I want to write something but I'm not sure how. I wish I could open my mouth let out a jumble of words and letters and be sure that they would all find their correct place on the keyboard and come to you just as I wish they would. Feeling like I'm in a little stream of consciousness so I'll just go with that.
Amia found her feet.
Went to Panera's. Didn't have email access so I paid the voluntary fee of a hazelnut soy latte and sat using Panera's wireless connection but had to go because Suzanne was waiting at home (in-laws) for me to get back with movies in tow.
Spoke with my dad and brother.
Related to my brother's feeling that mom is helping him as he is now a teacher (of culinary arts) with difficult children who need is help and he knows he can do something good for them. Also related to having excellent, fun, wonderful days teaching where truth and beauty come through a student's eyes, sometimes pushing tears of happiness through my own. Also have days where you wish you could barricade yourself at home behind a wall of books, movies, games, and memories.
Visited my mom. It was cold and in the rain, but the scene was beautiful. I can't believe one of the people I love most in the world is in the earth. Said many prayers, asked for things, rewarded with a feeling of living life to the marrow, as she so often did.
Have glimpsed the unimaginable love I am developing for Amia.
Have glimpsed my fear that something will happen to Amia and I will not be able to love her here.
Have spent many a laugh with friends, being reminded of what it means to be a child and what it could mean to be an adult.
Was called Mr. Silly by a beautiful little girl with exceeding amounts of energy.
Have felt the joy of coming home.
Have felt the loneliness in the voice of a sister far away, and almost tasted the relish with which she will greet her family when she sees them.
Got a new book written in and about a place I will likely never visit but will soon know.
Felt thankful for life passing a terrible accident on the highway.
Had Thai food for dinner, and am about to watch The Terminal.
Rested well today. The weekend was rough. My alarm clock: 9am. Amia's own alarm clock: 6:45am.
Saturday I was a burrito delivering madman. The busiest day so far. I was busy with back-to-back deliveries from 11-4.
Wasn't that hungry by the pre-Thanksgiving feast. I think I was exhausted from working.
I did have a cool dream though. I was working for a marketing firm and I was working for a trucking company that towed cars. I had an amazing breakthrough. The campaign goes like this: Imagine a car stuck on the highway, late at night, in the middle of a blizzard. In comes one of the companies trucks and helps the car. Fade in text: Wherever, Whenever. Never, whatever. In my dream this was the ad that was going to make me partner. You heard it here first. If you see this on TV someday you'll know where they got it.
Yesterday I had an interview that went ok. I was nervous at first, plus kind of tired and fighting a cold, so all my thoughts were kind of jumbled up in my head. About midway through I feel like I hit my stride though, so hopefully everything averaged out.
Today I did a presentation for my evaluation class. We had to 'be a theorist', meaning we had to represent a theorists ideas on a panel while the class asks us questions. The theorist I chose, unbeknownst to me, is a bit difficult to wrap one's head around because he writes about very complex things. It's a philosophy, like I mentioned in a previous post, that approaches evaluation from a very different standpoint than traditional evaluation. It has completely different ideas about how to do it, why we do it, the things necessary for an evaluator, how we know something, whether we can really know something objectively, stuff like that. Apparently I did well because the professor said she's going to tell the person I was representing how I did and how I articulated his ideas. That made me happy. I was a bit nervous because it's kind of an oral examination, except it's in front of the professor and my peers.
Then tonight was cake night at the Center! It was great. I'm fully expecting to feel the effects later this week, but right now I'm feeling good.
Oh, I should say that the reason there haven't been any pictures lately is because we can't find the battery charger for the camera. Hopefully we'll have something soon. She's growing and things are being missed. Amia's also been sick for a while with a cold, so that's a bummer for all of us.
Gone on a walk with the ladies in between classes in a fun new park we had no idea existed! It was all Amia could do to stay awake. She fell asleep first as I was holding her, then as Bahiyyih held her. Recently as she falls asleep it feels like she gains 20 pounds...
Had a really interesting class where a guest speaker came in to talk about the moral questions involved in program evaluation. He's been one of the primer movers in the field of evaluation to point out that the field shouldn't primarily concern itself with methodoligical (a term not used to refer to methods but the perspective from which one evaluates something) or technical questions, trying to arrive at more efficient ways to arrive at evaluative judgements, but rather the moral questions involved and how one can live more fully as a human being and use evaluation to center that discussion. The focus, he says, should be to balance development of a set of skills, like experiment design or interviewing methods, with an underlying committment to helping people live better by asking moral questions. So instead of, Does this program work?, it should be, Does it lead to a better world?, What do we understand to be a better world?
Before I took this class I thought evaluation was a pretty straightforward thing. You research a program, decide if it's meeting its goals, then write up what you found. But it's REALLY complex. There are all these epistemoligical issues, centering around how you know something and whether you can really know something quantitatively or qualitatively and whose definition of knowing something we should use, and what the purpose of evaluation should be, whether it should be to provide a summative judgement like Consumer Reports (one of the major theorists in the field actually uses that model) does, or whether moral and normative questions are primary. Then, how close should you get to the program you're studying? A more scientific approach would say to stay as distant as possible to reduce bias. A more humanistic approach says get as close as possible because all we are is bias and perspective so why try to get rid of it. It's a really interesting course and I'm really lucky to be at a school where literally the people who are shaping the field are coming in to talk with us...
Pimped out our Corolla with shades. One for the back window and two for the rear passenger windows. Now Amia's all too sensitive eyes will not be blasted with sunlight whenever we go somewhere.
With getting ready for the college club weekend at Louhelen I wasn't really able to enjoy Halloween to its fullest, and I was missing that because it's one of my favorite holidays. The weather, decorations, movies and scary stories we all tell each other here all combine to make it a perfect holiday to immerse yourself in.
So, the other day I was shown this German commercial and really enjoyed it. Let's say I really knew I was alive after watching it. Now that you've already gotten more of a warning than I did, please read the disclaimer.
Disclaimed: Do not go to this link if you a) startle easily and are prone to yelling (like I often find myself) and/or are surrounded by other people who are likewise easily startlable, b) have a mild to serious heart condition, c) do not like to be scared and/or your name begins with Nathan Bishop, d) have a baby in your lap, or e) do not like German coffee commercials.