Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hillsong God Of Ages

This morning as I was listening to one of's music streams (I made a small contribution a few months ago to qualify for the premium stream, which proved to be a good decision), when God blessed me through a fairly new song by Hillsong Australia I hadn't heard before. As I listened, I looked up the lyrics for "God of Ages" and accidentally bumped into this video clip. For the past 10 or 12 years, I've been frequently blessed by Hillsong Music Australia out of Hillsong Church, today just being the most recent time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Confessions of a First/Second Grader

This morning in one of the elementary schools I volunteer in as an English teacher, a little girl in the combined first and second grade class approached me before class. "Teacher, I have a secret to tell you. But you can't tell anyone else," she said in Chinese. She then drew me over to a corner of the room in which there were no other students, had me stoop over, and happily whispered in my ear that her mother had come to visit her earlier that morning at the school.

"But you can't tell my father I told you," she added. "Why not?" I asked not fully-clued in (and not yet fully awake having not yet finished my first cup of coffee). "Because he will scold me."

In Taiwanese society, after divorces kids are awarded to the fathers. Perhaps they don't like the mothers coming around to visit the kids. I was reminded later than more than half of the students in this particular school come from single-parent homes or homes in which the kids are passed on to grandparents while the parents worked in the city.

Playing Games with the Roosters

In previous posts, I've mentioned the roosters, geese, dogs, and chickens just across the street that awaken me all hours of the night. Well, there's been a funny development here. The last two Monday mornings I've gotten up around 2:00 am in order to listen to NFL broadcasts over the internet before heading up to Taipei or Taichung for work/class. The first week, I had the ceiling light in my bedroom on. But the light emanating out the windows, even though they're glazed windows and even though I had the screens drawn, was enough to cause the birds across the street to commence with their morning wake-up calls. During radio commercial breaks, I turned down the sound on my computer and also turned off the light. The animals quieted down almost immediately. I played this game several times over the course of an hour or two just to see how consistent the birds were... very consistent!

Yesterday I didn't turn on the ceiling light at all, because the noises were still annoying enough to me even though I wasn't trying to sleep. But amazingly, just the light from my desk light and notebook screen were enough to start the birds crowing... I repeated the experiment off an on another 2 or three times. Maybe the noise will lead the neighbors to cover over the chicken coops a little better...

In a related development, I bought an air purifier for my bedroom yesteday. It will serve a double-purpose: in the on-line reviews I read, everyone was complaining how noisy it was! At least it can help drown out the neighborhood noise... :-)