Monday, May 30, 2011


I feel like spring is the time when dreams come true. A week ago I got a part in the chorus of The Music Man. I am so excited! The shows are in July, so for the next six to eight weeks I am in rehearsals four nights a week. This is literally one of the dreams of my life! I am so excited! I have always wanted to be in a musical, and The Music Man is by far one of my favorites. I cannot believe how lucky I am. Another great thing about the whole situation is that I am meeting new people, which I am sure will make next year a lot more pleasant here in the Palm Springs of Washington.

Last night I made my first foray into the world of cooking fish. For Willie's birthday I made ahi tuna steaks with spinach and edamame salad and wasabi mashed potatoes. Not only was it completely delicious, but it looked pretty and I realized that I want to experiment with more ingredients that I don't usually use. It can actually be affordable when you are only cooking for one person.

We have only two more weeks of school to go! I am so excited to be done for the summer. This will be the first time in five years that I haven't been in school for the summer. I may look for some tutoring jobs to make a little extra cash, but for the most part I am looking forward to reading lots of books and writing and singing. I am hoping to go home to New Jersey for a while in NJ friends, let me know what you are up to then!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Religious musings

Last week I had the honor of hearing Sr. Helen Prejean speak at an NCEA conference. If you ever get to hear her speak...DO IT. She wrote Dead Man Walking, which was later adapted into a movie starring Sean Penn and Susan Saradon. It is her mission to end the Death Penalty in the United States. Now, I have always considered myself staunchly prolife, and it has always seemed to me that we can't have it both ways. Why spend so much time protecting innocent life if we don't also protect guilty life? After hearing her speak, I came back to my religion class prep full of new zeal to include even more information about the death penalty in my classroom.

And that's when I got really upset. After checking numerous Catholic websites and finding tons of information on abortion, including resources for kids and lesson plans, I found maybe 2 paragraphs about the death penalty. Most sites didn't mention it at all. On one website I took the time to write out a lengthy question about where to find such resources and posted it in the life issues forum. Yesterday I got an email back saying that it didn't fit in the life issues forum and to post it somewhere else. How is the death penalty not a life issue? This was a MAJOR Catholic media site for the USA.

In the midst of all this, Pope John Paul II was beatified. I had been following the story with interest and even drove out to the farm to watch some of the news coverage with Willie. In religion class, I tried to engage my students in the discussion, but all they could talk about was the death of Osama Bin Laden. I wondered what the Pope would have said if he had been alive to see this day. For some reason, the rejoicing in Bin Laden's death made me very uncomfortable. I think that the spokesman for the Vatican said it best:

"In the face of a man's death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred." - Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican Spokesman, May 2, 2011