered, and all the children walk by holding a rope after chapel!

A Merry Christ-mas to all, and God bless us, everyone!
I've just seen The Lord of the Rings. A big thank-you to Tom Gillikin and everyone else who urged me to continue from C. S. Lewis to Tolkien. I very much enjoyed the books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and I love Samwise Gamgee in a way I've not loved a book character before . I only wish I hadn't known going into the film that he was 9 years married and a father - not that I am in love with the actor, but it's hard to see him as Elijah Wood's servant! Anyhow, I've written up my Lord of the Rings Thoughts, if anyone wants to read my opinion. Better yet, go see it and form your own!
It is good to be home again for a few days. I've missed it from time to time... well, I'd better go help my Mom in the kitchen!

--In your perusement of my plethera of pages, please let me know of any malfunctioning links; I'd hate to be pointing anybody in the wrong direction!--

Photo courtesy of my pal Jon Green.

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