Wednesday, August 31, 2005

judgement day


are you ready? well I'm getting ready to head out of town this weekend for labor day weekend, and I can't help but think, gee is it ok to like try and enjoy myself while the ongoing news coverage reports on the effects of Katrina, for example the death toll is bound to rise. Well, still, I am looking forward to getting away this weekend from OKC and relax a little.
I have a new student that started coming Monday to the school here where I work at night. His name is Mehdi something. It's sort of funny but you know when I ask students what sort of language their name is and they say "Persian."..... I guess Americans are assumed to immediately consider anyone from Iran or Iraq or other "Persian" country a terrorist, so these people have learned to answer with "Persian." And it probably works the majority of the time here in Oklahoma, some friendly Okie would prolly just think, " oh, Persia, like the rugs, how exotic...hmmm." maybe not.
I was thinking about this bible study I went to in Honduras where we went through Micah, and how the preacher would talk about God commanding us to "do justice" and how this did not mean just being "just" as far as not doing wrong, but "doing justice" was taking care of your fellow man, for example the poor, widows, orphans, etc.... anyway, that guy challenged me to think about how Christians are quick to preach preach preach, but some maybe slow to actuallyl taking care of one another regardless of whether not a person converts to Christianity or not, just showing love to your fellow man, you know, because we're all God's creation in His image etc... I don't think our country is doing much to take care of the poor, in this country or this world. I mean as a nation, and so I wonder about God's judgment when I think of natural catastrophes. Can we deny that God has a hand in everything on earth? really I just sort of thought about that because of all the casinos that were reported to be destroyed, yet they had been "supporting a new economy" in the coastal towns of Mississippi. nothing to be proud of. also I was thinking about the whole party town of New Orleans and the Mardi Gras. But really I see it as judgement upon the nation as a whole.
When Benjamin Franklin first invented the lightening rod, which caused many lives saved at the time, people criticized him for going up against acts of God (the lightening). However, a God fearing man himself, Franklin argued that man created shelter to protect from hail or rain, why not create protection from lightening once a way was discovered to do so. Science is a good thing folks.
Yes, I've been watching the series on Benjamin Franklin on PBS Monday nights. they are really really good. Here's another little tidbit from my class last night. The Romans conquered Europe and forced them to speak Latin, so we have the latin based languages French, Italian, Spanish. However England was considered an "insignificant" island at the time so Caesar did not bother teaching them Latin. In England they had been conquered by the Anglo-Saxon-Jute which was a Germanic language. However when Normandy conquered England, once again they could have forced them to all learn French, but they considered the peasants not worth teaching French to. However, when the soldiers were left behind with British peasant wives, the French courts actually told the soldiers they could NOT teach them French, so anyway, the story ends with the Anglo-Saxon Germanic language being combined with French Latin-based and this ended up as English. Most languages have more or less 200,000 words, and the English language has like 522,000 words.
well this is more than anyone really cares about, but man I loved the lecture last night. I sat across the room from Susan btw. later, DTR

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Extra-large Medium


First day of school today. I have 3 returning 8th grade Asian students, and one new 8th grade Panamanian boy and his sister 6th grade. At the highschool I have one returning 11th grade Venezuelan girl and 10th grade Mexican girl, and then a new F.O.B. Vietnamese girl. So, a nice handful of students this year. I'll be testing the new kids' English the next few days and working out a schedule at the schools.
I ran into Robert Barger today at the middle school, put me in a spinning state of mind, completely threw me off guard. Why's that? well my best friend in the whole wide world, I mean GIRL, who knew me as well as my mom(almost) and of whom I've always thought we were meant to be, and was the "one that got away" is Robert's wife, Carissa. I've met him before like 5 or 6 years ago when they were living in Mustang and I was in Honduras, but I got to tell ya I was very comfortable that they've been living up far away near Woodward OK these past few years and I didn't have to think about her or running into her. I guess I've been real comfortable living with the past good memories and keeping it all in the past. He couldn't be a nicer guy of course, and I could easily visit with Carissa like it was yesterday prolly cause we go way way back together. but on the other hand, I got a Christmas postcard with their picture and two kids on it a couple years back, and yes, I was very rude not to reciprocate. But the selfish part of me, and the guy part that just can't get over it and all, decided not to try keeping in touch. Really just because I'm still single though without the family....... Anyway, It's cool that I may actually get to see an old friend now and like I said he really is completely the nicest guy. So you know, God works in ways we can not understand and doesn't life sometimes work sort of circular?
I was listening to NPR yesterday and they played some Brazilian music. I thought, that's cool, sort of like my celso Fonseca CD. then guess what, it was Celso Fonseca's NEW C.D. pretty cool, I drove straight by BOrders and bought it, "Rive Gauche Rio". CHECK IT OUT HERE and HEAR SOME TUNES: http://www.celsofonseca.com.br/sec_discografia_list.php that's the great thing of living in OKC, it's not huge or anything, but there are stores to be found and events to keep busy with (although yes limited compared to all other great big cities, but I'm content.) I was always unsure how I'd fit back into Siloam Springs if I had moved becuase I've become very used to the foreign movies at the art museum, the art museum in general, eating at restaraunts in the city, my volunteer work at the Memorial, and stuff like that. for example I'm getting psyched for this event coming up again this year that I did last year called "Art on Tap" at the art museum. They have samples of food from cool restaraunts and all this foreign beer to try, my favorite last year was a Thai beer called "Sing Ha"...? info here: http://www.okcmoa.com/special_artontap.htm
I started back at UCO last night, my hopefully last grad shcool class, Second language Acquisition. Doesn't that sound exciting, we'll be discussing all the theories and theorists concerning how a first language is learned, how asecond language is learned, age differences, environments, and teaching techniques. I have a lot of "friends" in the class from other ESL classes I've taken at UCO so it's sure to be a fun class. My professor was talking about her hearing problem and how she'd had surgery where they replace some bones with that of a cadaver's. so she makes the joke about "I hear dead people" which was really stretching it. While we are all introducing ourselves and stuff, this other lady joked about having cadaver bone used when they repaired her spinal column and that she was "the walking dead." SO ANYWAY, this girl named Susan in the back of the room, who has been in a couple of my classes and she is very heavy set and had heart surgery last summer, anyway she relates to us (seriously) the information that she speaks to the dead and has been a medium for the past couple of years, and then cracks the self depricating joke that she is an "extra large medium." Because she is rather fat, the class was left nervously laughing unsure. I turned to my classmate, Shaun(this really great ex-military newly married Christian guy from OBU) and said "remind me to stop speaking to Susan," but he one-ups me and says, " no, Dean, remind me to say a prayer for her." I just never would have guessed, a medium? ...DTR

Monday, August 22, 2005

MONDAY ---


hellooooo, I overslept this morning. I woke up to all the rainstorms at 4 am, and then again at like 530 am, and then there was a loud bang of lightning with roaring thunder that hit close to the neighborhood and it set off the tornado alarm. I knew it wasn't really a tornado cause of the wet weather, but I turned on the tv right quick to check, and yeah, just a lot of rain, so went back to sleep. I figured since I'd been woken up I prolly wouldn't wake up naturally at 730 so I set my alarm, I was half asleep so I ended up change the time, put it back right, then set the alarm for 730. Then I woke up at 845 later due to the fact I set the alarm for 730 pm. .....
good day back to school to find out my schedule and numbers of kids. No real students until Wednesday. I was driving to work behind this lady on her cell phone, and one thing I hate is getting behind someone talking on a cell phone on the highway and they start slowing from 65 to 60 or slower, ughhh makes me want to honk. There was a station reporting on more "bad" weather and I thought, its rain, why is that bad? we need both sun and rain, I guess prolly most like to control that sort of thing with the sprinkler. anyway, bad weather to me is like damaging storms. not RAIN.
here is a link to a tract Kirk did online :
http://www.secretfunspot.com/thislife.htm
And if I haven't mentioned it before, one of my best buds Brady CLine got married in Germay this summer and
some pics are here:
http://www.genors.blogspot.com/
And I was reading this page for a long time when I arrived at work tonight:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/london_blasts/victims/default.stm
It is a page with a tribute to all the london bombing victims. I find it interesting to relate to the reallife of these people. I guess because I volunteer at the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum, I try to keep up on facts about the victims there, so I began reading about those in London. For example isn't it sad that some of the victims had called loved ones to say they were safe and not on the tube that they normally took in the morning, but then got on just the wrong bus and became a victim anyhow. so sad. You can walk through what happened here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/london_blasts/what_happened/html/tavistock.stm
Can you believe one of them was only 18!! gee whiz just a poor brainwashed kid. the way I see it.
well anyhow, had a great routine weekend. you know every Saturday I am usually at the Art Museum downtown OKC having there Tilapia fish lunch, it is SO good, this baked breaded steak of fish over mashed potatoes in a butter sauce and these baby carrots. yum. laterz DTR

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

EBAY

KILLERS were great!( I will say that the Strokes who I saw two times on the same stage were completely polished with a drive going behind every song and extremely polished and tight.) however the Killers also were a tight band, and its such a great venue so the crowd is right there up close and personal in front of a stage and the lights and sound were all good. they played all the album songs, with "somebody told me" comoing 2/3 into the act, then the final song was "mr. Brightside" those two songs are the only ones with radio play here in okc, so they were the most energizing performaces with the crowd jumping along and singing. the last one was the best, prolly cause I like it so much anyway, the crowd cheered and cheered, and then they came out with an encore song, which was something I don't know so I left. I got there after work and had jsut enough time to get one draw beer, and then watch the band come out. Perfect timing, also I left during the encore song, so I was home by 10:40 just in time to watch Dave Letterman. the lead singer was this little guy with black hair, and a white shirt w/ black tie, and black sports coat. for the encore he had changed into a black shirt and white sportcoat. and they had this grea KILLERS sign up above with lights that would come on like a street sign and shine on the audience. ok enough of that, Killer yee haw!


here are some of the things I've purchased lately on ebay........movie soundtrack ALBUM, frankoma fish tray, concert ticket, luggage label, frankoma fish tray, dvd of Eames art videos.......... today more rain in OKC. I went to the mall today for some "back to school" shopping, although that doesn't really include the eight .99 cents candles i got at pottery barn, they were marked down from $6 so I couldn't resist the bargain, although it's pretty lame, but you just never know when the need for a cream colored conch shell candle may arise..... I did purchase two short sleeve polo shirts at J.Crew and a zipper up sweater thing at Banana Republic that I'm wearing right now in my airconditioned computer lab. enjoy your week everyone! DTR

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I believe I'm ready for the weekend

First I have to mention this site: http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/
I am an extremely visual person, photographs, art, imagery, geometry, outlines, plans etc.... you get the picture. So I found this site rather interesting to me because the guy posts a feww photos in the news and analyses what makes them political and/or appropriate to the story. SO not only do I get to read about the art of photography, the ideas of what is really being said(in this person's opinion) and of course this person's view on politics. Politics, doesn't everyone have a point of view on that? No, not really. You realize we are one of the few countries with a majority of citizens without a real political point of view. Sure, some may base it on, "well I believe in so and so religion so my point of view is this!" But thats a real scapegoat, follow-the-herd-blindly approach to having a point of view. Religious conviction is good, but if you use it for a political point of view then I want to SEE it used in every aspect of your life please, devoutly! (me included hey) We should all seek out the "why's" of what we believe, ask questions and continue to learn, be willing to see the point of view from both sides. Alas, I think most are content with being told what to believe, and/or follow the loudest most popular convincing leader throwing ideas out there to agree with. yeah, I'm talking politics or faith. I end it here.
I want to mention something else here. I was thinking about how countries like Iraq have a sort of tribal system going way back into history, and how hard it probably is for our American culture to understand why they can't just change and accept everyone in a free demcracy with everyone getting a vote and rights and all that.... peace freedom happiness blah blah. I mean really, didn't we kill off all the Indian tribes long ago, the only tribes now are the tribal corporations running gambling casinos on any tribal land, I mean any tribal ANNEXED land...(oops I digress).
anyway, I got to thinking about how people always think their way is best.... habit, custom, culture. Here in Christian America (used lightly) we have our own freedom to do and say and express anything we want, within others' rights. Wow that's freedom allright! Democratic Capitolism is supposed the be the last great idea (should be a reference here maybe Nietche?) However who is to say our way is the only way or best way. There is certainly nothing in the bible that says its the Christian way. I believe we may see the weakness of a powerful rich Democratic Capotilistic Republic society in that it ignores the multitudes of people who have been oppressed poor destitute desperate envious exploited used or other. It's money that sways the govt of this country in interacting, intervening, investing, aiding with other nations. And so then we have those who wish to attack this great nation. don't get me wrong it IS great. I love it.

I was also thinking about how in all the Star Trek episodes dealing with terrorists, the terrorists area always the victims or good guys, and the plante's govt or whatever has done something wrong or harm or misuse or treatment of the oppressed "rebel" society. This in no way compares much to USA and terrorists but I think its surreal that I used to think they were great futuristic story lines, little guy against planet's society system, Federation steps in and smacks th hand of both parties, exhorts wisdom and leaves them to grow in peace, butnow terrorists are a very real threat in modern day Earth! where is our Jean Luc Picard now???.... all right now I'm a big dork for bringing up star trek right?

I "won" a ticket on EBAY to the Killers concert for next Monday night!!! YEE HAW. I hadn't bought tickets cause I thought I'd be in AR this time of year, so I was going to get one on ticketnow.com but they were $75 last week, and $105 this week, so on ebay there was a dude in Tulsa with 1 ticket and I got it for $51. not BAD AT ALL!! SHWEET. They play at a place downtown which is a tight venue, small room going back and a stage you just stand in front of. I hope they rock live!

I wanted to show my tivoli radio. The battery recharges and I've been taking it outside with me to listen to oldies sometimes when I'm painting. anyway, I just love it cause you always see these Tivoli PAL radio's in magazines and modern home and stuff.
The last picture is one I'm including just cause it always makes me smile. I keep in touch by phone or email with students from my former employer, a school in Honduras . Some go to college in the states so I can mail them little gifts or notes. But these two girls Maria and Fabiola stayed to study in Honduras. so I only get emails and thank goodness some updated pics too because they grow so FAST. I taught these girls in my 7th and 8th grade English and math classes at Pinares. Actually I tutored Maria when she was a little 6th grader in a preppy little white cardigan buttoned over her green Pinares Uniform. She was serious quiet student, but get to know her and she has an opinion, she's a real thinker. They could both be stubborn kids, but this was only a sign of what independent motivated young adults they would become. Fabiola is also brilliant and I always think of her when I see that Miss Universe from India in all the Bollywood movies. Both Maria and Fabiola are beautiful and work at a hotel in Tegucigalpa with another really great kid, Augusto, who is in the background of the photo and used to love DragonballZ and even studied in Japan. That's where they took the pic I think. I can't believe they are beginning their second year of college this fall. grow so fast , like I said. I constantly send them helllos, with encouragemnt, prayers, and advice like "don't believe anything them boys tell you!". ha ha
have a good weekend all! DTR

Letter of Decline

This is the letter I sent out today upon request to the prinicipal, it sort of sums up my summer also.

Dear Mr. Wagner, August 10, 2005


This letter is a follow-up to our July 26th phone conversation which I had made to notify you of my decision not to take the E.S.L. teaching position that had been offered me at Southwest Junior High. Unfortunately I must decline the position as none of my plans for moving to NW Arkansas have fallen into place.
I had intended to purchase and live in a house in Siloam Springs that had been owned by Ralph and Pauline Henry. I had worked in the Henry’s daylily gardens for 7 years and grew to love them and the property. When Mr. Henry died at 93 in February this past year, I began to seek out a long planned dream of living again in Siloam Springs where I would be maintaining the centrally located property and gardens, continuing the cultivating of the Henry’s world famous daylilies, and potentially pursue the business of landscaping some day.
Just as soon as I was able to match my qualifications and experience with the right employment opportunity in Springdale, I began to pursue this dream of returning to Siloam Springs. I put my house up for sale and signed a contract for the Henry home. I expected everything to fall into place, but by June 30th my contract had run out. Before selling my property another offer was placed on the Henry home mid-July. I tried seeking out other properties in Siloam Springs but found nothing I could really put my heart into as a new home. I had yet to receive any offers on my house. Regardless of all the support and prayers from family and friends in Oklahoma City and Siloam Springs, I began to realize that God was closing doors by this point and not opening them.
It was an awfully difficult lingering decision to make, and although Springdale offered $15,000 more a year than my current job, I could not base the decision on income alone. I have decided to remain at Mustang Public Schools teaching students and developing the ESL program by training teachers and beginning community outreach to parents who also wish to learn English. I will also be able to finish my studies for a Masters in Education of E.S.L. at the University of Central Oklahoma.
I deeply regret the news coming to you so late in the summer as I was trying so hard to hold on to the possibility of the move. I was extremely interested in acquainting myself and learning more about the Marshalese culture, implementing sheltered instruction in my own content area classes, and experiencing and advocating the needs of the Latin and Marshalese community in Springdale. I was impressed by your enthusiasm for the priority of Reading and your authoritative and professional manner. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to experience teaching at Southwest Junior High, but I must decline the E.S.L. teaching position.


Sincerely,

Dean Reusser

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

WEDNESDAY


I was thinking about that lady in Texas today who is angry about her son dying and wants to ask Bush, "Why?". I respect that she is greiving and has a lot of strong feelings of emotion dealing with her son's death. I am not too happy about all the media coverage of this lady though. I was wondering WHY did her son join up in the first place, were they not aware of the possibility of war and fatal battle? I also have to think, did her deep concern about why people are dying in Iraq begin with her son's death? Has she always been in active protest of the Iraq war? Was she demanding answers when the first heroic American soldier died in Iraq or perhaps when the first Iraqi citizens were killed? Is it real answers she wants or just a lot of publicity and attention? is this drama and attention wanted to appease some chemical emotional need as part of her grieving process, or is it truly to bring attention to the politics of war and focus on why we have wars in this world in 2005, and which are "good" and which are "bad"? I respect the woman on t.v. having lost her son and wanting some answers, but it just made me think a lot.
for example, her son was not kidnapped and forced to join an African rebel army, where they are made to kill, rape, or maim victims as a process of the "war" of some impoverished unstable nations of Africa. I think about the luxury this mom and this son had growing up in this country, where the thought of getting killed in an actual war probably never seemed that close to home, and the luxury of not choosing to care about who you vote for or why( and I mean from the school board and city council all the way UP), as long as there is a Wal'Mart in town and gas prices aren't too high at the corner gas-mart. well I could go on but I'll end it. ( I love this country of course, and walmart)
my new thongs arrived in the mail today. For my generation, you know I'm talking about flip-flops right? I was outside painting my fence out back with a record player on the back porch and I was listening to Meatloaf," bat out of hell", album followed by John Denver "Spirit" and got a good 5 feet worth painted before I heared the UPS pull up out front.
here is a pic from the Havainas website of what I ordered;
they are extrememly comfortable flip-flops, I know they look walmarty but these are rubber and cushy.... .later DTR
----read about the past in Liberia Africa here, ->http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/743684.stm or read about the present in Sudan here-- if you even really care..... I mean what can we do anyway.....? --->http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3496731.stm

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

picture feature




bone to pick

well I'm not happy at all with this oldies radio station I've been listening to lately. I mean the station is one of the oldest in okc, since i was a kid, that just plays good ole swell oldies non stop. ANyway, I like the idea of a sort of "family" radio station. and yet......they have this ad that plays over and over about this wife saying she's sick of work, and the husband saying , how about a casino weekend in Tulsa.... Woo Hoo.... yeah that's a family value, leave the kids home and go gamble away your life savings. WHy not promote the great outdoors of Oklahoma this time of year for vacations anyway. I don't know. just don't like it. another ad came on where these women are talking about another woman's hair and every time they say "shit" there is a bleep. again not a nice message at all. but I do liek the oldies. I have been listening to it this week in particular because I have been painting some detail on my house. also I am painting my picket fence white outside, which is taking a lot longer of a nasty time than I realized to begin with. BUT, I like the sort of discipline and reward of sticking with a job and seeing it done regardless of how repetitive it can be. I also jsut enjoy having a constructive project to do outdoors. Its part of the freedom of not having classes anymore, and a quick rush to enjoy the time of doing things to the house while I still have free time before school starts this fall.

I have a new interest, EAMES furniture. I can't get enough of searching what's available online on ebay. although when I really get into something like this, I have no want for any reproduction, only ORIGINAL stuff. there was an unbelievable chair with eiffel tower legs that I did not win on EBAY. because, oh yeah I suck at making offers on ebay. either my timing is all off or I just don't put in my biggest bid in time or stuff just not meant to be.
ANyway, I got this great rare deck of cards designed by Charles Eames from the 70's world fair. it is AWESOME. and I'm reading a nonfiction book currently by their grandson which i've been enjoying immensely. I can tell I like it, cause I'm treating it like when i read a fiction book i really like, where I won't finish reading it on purpose to prolong the experience. he he
have a good summer all.....