The Hodgepodge appears courtesy of From This Side Of The Pond.
1. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or is it more the other way around?
"More" is an interesting word, which makes it hard to answer the question.
Certainly, I'm influenced by the world; we all are.
But I'm also a teacher. My job is, by definition, to influence young people. So I'm sure I'm influencing the world. I hope it's for the better. (I'm pretty sure that it is for the better, but that's a judgment for others to make, not I.)
I honestly can't remember the last time I used a tape measure for any purpose, though I know I was trying to find one recently (in the toolbox in the hall closet, by the way) because someone else needed it for some project or other.
Blessed beyond measure? (Warning: sentimental ramblings ahead.)
When it comes to romantic relationships, I see so much brokenness --- not just globally and nationally, but locally. I see young people jumping from bed to bed, trying to find intimacy and settling for sensuality. I see marriages casually thrown away (even after decades) because one party or the other gets bored. I see business that have to set rules for how people relate to one another because of the ways people use power to get sex, or use sex to get power. I see people "settling" for whatever comes along instead of holding on to their high standards.
And I see the woman I married 22 years ago ... and I am incredibly grateful.
Not in the superficial, cheesy sense of "gee, I'm grateful that she hasn't dumped me yet."
I am grateful that I have a life partner: a helpmate (Genesis 2) with whom I share hopes, dreams, ambitions, values, interests, beliefs, intentions, and ideas. Oh, and with whom I also share a bank account, a mortgage, a Netflix password, and a bed.
While some of those 22 years together is a result of our mutual commitment to stay married "until death us do part", I also know that some of this is only possible because of God's gracious gift to us. In a world of brokenness, we are knit together tightly. And God gets the credit for making that possible.
The nicknames we use for our spouses vary from the ridiculous to the sublime. One of the better ones I've heard is "my better half". I've come to appreciate that phrase more and more over the years. She makes me better than I am.
And, for that reason, I am blessed beyond measure.
Perhaps the Hundred Acre Wood. It's hard to pick ... frankly, I'm more of an indoors person than an outdoors one. But A.A. Milne's stories are so delightful ... it would be lovely just to spend an afternoon looking for heffalumps, or finding a birthday gift for Eeyore, or just walking hand in hand with Piglet.
I don't have a good answer for this. Good ideas come and go, depending on context.
In terms of live TV? We're big fans of BattleBots. After that's over, we need to catch-up on Agents of SHIELD.
But over the last few weeks, now that the kids are out of school, we've been trying to get my daughter caught up on movies that she needs to see to be "culturally relevant". Of course, "culturally relevant" mostly means "understanding the movies we keep quoting" or, at least this summer, "seeing enough prequels so we can take you to the movies with us". The last week or so, it was watching selected movies from the Star Trek franchise in order to be ready for Star Trek Beyond when it releases.
Of those ... I think it's "Dog Days of Summer". I've never been one to enjoy hot temperatures, and those middle two weeks of August here in Michigan where it's consistently in the 90s every single day are just really looooooong to endure.
You can accomplish a whole lot more than you think you can --- especially when you're tired.
It's the first week of the semester, and I still feel out-of-sorts. I don't feel in-phase yet with my students. This, too, will pass; I'll get to know them, they'll get to know me, and we'll get there. But it's not there just yet.