Thursday, December 31, 2009

I’m ready for tattoo number two. Maybe…

Just three hours ago, I got my first tattoo! A symbolic image of a dancer and a cross blended together. Actually, I’m surprised at how much of a jerk the tattoo artist was about my so-called “abstract” design. And if I weren’t so determined to have it done today, I probably would have taken my “anatomically impossible” design to someone who was more open-minded…But that hasn’t dissuaded me from planning out my second tat!

My next idea is inspired by the organization called “To Write Love on her Arms.” Like my first tattoo (Yay!), this one will also be a blended image: a cross with the word “love” scrolling down the center beam. I love the symbolism of my new design. I love that it references TWOLA organization and the victims my heart goes out to. And I love that the word “love” can mean so much more than just caring for others in need. A quick Internet search showed these common connotations of the word “love”: adoration, brotherly love, compassion, deep appreciation, infatuation, puppy love, romantic love, and unconditional love.

I thought about the various types and how each might be represented in my new tattoo and I came to the conclusion that my design doesn't really focus on the types of love but the quality of love. And I believe the following can improve the quality of just about any type!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I pondered this list for a while and determined that I couldn’t describe love's goals any better on my own. So that’s where I’ll stop. Now whether my newest design ends up on a tattoo or just a painting in my kitchen, I'm excited that I've found a way to visually represent these ideas about the quality of Love! (Oh and if anyone forgot, that description is from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV. Who knew that the depth of my love, and of my tattoo design, would both come from the Bible?!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"'Tis the Season" (Yes, 'tis still!)

I’ve recently decided that this is one of my favorite holiday phrases: it provides the cliché ambiguity I need to communicate a variety of ideas and that same ambiguity allows the recipients of the phrase to interpret my ideas however they see fit.

After someone (No names, please!) has eaten too many pieces of mint fudge, “’tis the season” acknowledges the humor of gorging ourselves on holiday treats. After an act of kindness to a hurting stranger, “’tis the season” serves as a word of encouragement.

But I often find myself trapped behind my favorite holiday phrase: in my attempt to be politically correct, I allow people to interpret “’tis the season” as they wish, not as I fully intend. I wish I could emphasize to everyone that “the season” is really THE season. I wish I could use it to declare the Love of the CHRISTmas season!

Sure, the winter holidays each have their advantages (Thanksgiving turkey and potatoes, Christmas fudge and Rudolph, New Year’s resolutions made to be broken), but that’s not all this season means to me. I also want to respect the other religious beliefs, and even the humor about Chrismahanukwanzakah, but I’m saddened by the social-political pressure to hide my holiday beliefs so as not to offend others. I want to honor their beliefs, and I hope they can honor mine.  Plus, Christmas is not meant to offend people: it’s about love and acceptance! To me, the “season” is Christmas: the remembrance of the physical manifestation of God’s Love for us. It is the season when everyone should remember-- or learn-- that as humans, we all need the forgiveness and Love only offered by God and his Son.  

I don’t want my phrase to imply “I’ll have another piece of fudge if you will” or “I’m happy to help with your holiday needs.” All I want to say is “This is the season that makes the other seasons worth living. This is the season when Christ changed history by changing the future of mankind. This is the Christmas season and it is THE season.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

i KNEW it!

Curvy women may be a clever bet                                                                                                
Women with curvy figures are likely to be brighter than waif-like counterparts and may well produce more intelligent offspring, a US study suggests. (Posted by our friends at the BBC:                                            Researchers studied 16,000 women and girls and found the more voluptuous performed better on cognitive tests - as did their children.
The bigger the difference between a woman's waist and hips the better.
Researchers writing in Evolution and Human Behaviour speculated this was to do with fatty acids found on the hips.
In this area, the fat is likely to be the much touted Omega-3, which could improve the woman's own mental abilities as well as those of her child during pregnancy.
Men respond to the double enticement of both an intelligent partner and an intelligent child, the researchers at the Universities of Pittsburgh and California said.
The findings appear to be borne out in the educational attainments of at least one of the UK's most famous curvaceous women, Nigella Lawson, who graduated from Oxford.
But experts are not convinced by the findings.
"On the fatty deposits being related to intelligence front, it's very hard to detangle that from other factors, such as social class, for instance, or diet," said Martin Tovee of Newcastle University.
"And much as we logically like the idea that men are interested in the waist to hip ratio, it actually features relatively low down the list of feature males look for in a potential partner."

My thoughts? But of course...
1) Does this mean our British friends will now appreciate the vivacious shapes more prominent in the good ol' USA? Maybe just wishful thinking.
2) Do you suppose any of those 16,000 participants were truly happy after hearing the results? The "waifs" just found out their brains are second-rate and the smart ones just found out they were in this study because their back sides were too big to be in the skinny crowd.
3) I LOVE the claim that "men respond to the double enticement" of a smart partner and smart offspring. But I'm pretty sure that Sir Mix A Lot would claim something else as the double enticement! And I'm more likely to agree with him. That makes me think this research is actually from some skinny, second-rate thinkers. :)
Well, I'd love to share more opinions but I must prepare for my next lesson: brownies are calling me! And I plan to be especially brilliant tomorrow!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Out of Context? Or Out of Line?

Despite some very insightful discussions with my seniors and a rather productive choreography session with my dance team officers, my day also produced some very unusual and alarming statements. How did this happen to me all in one day?

1. A text message with choreography notes from one of my officers: "The first part of the song is at 0:36 but that has making love to something innocent so we'll have to edit."
2. After apparently observing my facial expressions for several days, an officer said, "You always stick your tongue out when you get excited. You do it when you're teaching too." Her re-enactments followed. Seriously???
3. After teasing about my tongue/facial expressions and how I sometimes say :P when texting, that same student joked, "Mrs. Hein, why do you keep licking me?"
4. When trying to recall a new dance move, one of my choreographers asked, "We stepped on the waitress, right?"
5. A joke told by a senior at the start of class: "Why couldn't the ghost have babies? Because he had Hollow Weenies." Another student's response: "He had more than one?"
6. While concentrating, a student began making swishy noises with her mouth. For some reason, I told her, "You sound like a LISTERINE® commercial."
7. While telling of a prank he played on a girl at lunch, a student nervously proclaimed, "I didn't know if I should smack that." (Get on the floor...Smack that...Just for you, M/J/K/J!)
8. When my captain realized she'd said something the same way I would have, she announced, "You know, Mrs. Hein, you and I are really twins. Only with a 20 or 40 year difference." Wow, thanks!
9. That same captain later said, "You know what I always want to call you, Hein? 'Heineken.' But since you won't tell us your age, there's a chance you might be underage and wouldn't know that's an alcohol." Yeah, because the other option is that I'm still 18?
And the winner is...
10. A complete misuse of the homophone "but/butt" following my mini-lesson on appropriate use of commas and conjunctions! A student returned from lunch and recorded the following on the whiteboard: "I want to purchase this butt... said by Mrs. Hein at 10:45AM." Then he acted surprised to see it there and asked, "Whose butt do you want to buy?"

You know, in the last few years I've learned to enjoy a more relaxed classroom atmosphere with my students. But this is not what I had in mind! Man, am I glad it's Friday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Taking one for the team!

I've already admitted my own impatience but there is a time and a place, people! On my way back from Bellevue this weekend, signs started directing cars to prepare for the upcoming construction by merging into a single lane. About a mile after people started merging, I became frustrated that the second lane was still open and people were still zipping past those who were respecting the merge. After at least 2 dozen cheaters blazed by, my co-pilot gave me a brilliant suggestion: we could take one for the team.

So taking advantage of my new dominance as a BadAss SUV driver, I pulled my bright red Equinox in front of the cheaters and slowed back down to 10 mph. The Honda next to me nodded and kept a space open for my return as I drove the next mile in front of all the would-be speeders! I laughed aloud as one by one the speedsters zipped up to me then resigned themselves back to the slow lane. Only once did a selfish little sports car have the nerve to pass me on the shoulder; everyone else was forced to suffer their own impatience with the rest of us.

The moral of my story: controlling the impatience of others is apparently entertaining enough to settle my own need for speed. Oh, and protecting the integrity of the merge makes me feel like I've somewhat compensated for polluting our environment with my new SUV.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mode: Repeat

I've been informed that most "normal" people don't listen to the same song on repeat for days BUT since I'm clearly "normal" in every other way, I'll admit this unusual little quirk. My musical obsessions usually take one of two forms: "some'in' you can dance to" (Missy quote, case in point) or emotional undertow. Since the former provides less fodder for discussion (and makes me sound less smart), I'll request suggestions for the latter.

My emotive repeats usually have a billowing melody line and gentle but pulling rhythm, highly connotative lyrics, and vivid images. (And no, that's not due to my degrees. I'm pretty sure these preferences caused my interest in teaching music/English.) Their content varies though. Some are encouraging, others are melancholy, and several are quite spiritual. They don't necessarily have to parallel my current situations; they just have to pull me in.

Some of my recent repeats:
Wrapped in Your Arms, Fireflight
C.S. Lewis Song, Brooke Fraser
Deciphering Me, Brooke Fraser
Closing In, Imogen
The Moment I Said It, Imogen
Beautiful Disaster, Kelly
See His Love, Kim Walker

And I'm only partially sorry for listing these. I never tire of them.
Perfect, Alanis
Never is a Promise, Fiona
Name, Goo Goo Dolls
Don't Speak, No Doubt

That's my initial list. What am I still missing?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why am I so petrified of silence? (Yep, that's an Alanis quote.)

When I wrote my first (and otherwise only) blog, I stated that I did not intend to be a real blogger, and so far I have been true to my word. Thus the name of my humble page: The Silence between the Notes. I hope you’ve enjoyed my silence but here comes another note.

Lately, I’ve really been pondering our society’s struggle with silence and absence and patience. For example, several friends have teased me about the absence of my blogs. But why is a long absence such a bad thing? Does silence, absence, or patience decrease our quality of life in some way? Why are we so impatient with such silly things in life?

I want to enjoy the silence around me and to become more patient and yet I still…

  • Stop the microwave with 1 second left because I just can’t wait any longer.
  • Start my DVR-ed programs 15 minutes late just so that I can fast forward through commercials.
  • Grunt when my computer can’t keep up with how fast I want to type.
  • Anxiously stare at my cell phone as if it will speed up that return text or voice message.
  • Talk on the speakerphone while driving so that I don’t let driving time go to waste.

What are we trying to gain through our false sense of productivity these days? Is it possible that we’re losing more than we’re gaining? Shouldn’t I appreciate all that technology allows me to accomplish instead of complaining that it slows me down? Shouldn’t the anticipation of that returned phone call be an exciting thing, not a stressful one?

My sister, Kasey, says that our frantic rush for productivity is largely about control. I find it ironic that we’re only controlling “things,” not actual situations. I’ve fast forwarded the commercial but I still won’t get to bed before 11 because that’s when the show ends. We’ve communicated with twice as many people via text, phone, and computer but chances are that we haven’t added anything to the quality of our lives through those communications. As with this post, for example, I have written all these words but have produced no more answers than if I were still just sitting here thinking--in silence.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Questions from a beginning blogger

Let me start by saying (and since this is my blog, I guess you can’t stop me…) that I did not, and sort of still don’t, plan to actually consider myself a blogger. I really only signed up for an account so I could comment on friends’ blogs. But then Megan suggested I post something, and I thought this was fitting.

Questions from a beginning blogger

1) Who ever decided that every goober with a keypad (Me included, I suppose.) should be able to share their thoughts with a blog?

2) Why are people so fascinated with reading other peoples’ thoughts on myspace/facebook/blogs despite the fact that they rarely, if ever, actually COMMENT on them? What good is it to know what your friends are thinking if you never do anything with it, folks? Communication should go both ways!

3) And most importantly: Why do bloggers think it’s OK to stretch a quick little anecdote into a 12-page autobiography? Is there some minimum word count that I’m yet unaware of? Am I going to be marked down if this post is too short???