Donnerstag, 26. März 2015

The man so nice I married him twice

My mom got married for the second time in 2000. She waited for all of her children to leave the nest and then moved in with her partner of 12 years.
A few weeks later, she invited my boyfriend at the time and I to dinner and then surprised us with a justice of the peace and we witnessed their official union and then ate lamb.
A few years and a few boyfriends later, I married my partner twice. The first time was a civil ceremony on our dating anniversary - March 27th. The second one was the real one: July 21st.
I like celebrating both because they both feel significant. And also, my mom did so I'm gonna.

Montag, 23. März 2015

AtoZ blogging challenge

I sometimes forget that my blog exists or that it gives me pleasure to write entries for it. Also, there's something that I've been meaning to look into. So I've decided to combine the two and try the AtoZ April blogging challenge. I've combined it with
I'm writing about this in March because March 23rd is the day that those who have chosen a theme reveal it.
My theme will be Swiss Government. Pretty clever, huh? I'll be studying for my inevitable citizenship exam and blogging.
I hope that it will be interesting.

Sonntag, 15. März 2015

myth and memory

When Ivo and I were in Tula, we visited the grave of Dyunyasha. She was a mythical figure who'd protected the city against the Germans, all on her own. The story was that there were so few men fit to fight in the city, but those that could manned the border. Dyunyasha supposedly went into no man's land and worked magic that kept the Germans from invading. As the savior of the city, she was treated as a saint and women and couples visited her, petitioning her for their safety or fertility or marriages. When we visited, we bowed to Dyunyasha the way the other visitors did and i find that I  think of her often.
This Friday, on the first anniversary of my mother's death, we went to see the black Madonna in Einsiedeln. On my way home, I thought about my mother, who's my own personal Dyunyasha. In my memory (and the story I will tell my children) my mother was a savior.
We were on our way home from school one day when an incredible downpour started. Mom encouraged us to embrace it and splash around in it, as we'd no where to go but our warm dry home, but when we were crossing a storm drain tunnel, a young man asked for my mom's help. His friend was trapped in some debris in the fast filling tunnel. And my mom saved that boy.
I have no idea how much of that is true, how fast paced, how mortally dangerous. I only know that my mom helped a boy in a flash flood and I bow to her. My mama Dyunyasha McDonald

Donnerstag, 12. März 2015

9 extra floors

I'm teaching past continuous vs past simple. In the Pre-intermediate book, there is a couple who met in Blackpool, broke up, and then married 50 years later.
I naturally plan a lesson where they watch all the interstitial scenes from When Harry Met Sally. I ask questions that can only be answered if they  really listen. The only question for the couple that met in Chicago despite having been born, lived and worked mere feet from one another in New york is "Why is it remarkable that they met in Chicago?" This couple speak over one another. The man is telling the story and the woman is dropping in relevant details to flesh out the story. One student complained this week that they were too difficult to understand, because they were speaking over one another. Another student said "but this is how couples speak! It's important to learn." The first student said "I don't intend to ask English speakers how they met."
So that's that.
I also finished this lesson with Tim Minchin's If I Didn't Have You. But I helpfully printed out the lyrics, as they're delivered quickly and in an Australian accent.

Mittwoch, 4. März 2015

"I took off my glasses. She took off her glasses. I took a step toward her. She took a step toward me...."

People say that if you look back, you'll miss what's in front of you, or something like that. But there are apps to show you what you were doing this time last year, 4 years ago, 6 years, etc.... I'm nearing the end of my first year without my mother and looking back to this time last year comes to me unbidden and painful.

John Irving and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross and moist-faced family members with arms outstretched all seem to have had the opinion that the first year is the hardest. We shall see then, shall we? 
This time last year I was heading to my mother, knowing that her light was dimming but unsure how long we'd have her. 
This time in 2012, I was increasingly aware that my pregnancy was not taking and that I would soon miscarry. 
This time in 2004, before facebook or instagram (indeed, in those days when friendster was slowly becoming passé) I was regularly flirting with the man who would become my husband, wondering if he was truly worth pursuing, as I would soon be heading to Philadelphia. 

I quit smoking at 26. I'd begun smoking at 13 and didn't want to be a smoker longer than I'd been a non-smoker. I looked back to plan the future.

I lost my lower intestine at age 16. I am now 33 and have lived longer without a lower-intestine than I lived with it. This experience of losing an organ, which felt so dramatic, signified this short period in my life of an excessively long digestive tract.

I look forward to having known Ivo longer than I didn't (only 9 years to go) and changing beside him as he changes and seeing how those new people, who are foreign to our current selves, will relate to one another and these us-es.

but tomorrow is another day