For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding myself with lots to be thankful for

Earlier this evening, I found myself carrying a box of kueh bangkit, almost an entire box worth of those delicate tropical-island-tasting morsels, back home. It was a round box with four layers of cookies, of which only almost the topmost layer was eaten. And I found myself thinking, let me not cease to keep on offering, even when it is not the perfect gift. And my heart was encouraged. A box of kueh bangkit arrived in a surprise care package in the mail, far too much to keep all for ourselves, so I decided to bring some to share today in class. Although everyone said it was really good! the eating proved that they had only a lukewarm reception - perhaps they were just too unusual. It's very much like how I feel about sharing my opinions in class sometimes. It may just because I tend to be on the shy side, or that I tend to be too self-conscious of what others think! Or because I am always second-guessing and imagining that others are thinking that I am too serious, or too deep, or too in love with Singapore, or just plainly too different. And the honest truth is, it could well be any of those things. What is equally true, though, is that none of those possibilities need to matter. What matters is that I want to keep on reaching out, and keep on offering the gift of my thoughts, in the special way that is only mine to do. And I'm so thankful for this conviction, the ability to laugh it off, and pop another cookie into my mouth in the meantime. 

A  little earlier, during children's lit class, I found myself considering a new perspective. The 2012 Newbery winner was our assigned reading for class today, and a classmate and I were leading the discussion. Somehow, though, the book disappointed me in a major way. It might just have been one of the books I liked least, of all the children's books we've read for class this semester. This is a huge claim, but in my mind's ranking order, and everyone can have their preferences, this is true. My complaints were about a certain disjointedness in the way different aspects were put together, and a too obvious ideology shoved in the reader's face somewhat thoughtlessly, or even conceitedly. These are serious faults, I know. But there you have it. Yet, hearing the opinions of others about the book, especially their views on why this book may have won the award, I found myself considering that perhaps it deserved to win, after all. In short, I began to see the book as a reflection of our times, and perhaps innovatory in its craft. My opinions about the book haven't changed, but I could see why it would have won nonetheless. And I'm thankful for the ability to even consider different perspectives, and understand where others are coming from, yet, knowing where I stand. 

Still earlier today, I found myself in the Nashville Public Library, hunting the shelves for a book according to its call number. Funnily enough, the title of the book was I've Lost My Hippopotamus. (It's Jack Prelutsky's latest hilarious and show-stopping volume of poetry, by the way - highly recommended!) So, I was searching for the book of said title among the library shelves. I couldn't find it. Of course, what I did next was to approach the librarian, who searched in the just returned trolley, the display shelves, only to find that it was still... well, sort of... lost. Oh but there was one more place she had yet to search. So off she went to some room in the back area and before long, another librarian came with the book! Brand new, she said it was. I was going to be the first to check it out! And here's what I'm thankful for - the librarians whose quiet service often goes unnoticed and unthanked. 

Even earlier today, I found myself in my practicum school, in the second grade classroom I've been in for the past ten weeks or so, for what I thought was the last time. Relish every moment, I thought. A teacher read-aloud was going on, and before long, it was time for centers. It was then that I noticed it - the chair of the student I was going to be working with was still upside down, resting on her desk, as if she had never arrived to school that day. I searched the room for her; indeed she wasn't there. And so, possibly a frustrating wasted trip. But, I am thankful I will get to go in again on Thursday, this means. And I am also thankful for my professor, who granted me an extension of all the way till Friday to submit the final write-up on my time of tutoring the student, that was originally due tomorrow. 

So, here it is. Your almost typical just another Tuesday. But still - there's so much to be thankful for.

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