Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Tour and the Snow

The Snow in DC was bad, last week - pathetic, actually. Well, I'll tell you what was pathetic - the LACK of clearing that had been done.

And I'm SICK of hearing about budgets - the Park Rangers are at the memorials EVERY day - so.... here's a great way to keep warm in that chilly weather - SHOVEL that darn snow away.

I had a great group, last week. They were wonderful, actually. Here's what they saw at the World War II Memorial...

This is what it SHOULD look like:

And I'm not talking about the lack of water or the sunshine.

Here they are walking TREACHEROUSLY up the path....

Sure... that's SAFE...

But here's what they saw in New York City...

And Philadelphia...

Because those cities aren't run by the Federal Government...

Tell me, Mr. Mayor - don't you think that if you CLEAR this snow bank, the people will be able to PARK on the street, and use your Parking Meters, thereby increasing the REVENUE you are so sorely lacking?

And this is difficult for me to understand, since EVERY SINGLE BUS that drives into your our city has to pay a fee. Every day. So, how are you so incredibly short of money? You charge everybody for everything. All those free museums... they're not eating into YOUR profits. They're ours.

Interesting note about museums in DC. The NEWSEUM (for profit, privately owned) was open EVERY SINGLE DAY of the snowstorm. The Smithsonian... (owned by we the people, a gift from James Smithson, an Englishman who never even sterpped foot in our country)... closed for a week...

Monday, February 8, 2010

If I May Be So Bold

as to suggest something for you and your family, or just you, if you don't have a family...

This DVD series is really remarkable. It is a ten episode, 30 minute series, describing in GREAT detail, but easily understandable, if God, does indeed, exist.

This series is put out by "True U", which is a branch(?) of Focus on the Family. Not sure how that whole thing works, but I must say, I think this series is a MUST-SEE for every person. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE TEENS.

I don't claim to be an expert on raising children, but I have probably spent more time with a lot of teen-agers than their own parents, as a teacher. And here's what I think:

If your kid is CRAZY about the Lord, then they need to watch this series, because LIFE - non-believing teachers, friends, the media, etc will try to SUCK THAT OUT OF THEM, and this will give them a great way to be able to defend their faith when called up on to do so.

If your kid is struggling with the whole thought/concept etc of God (a lot or a little), this series could be an AMAZING tool for you and them to get through it.

And I think it would be great to be watched as a family. Looking for devotionals? Looking for ways to communicate with your teen? (Or even middle schoolers). Here you go. GREAT conversation starters, without it looking like you are just trying to "tell them something else" (and we know how teens can be with the whole don't want to listen to their parents even when they secretly know they're right)

Anyhow - I wish I could let you know how I really feel. I struggle with that, as I'm sure you're aware...

There is also this 30 minute promo called "The Toughest Test in College" which will REALLY make you want to watch this set with your kid(s). (And it comes WITH the series)

Now, maybe you're thinking, "Sohailah, my kids are under the age of 8." Get it and watch it with your husband - I know I am learning a TON from these. And I taught evangelism for 6 years and have been on mission trips a bunch.

These dvd's aren't afraid to talk about "WHY". That's one thing I really love about them. He's not BASHING you with FAITH FAITH FAITH FAITH. He says, there are REASONS for faith. And he come at it from the angle of physics AND biology.

For example, he says, "There is no doubt there was a Big Bang. But the Big Bang was an effect, not a cause. So... where's the cause?"

I know I am waxing eloquent going on and on and on about this, but I SO want for the people I love to be aware and get these. And I am sick and tired of kids going astray, primarily because they don't have the tools to KNOW the truth. Right? They have questions. And I think that's great, because there are ANSWERS!!!

p.s. The whole set is $49.99, and I do NOT work for Focus on the Family OR True U. And because I really really love you, but am none too clever, you can copy the link below and go straight to a place to order it. If I were clever, I would know how to create a link straight TO the page, like my more clever friends do.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings CHORAL

I really have something else I want to talk about today, but seriously, if you like classical or choral music even a little bit, you HAVE to play this. Nothing to look at, just let it wash over you. When I teach choir again, and I WILL teach choir again, we WILL perform this. And it isn't easy. But, we will. I have loved it since college.

I know it's long, but just let it blare as you spend some time being mellow. Or playing Spider Solitaire. Or reading other blogs. Please, do yourself a favor and play it... :)

I know, I am obsessed passionate. But it will be worth it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Season

Tour Guide Season is quickly approaching. In a matter of days I will be back out "in it".

So, here's what I have done in regards to my Tour Guide Schedule.

I have printed off my list of trips.

I have gone through the list and highlighted my trips that go to NYC (9 out of 13).

I have written down the names of the school and organizer next to the trip to see how many are repeat trips for me. (6 out of 13). I like all of these particular people, so that's great.

I have written down the names of the Broadway Shows I am going to be seeing.
Lion King - 2
Phantom - 2
Mary Poppins - 3
Wicked - 1

And one as of yet undetermined.

I have RESISTED counting how many groups are taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty v. The NY Waterways tour. I think there may be more "ferry riders" than "tours takers" - the ferry is more work, with the potential of missed ferry getter-oners... therefore, why concern myself with what may or may not happen, right?

I have RESISTED the urge to see how many wake up calls will be before 6am... again, why even go there?

I would LIKE to know, but have so far resisted the urge to see how many (if any) groups have adults in the rooms with the students... and I am up in the air about which I prefer. On one hand, I think I prefer adults in the rooms, because then there is someone old enough to hopefully commandeer out of control situations. On the other hand...

I am hoping that I will be sufficiently warm enough outside, this Spring. Seeing as how tours start for me February 13th, I am wondering if "hoping" is good enough. I did buy rain boots. Which will be great when it's raining. I'm wondering if perhaps, just perhaps, I should get something else.

I know I will be better prepared than 8th graders from Southern California who think that a hoodie and flip flops are good enough... and I'm working on my selective listening skills now... so I don't hear them when it's NOT good enough. Otherwise, they make me feel like giving THIS face...